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~my thoughts about life~



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shutterfly Winner Announced!

After much anticipation, I am happy to announce the winner of the Shutterfly giveaway is:

 
Congratulations to Lisa!  I hope you have a fabulous time designing your free Shutterfly products! 
 
Thank you to everyone who entered.  I wish everyone could win!
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Card 2012






 
Picture In Landscape Christmas Card
Click here to browse our Christmas photo card designs.
View the entire collection of cards.


Today is the last day to enter my Shutterfly Giveaway!   I will announce the winner tomorrow and email the necessary information for redeeming the prize.

As you can see above, I finally finished my Christmas card!  You may not recognize my kids through their disguises, but I think people will know who the card is from!  Inside, there is an individual photo of each of them.  On the back is a picture of all of them holding hands, which was a difficult task in itself.  Getting Son #1 to hold hands with his sister was like pulling teeth!

Hopefully the cards arrive soon and I can get them mailed out to all my friends and family.

Good luck with all your Christmas plans this year!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just Ramblings

If you haven't entered my Shutterfly giveaway, make sure to do so right away! The contest ends December 4th at midnight. Free fifty bucks!!!

I know I haven't updated about my cousin's baby...my apologies.  They went in for their appointment that Monday with a huge decision to make.  As I said, 7 of 8 doctors recommended they wait as long as possible.  It was a nurse who helped sway the decision.  She said that she's the one who takes care of these babies and knows the difference between one born at 26 weeks and one born after 30.  They decided to wait.

This Monday, they went to their 8:00 AM appointment with a C-Section scheduled for noon.  For the first time in six weeks, the ventricles in the brain got smaller!  It's nothing shy of a miracle of God!  He works in His own timeline, not ours!  So, my cousins get to wait at least another week!  The baby is up to 3 lbs. now and will continue growing with the steroids her mama is receiving.  It's good news around here!  Thanks for your warm thoughts and prayers!

~~*~~

I'm fully immersed in Christmas Spirit right now!  For the first time ever, I put my tree up in November!  We purchased a new one this year because the old tree makes Hubby seriously lose his temper.  This one stands on it's own and is pre-lit!  Bonus and bonus!  It looks totally real and makes me feel slightly better about the $250 we spent on it.  (We have to keep it until we die for it to be completely worth it.)  I set up some tiny trees in my front landscaping and they look totally adorable.

~~*~~

Does anyone remember the mouse in the house I had last year?  It nearly ruined Christmas for me.  It decided to nest in my box of Christmas ornaments.  When I figured out what happened, I carried the box right back downstairs and decided not to decorate for Christmas.  My grandma was doing very poorly with her Alzheimer's and I was very emotional.  Looking back, it was a good choice.  However, that choice means I had to take care of the issue this year.  Donned in stylish rubber gloves, I removed everything from the box and tossed out anything that had been chewed.  I washed everything else off, unless it was wrapped well or in a box.  My kids' stockings were slightly chewed.  Three of them are sentimental so I decided to launder and try to keep them.  Baby Girl's was the most eaten and hers was not sentimental.  I threw it away and hope to find a new one before Christmas.  I sterilized the rubbermaid box and plan to keep the lid tightly sealed from now on.

~~*~~

Today, I spent $50 on gift wrapping essentials.  Please do not tell my husband.  I used a $25 gift card so that he wouldn't realize the full extent of the damage.  Here's how I'm justifying the cost.  I ordered an industrial roll of brown kraft paper.  It's 1000 feet long, so it should last me til I die.  I also ordered 100 yards of burlap ribbon.  It's supposed to be used to wrap delicate tree trunks, but I think it will look very lovely around my kraft paper packages.  I also added 2300 feet of red and white baker's twine.  That's for extra loveliness and attaching the tags.  It will last my lifetime and will be passed on to my grandkids.  OK, are you convinced?  My packages are going to look so cute...you will surely be jealous.  I took an idea off of Pinterest for the gift tags.  You'll have to wait and see how adorable they are!  I am slowly turning into a crafty person, thanks to Pinterest. 

~~*~~

After I put up the new tree, I told Big Sis we still needed a tree skirt for underneath. 
She replied, "Maybe we can use one of my skirts!" 
"No," I answered, "your skirt wouldn't be nearly big enough to fit around the tree."
"Maybe we can use one of yours then!"
Sarcastic little booger...I love her to death!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What's For Dinner?

If you haven't entered my Shutterfly giveaway, make sure to do so right away!  The contest ends December 4th at midnight.  Free fifty bucks!!!

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I finally succumbed to the ever growing Pinterest fad.  Scared of addiction, I avoided it for years.  Finally, I just decided to cannonball into the the Pinterest Pool.  Yeah, I'm now an addict too, but that's another story.

ANYHOO- I noticed a recipe my friend pinned for Orange Chicken.  I like Asian food, but I'm not a huge fan.  I love P.F. Chang's and have enjoyed anything I've ever tried there.  The photo that went along with the post really reminded me of something I might see at Chang's.  I read the ingredients and they were all fairly normal.  I expected to see things like saki, root of wasabi, and other unpronounceable things.  The ingredient list for this recipe were mostly things I had anyhow.  I decided to give it a try.

Wowzers...it was the most amazing homemade Asian food I've ever tasted!  It was actually better than the Asian food I've had at most restaurants and totally tasted like it belonged on P.F. Chang's menu! 

I worried that the kids wouldn't like it (they like nothing).  They do, however, like fried rice.  So instead of making steamed rice to go along with it, I googled how to make fried rice.  (In case you're wondering, you steam the rice, then fry it in very hot oil.  It can't get much simpler than that!)  We don't like the egg or veggies in the rice anyway, so I just made it completely plain.

The kids tore it up; the hubby tore it up.  I took some to my mom who loved it.  I called my sister-in-law with the recipe and she made it the very next day.  She and her mom both went crazy over it.  She passed it on to her sister, who made it and went wild over it.  This is the new beloved recipe in my circle of friends and will be a regular on my menu!

If you even kind of like Asian food, I would suggest giving this recipe a try.  It's not too difficult to make but tastes like you prepared it in a gourmet kitchen.  Here it is, for all my favorite readers!

Orange Chicken
This is the photo my friend texted
me when she made it.  Excuse the
poor quality.
1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1/3 C flour
olive oil
1/2 T salt
1 t balsamic vinegar
3T ketchup
4 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
4 T brown sugar
1/4 t ginger
1 t red pepper flakes, optional

Put orange juice in a mixing bowl to thaw.

Chop chicken into large bit sized chunks.

Add to juice:  brown sugar, vinegar, salt, ketchup, ginger, and pepper.  Stir.

In a ziplock baggie, add flour and chicken.  Shake until each piece of chicken is covered with flour. 

Pour a small amount of oil in a skillet and brown the chicken.  (At this point, the recipe says you can add it to a crockpot to complete cooking.  I kept mine in the skillet and made sure the chicken was cooked all the way through.)  Cover the chicken with sauce and stir.

The recipe says to cook in a crockpot on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.  I poured the sauce right into the skillet and brought it to a boil, which caused the sauce to thicken.  I served it right then over rice.

*I altered the recipe a bit for my taste.  Reviewers of the recipe mentioned that there wasn't nearly enough sauce for the chicken.  1 1/2 lb. is too much meat for my family, so I just cut down on the chicken and flour and kept everything else the same.  I used two medium sized breasts and one small chicken tender.

*I didn't have balsamic vinegar and didn't want to buy some to use only a teaspoon in the recipe.  I used a teaspoon of white cooking wine instead.

*I know the ketchup sounds gross, but I did it anyway.  I hate ketchup, but you could not taste it in this recipe.

*4 oz. of concentrate juice is 1/3 of a standard sized container.  I just put the rest back in the freezer to use next time.  My mom felt the orange flavor was a bit overpowering.  So if you're worried about that aspect, you could probably use a little less juice or dilute it a bit.

*I don't have red pepper flakes but I wanted to give it a bit of a kick.  I have cayenne pepper, so I used 1/8 t.  It was almost too spicy for me (I'm a wimp), so I might use a scant 1/8 t next time.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!!!  I'm going to make it again this week!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Deals!

Are you an avid online shopper?  I can't tell you how much I enjoy shopping from the comfort of my own home, hot tea beside me and flannel pajama pants being my outfit of choice!  As of Turkey Day, I hadn't purchased one Christmas gift yet.  As of today, I am nearly done.  I have only visited one actual store, and that was to help out my aunt with her Christmas shopping.  Online shopping is Da Bomb! 

I scored so many Black Friday deals online, it gave me shivers!  Today is the oh so famous Cyber Monday and I would just LOVE to finish all my shopping today! 

For all you stay at home shoppers, have I got a deal for you!  Shutterfly is at it again and offering another fabulous promotion!  Visit http://www.facebook.com/shutterfly today and score 25% off!  This is valid on top of the discounts already on the site - up to 50% off!  This offer ends November 26, 2012 (11:59 P.M. PST).

ALSO- don't forget to enter yesterday's giveaway of $50 off an order of $50 or more!  You can't beat that deal!  The giveaway ends December 4th, so don't delay!

Happy shopping!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Giveaway to be Thankful for - SHUTTERFLY!

Yes, there is a giveaway associated with this post!  Stick around to find out the great news!

Ya'll know I'm a Shutterfly addict!  The personally designed photo albums are some of my favorite things in the whole entire world.  I have several albums and there are so many more I have in mind to make.

Shutterfly Christmas Cards are also something that score high on my Favorite Things list.  Did you see my cards last year?  They were da bomb!  I can't possibly imagine topping that this year, but I'm sure gonna try!  I haven't taken my family photo yet, so I'm not quite ready to pick out my card design at this time.  Here are a couple that rank among my favorites:





I guess I'll be going with a black & white photo this year!  We'll see...
 
If you order your cards through Shutterfly, I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed!  I think this is my fourth year using Shutterfly Christmas cards.
 
Make sure you browse all their Christmas Card designs!  There are so many fabulous layouts to choose from!  Be sure to check out their special offers too!
 
Now, are you ready for the BIG EXCITING NEWS???  One lucky reader will win $50 off an order of $50 or more! (This deal excludes tax & shipping and cannot be combined with any other promos.  It expires 12.14.12.)  What's better than free cash to spend at Shutterfly?!?
 
Here's the deal- leave a comment on this blog post to enter that includes your email address.  Easy as pie!
 
Wait- there's a bonus entry!  Leave a second comment if you are a follower of She Says!  Followers are my favorites and get two entries!  (Please do not leave a third comment correcting any mistakes.  Email me if you made a mistake.)
 
Important- this giveaway ends December 4th at 11:59 PM EST.  Please enter before then!
 
I can't wait to see who wins!  Giving away free prizes makes me giddy...especially at Christmastime!  Good luck to all!
 
This post is sponsored by Shutterfly, however all the opinions are entirely my own.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just Sad Today

A while ago, I mentioned my cousin who is expecting their second baby in February.  Yesterday, they got some heartbreaking news.  They're going to have to take the baby on Monday.  The swelling in the brain has intensified, and I guess the amount of fluid surrounding the brain has greatly increased.  I don't know any other details because the family is too broken up to talk about it.  She's only 26 weeks and the lungs are just starting to develop.  Today, they're administering high doses of steroids, but I can't imagine that much can be done between now and Monday.  It doesn't look good.

If the baby does survive the birth, she will be immediately transferred to Children's Hospital for brain surgery.  Her mother will still be in the Operating Room being stitched up after her C-Section, and that's more than she can bear right now. 

If they allow the baby to gestate longer, the chances of mental problems greatly increase.  The doctor gave them a choice between this Monday and next, but strongly suggested they move as quickly as possible.  How does one decide between taking the baby earlier, reducing the chances of survival or waiting and greatly increasing the chances of abnormality? 

We're still clinging to hope and trusting God who is in control.  We don't understand why things happen and we can't even pretend to try. 

Thanks for letting me dump this on you all.  I can't actually talk about it in real life.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Busy Bees

Do you ever feel like life is a contest to determine who is the busiest person in the world?  Lately, I've been noticing how everyone (myself included) is out to prove to everybody else that they are the busier person.  We tell others all about the job, school, house, church, and kid responsibilities we have.  When someone with fewer jobs or less kids complains that they have a lot going on, we scoff and roll our eyes thinking, I can't believe they think they're busier than ME!

Why do we feel the need to prove to people that we have more going on in life than they do?  I think it's our way of preparing others for possible failure in our lives.  If everybody understands how overwhelmed I am, maybe they won't judge me as harshly when I drop the ball or mess something up.  Do you agree?

I know so many of my blog posts here are telling you about how busy I am.  I think it's my way of justifying to you why I don't blog often any more.  I think to myself, If they realize how busy I am, they won't be irritated for my lack of posting.  That's stupid.  If we would all focus less on complaining about how busy we are, maybe we'd have more time to do the things we think we don't have time for!  So that's why I'm sitting down to write a post today instead of focusing on the things that need to get done.  Ha!

OK, that's my big revelation for the day.

Speaking of wasting time, I have finally signed up for Pinterest!  I put it off as long as possible because I knew how big of a time waster it is!  But when my MOM told me about something cute she saw on Pinterest, I felt like I was living in the stone age!  I still don't have a Twitter account, which often makes me feel left out.  So I decided it was either Pinterest or Twitter.  Pinterest won.  Wowzers...there's a lot to see and do on there!  Now I'm wondering if I made the right decision?  I feel an addiction coming on!  This is the first thing I want to make...   (Cupcakes in a Jar!)

I have another photo booth job tonight.  It's going so well and I'm really happy with my new "job!"  The other day, my mom said to me, "You're totally running your own business and I couldn't be more proud of you!"  That comment made my day!  There's nothing quite like your mom telling you she's proud of you, even though my mom says it a lot.  This was special to me because I'm kinda proud of myself too!  One day next week, I have two jobs back to back, a half hour away from one another.  If I get lost (which is a great possibility), I will end up being late for the second job.  I probably need to pack a lunch to eat in the car on the way, since I won't even have time to run through a drive-thru before the second job.  NOT THAT I'M COMPLAINING ABOUT BEING BUSY OR ANYTHING!!!

I only have one more thing to say today.  It's kind of graphic, so feel free to stop reading here if you don't want to risk being offended.

On the phone with Hubby this morning, I said, "You know you're a real mom when you're sitting on the toilet, trying to take a dump, and there's a little person standing in between your knees, rubbing your legs and adjusting your underwear!"  He laughed so hard I thought he was going to wreck his truck!  He told me I should put that on Facebook.  I could never say something like that to people I actually know, so I'll say it to all of you guys instead!  Do you have your mental image yet???

I wish you all an un-busy day with red velvet cupcakes and audience free toilet time!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Happenings

The Loves of my Life
I got an unexpected night off last night so I thought I would sit down and write a quick blog post.  I actually had somewhere to be, but Baby Girl got sick and I ended up at home.  She handles being sick so well...I'm fortunate.

Our family had a difficult week.  My cousins are expecting their second child, due in February.  They were excited to find out the sex of the baby at the regular ultrasound.  They were given the exciting news and my cousin left his wife and daughter there while he rushed off to an appointment.  His wife waited for the doctor to return to do whatever it is doctors do after ultrasound technicians are done.  The doctor entered and said, "Yes, it's as bad as we thought."  Surprised, my cousin asked what in the world he was referring to.  "Didn't the tech tell you about the brain?"  Nervous about the news she was about to receive, she called her husband and told him to get right back.  As luck would have it, he was stuck on the highway with no way to get off or turn around.  She had to take the news alone, with her 5-year old.

She was told that they couldn't see any brain tissue in the ultrasound.  There was swelling in the brain and not enough (or too much?) space between the brain and skull.  I am still sketchy on the details, but the diagnosis was labeled "serious."  Spina Bifida and Down's Syndrome were mentioned.  As expected, the future parents flipped out.  They talked to their parents and agreed not to tell the rest of the family until they had more news.

We got the news Sunday at church.  The expectant parents were to be named the pastors of the church soon after the arrival of their baby.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, they announced the heart-wrenching news to the congregation.  Special prayer was conducted over the family and we planned on using up a lot of faith in the next few months.

Monday, one set of parents flew in from Florida and they all went to the neonatal center together.  The ultrasound was long, and they were given a counselor who would attend all appointments with them from that point forward.  One thing the doctor said is that brain tissue cannot be seen on an ultrasound.  The person who told them that was sorely mistaken.  My cousins were irate.

They were told that the baby's heart and spine were fine.  There was swelling in the brain that was still labeled as severe.  Yet, the parents were told that if the swelling stays exactly as it is now, they have a 70% chance that the baby will not suffer any serious problems.  That was such a huge relief to us all!  The best case scenario is difficulty learning.  That's something we can deal with, so we're all sitting on pins and needles until she delivers.  At birth, the baby will have minimally invasive brain surgery, but we've got several more months to prepare for that.

It really made me stop and realize how blessed I am.  I've always known that, yet I've taken it for granted.  It's hard to find any fault in your own child when you hear what others so close to you are going through.

So, that's what's been on my plate lately.  Both side businesses are thriving, so Hubby and I are working A LOT.  (Another blessing.)  So, I'm tired and worn out, but sleeping like a baby at night.

Hopefully I can keep you better updated, but only when I have extra time.  I've got to take care of life first.

Thanks for reading.  I think of you all often.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shutterfly Winner!

A winner has been chosen for my free Shutterfly album giveaway!  I did it in the most fair way I could think of.  I wrote each number on a slip of paper, closed my eyes, and picked one.  #3 was the winning number!
 
 
 
Linda is the winner!  Congrats!  I will submit your information to Shutterfly and they will contact you with information about redeeming your code for a free album.
 
Thanks, everyone, for playing!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shutterfly Giveaway Update

After reading my post about the Shutterfly Giveaway (which ends Thursday), I realize I may not have been clear about bonus entries for being a follower.  If you are a follower of my blog, please leave a second comment stating so.  I'm going to draw a random number based on the number of comments and I want to make sure followers have both of their entries counted. 

Got it???  Don't comment on THIS post, comment on the original post!  Good luck!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Rules of Vacation

I recently vacationed at Disney World, where apparently the rules are different than those of real life. I am going to share the top ten rules with you today. Pay attention because you are about to learn some great things here.  (If you do not care for sarcasm, please skip this post as it is absolutely dripping with it.)

1. If you feel that you are personally more excited to get into the park or an attraction than those around you, it is OK to push and shove others. I guess we all revert to our childhoods when we go to Disney, so that's perhaps why adults behave like children.

2. If you are on a motorized scooter, for whatever reason, you own the world. You do not have to stop for other people. You can and should run them over whenever necessary. Hubby got hit by scooters twice with no apology following. Maybe tall, skinny guys are worth more points in the game of Scooter Frogger.

3. If you don't speak English, you don't have to wait in lines at all. Since you don't know how to speak their language, the citizens will assume you also don't know how to stand in a line. This goes for all beverage machines, restrooms, and character greetings.

4. Speaking of beverage machines, it is perfectly acceptable to stand at one as long as you want, as long as you are:
A. Washing out your cup
B. Trying to decide what you want
C. Mixing flavors to figure what tastes best, dumping, and trying again
D. Making up your coffee or tea.
It does not matter how many people are in line behind you. It also doesn't matter if there is a large, empty counter next to you for the purpose of steeping your tea. Stay in front of the machine. All those other suckers can wait.

5.  If you park your stroller outside an attraction, do so at your own risk.  It WILL be in a different location when you return.  I think they give away a prize at the end of the day to the family who spends the most time looking for their stroller.  The 15 minutes I once spent put me only in fourteenth place, compared to the twelve hours spent by the winners. 

6.  Disney World, the family vacation capital of the world, is a totally appropriate place to wear your thong bathing suit, your too-small string bikini, or your tight, revealing workout clothes.  Don't be bothered by all the children running around you (whose eye level happens to be right at your buttock area).  They certainly won't notice your bare, naked butt cheeks staring them right in the face.  (I actually took a photo of once such person with my cell phone to send to my sister-in-law.  I, in good conscience, could never post that photo here.  After all, I am not a pornographic blog.)

7.  When the Disney employee at an attraction tells the crowd over and over and over to go ALL THE WAY TO THE END OF THE ROW, they do not mean you.  They're talking to the 247 other people in the room.  You may stop right in the middle of the row and make everyone else step over you.

8.  Bring a wheelchair or motorized cart.  It gets you into the front of every line.  No, you don't have to be injured or handicapped to use one.  When your friend gets tired of walking, get out of the chair and let him sit in it for a while.  As long as one of you is using the chair, you can skip all lines.  (Yes, we totally saw someone do this.  Then we saw the guy walk for ten whole minutes to get somewhere he needed to go.  Maybe he was miraculously healed all of a sudden.)

9.  Do not shower before coming to the park.  It's hot there anyway, so why bother?
Funny story about this one.  On our bus ride to the park one morning, we were standing next to a man with major B.O.  It was gagging me so badly that I had to cover my mouth and nose with my shirt.  Halfway through the day, we were waiting in line for Nemo.  I mentioned to Hubby that it must be really hot because everyone here seems to smell so bad.  As I was turning the corner, I noticed the same guy from the bus!  He stank at nine in the morning and still stank at two.  Amazingly, I remembered his smell and recognized him by it.

10. If you're walking in a large crowd, it is totally acceptable to stop in the middle of the walkway to:
A.  Look at your map
B.  Discuss with your group where you want to go next
C.  Fumble through your bag, looking for something
The people who were forced to stop right behind you don't mind waiting on you.  They are actually quite interested to hear where you're going next or what you found in your bag.  Never move to the side of the road to accomplish these tasks.

-AND-

11. (Since I numbered wrong the first time...) NEVER give up your seat on the bus. You got there first, so you earned it. Pregnant women and old people are on their own.
It's unreal how often I saw parents allowing their small children to occupy seats when other people, who would really appreciate the seat, had to stand. Hubby and I each held a kid any time we sat on a bus, but usually ended up giving our seats to others. Each of my boys ended up holding one of their sisters so we could take up as little room as possible. Standing on a moving bus, while holding my 3-year old was nearly impossible. It surprised me how few people offered to give their seat up.

If people could just learn to follow the same rules I try to teach my 3-year old, the park would be so much more enjoyable for everyone else there.  People are just naturally rude, I guess.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shutterfly Yearbooks & Giveaway!

Just a reminder to all those PTA parents out there, Shutterfly, my very favorite site for creating perfect Christmas cards and awesome memory albums, recently launched their Yearbook Campaign.  I blogged about it a few months ago out of my own excitement for the new products.  I looked into it for our upcoming church directory project (that I have been put in charge of - lucky me!) and someone got back with me right away. 

This school year, why not talk to whomever is in charge of your child's yearbook and suggest that they check out Shutterfly Yearbooks?  They're so cute and totally personalized.  Plus, it just might save the school and parents some money (which we all need right now)!

If you need some more information, check out Shutterfly's website, Facebook page, or Twitter.  Also, they now have an Instagram page, Pinterest, Google +, and blog!  Lots of information out there for fellow Shutterfly addicts like myself. 

Here's another thing so awesome about Shutterfly...they're allowing me to GIVE AWAY a free 8x8 hard cover, 20-page Photo Book just because they heard how wonderful my followers are!  This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents, but ends quickly.  So act soon! 

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your email address.  You may have a bonus entry for following my blog.  The winner will be chosen this Thursday, September 27. You just can't beat a free Shutterfly album!

This is a sponsored post, however, all the opinions are entirely my own.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Return of Randomness

Gone are the days of summer, when so much was going on that I barely had time to breathe.  Here are the days of autumn, when so much fills our schedule that I barely have time to breathe.  I'm just trying to check off one small thing at a time, things that I would rather push aside than give my attention to:  favors for friends, editing pictures from our family reunion, and finally uploading the photos from our vacation that was 3 weeks ago.  Blogging is one of the things on my list that I've pushed aside but that I've really wanted to find time to do.  Today is a great day for that, even though I have places to go and things to do.  Son #2 is home sick from school (ALREADY!) so I can't leave to run my errands.  This is sick day #2 and I'm shocked it hit so early this year.

~~~*~~~

I have a job now.  That's the main thing that is keeping me so busy.  It's not a real job, in terms of employment, but it takes at least 20 hours a week of my time.  My brother, cousin, and Hubby bought a photo booth together.  They all have real jobs.  So, who do you think gets to manage the business?  This girl.  The truth is, I absolutely love it!  I get to stay at home and do things I enjoy.  I answer the phone, schedule appointments, google maps, manage the website, and design photo strips.  So far, I've only had one client get mad at me, and she was just a jerk. 

Going on the photo booth jobs is usually a blast too (when things don't go wrong).  Hubby did a birthday party with me last Saturday and the people we met were so nice!  The best job so far was a fundraiser full of rich people.  They were all drinking wine and sampling food made by the best chefs in the area.  We set up right next to a golf course where the weather was picture perfect.  Our view included mansions and a lake, and we were serenaded by a guitarist.  Yeah, I actually got paid for that!

We ran a Groupon to help us find business, and boy, did that sure work!  We have every weekend through November booked solid.  Sadly, we're not making too much off the Groupons, but we've already got a couple calls for full price jobs.  This may be the start of something big for me.

~~~*~~~

Through all this, I still have 4 kids to take care of and a house I'm not cleaning.  Big Sis lost her two front teeth and Baby Girl is overusing the word "actually."  For example, "My room is actually not clean." or "I actually just want to play blocks."  A moment ago, I asked her if I could have a hug.  Her reply was, "Not really."  I just want to squeeze her all day to prevent her from growing up.  It's not working.

~~~*~~~

Son #1 auditioned for the Youth Philharmonic in May.  We received a letter saying that there was a new director and he wanted to personally hear all the auditions himself.  So, #1 auditioned again last week.  He left the audition very down and distraught.  He said he bombed the song and messed up the scales.  He was rusty from not playing all summer (we don't own his instrument and had to leave it at school).  I was worried what this rejection would do to his self-esteem.  Yesterday, we got a letter saying that he got in!  Already!  I was so proud of him because this is something he totally did on his own, without anyone's help.  (Well, I had to drive him there because he's 13, but that doesn't count.)  I'm wearing my Proud Mama Hat right now.

~~~*~~~

Baby Girl had a birthday since I've blogged last, but I haven't even looked at the photos from her party yet.  Another thing I'm anxious to check of the list...

~~~*~~~
 
I haven't been cooking anything interesting lately, but I'm excited for Fall comfort food!  With the weather being so cool right now, I actually feel like getting out Fall decorations and hanging orange lights somewhere in the landscaping.  Yeah, right.  I'll do that right after my nap and pedicure. 
 
~~~*~~~
 
Oh, the Marathon!  It's mere days away.  Wanna guess the last time I even ran?  I can't answer that question because I don't remember.  It was before vacation, before I got sick...maybe 4 or 5 weeks?  I am totally not going to be able to do this.  I'll likely have a comical story of how I flopped on my face in a week.  I've determined this is my last marathon.  I just can't dedicate the time to running that I should and I don't need something else to make me feel guilty.
 
~~~*~~~
 
Do you ever worry that you're getting stupider?  Sometimes I do.  I don't feel like I'm gaining that great wisdom that folks in their old age are rumored to achieve.  I keep finding myself doing dumb things- like leaving the vacuum at the top of the steps while sweeping the steps with the hose.  Guess what happens when you've reached the end of the hose?  The vacuum falls on top of you and breaks.  Smooth move, Ferguson!
 
I was the one responsible for setting up all the financial mumbo jumbo for our photo booth.  These people I'm related to sure do have a lot of confidence in me!  I don't understand stuff like that!  I received an email from a company with instructions of how to set up my account to begin processing credit card payments.  I looked at that email and felt like a dyslexic ESL student.  I had to make the kids leave the room and I studied each sentence like I was back in college cramming for finals.  The good news is that I eventually figured it out, but it took way longer than it should have.
 
~~~*~~~
 
Son #1 somehow installed a bogus toolbar on my laptop.  I totally cannot get rid of it.  It causes everything to run smoothly and puts ads everywhere on my computer.  Since my brother gets totally mad at me whenever we mess up our computers, I vowed to take care of this problem myself.  I googled the name of the toolbar (which I won't even mention for fear that it will suddenly overtake this computer too) and found steps to remove it on a website.  Yeah, didn't work.  Then I read that this toolbar is almost impossible to remove and must be done manually.  There was a warning that said if you aren't highly computer literate, you shouldn't attempt these steps for fear of destroying your entire computer.  Yeah, I stopped right there.  I'll just have to live with it, I guess.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WWTK

Mamarazzi is asking the questions for WWTK this week...



{1}What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Guilty pleasure...that term just makes me feel ridden with guilt!  There are several things I enjoy that I know aren't the best choices for me.  #1- chocolate and Diet Coke!  I realize my dietary needs would be much better met with an apple and glass of water.  But sometimes, you just need that sweet/fizzy combination!  #2- a funny TV show in a quiet house.  I love to flip on the television when the kids are asleep.  #3- Blogger.  Oh, don't judge...you all are doing it too!!! 



{2}What is the ONE thing you're never too busy for?
Boy, that's a really tough question to answer.  It seems like I'm too busy for a lot of things these days.  Often, I'm too busy to give my husband and kids the time they deserve.  I certainly don't give my house cleaning the time it deserves.  Sometimes, I'm even too busy to eat a meal, and I love eating good food!  I guess the only honest answer I can give is Church.  I am a faithful member to my church and never skip a service simply because I don't feel like going.  I miss services if I'm sick or out of town, but I never just play hooky. 


{3}They say love is in the little things. What is a little thing someone does to show you love?
With the way things are going right now, I'm going to say that I'm touched when someone in my home just puts their dishes in the dishwasher or puts their shoes away.  Most days, that's all I ask for.  Of course, there are extra special things.  Big Sis loves to draw me pictures and write me notes saying she loves me.  I adore that.  Hubby will rub my shoulders when he knows I've had a particularly stressful day and even rubs my feet when the going gets really tough!  Son #2 still hands out hugs that make me feel so happy.  Son #1 makes me feel loved when he is willing to sit down and talk to me about his life.  I can't act too interested though or I'll scare him away.  Baby Girl hands out hugs and kisses all day long and always makes me feel loved.  I have a super awesome family!


{4}What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Filling out team relay forms for our upcoming marathon.  15 friends and I are all running together and I'm organizing all the teams.  I love that day and how blessed I feel to have great, active friends.  Afterward, we all complain together about how sore, exhausted, and tired we are! 


{5}If you could be on any game show what would it be?
The kids used to watch a show called Family Game Night that I would totally rock at.  I'm not sure if it's still on or not.  I would be horrible at Fear Factor or The Amazing Race.  I would need to be on some type of word game, even though I'm not sure any of those exist any more.  I guess Wheel of Fortune is still around, but I'm sure I'd get clobbered. If anyone hears of a Hanging With Friends game show, please let me know.  Actually, Family Feud would be a total blast with my Fam!

If you want to join in and play We Want to Know, visit Mamarazzi or Crazymama!  We always have a lot of fun!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Food Thief

Help- we have a serious addiction in our home. My 3-year old is addicted to junk food. I'm to the point where I really don't know what to do with it.

It's too late to start placing blame. (Well, her dad totally spoils her and lets her have almost anything she wants...but you didn't  hear that from me.) Sometimes I feel like she's broken and unfixable.

We are far from an organic home that considers homemade applesauce to be dessert. Yet, I try to make sure my kids aren't out of control with snacks. For example, school lunches consist of a sandwich, piece of fruit, snack, and juice. A snack usually consists of 2 Oreos, an appropriately sized baggie of chips, or package of gummies. I feel like I've done pretty well so far. My boys have just recently started drinking caffeine and sodas are only consumed in moderation. Everyone is happy.

Then came The Junk Food Baby. She's been obsessed from a very early age. She wouldn't eat baby food of any kind, even fruit. Table food didn't go over well either. Her diet consisted of mostly milk for the longest time. Getting her to eat anything at all was a huge chore. Maybe that's how we got into this situation in the first place. When a toddler hasn't had a morsel of food in a full day, you're happy for her to take a bite of a muffin.

Now that she's 3, she can reason. She knows that junk food may only be consumed in moderation so she's taken to stealing food. She climbs up on counters, opens cupboards, and takes what she wants. I've found packages and remnants of food in her room, in the basement, and under the couch. We've moved the snack cupboard to a less accessible place, but that didn't stop her.

If her older siblings receive candy as a gift, at Halloween, or for any other reason, she steals it. They've yet to discover a hiding place she can't uncover. She'll get in their dresser drawers or in boxes on their bookshelves. This behavior is starting to seriously concern me.

Yesterday, I was enjoying my Sunday afternoon nap, thinking she was asleep also. Instead, she quietly took an extra- large iced sugar cookie from a bake sale and ate the entire thing. If I ate a cookie that size, I would feel ill. And I love sugar! When I was putting her to bed that night, I found her brother's identical cookie, half eaten, in her bed. When he finds out she ate his cookie, he is going to be irate.

I've tried limiting the amount of snacks I buy, but I don't see any reason to punish the rest of the family. Everyone else understands the meaning of moderation. Plus, I feel like if I totally forbid something, it will be desired so much more.

Something needs to be done. Quickly. With my basement stockpile of groceries, I always have snacks nearby. She has figured out how to open most packages. I'm afraid she's going to hurt herself climbing a shelf or using scissors.

I'm considering purchasing some sort of box that locks. I could share the combination with the other family members. She's too young to understand a combination lock anyway.

Any other suggestions out there? I'm tired of scolding her for stealing junk food. I've tried explaining and reasoning with her and have even spanked her. Nothing works. This time, I even tried something new and took away something she loves. That just breaks my heart though. I would rather spank her than "ground" her at this young of an age.

Until then, just consider me heartbroken, consumed with guilt, worried, and just plain frustrated. I need to get that little girl eating better before it's too late. I just love her way too much!

P.S. something I just thought to add- she's an extremely healthy kid who rarely gets sick, is very active, never listless, and pretty skinny.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Stealing for the Good of Humanity

I am doing something on this blog today that I don't think I've ever done before.  I am totally stealing.  I stumbled upon Bon's post today entitled 21 Rules for using the Internet. You MUST obey these.  You see, I too am a person who is way too judgemental about the way others behave on social media.  Because of that, I thought this list was totally hilarious and wanted to share it on my blog too!  I'm too chicken to say a few of these things myself, but that doesn't mean I don't agree with them! 

By the way, Bon writes a very humorous blog called Life of Bon.  Stop by and say hi some time.  Here we go...21 Rules for using the Internet, courtesy of Bon.

1. When using facebook it is not okay to:
a. Leave a status like "Wow. I can not believe that just happened. I'm so bummed." We all know this as a simple CRY FOR ATTENTION. If you need attention call your mom, call your boyfriend, call your besties, but don't just throw it out there for 500+ "friends" hoping someone catches the bait. There is always some kind soul who replied, "Oh dearie, I'm so sorry, what happened?" and then all of us have to be eyewitnesses to the awkward fb conversation about how your boss chewed you out yada, yada, yada.

b. Write incessant love messages on the wall of your significant other. That is what text messages are for. The general population does not want to hear your pet names, your countless "I love yous" nor do we care that Brad is "The best guy that ever existed!!!! I'm so lucky I found him!!! There is seriously no guy like him in the world!!!" We all think that about our husbands, honey. That's why we married them.

c. Have a facebook account for two people. It's called facebook not facesbook. We're all happy you found your soulmate and that you have so much in common, but let's not forget that we all have our own separate identities and that uniqueness should be celebrated. There's no use to get a joint account and confuse the crap out of all of us.

d. Like your own statuses. Nuff said.

2. If you are a mother/aunt/grandmother/of the older generation and using facebook it is not okay to:
- Leave countless comments on your child's facebook wall. You can be their "friend", that's all swell and dandy, but stop tagging them in photos, stop telling them they're beautiful online, and stop asking about all their other friends. It's time to officially cut that umbilical cord, lady, and the first step is facebook!

3. Moustaches are strictly prohibited from the Internet. No one is allowed to post pictures with fake moustaches, use the ubiquitous "I moustache you a question" or wear moustache paraphernalia. It's not cute, and as I am the Internet chief of police here, I am really going to come down hard on this one.

4. This one might hurt some of your feelings, but I feel like it needs to be addressed, and I'm going to try to be gentle. What is with the word "Amazeballs"? I have never heard anyone say this in real life, and I'm pretty sure if they did I would just give them a weird look and walk away. This word has been practically taking over the blogosphere. I don't care if one or two bloggers say something kind of weird, but when everybody starts doing it I get confused. Who made up this word? Where did it come from? Is it supposed to be a dirty slang word? Please explain and then please stop using this. And please still love me because I don't like this word.

5. On the Internet, you are not allowed to write in white with a black background. You are also not allowed to write in neon colors. People! MY EYES! MY EYES! PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON MY EYES!

6. You may talk about your dog or your cat or other pet but it has a very short time limit. Us Internet mortals can only tolerate so much gushing about an animal that we will never meet nor care to. 20% of what you say online can be about your pet. I hate to say it, but their is a similar rule for your kids. You must talk about something besides your children to ensure us that you have your own personality outside of your children. Roughly 60% of what you say online can be about your kids. Same goes for your husband. Please refer to item 1c.

6. If you do not like somebody's blog, don't return to it. Simple as that. When I don't like a pizza place, I don't go back, when I don't like a store I don't go back, and when I don't like the 7 foot hairy man who gives me a painful massage, I don't go back. Same with the Internet. There is no reason to post negative comments on the blog, facebook page, forum, etc. No need to call people liars or insult them by likening them to "bean paste" (Yes this was a real comment I received on
this article.) Just go to a different site. No harm no foul. For more information on how humans must learn to be nice all the time, even on the Internet you can read up here.

8. You are not allowed to take pictures of your food and post them all over your instagram, twitter and facebook accounts. It's food. We all eat it every day. If it is special, delicious food like Crab legs then it is okay to post it once. If you post food pictures more than once a week, you will receive a citation from the Internet police.

9. Boys: You are allowed up to six pictures with your shirt off on your facebook account/ Instagram accounts. Any more than that and we will all see you for what you really are: a narcissistic pig and you will be disallowed further Internet use.


10. Girls: You are allowed no pictures with your shirt off. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it goes.

11. Human population: You are allowed only up to three pictures that you have taken of yourself with your arm stretched out and smiling in front of the camera. More than that and we'll punch that narcissist stamp on you and throw you right out of the Internet.

12. No one is allowed to "spoil" a movie, book, or television series without first putting the words "Spoiler Alert." Once those words are in place, you can say anything you want but ONLY if and when those word are in place. Otherwise, we will stone you.

13. If there has been something massive and nationwide on television like the super bowl, the Olympics, or the bachelorette finale, you do not have to write "spoiler alert." We will all assume that if people cared they would have watched it or else avoided the Internet until they have done so. These people are not allowed to get mad at people for "spoiling" it for them by saying "I'm so glad the Cowboys won!" the day after the Superbowl. I'm sorry, but some things you just have to be responsible for watching on your own or else face the reality that it will be spoiled for you.


14. There are to be no word verifications ever again. EVER. If you are caught with a blog or website that has a word verification, you will be kicked off the Internet for ONE YEAR and your site will be deleted. The two spam comments that you get a week are not enough of an inconvience to justify you making EVERY SINGLE PERSON that comments fill out a word verification. I feel very strongly about this one. Don't test me!

15. No talking about your poo on the Internet. I don't care if it's a joke you're playing on your roommate because he left his facebook open on your computer. It's nasty.

16. You are allowed only one emoticon per post/status/tweet. (The same applies to text messages.) I think we all know that it's just creepy when we read a post like this: A pretty good day all things considered! :) I got roses :) And an A on my test :) The only thing bad is I broke my arm :( But it's all good because now I don't have to go to school for a week :) :) :) :) :)

17. You are never ever ever ever ever EVER allowed to type like this:

I lOvE iT wHeN mY LeTtErS ArE aLl DiFfFeReNt SiZeS bEcAuSe It MaKeS iT sO hArD fOr EvErYoNe tO rEaD aNd I jUsT kNoW iT hUrTs ThEiR eYeS aNd kNoWiNg OtHeR pEoPlE aRe In PaIn TrUlY BrInGs mE jOy!!!!!!!!!

18. You must use explanation marks in moderation. There is no set rule, you just need to know that if you use too many like "Oh my gosh girl! You are hilarious!!!! I freaking love you!! Let's go to the mall!!!!" that your Internet privileges will be revoked for an undetermined amout of time. Use your judgment on this one. Please.

19. I'm sorry, but you are not allowed to complain about your marriage or your boyfriend or your irresponsible mother on the Internet. If you have relationship issues in your life, I suggest talking to that person or taking it up with a professional. AKA a counsellor. Airing your grievances out facebook style is not the way to go.

20. We only care what you wore if it's actually cute. I know it's hard to hear, but if you don't regularly get real life compliments on your outfits, you probably shouldn't start posting them for the whole world to see.

21. We will forgive the occasional misspelling of their/there/they're or too/two or you/your/you're, BUT if you are doing this regularly we are all going to think you're dumb. This is elementary spelling and I know for a fact that there are teachers out there who work very hard to drum this into the brains of our youth. If you mess up on a simple rule like this more than three times, you must come to five 90 minute sessions of my Language Arts class before you are allowed to use the Internet again. The class costs $100 per session.


She's thoughts: 
  • I don't necessarily agree with #3 because moustaches have never bothered me.  I don't have a problem there. 
  • Also, I can't say I've ever noticed the use of the word "amazeballs."  But like Bon, I don't really care for the word anyway. 
  • I do violate rule #8, but not excessively.  I usually only take photos of the food I make if I'm posting a recipe to go along with it.
  • I do tend to overuse exclamation marks, but only if I'm really intent on exclaiming something!!!
  • The other points, I wholeheartedly agree with.  What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WWTK - The Olympics

Crazymama is asking the questions this week!!
It's the Olympics in London!  Let's talk about it.

(1) What was your favorite part of the Opening Ceremonies?

Sadly, I didn't get to see even a minute of the Opening Ceremonies.  I was on a hot school bus, taking my youth group to an event where they performed dramatic sign language.  I was tired, hungry, and possibly a little grouchy that I forgot to DVR it.  But I saw the updates of Facebook friends while we were travelling.  (That didn't help the situation, by the way.)

(2) Which country are you rooting for? (I realize we aren't all Americans.)
 
It's all red, white, and blue here in the Midwest US.
 
(3) Which is your favorite event to watch and why?

I really enjoy gymnastics.  Floor exercise is probably my favorite because it demonstrates the fantastic ability all those tiny, little girls posses.  I even enjoyed the men's gymnastics this year.  Wow, are those guys strong!  I could live without the little leg kick they give at the end of a tumble though.
(4) Have you found a new sport that is surprisingly delightful?

Actually, yes!  I don't recall ever watching water polo before, but it's been on several times this year when I've turned on the TV.  It amazes me that those people can be in the pool that long without ever touching the bottom!  I would drown in the first two minutes. 

(5) Have you always been a fan of the Olympics?  What is your earliest Olympic Memory?

Yes and no.  I've always appreciated it, but haven't always watched it.  I'm going to show my age here when I say that I totally remember the '84 Olympics.  Gymnastics was big that year and I remember doing a bit of tumbling around my living room with couch cushions askew. 
 
 
If you'd like to link up with your answers, visit Mamarazzi or Crazymama!

Soapbox Time

For the next few minutes, I'll be getting up on my soapbox to share my opinion.  If you choose to skip this post, I promise not to have any hard feelings. 

Today is August 1, "Chick-Fil-A Day" to some.  Personally, I'll be glad when this day is over because I'm quite tired of the hype associated with it.  I'm worried that there may be protests, fights, and possible injuries because of this day.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, let's recap.  The owners of Chick-Fil-A have expressed their position on gay marriage.  People are irate about it.  Why?  Do you honestly think that every business owner you patronize shares your same belief system?  If you do, you're the most naive person I've ever heard of. 

We all have opinions.  They vary.  That's what makes the world go round.  I personally think that chocolate is the best flavor of ice cream.  If you're a vanilla kind of person, we can still be friends.  (Now, those strawberry people have no place with us!  Just kidding.)

Individual people and entire cities have declared a boycott of Chick-Fil-A for its opinions.  I'm sorry, but I see that as a double standard.  You're judging someone based on their strong beliefs, yet you're doing the exact same thing by protesting based on your strong beliefs. 

The folks up in arms are acting like the restaurant chain has refused service to gay couples.  That never happened.  In fact, they haven't conducted business any differently recently.  All they did was state their opinion when asked.

One comment I saw from a lovely demonstrator said that it's the same thing as refusing service to black couples.  Really?  I don't see how that's the same.  No one has been refused service at any point. 

Again, I will go back to the point that major business owners are going to have strong opinions that are likely going to differ from yours.   The CEO of Ford is either for or against abortion.  The owner of McDonald's is either Republican or Democrat.  The people in charge over at Starbuck's, Old Navy, and NBC have opinions on welfare, health care, and education.  If you want to take the time to research all their beliefs before you decide whether or not to patronize them, you are going to be one busy dude. 

If you've noticed, I haven't shared my opinion regarding gay marriage.  I simply addressed the hype associated with the Chick-Fil-A events.  Although, if you've read my blog for long, you probably won't have a hard time figuring out what side of the fence I'm on and I'm not ashamed about that.

Enjoy your waffle fries today.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Almost Worst Day of My Life

Saturday evening, we had an event occur at our home that I'm sure will not soon be forgotten.  It started out as a completely normal Saturday night.  We debated between pizza and a movie, going out for dinner, or skipping the showers and sitting around a backyard campfire.  With pizza being the winning decision, Hubby decided to pull my van into the garage for the night.  I was on the porch, watering flowers, and the kids were here & there.

All of a sudden, I heard a tremendous crash and Hubby began yelling things like, "God, no!"  He's not a yeller so I flipped out.  I remember dropping the watering can and screaming, "What happened?"  Yet, I was frozen with fear.  I remember being unable to approach the dreadful sound, for fear that my 3-year old baby would be lying in the midst of it.

I'll save you from vomiting right now- she's fine.  But, in that moment, I honestly thought he ran her over with the van.  I finally ran off the porch and turned the corner to see a disarray of everything in our garage.  The shelf had fallen over, there was stuff everywhere, and the shiny, black door of our van was opened completely the wrong way.  Meaning, the painted side of the door was touching the front tire/bumper area of the car.

Hubby was in a state of shock and couldn't communicate to me what just occurred.  I was still screaming, "What happened?"  Baby Girl was standing off to the side, in the grass, bawling hysterically.  She had never seen her parents screaming wildly before (unless it was aimed at her for  her misbehavior).  I picked her up to console her, still trying to calm myself down and figure out what happened.

The real story, which I didn't even get out of Hubby until a couple hours later, is as follows.  Before he started the car, he told Baby Girl to back up and get out of the way so he could pull the car in.  He saw her walk away and deemed the situation safe.  Halfway into the garage, he felt a thump thump, which he immediately thought was her tiny, little body.  He threw open the driver's door and shoved the gearshift into park.  He jumped out of the van to see what he hit when the van started going in reverse.  In his panic, he didn't get the gearshift all the way up to park.  It only made it to reverse.  When that happened, he was thrown up against the side of the garage while the door knocked over the shelf.  Pinned between the car and the garage, he was helpless.  The van kept rolling backward and the momentum was enough to force the door all the way forward.  At this point, he still didn't know if she was safe.  That's when he started yelling. 

He somehow managed to stop the vehicle and find his daughter.  It turns out, the object he hit was Son #2's golf bag, which happens to be about the same size as Baby Girl.  His fear turned into rage and he lost his temper quite a bit.  This contributed to Baby's Girl's hysteria.  I worked quickly to calm them both down and tried to figure this puzzle out.  Hubby wasn't even sure if he was injured yet but explained that he was pinned between the car and the garage.

The van door was crumpled like a piece of paper.  It amazes me that a big, strong machine like a vehicle can just crumple the way it did.  I couldn't even bring myself to take a photo of it, I was so sick about the entire situation.

Typically, I am the cause of fender benders in this family.  He doesn't know what it feels like to drive home, sobbing, to tell the story of how you wrecked the car.  He was so angry at himself and angry at Son #2 for leaving his golf clubs in the way.  He kept apologizing to me over and over with the sound of tears in his voice.

The optimist in me kept explaining that there was no need to apologize; that's why it's called an accident.  This accident could have had a much worse ending.  With everyone involved coming out unharmed, I considered it a happy ending.  Sure, it's going to cost a fortune at the body shop.  We couldn't even get the door closed and had to rig the car so the interior lights would go off.  The cost doesn't bother me.  Being without a vehicle for a week or so doesn't bother me.  Cleaning up the mess in the garage didn't bother me.  God had his hand of protection over my family that day, so there's not a single thing I could even ask for.

Feeling very blessed today...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Random Happenings

There is nothing quite like being on the toilet, still in pajamas, when the repairman rings the doorbell over an hour early. Oh yeah there is- when he has to go down into your basement, that could probably be featured on some sort of reality show, to turn off the main water line.  I was a mess, the house was a mess, and the kids were a mess.  I was planning on getting quite a bit accomplished in that final hour before his arrival.  I guess that's what I get for procrastinating!  Let's chalk this one up as a day I don't care to remember.

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On a positive note, that repairman was here to install my brand new, sparkling clean dishwasher! I am so ready to be rid of dishpan hands!  I have never been quite this excited before to load the dishwasher!

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Since I can't remember the date of my last run, I'm quite proud of the 2.25 miles I ran two nights ago. The marathon is just 2 months away. Yeah, I'm not even close to ready. Boogers!

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Last night, we rode approximately 12 miles on our bikes!  We have a trail just blocks from our house that stretches almost our entire state.  It was such a nice ride and I discovered some beautiful scenery I didn't even know existed that close to home!  I am going to buy a basket for my bike so I can take my camera along with me next time.  There were so many times I wish I'd had it!  One spot was so unique that I'm thinking of taking my little cousin there to shoot some of his Senior Portraits.  I also downloaded Map My Ride on my phone so I don't have to keep guessing how far we rode.  The rootbeer float to end the evening was pure bliss!   When was the last time you had a rootbeer float? 

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The neighbor boy from a couple posts ago is still a nuisance. Yesterday, he knocked on my door no less than 10 times. In fact, I thought he was the one ringing the bell today when the repairman was early. That's why I didn't even get up right away. When he pounded on the door with his toy gun to tattle that my children were in their grandma's house, I got more than a little irritated. I told him he could not keep knocking on my door all day. Maybe I scared him off because I haven't seen him yet today.

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I really need to discover a new way to input information for posts. I had a heck of a time with the formatting for Wednesday's post and today's post is giving me a hard time too. There's gotta be an easier way! I wish I understood more about HTML. If I could just plug in my text and photos like in a Publisher document, I would be one happy chica!

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Tonight, I'm loading up on an old school bus, that has no air conditioning, and driving 2 1/2 hours each way for my sign language group to perform.  I was hoping that my oldest member of the group would be going to help chaperone but he has to work.  I am dreading this trip like a visit to the lady doctor.  (Well, not quite that bad.)  I will be crashing into bed sometime around 1:00 AM tonight.  Oh, the things I do for my favorite teenagers in the world!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Neat Thing

I don't check my blog email too often.  I just forget.  It's the address that I enter on all my couponing websites, my survey sites, and anything else that I worry about getting spam from.  Logging on once or twice a week is pretty common for me.  If I'm blogging a lot, I try to check it every day. 

Because of this lack of being on the ball (does that mean I'm off the ball?), I miss out on stuff from time to time.  For example, I just lost a $10 Shutterfly coupon that expired June 30.  Duh!  I really could have used that too for the $80 project that's been sitting in my cart for some time now. 

Today, I logged onto my email and almost deleted something important.  The subject caught my eye because it had the word "tuba" in it.  Typically, very little spam about tubas is sent out.  I opened it with caution and read an email from a middle school band director.  Through a Google search, he stumbled upon my photo of Son #1 playing his tuba last year.  This band director is making a website as part of his Master's project and requested permission to use my photo!  I doubt that most people ask permission for something that doesn't have a watermark splashed across it (something that I've avoided doing because of how it ruins the look of photos on my blog).  This man also said he would give credit to my blog. 

I shared this information with Son #1, who was thrilled about being featured on a website.  I was quite thrilled too and sent him the full resolution image. 

I just thought that was kind of neat and wanted to share it.  I will also admit that, moments before discovering the email, I was Googling "how to sell stock photos."  I have been thinking lately about trying to sell some of my better work.  I enjoy taking and editing photos and would love to earn a wee bit o' spending money for them.  Can anyone point me in the right direction???

Something funny I just noticed- this photo was taken with what Son #1 calls "The Junky Tuba."  The poor thing has been beat up and dented horribly.  The photo would have turned out much nicer with "The Good Tuba" he brings home for performances and auditions.  Oh well! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Celebrity WWTK

The Lovely One wants to know:

{one} What Disney character do you most resemble and why?
I would have to say Belle.  She's a brunette and she loves to read.  I'm not quite that avid of a reader, although I'd like to be if I had no other responsibilities in life.  My father isn't crazy like hers but he builds things.  I don't think I'm known as the odd girl in town, but I did land a good-looking prince!

And it got Mamarazzi, wanting to know...

{two} Who was your teenage celebrity crush?
I always had a thing for Alex P. Keaton.  I think it was the sweater vests.
{three} What celebrity would you love to be BFF with?
Paula Deen and I would cook up a storm together.  Although, if I was BFFs with Martha Stewart, she could decorate my home and help me cultivate a beautiful flower garden.  But she's a little stiff for me.  I really think I would enjoy hanging out with Tina Fey.  She would keep me in stitches all day long!
{four} Who is your celebrity look a like?
I don't think I look like anyone famous.  When I was around 20, people used to say I looked like Jesse from Saved by the Bell.  I never thought so.  Recently, someone said I looked like a character from Smallville.  I've never watched it.  In that movie, Little Black Book, I think I kind of resemble one of the ex-girlfriends.  She has green eyes and freckles.  Anyone have a better suggestion for the next time I'm asked this question?
My Hubby, on the other hand, seems to look like many different celebrities.  He got Tom Cruise once and someone from old cowboy movies a few times.  A kid in our church thinks he looks like Woody from Toy Story, so their whole family calls him Woody now.

Mostly, he gets told that he looks like Joel Osteen.  Once as he was going into surgery, already partially drugged up, and all the nurses were talking about the resemblance.  Once in a restaurant, our waitress swore he was Joel Osteen.  She said she wouldn't bother us because she knows we were incognito.  At one point, she said, "I don't know what his wife looks like...well, I guess she looks like you because you are them!"  It was hilarious; she would not believe us that we weren't the famous televangelists!  (I personally think Hubby is much better looking.)












{five} Which celebrity/celebrity couple would you want to portray you/your honey in a movie about your life?
Is there such a thing as a celebrity couple any more?  I think they all split. 
For myself, I would choose Sandra Bullock.  No, I don't look like her but I wouldn't mind looking like her.  For Hubby, I would choose Patrick Dempsey.  I personally think he looks more like my husband than Joel Osteen.  Plus, I don't think Joel does many movies. 













If you would like to join in the fun with We Want to Know, visit Mamarazzi or Crazymama and link up!