Monday, April 28, 2008

Guess Where I'm Going Y'all?

DH and I are taking a four day trip to Savannah, GA this weekend. We'll be leaving early Thursday morning and coming home late Sunday night. The only real set plans we have is to attend the Scottish Festival and Games while we are there. DH is competing (solo bagpiping competition) on Saturday at that event but that's the only real thing we have planned. We want to take a day to visit Tybee Island so we're planning a full day for that and hopefully the weather will be nice. So, that covers Sunday (we'll spend the day exploring Tybee and then just head home from there). That leaves half a day and all night on Thursday and an entire day on Friday. So, I need your help. If you've been to Savannah and have any really great tips for us, please share. One must will be to eat lunch or supper at Lady & Sons. No one can travel to Savannah and not have a little Paula Deen before they leave :-o) Even if Paula irritates the snot out of you, you've got to love the fact that she's all about the butter! Oh, and chocolate! Right up my alley! I'll be leaving my diet at the hotel for that one!

I'm trying to throw together a quick schedule so that we can make sure to do all of the things we really want to do. If you've been to Savannah and done something you really enjoyed, let me know. We'll also take any restaurant suggestions you might throw our way. I'm excited already! Is it Thursday yet? LOL!

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Ron Paul 2008

Becoming A Titus 2 Woman *Winner*

The winner of the book giveaway this week is (insert drum roll sound) Lauren over at Baseballs & Bows! Congratulations Lauren! Please email me your mailing address so I can get this out to you! Thanks to everyone who entered! I will not be posting a new book tomorrow because we will be out of town all week. Check back May 6 for a new giveaway!

I'm excited this week, to be giving away a copy of Martha Peace's Becoming A Titus 2 Woman. I enjoyed this book and have a copy in our library. Here's a little about the book:

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman provides older women a training tool for learning how to successfully mentor younger women. Each of the ten chapters concludes with a chapter summary and application questions that will help women put into practice what they have read.

To enter to win, simply leave a comment with your email address included. This is open to U.S. residents only and you do not have to have a blog to enter. A winner will be announced on Monday, April 28th. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the book, after which time, a new winner will be drawn. Spread the word and happy commenting!

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Ron Paul 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Make Up Day

Wow! What a busy week. We've had several exciting field trips this week and I hope to share those in my next few posts. We don't take a lot of homeschool field trips because they're usually not convenient. However, this week was nice and slow so we threw in a few that interested us. All of these trips have put me behind in the house though so today is a "deep clean" day around here. Days like this requires lots of disposable gloves and much scrubbing! Our toilets hadn't been scrubbed in a week so they're getting much attention today. The weather has been so warm though and that always makes me stray while cleaning. I find that I'll start cleaning a room but have to go to the garage to get something, which causes me to walk by the front door that is open and feel that nice breeze blowing in. What else can I do but step outside? It can't be helped!

While I'd like to take pictures of my dirty house to show you just how bad it is, I'm going to pass. It would be way to humiliating for me and much to gross for your eyes! Hopefully all of this cleaning will end early enough for hubby and I to run out and see Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. If you haven't heard about this movie, do a Google search right now and check it out. It's a documentary so keep that in mind. I'm expecting a lot from the movie and everything I've heard about it has been positive. If we do make it out to see it tonight, I'll share the review with you in a few days.

Have a great Saturday and remember, four hands scrub better than two!

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Ron Paul 2008

TN Tax Holiday

I'm not sure how many readers here are from TN but if you are, remember this weekend is the TN tax holiday. It started yesterday and goes through tomorrow. This is a great opportunity to stock up on school supplies, clothes, and computers without paying any tax. We took advantage of it yesterday and purchased some things we really needed. If you aren't sure what things are covered under this holiday, visit the state of TN web site and you will find a list of the items it covers. I was surprised that you could buy clothes for anyone, not just students. This is very nice. I was also able to purchase some envelopes and things that we needed and they were covered. I really need some postage tape but I'm not sure if those types of things are covered. Wouldn't it be nice though? And food.....wouldn't it be nice if food were covered? It isn't and that's a shame. Students have to eat too you know! LOL! I am not going to complain too much. I'm happy that we have three full days to take advantage of this and I hope the Tennesseans among you will get out and take advantage of it too!

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Ron Paul 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friendship Is Nice

I found this on the kitchen table today. The girls had been playing outside while I cleaned out our pantry. I was feeling tired and run down so I sat down to rest for a minute and that's when I found this note from Caroline. In case you can't read it well, here's what it says:

I Love You!

Friendship is nice and also very good. I hope you understand that I love you very much.


The two little stick people in the drawing are Caroline and myself, holding hands and saying I love you to one another. Caroline writes me sweet little notes a lot. She'll just leave them lying around. She loves it when I write her back and leave it for her to find. There are times that I wonder if my children like me at all. Throughout the day, I'm working with them on their studies, chores, and countenance. Sometimes I forget to stop and enjoy them. Many times I don't stop to smell the roses. Just when I feel like the worst parent in the world, they reveal their true feelings for me. Then all is right in the world again because I am reminded that:

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

We pray for many more.....

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Ron Paul 2008

Winter Haven by Athol Dickson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Winter Haven

(Bethany House April 1, 2008)


Athol Dickson





Athol Dickson's university-level training in painting, sculpture, and architecture was followed by a long career as an architect then his decision several years ago to devote full time to writing.

Athol Dickson’s writing has been favorably compared to the work of Octavia Butler
(Publisher’s Weekly), Daphne du Maurier (Cindy Crosby, and Flannery O’Connor (The New York Times).

His They Shall See God was a Christy Award finalist and his River Rising was a Christy Award winner, selected as one of the Booklist Top Ten Christian Novels of 2006 and a finalist for Christianity Today's Best Novel of 2006.

He and his wife, Sue, live in Southern California. Visit for more information.



Boys who never age, giants lost in time, mist that never rises, questions never asked...on the most remote of islands off the coast of Maine, history haunts the present and Vera Gamble wrestles with a past that will not yield. Will she find refuge there, or will her ghosts prevail on...Winter Haven

Eleven years ago, Vera Gamble's brother left their house never to be seen again. Until the day Vera gets a phone call that his body has been found...washed ashore in the tiny island town of Winter Haven, Maine. His only surviving kin, Vera travels north to claim the body...and finds herself tumbling into a tangled mystery. Her brother hasn't aged a day since last she saw him.

Determined to uncover what happened in those lost years, Vera soon discovers there are other secrets lurking in this isolated town. But Winter Haven's murky past now seems bound to come to light as one woman seeks the undeniable and flooding light of truth.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bathroom Ideas?

I'm getting ready to renovate our small master bathroom. There's not a lot of room in there because most of it is taken up by a large vanity. I want to make the bathroom feel bigger but I'm not sure how to accomplish that. I'm wondering if I should buy one of those Pedestal sinks to replace the vanity. I think they are pretty and they don't take up a lot of space. The problem will be storage. Without the vanity, I'll have to figure out where to put our things. I want to paint it sage green but I'm wondering if I should go with something a little lighter. I'm knee deep in ideas but really need some direction. I'll take any help you guys want to dish out. My bathroom will thank you!

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Ron Paul 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Is It Just Me?

Recently, the hubs and I have started to research adoption. We've wanted to add to our family for many years but have been unable. About a week ago, we discussed it and started doing a bit of online research. At first, I was very excited and eagerly scoured every web site I could find on the topic. Once I got into the financial research, I became a little discouraged. Adoption is ridiculously expensive, whether domestic or international. We know there are loans and grants out there but just the initial costs were mind blowing. We started to wonder where all of this money goes. While we don't have all of the answers, we did find agencies that revealed a little about the financial side of things.

Still, at least in my mind, it doesn't add up. Some agencies say that this money is for the work they do in overseeing that the birth mother goes to the doctor, she eats correctly, and gets proper addiction treatment if needed. If the birth mother has abused drugs or alcohol, the agency "makes sure" she stays clean while pregnant. I really understand that there is some work involved. What I don't get is why they charge 10k (on average) for the adoption. This figure doesn't even include medical expenses, if any, for the birth mother. It doesn't include a home study that adoptive parents must go through (and it's quite costly). It doesn't include the money you have to pay out of pocket for things like police reports (to prove you don't have a history of abuse), financial records, and even medical records. In some instances, particular agencies even ask you to pay for the birth mother's lodging, food, and gas. Remember, all of this is beyond the 10k the agency charges for the adoption.

Needless to say, we are disgusted at the system itself. There are so many children who need homes. There are so many that have never known what it is like to be part of a family. Each year, thousands of children "age out" of the process, meaning they become of legal age and can live independently. Many of them have no family to turn to for help. They are basically thrown out into the world with no concept of what it feels like to have the support of a loving family. I just don't understand why it is so hard. It's frustrating, makes me angry, and makes me want to cry all at the same time. And then we have to wonder....if we put this kind of money into adoption, aren't we just supporting the corrupt practices of this system? I don't have answers to all of these questions and that frustrates me. Why, somebody please tell me, would any agency, adoption or government (DCS), deny any child the right to a loving home and family based on our inability to fork out the tens of thousands of dollars it supposedly costs? Maybe it's just me....maybe I just don't get it.

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Ron Paul 2008

Time For Change

If you are anything like our family, you probably use the spring time to spruce up your home. We usually do some painting, carpet cleaning, and wash down the walls. It's amazing how much better I feel once we've done this. Because our house was built in the mid-80s, it has a lot of outdated things that we are slowly trying to switch out. The indoor lighting fixtures are very outdated and we've been replacing those one by one. The bathroom faucets are the next thing on my list. Then there's the almost 30 year old carpet......sometimes I think I'll just yank it up and walk on the plywood until we can afford hard wood! LOL!

I really enjoy doing these types of things. My problem is, I try to do too much at one time. I'll start painting and then decide I want to clean out a closet. I have the incredible urge right now to pull up the sticky tile in our bathrooms so that we can put ceramic tile down. I'm trying resist that one though because I haven't purchased any new tile to go down yet.

What is it about warm weather that makes a person want to do this kind of thing? Or is it just me? Please tell me you do it too. I blame it all on my mother because she always has a project going. It doesn't matter how big or small, she's always doing something. I'm comforted by the fact that I know at least one other person who gets this way in the spring. It seems that more and more, people are doing things themselves. Do-It-Yourself shows and websites are popping up everywhere. I'm so glad because if my urges get the best of me, I fear I'm going to need some instruction on how to correct mistakes! LOL!

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Ron Paul 2008

Winner of Tuesdays With Morrie

This week's winner of Tuesdays With Morrie is Coach J! Congratulations Jenny! Apparently, God did want you to read this! Email me with your address and I'll get this out to you. I'd really love to know how to take a screen shot with this Mac because I'd love to show the random number generator pick. As soon as I have time to research that, I'll start showing it when I announce weekly winners!

Remember to check back tomorrow for a new giveaway. Up for grabs will be a book that I learned a lot from! I'm excited about it and I hope you'll be as eager to enter to win it!

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Ron Paul 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie Giveaway *Sticky*

Whew! This past weekend was a busy one. My mom made a quick visit (from West Virginia) and didn't leave until Monday evening. I remembered to post the winner of last week's book but neglected to post the giveaway for this week! So, this week's book is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. This is the second book I've read about or by someone with ALS. I knew before I read the book that this one was going to make me cry.....and it did. It's a quick read and I enjoyed reading how Morrie dealt with his death sentence. I enjoyed this book even though I knew, once Morrie was diagnosed, what the outcome would be. Lots of lessons to be learned from this one!

To enter, leave a comment. I will randomly draw a winner Monday, April 21. This is open to US bloggers only and you do not have to have a blog to enter. If you do not have a blog, please provide an email address with your comment. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the book. After that time, a new winner will be selected. Happy commenting!

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Ron Paul 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A New Winner Has Been Crowned

Last week's book winner didn't claim the book SO, I have used the random number generator to chose a new winner. The new winner of Virginia Smith's Stuck in the Middle is Toystory. Congratulations! I'll be emailing you shortly to get your mailing info. For everyone else, remember to enter the drawing for Tuesdays with Morrie. I'll draw that winner on Monday, April 21st. Remember to check back each Tuesday to see if I have a book drawing going on. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be giving away two of my favorite books so I hope you'll drop by for those!

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Ron Paul 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fads, The Coming and Going

Last night, we were outside working and our conversation turned to fads that were around in the 80s. You remember them.....leg warmers, big hair, banana clips, Michael Jackson, leather pants, red Reeboks. And what was it with the guys who wore those long dangling earrings in one ear? At least those are the things that were hot in my neck of the woods. The funny thing is, I had or knew someone who had all of those things. I'm sure I've mentioned my Michael Jackson craze back in the day. Don't laugh. He still looked like a man then! I had it bad. I even had the red leather jacket replica....and the silver sequence glove. Yep, I'm sad, I know. It's funny to think back on those days but what's even more surprising to me is that some of those fads are coming back. Our oldest daughter is obsessed with getting leg warmers. I tried explaining to her that some fads need to stay in the past, leg warmers being one of them! LOL!

The girls have gone through many fads. Some of the most recent were pink ballerinas and horses. The ballerinas died hard when we stopped taking our youngest to ballet lessons. The horses lasted for awhile. In fact, they are still around to some degree. We put up horse border in their bedroom and it's still there. The craze of all things horse has all but settled down, finally. There was a time when Logan was taking horseback riding lessons. That whole summer, she was crazy about horses and anything that had to do with them. She wanted us to move to the country so that she could buy a horse and keep it on the land she wanted us to purchase. I have no idea where she thought we would get all of the cash to make this happen. Anyway, there's a farm supply store near our house and I remember her begging me to take her there. She just wanted to look around. Then she discovered that Petsmart carried saddles , helmets, and other basic riding supplies. It was crazy! She would spend so much time looking through things and talking about how she would use this piece of equipment or that piece of clothing.

Seeing the kids go through these stages reminds me of being a kid. Isn't it fun to think back on all of the crazy phases you went through at their age? If nothing else, it's great entertainment! I'm still laughing at some of the things my friends and I liked. Remember DeBarge? They had that wildly popular song, "Rhythm of the Night." I remember my best friends and I making up a dance to that song. I'm so glad my mom never invested in a video camera!

How about you? What things did you love back in the day? Come on, you can share. I promise I won't laugh.....well, maybe a little!

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Ron Paul 2008

Late Movie Reviews

I'm behind with everything this week. I've been running to doctor appointments for the past few days and that's thrown everything off. It's amazing how much of your day disappears when you have to visit the doctor!

We saw a couple of great movies this week. It's funny how we may see a couple of good ones and then the next five will bomb. LOL! I think I'm getting harder and harder to please where movies are concerned. There is just such a lack of good movies being made these days. Many of them have little to no meaning and I feel like I've wasted two hours watching them. Here are a few that get the thumbs up from me this week, and one that didn't:

Into the Wild ~ This movie was inspired by a true story. Christopher McCandless graduates from college and his parents have high hopes for him. They want him to go to law school and "do great things." Chris has other plans. He gives away his $24,000 life savings, leaves all of his possessions, breaks contact with his family, and hitchhikes to Alaska to live off the land. On his way to Alaska, he meets many people who will be inspirational in his life.

*This film was wonderful! To watch Chris leave everything behind and chase his dream was so inspirational. Along the way, he meets so many wonderful people who share their knowledge of life. Chris deals with many of his own emotional skeletons along the way; his parents rocky relationship over the years, the expectations they have of him, etc. He is determined to leave it all behind and make it on his own in the Alaskan wilderness. When Chris finally makes it to Alaska, I breathed a sigh of relief. However, this is when many of his challenges began. He took shelter in an abandoned bus sitting in the middle of the wilderness. I can't say much more without giving away a lot of the ending. What I will say is that this movie holds so many great life lessons. It is a long movie (over two hours). There is some language in the movie and there is a pretty graphic wilderness scene in which Chris has to field dress a moose. He is hunting for game and shoots this moose. He has to work quickly in dressing the moose so that he preserves all of the meat. I opened and closed my eyes through this because I've never been able to watch someone field dress an animal. Overall, a great movie with many wonderful lessons. I'm on a mission to read the book now.*

Reservation Road ~ Synopsis: On a warm September evening, college professor Ethan Learner, his wife Grace, and their daughter Emma are attending a recital. Their 10-year-old son Josh is playing cello -- beautifully, as usual. His younger sister looks up to him, and his parents are proud of their son. On the way home, they all stop at a gas station on Reservation Road. There, in one terrible instant, he is taken from them forever. On a warm September evening, law associate Dwight Arno and his 11-year-old son Lucas are attending a baseball game. Their favorite team, the Red Sox, is playing - and, hopefully, heading for the World Series. Dwight cherishes his time spent with Lucas. Driving his son back to his ex-wife, Lucas' mother Ruth Wheldon, Dwight heads towards his fateful encounter at Reservation Road. The accident happens so fast that Lucas is all but unaware, while Ethan -- the only witness -- is all too aware, as a panicked Dwight speeds away. The police are called, and an investigation begins. Haunted by the tragedy, both fathers react in unexpected ways, as do Grace and Emma. As a reckoning looms, the two fathers are forced to make the hardest choices of their lives. Written by Focus Features.

*I was excited to see this film after seeing the previews. Between the great clips and Mark Ruffalo (I'm a huge fan) being in the film, I expected a lot. It did not disappoint. This film takes you into the lives of these two families and how they deal with this tragedy. I found myself feeling some of the same feelings the parents felt. I was sympathetic for both sides. I wanted things to just work themselves out, and they did in the end. There was some language in this one and then ending is assumed rather than shown. I didn't like that but I still thought it was a good film. It was predictable at times but again, I enjoyed the story line.

Dan In Real Life ~ Synopsis: Love strikes in the worst possible circumstances for widower, single dad and popular family advice columnist Dan Burns (Steve Carell) when he falls for a beautiful stranger (Juliette Binoche) in a bookshop -- only to discover she's the very same woman his charismatic brother (Dane Cook) is about to introduce as his incredible new girlfriend at their parents' annual get-together. As the weekend gets underway, Dan and Marie scramble to hide their mutual attraction to each other, resulting in a series of hilariously awkward situations. Yet, even under those circumstances, they can't help falling in love. Now, Dan is about to realize that -- no matter how many good suggestions he might have for other people -- when it comes to romance and family, the hardest advice for a man to follow is his own.

I had wanted to see this movie since the day I saw it in the video store. Finally, we were able to pick it up and sit down to watch it a few nights ago. The movie is still fresh in my head and I have to tell you, sometimes I laugh out loud just thinking about various parts of it. Steve Carell is not my favorite actor but he is growing on me. Sometimes his humor is a little to dry for me. He hit it big in this one though! The movie was funny, heartwarming, funny, sweet, funny, and funny. I can't tell you how many times I laughed during this one. I absolutely loved Carell's character and I'm a big Juliette Binoche fan. I think they were the perfect choice for their characters in this movie. The one negative that comes to mind is the attitude of the children in the movie. They are very sarcastic and bratty. Overall, I think it's definitely one to check out. I liked it enough that I'd probably buy it. This is definitely my favorite movie of the week.

Waitress ~ Not even gonna link to this one. I didn't like it. I hated the attitude of Keri Russell's character and I don't think watching this film is helpful or edifying in any way. While we were watching it, we were hoping a big change was going to occur and there would be a good turning point to the movie. However, most of the movie was how Russell's character hated her husband and how much she didn't want to have the baby she was carrying. I remember some months ago that someone told me this was a "cute" movie. Well, I must have missed the cute part :-o) Very disappointing. Russell's last two movies have been very, very disappointing to me. My opinion is to skip this one.

We've got a few lined up for the weekend so check back Sunday for those reviews.

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Ron Paul 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Look Away Mom.......

My mom will probably faint when she reads this post. For some reason, she thinks a lot of people read my posts and she's gets embarrassed if I talk about her too much. I bet you anything she'll call me after she reads this one! You see, she's planning on getting married soon. I have no idea when but I've met her beau and he's a nice man. I think she needs to get married and "settle down" instead of working her life away. I know she enjoys her life but she's always way too busy and most of the time it's with work. I want her to sit back and enjoy life. Smell the roses. All that stuff.

I'm already planning things in my head. She plans to be married outdoors so I've already envisioned what the ceremony will be like. I've even been looking for some bridal shower invitations! Yep, that's right mom. I'll be throwing you a shower! I can't wait! I want this to be the most memorable day of her life.

Jeff and I didn't have a big wedding. In fact, it was just the two of us at the local courthouse. A nice woman named Dottie married us (that's a story for another day)! It's funny to think back on that day. We were both in bad places in our lives and were actually fighting that day. We were different people then and I never imagined our marriage would grow into what it has become. God blessed our union that day and has continued to bless us every single day since then. I hope my mom finds as much happiness and I have in my life.

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Ron Paul 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

This Week's Winner Is.......

This week's lucky number was 8, which means that Lex is the winner of Stuck In the Middle by Virginia Smith! Woo hoo! Congratulations Lex! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

As always, thanks to each of you who took time enter the giveaway and tell others about it! I really appreciate it! Remember to check back tomorrow to see the new book giveaway for next week!

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Ron Paul 2008

*Sticky Post* Stuck In the Middle and A CD

Please scroll down for current posts.

Good Tuesday morning to you! This week's book giveaway is Stuck In the Middle by Virginia Smith. For a full synopsis and my review of this one, refer to this post. I enjoyed this book as it was light hearted and funny at times. I spoke with Mrs. Smith after reading the book and her warm personality made me eager to read her future books. I'm thrilled to be able to pass this book along to one of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

To enter, leave a comment and I'd love for you to tell others about the giveaway. This is open to U.S. residents only and you do not have to have a blog to enter. If you do not have a blog, please leave an email address in your comment so that I can get in touch with you. The winner will be announced next Monday morning, April 14th. Happy commenting!

BTW, Jenny is giving away Steven Curtis Chapman's latest CD over at A Coach For Life. Please stop by and enter to win. If you've ever heard Chapman's music, you know what a blessing he is. If you haven't heard his music, go enter so that you might win!

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Ron Paul 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Knives and Spoons and Forks, Oh My!

I have a confession to make. I'm obsessive. There. I've said it. I feel better now that I've got it out. Now, before I get started, let me just say that I know some of these things are crazy. I'm not sure where they came from or why they are big issues to me. I blame my mother (don't we all).

One thing that really bugs me is when someone loads a knife into the dishwasher with the sharp point up. HELLO? That is dangerous and needs to be flipped. Seriously, I have almost cut my finger off unloading a dishwasher loaded this way. I just don't understand why other people don't realize how dangerous it could be. Am I crazy? This has been a big issue around our house lately. Caroline has a terrible habit of just throwing knives in this way. She also can't seem to grasp the concept of loading all of the like silverware together in the same slot. I like to put the spoons in a slot, the forks all together, the knives all together (points down of course), etc. It just makes sense to me. This makes it easier to unload. Again, am I crazy?

A friend recently told me to "get over it" and explained that if I complained about the kids loading the dishes this way, then they may stop voluntarily doing it. That makes perfect sense. Why would they continue to help me if all I do is complain about the way in which they help? I'm constantly telling the girls to work smarter, not harder. I'm trying to teach them ways to make chores easier and less time consuming.....some tricks of the trade if you will. The girls are very helpful and they do a lot around here. I am very thankful for their willingness to pitch in and help when I'm busy, sick, or just plain tired. I couldn't ask for two more helpful daughters. So, I'm working on my complaining. I'm learning to live with the floors that are not swept perfectly and the beds that are half made. I'm even learning to live with the chaos that is our silverware basket in the dishwasher. I've found the perfect solution for that one. Since I don't turn the dishwasher on until last thing each night, I just rearrange all the silverware before I go to bed! Now, if I can only get Caroline to stop throwing candy wrappers under her bed.........

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Ron Paul 2008

Franchise Opportunities

Recently, a new hotdog place opened up near our house. We went in to eat on one of the first days they were open. My husband told me the story of how he used to eat hotdogs at a place like this in a neighboring town when he was a boy. We struck up a conversation with the owners and found out that they had been given the opportunity to buy into the franchise. They were thrilled to be running their own business and we were thrilled that they had opened right below our house. This seems to be a growing trend.

I have to wonder what it would be like to take advantage of this type of opportunity. I've toyed with the idea of starting my own business. I wonder if any of you have ever bought into a franchise? Are you glad you did? What do you like or dislike about it?

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Ron Paul 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Kids Ask the Funniest Things

My youngest daughter cracks me up! She loves all things girly. Lately she has become very interested in jewelry. Any time we are in a store, she loves to look at the racks of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. A few days ago, she picked up a gold anklet and slipped it onto her wrist. She yelled at me to look at it and wanted to know what I thought of the "cool bracelet" she found. Not long after this, our oldest daughter and I were in a department store looking at jewelry. I had to laugh when she asked me if I thought that toe rings could be used as regular rings. Where do kids come up with these things?

I'm not complaining though. There was a time when I wondered if they would ever like girly things. They are finally growing out of the "I wanna climb a tree stage" and into the "young lady" stage. I'm enjoying every step of this journey and cannot wait to see them in the role of wife and mother. I thank God for them every day.

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Ron Paul 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz *Blog Tour*

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Trouble the Water

Thomas Nelson (March 11, 2008)


Nicole Seitz


Nicole Seitz is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and the author of The Spirit of Sweetgrass as well as a freelance writer/illustrator who has published in numerous low country magazines. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole shows her paintings in the Charleston, South Carolina area, where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children. Nicole is also an avid blogger, you can leave her a comment on her blog.

Seitz's writing style recalls that of Southern authors like Kaye Gibbons, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Sue Monk Kidd, and this new novel, which the publisher compares to Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, surely joins the ranks of strong fiction that highlights the complicated relationships between women. Highly recommended, especially for Southern libraries.



In the South Carolina Sea Islands lush setting, Nicole Seitz's second novel Trouble the Water is a poignant novel about two middle-aged sisters' journey to self-discovery.

One is seeking to recreate her life yet again and learns to truly live from a group of Gullah nannies she meets on the island. The other thinks she's got it all together until her sister's imminent death from cancer causes her to re-examine her own life and seek the healing and rebirth her troubled sister managed to find on St. Anne's Island.

Strong female protagonists are forced to deal with suicide, wife abuse, cancer, and grief in a realistic way that will ring true for anyone who has ever suffered great loss.

"This is another thing I know for a fact: a woman can't be an island, not really. No, it's the touching we do in other people's lives that matters when all is said and done. The silly things we do for ourselves--shiny new cars and jobs and money--they don't mean a hill of beans. Honor taught me that. My soul sisters on this island taught me that. And this is the story of true sisterhood. It's the story of Honor, come and gone, and how one flawed woman worked miracles in this mixed-up world."

"...a special sisterhood of island women whose wisdom and courage linger in the mind long after the book is closed."
-NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author SUSAN WIGGS.

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Ron Paul 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

I'll Have Fries With That

Ok ladies, two months ago, I started trying to drop twenty pounds. I have been carrying pregnancy weight for the past nine years! I've been following Weight Watchers and doing very well with it. In two months, I've dropped almost eleven pounds. I started eating better, walking on my MANUAL treadmill, and a few days ago, I added an abs DVD to my routine. Besides sore abs, I've noticed that I seem hungrier. I'm trying to keep myself busy so that I'm not eating out of boredom. A friend had this same problem and she started using hoodia to suppress her appetite. I'd love to do this the old fashioned way and just tough it out but I'm curious about this stuff. Have you tried it? What do you think? I've never used a supplement like this and I have no idea what to expect. I'd love to hear your experiences with it.

BTW, I'm convinced this abs video is evil. I'm hurting in places I didn't even know abs were hidden!

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Ron Paul 2008

Basketball & Movie Reviews

UT Lady Vols defeated LSU Lady Tigers last night!

This had to be one of the most exciting games I've seen in the ladies arena this year. Neither team played well and it was the lowest scoring game in Final Four history! The shooting stats for both teams was terrible but both sides kept it interesting. I was glued to the couch and was so nervous in the last 40 seconds of the game that I could barely stand it. When LSU scored with 7 seconds left, I thought it was all over for the Lady Vols. In true form, Candace Parker sprinted down court with the ball and tossed it off to Anosike, who missed a lay up. Thank goodness for Alexis Hornbuckle, who swooped in to get the rebound and threw it in for the easy 2. That gave us a 1 point lead with 0.7 seconds left. LSU threw a long inbound pass down court but it was intercepted by Hornbuckle as time expired.

I have to be honest here. With 7 seconds left and Candace Parker driving down the court, I wasn't looking. I had opened my computer in hopes of being distracted. I looked up about the time that Anosike missed the lay up and saw Hornbuckle flying through the air and tossing in the rebound. Hubby and I were elated! What an amazing finish to this game. I wished all of you loved NCAA basketball as much as me and Jenny!

Well, since I was way too busy watching the game last night, I failed to post movie reviews for the things we watched last week. In all honesty, we watched so much basketball that we didn't have time for many movies. We only saw two last week.

No Country For Old Men ~ This movie was so hyped and I think it even won or was nominated for a bunch of awards. I expected a lot and I enjoyed Tommy Lee Jones' character since I'm a fan. If I'm being totally honest though, I just didn't get this one. At all. The basic premise is this. A man is hunting and happens upon some dead bodies. It looks like a drug deal gone bad. He finds 2 million in cash and of course, takes it. What he doesn't know is that the "head" of the operation is looking for him and this man is a nut job. This character is the reason that I lock all my doors at home, even in the daytime. There's plenty of murder (which means lots of blood) and it's also peppered with language. It was just a really strange movie for me. I still have no idea why people have raved about it. My opinion is to skip it. And honestly, don't get sucked in from reading the synopsis. It sounds way better than this movie is.

The Mist ~ This one is a spin off of a Stephen King book and to some degree I enjoyed it. Hubby thought it was predictable and therefore didn't care for it. He also doesn't think King is a great writer so that's another reason he didn't care for it. As for me, I liked the basic story. It's hard for me to imagine mutated bugs that are ten stories high and I didn't really care about them. I think it could have been a good movie without the mutated "things" with something more believable as the problem. By the end of the movie, I have to agree with hubby. The ending was predictable but sad. In the movie, you see several people get killed by these "monsters" and there's language scattered throughout. It was really of no value and didn't leave any impression on me at all. I'm glad I've never spent time reading a Stephen King novel :-o)

There you have it. That's what we saw and hopefully next week's selections will be better. I've really been enjoying the Masterpiece Theater showings of the Jane Austen novels. Last night was the second part of Sense & Sensibility and it was pretty good. How about you? Have you watched anything good lately? Tell me about it. Come on, share the love!

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Ron Paul 2008

Winner of The Perfect Life

Hooray for Karin! She's the winner of this week's book giveaway, Robin Lee Hatcher's The Perfect Life. I used the random number generator from Math Goodies to pick the winner. Congratulations Karin! Please email me with your mailing address so I can get this out to you this week.

Remember, I'll announce a new book giveaway tomorrow so stop by and see what's up for grabs! As I stated before, I will be doing this for at least three to four more weeks so be sure to enter each time.

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Ron Paul 2008

Book Giveaway *Sticky Post*

*Scroll down for new posts*

Since spring is in the air, it's warm outside, and my allergies have taken over, I thought I'd celebrate by having a little giveaway. My book pile is growing and I'm running out of places to store books. I could post them on PaperBackSwap but I've got too many to do that right now. For the next few weeks, I'll be giving away a book each week. I'll post the giveaway on Tuesdays and I'll randomly draw the winner on the following Monday morning. I've been terrible at getting things in the mail lately but this will break that cycle!

The book for this week is The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher. To read a synopsis of the book and what I thought of it, refer to this post. To enter, simply leave a comment and tell others about the giveaway. This is open to U.S. residents only, since international postage is so outrageous. The copy I'm giving away this week is my personal copy and has been read once. It is in wonderful condition and could even be given as a gift.

Happy Tuesday to you!

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bed Making 101

Have you ever tried to make the top bunk of a bunk bed? It is not a fun task. We bought bunk beds for the girls when they were younger. Logan has since outgrown the bottom bunk and has moved into the spare bedroom and into the full size bed in there. That leaves Caroline in their tiny room and of course her bunk is the top one. I'm not sure why she is so attached to it. I've tried to get her to sleep on the bottom bunk and she does occasionally. However, she doesn't really like to. There is just something about that top bunk. The only problem I have with this is that it is almost impossible to make up the top bunk. It's not like one of those uber cool platform beds that is the perfect height for her and easy on my back.

It only makes sense for us to keep the bunk beds as long as we can. After all, their bedroom is tiny and the bunks are perfect for that space. Once she outgrows the bed it will be a different story. The mystery to me though is this. How in the world are you supposed to make up the top bunk? If you watched me do it, you would crack up. It's not a pretty sight. Honestly, I look like I'm wrangling an alligator. Humor me here and tell me I'm not the only one who has this trouble. I have to think that it is a universal problem. Now come on, share your stories with me. I know you've got one! I won't laugh, I promise (grin).

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Ron Paul 2008

Friday, April 4, 2008

Goodwill Finds

Nothing makes me happier than to go into a bookstore. I love it and I could literally get lost in there. We are blessed to live ten minutes from a city that has several great bookstores. Within fifteen minutes of our house, we have Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and Mr. K's. Barnes & Noble is my favorite although I rarely buy anything there because they have the highest prices. Books-A-Million is awesome because they have great prices. Mr. K's is one of my favorites because it is a new and used bookstore. You can find stuff dirt cheap in there. It's awesome.

More times than not, one of the best places to find good books is at the local Goodwill store. It seems that I have found many classics and lots of treasures in Goodwill stores from here to West Virginia. I hadn't been to our local store lately so I stopped by today. I was so glad I did! Here's what I found today:

Keeping Our Children's Hearts by Steve and Teri Maxwell (.99)

The Pact by Jodi Picoult (.99)

Childhood of Famous Americans: Thomas A. Edison (.20)

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (.20)

The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain (.20)

More Homer Price by Roberty McCloskey (.20)

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle (.20)

Being the geeky homeschool mom I am, I sat down in the floor and went over the selection of books with a fine tooth comb. There were several classics in good shape but I didn't need them. I'm always amazed at the books people toss out or take to Goodwill. The Maxwell book is a treasure that every parent needs to have in their home library and I was thrilled to find it! For $2.98, I came away with seven good books! I can't name the countless other treasures I've found in Goodwill over the years. Amazing! I'm extremely pleased with today's finds. If you're a book lover like me, be sure to check out your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. I guarantee you'll find at least one good book in the stash!

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Christmas in the Smokies?

I know several of you come up this way to visit the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area. We live a little more than an hour away and go there often. We haven't been since last year and it's about time to get in the car and make the trip.

One of my favorite things to do is to go up into Gatlinburg, park, and browse in all the little shops along the strip. There's something so laid back about it. I love going into the Mountain Mall and looking around. My hubby loves going into the Gatlinburlier to pick up pipe tobacco. We usually spend several hours in Gatlinburg and then we travel back down to Pigeon Forge. Our trip always ends with a stop into Book Warehouse and getting a funnel cake. In fact, those two things are a must for us when we go.

My BIL always wanted to rent one of the many Pigeon Forge cabins and spend the holidays down there. We all dreamed of looking out at the snow covered mountains and roads from the comfort of our cabin. Maybe this Christmas we'll take the in-laws, our niece and nephews, and enjoy the holidays doing just that. I've always wanted to cook a big meal and make homemade candy with everyone. Afterwards we could go ice skating. My BIL would have loved doing that. I'm sorry we never got around to doing it with him. I think it would do us good to spend our first Christmas without him in one of his favorite places.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Confessions of A Homeschool Mom

I have to confess that I have a new fix. First, let me say that I really love teaching my children at home. I enjoy every aspect of teaching them and would not trade it for anything in the world. I know there is no better place for them than right here with me....all day long.

I'm always looking for ways to incorporate interesting videos, books, tv shows, and such into our learning. Sometimes I happen upon these things without really searching. Such was the case last night. We don't watch tv much but lately we've had it on for March Madness. I was flipping to see if there were any games on when I came across the Discovery Channel. There I found a show called How It's Made and was hooked when I heard them explaining how panty hose were made. I left it on and for the next hour, I learned the process of making panty hose, toilets, RVs, styrofoam packaging, pottery, hard candy, decorative candles and erasers. Oh....My.....Goodness. It was so neat! I made a mental note to set the DVR to record this show when it comes on so that we can use it for science. If you haven't seen the show, you owe it to yourself to sit down and watch it. In fact, I'm going to do just that. The current episode will show how to make prepared mustard, violins, nuts and bolts, and toilet paper. Pretty soon, I'll know how everything is made!