Thursday, July 31, 2008


This might be the easiest way to explain how we all feel. We've just gotten back from a few whirlwind days in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We knew we wanted to go somewhere for a break but couldn't decide - and since my speed junkies like anything that feels like they are racing, they both opted to go there. We spent a lot of time at the 'carnie' parks in Pigeon Forge while they got their racing rush and then we spent some time in Gatlinburg, where we did a lot of sight seeing and had a good time.

I'll make sure to post pictures soon. I try to make sure that we go back to spots that we've visited before so that I can compare how much The Doodlebug has grown. I can't wait to pull out previous pictures and ooh and ah over the changes.

But you know what's sometimes the best part of going away? Coming home to your own bed. That's the part that I'm looking forward to since I opted to drive all the way back home. Only with a minor detour to find a book (CLEP of course).

Ah, it's good to be back home....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Three Truths....& a Lie!

As I sit at the table and try to study, my mind keeps wondering. What do we need to buy for school? Does The Doodlebug need new tennis shoes? Where are my gold hoop earrings? I wonder what slackermom is spelled backwards? You get the picture.... I am obviously bored with trying to remember the difference between meiosis and mitosis or that atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons. My sanity needs to be saved at this point...

Since I'm obviously looking for a distraction when I take my little 10 minute 'mini' breaks, I thought a little game might be in order. I love games. Christmas party games. Birthday party games. Baby shower games. I'm your gal. I even tried to convince a class of preschoolers that playing pin the hat on the turkey could be fun. I have my own version of pin the tail on the bunny - he's neon pink.

But we aren't going to play a game like that - I mean, how funny we would look if we all spun around in our chairs with our eyes closed and tried to pin something on a picture on the monitor? So... I thought a new game - something I've never done before but reminds me of Truth or Dare was in order. 3 truths and a lie.

I'm going to share with you 4 things. Out of these five things, 1 statement is a lie and that naturally means the remaining three are the truth. Leave me a comment (please, you are like my photosynthesis during this study session) and let me know which one you think is a lie. Then, if you want to play along... go to your site and post your own 4 things and a lie post. I'll be checking up on you....

So, here goes:

  1. My 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Grayson, told our class the 'truth' about Santa. I came home immediately after school and told my parents what I had heard that day at school.
  2. I once super-glued my chemistry teacher's pen to his desk on April Fool's Day.
  3. I am 10 years younger than my sister, 20 years younger than my youngest aunt, and 30 years younger than my oldest aunt. I am also 10 years older than my Dad's first great-niece.
  4. I can touch my tongue to my nose.

See, nothing too shocking - afterall I want to keep this a family friendly place. So now it's your turn...what's the lie? And don't forget to play along...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

75 Bands

I know this one has been around for a while...supposedly there are 75 bands in this picture. Can you name them???? Care to take a guess at a couple of them????

I'll start -----

  1. Eagles
  2. Matchbox 20
  3. Smashing Pumpkins
  4. Alice in Chains
  5. 50 cents
  6. Green Day
  7. Guns 'n Roses
  8. Kiss
  9. Prince
  10. Cowboy Junkie
  11. Rolling Stones
  12. Bananarama
  13. Blues Brothers
  14. Korn
  15. The Police
  16. S*x Pistols
  17. The Dead Kennedys
  18. Seal
  19. Iron Maiden
  20. White Snake
  21. Gorrilaz
  22. Led Zeppelin
  23. Eminem
  24. Blind Melon
  25. Pet Shop Boys
  26. The Eels
  27. Scissor Sisters
  28. U2
  29. Black Crows
  30. Bee Gees
  31. Madonna
  32. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  33. The Cars
  34. Blondie
  35. Garbage
  36. Radiohead
  37. The B-52s
  38. White Zombie
  39. Beach Boys
  40. Spoon
  41. RATT
  42. Nine Inch Nails
  43. Blur
  44. Great White
  45. Twisted Sister
  46. Phish
  47. White Stripes
  48. Hole
  49. Lemonheads
  50. Talking Heads
  51. The Cult
  52. Pink
  53. Styx
  54. Cranberries
  55. Deep Purple
  56. Black Flag

So now it's your turn - see anything else? Or disagree with me?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mrs. Potato Head

I have spent probably the past 3 days studying nonstop at this point. My brain feels like the bowl of mashed potatoes that I made for dinner last week. Mushed. I did manage to finish reading the Cliffnotes version of Biology. But then I took a Peterson's practice test - and let's just say - I have dug out my friend's daughter's college level biology book today. It was not pretty.

Earlier I took a break and went down to see what was up with my parents' computer. I told Mom while I was there that I might have to push back taking the test till one day next week. I just feel like there's so much information out there - I feel a little like I'm in over my head by it all right now. I mean, do you focus on cells? atoms? ecology? The list could go on and on.

In the meantime, The UIC did some yard work this morning and The Doodlebug had karate tonight. Have you ever noticed who in your household seems to be the one who does things with the kids more? I am always the one who takes her to Karate. I had secretly hoped he would offer tonight as that would mean the house would be quiet. Nope. We discussed this issue in my psychology class once - in the context of how men stop being 'fathers' a lot of the times after a divorce. The idea is that women have such a strong bond with the children after carrying them and nurturing them, that men always feel a bit like they're on the outside looking in. Thoughts? Agree - or disagree?

The Doodlebug had company over the weekend. Nothing is funnier to me than to see girls try to stay awake all night long. They managed to do it - but not without a lot of activity to keep them busy. I tried to stay awake too..studying. I finally caved at 3:30 and went to bed. When I got up around 8:30 on Sunday morning, there were little bodies all over the downstairs furniture - sacked out. The UIC took the afghans down and covered them up. I, of course, snuck in with the camera. He said they were still awake when he got up around 6:30. They slept till around Noon.

Ah, what I wouldn't give for just one day of being 10 going on 11. Not a care in the world aside from what to wear on the first day of school or what I want for my birthday. Both, by the way, are coming up in the next few weeks. Summer is almost over - middle school here we come :)

PS - Did I mention that she earned another stripe in Karate last week? She's started her testing for her 3rd stripe - which makes her nervous and then she'll test for her green belt. Not bad considering she just started taking classes this year. She loves her Senai. He is a hoot :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

C.O.W. - July 27th

This week's COW is going to be easy ---- it's a two stepper.

1. Take the CLEP

2. Spend some time with my family :)
We might have to call this the ANTI-COW week...The UIC is off. We have no definate plans ... this could be interesting indeed!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Is Miley Cyrus a Role Model?

This is a question that I find myself pondering this weekend. See, when "Hannah Montana" first hit the scene, I thought
oh what a cute little Disney show. Hey, look it's "Achy Breaky" Billy Ray... on
and that was about it. My daughter watched the show. We have both of the CDs. We don't have the Nintendo DS game - couldn't imagine that one. I'll shamelessly admit it - we have the Hannah wig, too. And I have a picture of The UIC wearing it in a moment of silliness...that I would share, but I would like to have a peaceful week with him at home, so I'll have to save it for another case he checks in to see what all this 'slackerness' is about.

But I digress (often apparently). What worries me about Hannah Montana is her choice of pictures that get leaked out from myspace. I'm pretty sure she's not the first teenage girl to take a snapshot of herself, trying to look more 'grown up' than she really is. What I don't like is that it's someone who trumps herself as a positive role model for children. I could do without the bathroom mirror pictures of inflated tops and underroos, thank you. There's a lot to be said for the imagination (something else I am beginning to think today's youth just doesn't get...)

Then there are the Miley and Mandy videos on youtube. Excuse me? Are they trying to be funny like "Fred"... because I just don't get it. There is one that is on my service provider's homepage with an article that talks about "Miley's mean girl moment" because she is apparently poking fun at Selena Gomez and another new Disney up and comer. Whatever.

At least when Anne Hathaway wanted to shed the 'good girl' Disney image she was old enough to hopefully know what she was doing. Maybe she had better handlers than those who are supposedly watching out for Miley's best interests. But then again, who even said that Miley Cyrus is a role model? I think that younger girls idolize the "Hannah" part of the character. Without being caught up in the 'Miley moment'.

I am curious what others think on the Miley mania. Do you think that Miley is getting too much hype for her antics? Is she just riding on the hem of the success that Disney had with Hannah Montana? Do you think she is a role model for young girls? Sound away ...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rest In Peace, Professor Pausch

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Melton Professor who delivered the moving "Last Lecture" died of pancreatic cancer today.

Here are some words of wisdom of Professor Pausch that were published in the USA Today.

-Never underestimate the importance of having fun. I'm dying and I'm having fun. And I'm going to keep having fun every day because there's no other way to play it.
-Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
-No one is pure evil. Find the best in everybody. Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you.
-Brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop people who don't want it badly enough.
-It is not about achieving your dreams but living your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.
-We can't change the cards we're dealt, just how we play the hand. If I'm not as depressed as you think I should be, I'm sorry to disappoint you.

My heart breaks for his family. He fought such a courageous battle.

It's Time For Fitness Fridays...

It's that time again...Fitness Fridays. I am ashamed to admit, this has not been a good week for me. I just have been glued to a seat in the house studying Biology all week long. I am happy to report though that I am feeling loads better about the progress I am making after searching around and getting some excellent study tips for the CLEP.
I have been making nutritious meals for the family. I even bought myself some lactose-free milk so that I could enjoy breakfast again.... raisin bran. :) YEAH I love raisin bran....
This upcoming week I plan on getting back into exercising. I've noticed our On Demand programming offers several 'exercise' shows... I think I'm going to check them out. I also want to play some more with the Wii - tennis and boxing and baseball, oh my! I really got a workout playing those this week. I'll be honest - I didn't realize how much fun they could be, either! Until I character had been renamed The Momster. Wonder who that culprit was?
What about you? Got any health and wellness motivation for the week?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

W4MW - Coupon Mom Savings Site

This week, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite money savings sites. The Coupon Mom. The site organizes grocery and drug store sale prices - places like Kroger, Publix, Walmart, CVS, Target - just to name a few. They list the stores sale prices, and let you know if there are any available coupons so that you can get the best possible price on hundreds of items. While you do need to register to use the list that sorts the deals by state, it is well worth it, and they do not share your information with anyone.

When I am diligent and shop according to the sales, I save substantially on our grocery bill. And not just on groceries. But shampoos. Deodorant. Tissue Paper. The list could go on and on. I am inspired that the founder, Georgia native Stephanie Nelson, manages to feed her family of four on a grocery budget of $125 a week. This includes EVERYTHING.

Here are some news media outlets that have done stories on The Coupon Mom recently. She has also been featured on The Today Show and Good Morning America to name a few. I hope that you feel encouraged enough to give her website a try - it is a free service - and it works for me!

So check out The Coupon Mom. If you have used her site before, please leave me a comment on what you think. If you decide to try it after reading this post, please come back and let me know how your shopping went.

Don't forget to check out other Works for Me Wednesday ideas over at Rocks In My Dryer!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Parenting 101

A good friend who I had not talked to in a long time called the house tonight. We were catching up on careers, college, children and parents when she brought up the following subject. She said that her daughter has told her that she really doesn't like hanging out with my friend's kids. She says that they just don't have anything in common and that she doesn't feel like she should have to be friends with, and spend all of her time with, her Mom's friend's kids. I should point out, that she and I don't force our kids to hang out.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? How would you or do you react? Do you basically not listen to what your own child is saying, all for the sake of spending time with your own friend? Or do you listen to your child and perhaps try to remodel the friendship, where you can be friends with this person, but the children don't really have to interact each time you are together?

For me, I have to do what's in the best interest of my own child. I told her that I have several friends who have children around The Doodlebug's age but that we don't force our children to be friends and hang out constantly. I like it if they are friends, but it's not mandatory.

Does this even make sense? LOL Anyway, thoughts on friendships and children... I'm eager to hear what you have to say.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Don't Know Much About Biology...

I have become a hermit. I venture out of this room only by necessity. I am studying Biology ... and I am about to lose my mind!

You know that feeling where there is something looming in front of you, only you are trying to avoid it, no matter what? That's me and Biology. But I have put my nose to the grindstone and have been learning all about cells today. All those funky little names of things that won't come in handy - unless I decide to teach science, which let me tell you, would not be a good thing. My idea of science would be to experiment with the contents of the refrigerator while making a homemade pizza!

I'm really beginning to wonder what I have gotten myself into. To be completely honest, I am really upset with myself. I made the comment tonight on the way to karate that I should have taken classes this summer - driven to campus and got it over with. The Doodlebug, ever the sweetheart that she is, put her hand on my shoulder and said something like
Mommy, you know you can pass this test. You're smart!

I'm just having myself a regular ole pity party though. I'm mad at myself for waiting so darned long to go back to school. What kind of example am I setting here? What's with the procrastination? I know the importance of an education - I know it's one thing that can never be taken from you - I get the big picture. But I'm frustrated with myself. And upset that I'm doing this NOW - as an adult... with a family. I feel like everyone's getting short changed when I'm doing school work or attending classes. I miss my family and my friends.

I had to take a little break, to go and put the towels in the dryer. This thought popped into my head and I wanted to share it with you, in case you are going through something, too.

Don't worry about anything. Instead, tell God about everything. Ask and pray. Give thanks to him. Philippians 4:6

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Everything's going to be okay. Whatever happens, it is God's will. Sometimes we just need that little reassurance in the middle of our own personal turbulence. And it's kind of funny, because I have a peace about it all now. I know what I need to do. I also know that I need to post this, without going back and deleting my frustrations. I need to put this out there for myself to remind me - I am not alone.

Goodnight :)

It's Mind Boggling - I know!

Recently I watched a repeat episode of Oprah. She had Lloyd Boston on the show and the focus was about women's fashions. Or rather, the women who traded in whatever had been fashionable in their wardrobe a long time ago for things like mom jeans, jogging suits, sweatshirts, overalls...the list could go on and on. One thing that stuck with me was...

If you go out in your 'good' clothes in your tennis shoes -you are a shlumpadinka. Really? Oh boy...

Hello, I'm The Momster over at Slacker Mom. I am a shlumpadinka.

It's not a statement that I am proud to make. I'm surprised that my friends haven't turned me in. I do have excuses. (Don't we all?) Such as the fact that I have broken several of my toes during the past few years, thanks to door frames and falling down stairs and The Doodlebug's queen sized sleigh bed. So my tennis shoes are comfortable. And I like my sweatpants and sweatshirts in the winter. And college tee-shirts and shorts in the summer. All of this self reflection has got me thinking...maybe my life is TOO comfortable. ?

I look back at pictures that were taken of me over time. Oh how I used to love clothes. Shopping was like an addiction. I loved buying the newest trends. The heels. Cute stuff. I can remember being stylish and sophisticated at work. Fun loving when we'd go out. So what has happened to me???

I think part of the problem is that I keep saying "When I lose this weight...". Hello, I'm The Momster at Slacker Mom and I'm spending my days wasting my life away waiting for the make believe world of when I to come along.

So as I sat there and I watched Mr. Boston take these everyday women to the ever day stores (Target, Old Navy, Kohls, Gap, and JCPenney) I started thinking..."When was the last time I bought myself a complete outfit? Top to bottom to shoes." I drew a blank. Truth be known, I hate shopping now. I am what you might call "busty" so it's always a thrill shopping for something that fits. Because I have a hard time connecting the 'me' that I used to know to the 'me' that I am right now. This isn't my body. Those are my thighs. Where did that come from? And finally, how did those get down there?

Therefore, I've decided something has to be done. My decision is that I need to take myself shopping. Sweatshirts and jeans might help me blend in with the crowd at college (Stop laughing - I do NOT look like their mothers!) but it's really not doing a lot for my morale. I've decided to start with something simple. Two new outfits. Not too casual. Something comfortable but more chic than a college football t-shirt and denim shorts. Sort of like "My child won't die of embarrassment if I have to walk into the school or if we run into anybody we know in a fifty mile radius of home" clothes. I'll even trade in my Reeboks and Keds and flip flops for some fun shoes.
I think one of the ladies on the show summed it up the best - she said (this is where I paraphrase) that it's okay to take care of yourself while you are taking care of your family. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a little T.L.C. (and I don't mean TOO LOOSE & COMFY). I do believe that we as moms make excuses for the way we look. Rather than buying something for ourselves, we spend years spending that money on our children. And it's important to do that for our kids, but it's also important to treat ourselves with the dignity and respect that we desire - it's okay to buy yourself something new. It's not hurting anyone if I go out and buy something for me for a change.

Anybody else out there find themselves in the shlumpadinkas? What would be the hardest thing for you to give up from you shulmpa-wardrobe?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

C.O.W. - Week of July 20th

This week's COW is basically a catch up COW. I didn't hang the wallpaper border in the laundry room last week because I wanted to make sure that the paint had time to do whatever paint is supposed to do since I used a glaze. So here's the 'catch up COW' list:
  • Hang the laundry room border.
  • Figure out how to refinish this French inspired clock so that I can use it in the laundry room. It was a steal at a local outlet store - I think I paid $1.99 - and it works!
  • Sort through the 'stuff' that had been on the laundry room shelves... I'm sure I can get rid of a vast majority of the stuff.
  • Study for the CLEP - I figure the Chore of the Week doesn't always have to be about the house.

So that's this week's COW. Anybody else got a chore for the week?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Don't Say "I'm Bored"

I don't know what it is , but as a mother, I hate to hear those two words....I'm Bored.
When I was little, I learned early on that was a mistake. "Mom, I'm bored" would get me sent outside to weed the flowerbed. It's a miracle I don't hate bachelor buttons to this day! Or I would end up having to go over all of the woodwork in the house. Being bored was not a good thing.
I hate it when The Doodlebug tells me that she's bored. I feel like she has an abundance of things to keep her busy. She can go outside and play. Ride her scooter. Swim. Shoot some hoops. Call a friend and invite them over. Draw. Watch a movie. Read a book. The list could go on and on. Ha, she could go outside and weed the yard. Do the laundry. Wash the dishes. Clean the bathroom.
What do you do when your child(ren) say "I'm bored"?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fitness Fridays- Week 1

Well I can honestly say this week has been anything if not interesting. First off, I have walked all but one day since last Friday. Yeah! I haven't been able to weigh myself though - as the scales generally remain in the laundry room and I haven't put them back into their place and balanced them out. I will tell you this, if you are trying to get in better shape and you don't have scales, grab a measuring tape and take down the basic measurements. Make sure to check them at least every week or every other week so that you can see your success.
  • bust

  • waist

  • hips

I managed to meet my own personal water drinking goals - but to me, water is like wine... I love it. It's rare to ever see me at home without a large glass of water nearby. My goals for this upcoming week are as follows:

  • Weigh myself and create chart to help track progress.

  • Start focusing more on 'what' we are eating - last week was about the walking.

  • Continue with the walking.

So what about you? Have any fitness goals you are working towards? Something about yourself that you'd like to change? Come on and join me on my journey to a healthier and happier me. Leave me a comment about how you're doing... it's easier to do this with some accountability. Thanks for checking in on Fitness Fridays :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Water Up Baby!

You know, it's important to stay hydrated this time of the year, especially if you or any of your loved ones are playing sports. But did you know that you should drink 8 (eight) ounces of water every 30 minutes when you are exercising outdoors? It's true - and you should drink even more if it's hot and humid outside. I suffered a mild heat stroke when I was a teenager by not following this advice to take heed and do the right thing!

If you don't stay hydrated, you run the risk of having a heat stroke or suffering from heat exhaustion. Some warning signs include:

* nausea

* dizziness

* extreme fatigue

Staying hydrated is important for maximizing your performance - so in other words, drinking water improves your game. With all of the products available on the market now, you're not even stuck having traditional water. You can choose just about any flavor available.

So the next time you're heading outside to weed the garden, mow the lawn or just getting some fresh air and exercise, remember to take your water bottle along. For more Works For Me Wednesday ideas be sure to visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Bless the Broken Road

Tonight was the last night of the Beth Moore Bible study at a neighbor's house. I truly appreciate her willingness to open her home to all of us and allow us to have a time of fellowship with one another. Tonight I wrote a lot of notes on the study guide pages in my book and I hope to be able to string together my thoughts at a later date to share some of the tidbits of wisdom that I took away from the lesson on the Blessings of Zion.

But tonight she talked about how, sometimes the road that is ahead of us is bumpy. We may start on our journey down this road and think "Whoa, what have I gotten myself into here?" We may think maybe somewhere back down the path we missed our turn - onto that smooth sailing road. You know the doesn't exist. But she talked about how the Grace of God is always given to us in the time of need. We can make our journey down the road if we call upon God ... and He will move us along strength to strength. Because you see, even though we might think differently at times in our lives, if we have a personal relationship with our Lord, we are never truly alone. Isn't that a comforting thought?

If God calls on us to go through a valley of weeping (reference Psalm 84:5-6), He will give us the strength to come back out of that valley. We can call upon His promises. He will give us strength. She also shared a story about one of her daughters, that involves the song "Bless the Broken Road". This song has been around for many years, since it was first recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band circa 1994. Rascal Flatts, a country trio, recorded it in 2005 and it saw renewed success. While it is a secular song, it has a deep and powerful meaning. I want to share with you the lyrics:

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years
I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

The point being, every person or event that has let us down, has been a Northern Star. Pointing us on to our relationship with God. It was rather moving to hear Beth Moore's explanation of this song in the context of a relationship with God.

So I want to leave you with the blessing that she left us with tonight. Psalm 134:3

The LORD who made heaven and earth
Bless you from Zion!

Today Is The Day

I am sitting here thinking "This is the last morning I'll get to see her crooked little teeth". That is, if she ever wakes up. Today we have an appointment with the orthodontist. I've already bought the accessories for such a scrapbook page. I've already warned The UIC there will be no name calling.
Tin Grin. Metal Mouth. Tinsel Teeth. Jaws. Brace Face. Or Zipper Lips.

He's not allowed to 'rag on her' about her new jewelry. Not one bit. Or he'll have me to deal with. I think he'd rather be hit with a fast ball while standing at home plate. Teeth are not something that I play around with.

But I am a little worried. What if they really hurt when they put them on? I'm sure the procedures have changed a lot since I had mine in the 80s. My lovely niece Kayleigh just had her top teeth banded last week and is miserable. I've heard that it is harder once you are older to move your teeth. I would much rather have had this done at 10, almost 11, than at 19.

So while she's being banded, I'll have a consultation where I'll get the news. As in, how much this is going to cost me over the next year after our insurance is calculated into the equation. I have the feeling it'll be the equivalent of buying a small car. But it's an investment in our daughter. She's going to have a beautiful smile when this is all over and done. Then while they finish up, I'll be heading to the local Target to make sure to pick up a Waterpik, a lot of wax and some Motrin. Just in case.

I have no idea what to feed her for lunch or dinner. I'm going to make her pancakes for breakfast. Especially since she told me last week that my pancakes are better than her Dad's (sorry dear) or even her Grandmother's (whoo hoo! Momma makes The Best pancakes ever!). I'll take that as a compliment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Motivation

I just love this commercial - and this little boy is adorable!

I'm off to paint. We have Karate tonight. The UIC is out of town for the day. This family cannot function without a washer and dryer for more than 24 hours. Tomorrow is the day for The Doodlebug's braces.

Snapfish has extended their sale - 50 prints for a penny each. Check them out. You'll need the coupon code: july4penny08 - Sale ends 7/15.

Prayers requested for my August Mom friend Niki. Her son Maxx passed away Saturday due to SIDS. He was just shy of his fifth month birthday. My heart is breaking for their family.

Have a great day.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

COW - July 13th

One thing that I learned last week: If you type it out, you'd better be prepared to actually do it. Actually having it in writing last week helped me to meet my goals because what if the two people who read my blog actually show up on my doorstep? Would I run upstairs in a panic and slam the door to the room? Or, gasp, what if The Doodlebug showed it to her Grandmother while spending the night? Because if I haven't shared with you before, my Mom has never the type of person to put off tomorrow what could be done today. She's like a superhero when it comes to keeping everything neat and tidy around her house. But I digress.....
So this week's goal is to FINISH WITH THE LAUNDRY ROOM. This means everything back in its place. New hoses for the washing machine, a new recessed outlet in the wall for the hoses as well. New plate covers. The shelves back up and the room finished. Room painted and border up. I also need to find a way to clean the floor because of the laundry detergent bottle that I dropped - it got on the floor and feels gross even after mopping several times. I'm going to have to wait for the UIC to come home to install the new recessed wall outlet, but I can get the rest of the things done on my own.
So here's hoping this accountability works for a second week in a row. Anybody else want to play along?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's A Good Thing I'm Not Paid By The Hour

Boy, if I were getting paid by the hour for the work in the laundry room, let's just say someone would be broke! This job is exhausting! I mean, I took down the shelves that were in the room - that was NOT fun. Then I detached the dryer and all the hoses from the washer and moved them. Then there was the discovery that one of the washer hoses must be leaking - thank goodness we have one of those washer pans! I'm exhausted and I look back in there and realize it looks no better than when I started. INSANITY!!! What is that line from Seinfeld? "Serenity NOW...insanity later". Where is the crew from HGTV when I need them????

My Weekend Plans....

Or Good Grief, I need to get a life!

The UIC is leaving for a short trip out of town in the morning. I am sitting here thinking - what can I do to the house while he's gone? I'm surprised he hasn't asked...but I guess it's something he has grown accustomed to in our married life. He goes out of town - I take on some big project.

I have a running list of things I'd still like to do to our house. I figure, if I'm going to make myself over, why not do the house as well? So here is the run down:
  1. Paint/Decorate the laundry room. This is a part of BooMama's challenge, but she has had to push back the 'due date' from July 25 to some time after Labor Day. Yeah! Because I have not made any progress.
  2. Paint the Family Room (aka the Bonus Room). When we bought this house, these walls were horrible. One wall was a hideous green color so since then it's been primed, but that's it. I want to paint it and get it all situated before my new living room furniture is delivered since I'm moving the chair and ottoman up her from the set we currently have.
  3. Paint the upstairs hallway. Again, when we bought the house, the previous owners must have gotten a deal on the beige color - because EVERYTHING up here was beige, minus the green wall and the 80s wallpaper in my bathroom. We've primed, but that's it. (Do you see a pattern here???)
  4. In painting the hallway, we'll have to paint the two story 'landing' where the stairs are. YEAH! It's still beige!
  5. I'm thinking we are going to have to repaint the living room - it's not going to match the furniture. Oh boy....
  6. I want to paint the walls in my dining room burgundy under the chair rail.

I figure painting is a job that I can take on myself. I'm actually gotten rather talented with a paint roller and a sponge the past few years so we'll have to see which room becomes the 'victim' while he's away. That is..if I have the strength to do anything after I met Ethel for our morning walk around the lake. Yes, indeedy, it looks like it might be an interesting weekend afterall.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fitness Fridays

I'm sure by now if you've been reading here, you've realized that I am constantly struggling against the diet monster. To the point that I'm just sick of it. SICK. OF. IT. So I've decided that I need to do something to motivate myself to win this battle once and for all.

Weight is one of those subjects, that at least as women, I don't think we are truly comfortable talking about with our closest friends. It's admitting a flaw. It's like there's this big pink elephant sitting over in the corner. We know it's there, but we don't dare talk about it. You have to be at a certain place to admit defeat and actually do something. Well, I'm getting tired of that elephant taking up all my space.

So to help me in this quest, I've decided that I'm going to devote my blog on Fridays to Fitness Fridays. That means each Friday, I'm going to post about how I am doing in my bid to become healthier and happier. If you want to join me, I would love it! They say there is strength in numbers. I can think of nothing better than encouraging one another to be healthier versions of the person that we are today.

I hope you'll come back on Fridays and share your own personal fitness goals. Whether it is to lose weight or to just get in better shape, we can cheer each other along.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We All Need The Human Touch

I seem to have an eighties theme today...who here remembers Rick Springfield singing "Human Touch"? The other night at the neighborhood Bible study on the Psalms of Ascent, Beth Moore touched on the subject of relationships. Now the irony of that situation is that right before I walked out of the door, I had just posted on my blog the friendship/shoes analogy. I had no idea that the theme of friends would continue throughout the night.

It was fitting, in retrospect, that she talked about friends since we are on session five and it deals with our fellow pilgrims on the pilgrimage. One thing that I did enjoy was that she said we should learn to stand together with our brothers and sisters in Christ rather than standing divided because our beliefs might vary in the slightest bit. This made me think of life here. I have friends who are Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and the list could go on and on. But you know what matters most to me? That they believe in Jesus and they believe in God. It doesn't matter to me if you submerge or sprinkle for baptism. I don't believe in Heaven there are little communities where the different churches will live. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

But back to the subject of friendships. She brought up the point that in this day of instant messaging, text messaging, emails and so forth, life is lonely. I wrote this very thing in my notes:
We are too busy being in touch with so many people that we are starved for something with depth.
Now this just really spoke to me because there have been times in my life when this is how I have felt. Here's another note:
There are very few people who know us well.
It made me think of the fact that when you're online, you can be whomever you really want to be. Nobody really knows any better. You can be suffering in silence but nobody would ever know.

She shared the fact that there are times in her life that she is lonely. Used the example that while she has a rich life, there are times when she longs for someone just to go to the mall with - to hang out. We seem to have taken the convenience that the internet offers us and used it as a substitute for real friendships. She said:
We have found ourselves in a season of isolation because we have ceased to practice deep relationships and our souls need this.
Now I'll be the first to admit, that I love my interneters...there are people that I check on daily because I like them and I find them to be interesting. But it makes me also think of the people who I know personally. When is the last time I met a friend for a cup of coffee or lunch? I have a friend whose mother has breast cancer and I'll be honest, I email her to check in on the family. Why don't I pick up the phone? I chat with my friends via instant messaging in the evenings when things are winding down around here. And yet I scold The Doodlebug because, when she's playing on sites like Club Penguin, she is also on the phone with one of her friends and they are playing on the site together. I'll say things like "You're online with them - why do you need to tie up the phone?"

My friend D posted about what she took away from the Bible study on her blog yesterday. My Mom and I had an indepth discussion about friendship yesterday when I went to pick up The Doodlebug. Friends are important. They are our support system through the daily trials and tribulations of life. We need them to lift us up when we are down. To laugh (with us) at the mistakes we make along the way. And we need a variety of friends. Those who knew us when (I call them "The Roots" - they know where you're coming from) and those who know us now. Those who are there when we are in a bind and those who give us a little comic relief when things are too stressful. Sometimes I think God puts friends in our lives for a reason and sometimes they are there for a season. Whatever it is though, I am grateful to have had them along the road.

So to paraphrase D, go out today and make some human contact with your friends. Let them know that you care about them. That they are important to you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You Like Me ... You REALLY Like Me

Imagine my surprise when I visited Scrappy Girl's blog earlier today and saw that she had been given a bloggy award (which I totally think she deserves!)...and that she was sharing it with me! Thanks Scrappy - I love reading about the goings on at the Four Seasons Farm.

And the best thing about bloggy awards? You get to share them with the blog writers whose work you truly enjoy! So first, here are the rules of the game:

  1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
  2. Link the person you received your award from.
  3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
  4. Put links to those blogs on your site.
  5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls you've nominated.

So, I am nominating the following peeps:

  1. Slacker Mom II - Where would Lucy be without her Ethel?
  2. Just a Minute of My Time - This was the first blog that I can remember reading and just being so inspired by your strength of character as well as your creativity.
  3. Not a Significant Source - From one August Momma to another - you keep me smiling.\
  4. Let Me Think on It - I enjoy your humor and your 'daily tunes'.
  5. Jo's Thoughts and Happenings - Another August Momma that I love dearly. Guitar Hero rulez!
  6. The Girly Mom - Another blog I enjoy reading - and I love her nail polish montage pictures :)
  7. You - yes, you! I hate for anybody to feel left out. So please feel free to award yourself. You're awesome! :)
Now it's time for me to go and rinse the color out of my hair. Let's just hope I don't wake up tomorrow with green hair!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


The Doodlebug and I had another interesting conversation this afternoon driving back from the orthodontist's office. She asked me who was my best friend. My reply was that was a difficult question to answer because as we grow older we develop a lot of friendships that have 'best friend' potential.

Ever the one to question, she continued with her examination. She had overheard a conversation that The UIC and I were having recently about the different levels of friendships, specifically toxic friendships. You know what I mean...those friends that seem to always bring you down. They never have anything good to say. It's the person who complains, complains, complains. He had been telling me a story about something that had happened at work a few weeks ago and we just naturally started talking about how sometimes the people who you think are your friends really aren't. She wanted to know why I had told him that sometimes the people who we care the most about are the people who can hurt us the most in return.

She asked me then if I had any friendships that I considered to be 'toxic' - every time she'd say that Britney Spears and that song would pop into my head - but I digress. I told her that I do my best to avoid gaining those types of friends. To be completely honest, I feel like I'm hard enough on myself rather than to handle the sledgehammer to someone else to take a few swings at me. I did tell her that I learned early on that people are just different. And that different can be a good thing. After all, if everyone were just like me what fun would that be? And just to annoy her, because she hates it when I do this, I decided to describe friendships like shoes.

Like shoes? Come on... was the response I got from the back of the car. So this is basically the rundown that I gave her:

There are those friends that are like my slippers - they allow me to let my hair down and talk about things that really impact my life in a safe environment. These are the people who allow me to feel comfortable in letting my guard down and just being me and they love me for who I am.

Then there are the high heel friends. Those are my friends who remind me to strive to be the best that I can possibly be. These are my friends who encourage me to meet my personal goals in life. They are my cheerleaders rooting me along as I go back to school. They are the ones who want to see me shine.

The sneaker girlfriends are yet another group. These are the ones that will get in there and get down and dirty with you. These are the ones who want to see me be successful, not just achieve my dreams. They'll put on those sneakers and help me chase after that brass ring. They encourage me and challenge me to do my best. They want me to have it all. These are the ones that pitch in to help when you have a project that seems unbelievably overwhelming. No complaints and no regrets. They are there with you through the thick and thin.

Then there are the boot friends. The ones who will give you a swift kick in the buns when you need it. They don't have time for the 'hogwash'. Build a bridge and get over it is their mantra. We all need a few of these in our lives.

Then we have our flip flop friends. Now as much as I love flip flops,I think these are the fair weathered friends that come along. Just like flip flops are not a good choice of foot attire when it's storming, these are usually the friends that are only around when the getting is good and seldom there for you in a real crisis. They're seasonal to say the least. In other words, your friendship is their to serve their purpose. It's not mutual in the least.

I could tell I had really stumped her this time. Rarely is there a moment when this happens as of late. She's a chip off the old block, I can constantly see the wheels in motion. Then she said "Mom" and I caught her eye in the rear view mirror when she said "You've got to be kidding me, right?"

Oh well, Doodlebug 1 - Mom O.

WFMW - Uses for a coffee filter

12 uses for a coffee filter
1. Dish cover: put on top of dishes you’re microwaving.

2. Strainer liner: when your straining oil to save for another use, put a basket-style coffee filter in the strainer to keep out pieces of food.

3. Drip catcher: slit the middle and slide up a paintbrush or ice cream stick to catch drips.

4. Glass cleaner: wipe off glass tabletops and mirrors without leaving lint.
5. Put between stacked cast iron or nonstick cookware to prevent scratches.

6. Use it for a disposable bowl for snacks like popcorn.

7. It makes a great liner for your potted plants - it keeps the soil from leaking out of the drain holes in most pots.

8. Apply shoe polish - they are lint free.

9. Use them on a food scale for easy clean up.

10. Diffuse the flash on your camera - it softens the effect of the picture.

11. Let the kids use them to make crafts such as butterflies.

12. Good ole coffee.... :)

For more tips that'll work for you, visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Discuss Among Yourselves...Deserted Island

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and in your possession, you could only have two things (excluding a cell phone or flare gun), what two things would you want? And we're talking material possessions, so husbands, kids and pets don't count....

Leave me a comment - I'm curious what you think.

The Momster

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chore of The Week

My friend Rhonda reminded me a while back that I used to use a unique system of cleaning around the house. I called it the "COW" - Chore of the Week. The "COW" was sort of like the elephant in the room - it was one thing that I didn't necessarily want to tackle, but it was something that I knew needed to be done. Now the COW can be anything - from cleaning out the refrigerator to straightening out the pantry to painting a room to just about anything your heart desires. Mine usually consisted of tackling those areas of the house that were not on my normal 'cleaning routine'. So that meant closets, the garage, sometimes the COW was simply to clean out my car.

I've been thinking about what the first COW should be since I'm doing BooMama's challenge for my laundry room. I think this week's COW is to deep clean the guest room. Anybody out there want to join me in having a COW? The more the merrier!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

More changes in store...

Well, I have to make this quick as I have to go and pick up The Doodlebug from her friend's party, which by the way is a swimming event and we are in the middle of some rauchy thunderstorms right now... But I did it. I met my parents (because they were out and I needed a dependable opinion) and I ordered my new living room furniture. Allow me to introduce you to the newest additions to our family.

This is "Angie". She'll be in charge of entertaining company when they come to visit. She plays well with others and is neutral to her colorful counterparts.

Accompanying Angie, we'll have the twins - Jack I and Jack II. They are really big fans of comfort and they like to lay around and watch tv or play video games.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Ritz. Ritz is a little into luxury as she likes the feel of the finer fabrics. But she's also practical. Not only is she easy on the eyes, she's as comfortable as an old pair of jeans.

So the family will all be together by the end of the month from what we've been told. The UIC only thought I was buying the couch and matching recliners ... We couldn't find anything else that we liked until I stumbled upon Ritz in the showroom. Now I'm excited and I just hope that my curtains match. :)

PRESTO - by Pixar

Have you seen Presto? Click on the picture and enjoy this Pixar work of art :)

And please let me know if you've seen WALL-E yet - We are trying to decide if it's a good movie.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Have a Fabulous 4th!

We hope that you have a great day today - Come back and visit us later to see 2008's pix.

This is as close as we got to a shot for the day.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It is a wonderful day for a swim....

Well, we've bitten the bullet. Bought the cow. All those little expressions that mean you've caved...I mean changed your mind... This past week I bought one of these pools. Actually I'm a little excited. The Doodlebug is thrilled to have any kind of pool in her backyard again. The UIC thinks it will be good for his back since he's been having so many problems lately....and let's just say it's a great thing that he's such a good friend with a chiropractor - otherwise, the money spent on this would have been paying for his 3 treatments a week. But I digress. We did spend a little bit of time debating where the best spot is in the back yard to put the pool since technically, all of my backyard has the slightest slope. But we finally decided and started setting it up today.

Now, we are technically still under certain water restrictions because of the horrible drought we experienced last year...Remember this picture of the lake? So I called the water company, per The UIC's request, to see if we needed any permit to fill the pool. Our only stipulation from the water company is that it has to take place between Midnight and 10 AM. Good thing I'm not sleeping much right? I just wonder how many of these midnight to 10's it's actually going to take to fill the thing? Maybe I'll get the deer (who seem to enjoy the midnight buffet in the garden) to join me and keep me company. Or I'll actually watch a movie! Woot!
In other news, I have decided to commit myself to taking the College Level Placement Exam (or that darned CLEP as I call it around here) by the 25th of this month. I feel that if I don't just go ahead and commit to a date, I'll never make myself take the test and that means I'll be back on the dreaded campus in the fall. So I'm going to be spending a lot of time studying science. Yawn.
Anybody stateside got big plans for the Fourth? We haven't finalized what we are doing yet. I know I'll end up doing way too much cooking...I made the grocery run for the supplies today ...but forgot to get chocolate syrup for the ice dreamy cake. I'm thinking we might load up and go to the parade in the morning - which we have never done before. When The Doodlebug was a little girl, I would always take her to this fountain in town and take her picture. I'm planning on doing that tomorrow as well.
Oh, and she gets her braces in about a week and a half. We're eating lots of popcorn till then! I think she believes that 18 months with no popcorn is like serving a life sentence. I just can't wait to watch the transformation that she'll go through - she's already changed so much recently with growing so tall and getting the hair cut and ears pierced. My baby is not a baby anymore...

I hope you have a wonderful day - go outside and play in the sunshine :) It'll do a body good.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

This was taken at our first house - we spent some of our best days giggling in the pool. Sweet memories. I wish I could just bottle up this homemade sunshine.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

WFMW - Momster's Baked Beans

It goes without saying that I am expected to bring this to all family get-togethers regardless the occasion. So, I'm taking these to my parents for the Fourth. They are really easy and really good.

1 lb ground beef
48 oz can Pork and Beans
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
Brown meat with onion. Drain. Combine meat with beans, BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Pour into oven safe dish and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

I hope you enjoy this - if you try it, please come back and let me know what you think. And head over to Rocks In My Dryer for her 5 ingredients or less recipe-fest.