Thursday, May 31, 2007

I got a GOLD STAR!!! Go see it at It says Jan Jan Mom.

Go me! No pressure. I hope I don't have to give it back if I gain a pound. I'll try really hard to lose another instead!!

Almost forgot

I finished Pride and Prejudice. It will never make my top ten or 100. It was a nice love story and I did enjoy it, in a Wuthering Heights kind of way. Which means I won't read it again or remember the plot in a few years but will vaguely kind of remember liking it a little.

Don't stone me, wonderful friends who loved it. Also, right there on the same shelf at the library-any Lynn Austin book will be a book you can't put down until you finish it. Especially the Gods and Kings series!! Old Testament will come alive and make sense!! Read this series right along with the old testament and it will bless your socks off.

I am currently about to wrap up The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart. Give me a day or two. ( ;
Thinker on overload...

My head is just reeling today. Lots of things milling about bumping into other things. Makes me want to play spider solitare until it all calms down. Had a great class last night at church. Challenging in many ways. One way was a challenge of how much time we spend pursuing things other than God. The other was a request as to what we as a church can do to help each other be more spiritual. That is a tough one. I even put it out on my church's forum, because, for the life of me, I just don't know. I know I crave it from my church, but I don't know how to suggest my church give it to me.

Then after church, I approached the teacher with a question. When you see a Christian slipping away from God, what can you do? He suggested prayer, check and confrontation, check. He also said after that, there is nothing to do except love them and leave the door open. He used the story of The Prodigal, the father had no choice but to let the son go. People can choose to walk away from the protection of God. We are allowed to be a prodigal and probably, most of us have been at one time or another. He said the most important thing is to let them know, that God is there and the door is open when they choose to come back.

My main freak outs in church occur when grace is preached. I love grace preaching. I also believe the devil sits on your shoulder and says, "See there, you can do whatever you want, grace not works. Have fun, live life, do what you want." I do believe there are Christians who are not in the Word who buy into this trap. It scares me to death. There are so many verses saying that you are a new person in Christ. Set apart from the world. Sin so that grace may abound, NO! I just can't hear a sermon on the wonderful mercy and grace of Christ, without shuddering a little at what Satan does with that. He loves to twist and skew the word. Plus our flesh loves to hear that we can just keep on doing what we have always done. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Okay, that is my sermon for the day.

Lilly spent last night and today with my sister. Toby spent the night at the vet. I celebrated by sleeping until 9 (since I went to bed at 1:15 is this considered sleeping in?) and easing into the day slowly. Laundry and blogging. At 11:30 ish, I will go and retrieve Toby. Really miss the little guy. It feels really good to come home to at least one person that wags their whole body and very sincerely missed you like crazy. I think I will wag my whole body and let him know we missed him when we see him.

***edited to add, I miss Lilly too. It is just good to get time apart in a family that spends as much time together as ours does, plus I guess sis will be dropping her off so I don't have to plan when to pick her up. ( ;

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Early to bed...

Early to rise...Wait, I don't go to bed early. Yet still my children want to get up sooooo early. Erik's genes. He loves getting up early. Actually, I don't know if he loves it or not, he just can't help it. Lately, I have found that if I stay in bed past 8AM, I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I hate growing older, or maybe I just hate feeling older.

Today, Tobilicious goes to get snip, snip. He is very angry because he had to sleep in his crate last night and be taken out to pee on his leash. Not a very happy doggy! We don't really even use the crate anymore as he stays on the porch when we have gone somewhere for the day. He is very territorial, mostly about his food and water, so he doesn't go far from the porch. This has afforded him much freedom.

Brouhaha has simmered down and it looks like I may be traveling despite my earlier thoughts. I deleted that post though. I like to get it all out and then delete it. I'm fun that way. It allows me to change my mind and feel differently if I delete such a strong post. Really, I don't feel any different, but I need to focus my energy on more beneficial things. TS, you are on your own. I predict I will be stuffing alot. And changing the subject often because I ain't gossiping about it again.

We have a very busy day ahead of us, much to do before our 10 AM $1 movie, so I am starting off with a nice warm shower. Have a great WEDNESDAY!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On My Holiday...

I was not a good dieter. I decided if I deprived myself of BBQ pork and brisket made by my father in law, I would just be resentful and lose ground. Especially since I had bypassed German Chocolate cake at the church potluck Sunday night and still had not lost more Monday morning. Angel food cake with strawberries instead of what looked like homemade german chocolate cake should be good for a pound or two lost. So when we were doing Memorial Day lunch with Erik's parents, I decided to take a day off. He had also made banana & Coconut cream pies. They were mighty fine. My compromise was that we rode bikes to and from their house and also did yard work.

Today, as I stepped on the scale, I was prepared to pay the price of a splurge the day before weighing in. But the scales are my friend today and showed a loss of 5.5 pounds. So YAH!!! This means I will get a button and a gold star and I am so excited. I had hoped it would be a good week because I have been faithful to Weight Watchers points all week and also have been moving alot. I won't call it exercise, but I have been going on walks and just moving more.

After gaining two last week, I really needed this. This may be just what the Dr. ordered to kick depression out of my bed for good. This makes him available, so be on guard.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Better, not bitter...

Seems like these are always the choices, bitter or better. We don't have to look to far to see examples of people who are better after the hardships in life and those people who are bitter. Keep in mind, all bitter does not look the same. I think of my mom and dad who are both bitter, but have no other similarities. Mom is the poster child for bitter, most days. She is angry, doesn't trust people, and can't really ever let go of her hurts long enough to have fun. Dad, on the other hand, doesn't ever give anyone else a thought. He plugs away enjoying his solitude and doing whatever he wants to do. Neither one of them is "better" because of their hardships. The root of bitter is selfishness. It can either be a martyr that never feels like his needs are met, or a person who gratifies all his needs without the thought of another.

Joy is the anti-bitter. If you are trying to distinguish bitter from better, joy is the measuring stick. Joy is not happiness. Happiness is fleeting. It is conditional and can dry up with the least provocation. Joy doesn't always look happy, doesn't paint on a smile every morning. Joy is knowing this ain't it. No matter how hard life gets, my redeemer lives and one day all of this shall pass away. Joy sometimes gets down so far it can hardly get up, but with joy, God will always be the lifter of your head.

I guess this is all so important for me to get out because, while my happiness is depleted right now, my joy remains. Thank you Lord that our joy is forever. You are the lifter of my head.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Doldrums

Sometimes, despite being clothed head to toe in soft Land's End cotton, you enter the DOLDRUMS. That is where you find me on this Saturday night at 9:20. A date with depression. We have been out before. I know him well but we have not dated seriously in years. He is such a lovely date too. He gets you into bed and hands you tissues and makes you think, pretty seriously too, that no one has ever been more miserable than you are right at this moment. He has been flirting with me all day, courting me, telling me how skinny I look in this cotton tent dress.

"That is some very soft cotton." He says grinning at me.

God is good though. He has sent me two very random calls from wonderful friends and also ran me into one live yesterday. He gave me a husband that listens to all my woes and says, "People suck, but we don't."

I am weak though and I am going to bed down with depression, but he has to stay on his side of the bed and possibly translate Pride and Prejudice so that I may finish and read the Lynn Austin book I checked out.
New Wardrobe-$6

I know all of my friends shall be so glad that I hit an awesome yard sale today-since I wear my clothes until they completely fall apart ( ;. I purchased about $200 worth of clothes...for $6. I always have my kids ask how much things are. That makes me appear non-committed and disinterested. Then if it is sky high, I just walk away. Of course, when they say 50 cents a piece, I start piling up like a madwoman. Especially a long cotton Land's End dress that I lust for everytime they send me a catalog. It is not suitable for wearing out unless you have a killer body, which is quite different from a body that could kill (by squashing). Land's End has the softest cotton in the whole world and this "dress"/gown covers me head to toe-it looks never worn. I feel like George Costanza (Seinfeld) on a velvet couch. Luxury for the low price of 50 cents. Quick spin through the washer and dryer and I am a happy woman. Aside from that though, lots of other nice clothing items as well. IF I iron today, I won't have to wear the same thing twice all summer. ( ; Notice that was a big if. HEE HEE.

The kids got some extremely NOT NEEDED clothing as well. I guess $5 is pretty cheap for splurging on some a'eropostale. I still have money left from my $20 yard sale allowance for the day. Also got some bookends, stickers, a real-food easy bake oven (used once), 2 purses (cause you can't have too many-NOT!), cute basket and some books.

We also hit about 10 DUD yard sales where I wondered why on earth they bothered.

After today, hubby is off for two days!!

Happy Memorial Day!! Don't forget the men who died to guarantee your freedoms.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lake Day!

Hope you like these pics. That tubin' picture is my baby(the age 5 & 11/12ths one). She has been doing that since about 3 and it makes my stomach hurt to watch it, but she loves it. Erika loves it too. Kayla, not so much. She does it once a year to make Erik happy. Speaking of Erik, hunka hunka burning love. As in, he's a HUNK, yes we are all sunburned(despite SPF 45 ) and I love him for working so hard for our rehcreeaitin'.
Kayla finds flowers no matter where we go and picks them. Floral design in her future, perhaps?? We saw and fed a whole family of ducks today. Dad, Mom and two babies. Oh how I wanted to feel that soft duck down. Pictures just can't do it justice, but I tried.

Today we had a fabulous day of fun and sun and we were home by 2 this afternoon. We chilled out a bit and then went to a downtown arts festival and then had a lovely dinner at The Olive Garden. We are all exhausted now. I came home, took a walk to work off some of supper, watered the garden and read two more pages of Pride and Predjudice. It is killing me. I hope Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy will get together already. I also hope Jane and Mr. Bingley do as well. That should let you know about where I am. Can someone rewrite this in modern translation.

Brouhaha still not resolved. Giving it to God now. I've probably screwed it up so bad now only he can fix it. Letting

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I am woman!

Today is a day, not where I celebrate womanhood, but lament it. It is so hard to get along with us, no wonder our men are half crazy trying to figure us out. I do not have a wealth of experience to draw on either. My best friend all through high school was a guy. I never had a group of girls I was chummy with, so really being forced to communicate with groups of women is new to me. I usually tend to be friends with other women who don't do well with other women. Also, I have three sisters, but we pretty much just gave each other wide berth on everything and for the most part still do. I was taught the fine art of gossip by a mom who did not know what else to do. You get mad, play like you aren't, find a good confidant and rehash it all. This is not an effective plan and yet, I am drawn to it like a moth to a light. I am trying desperately to break this pattern, but other people do it too and sometimes I get to far in before I realize that I am caught in the snare. Everytime it happens and I find myself in the midst of a bruhaha, I just want to depart from women and sit at a table with the boys at lunch and take Ag for four years. Men just don't get into the whole not saying what you think think. They call a spade a spade and we spend all day saying things like, "It isn't really about the spade." and crying a little. I hate it when I am like that!! I get my feelings hurt and just want to take my ball and go home. Sadly, that is what I have done 80% of my grown-up life. I want to work things out now. There have been some friends in my life that I have had bruhahas with and lived to see the other side. Those are precious friendships. It WAS worth it. I guess the trick is weeding out the ones that aren't.

I hope you are not in the middle of a bruhaha so you can pray for me, cause I am. Pray for me to have wisdom to decide if it is a "worth it" thing or not.

God grant me the serentity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Random and Odd

  1. I have not posted about Tobilicious Toby in a while. He is doing great. He weighs 46 pounds now and we are kind of thinking he is as big as he is going to get, which is officially a medium sized dog. He did grow into his ears. He is very cute anyway.
  2. Diet is officially ON today. The girls had fried potatoes, buttered toast and chocolate milk for breakfast (now that is a heathy meal!!) I had a microwaved baked potao with salt, dry toast and a diet coke. I will have to make the much dreaded grocery store trip today as we have very little "diet" worthy food in the house. Since everyone else is so skinny, I don't have to worry much about calories for them. That may be alot of the problem for me.
  3. Many friends have recommended Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to me. It is a good book, but it is, like most "classics", hard to read. At least for me. I am a very fast reader. I usually start a book in the morning and wrap it up in the evening. I have been reading this book for about 3 months and have read about six other books concurrently. Now I have reached the point where I won't read another book until this one is done. TORTURE. It is a nice story, but it won't be on my list of favorites like all six of the Lynn Austin books I have read. (I found Lynn Austin accidentally while looking for Pride and Prejudice at the library, so I will always love Jane Austen for that reason!) The God's and Kings series is a fictional account of how the kings of the Old Testament lived. AWESOME BOOKS!!
  4. The girls and I are listening to the Redwall audio book. This is a great book and I have many new sayings to incorporate into our home. "Hurry up or I will have your skulls for skittles." "Hurry up or I will have your whiskers for boot laces!" Both of these are, of course, spoken with a very bad English accent. It is a great audio book!! Boys and girls alike would love it.
  5. None of my candidates won the primary yesterday. Most of Erik's did. The slick guy who wants to bring casinos to KY won. Fletcher is looking good to me now. Does KY really NEED more gambling? The horse betting capital of the world?? I don't think so.
  6. My house is still relatively clean from Sunday. This may be a record and to make it even better, two of my friends came over yesterday and caught the house clean. I am so proud. Also, yesterday, I managed to get one more strip of wallpaper up in the kitchen. I shall try to do another today. It is funny how your goals change when you live with three children all day EVERY day. Suddenly one strip of wallpaper up seems like a major accomplishment. Perhaps painting will go quicker. Babysteps.
  7. I got a wonderful thank you letter from one of the homeschool families that went with us to Brandon Spring. One of her lines was that is was "hard to leave there and she could not narrow down what her favorite thing was and she really wants to go back". I can ditto that. My big girls are going to an area conservation camp this year and I will be interested to see how it stacks up. Erik and I both went when we were kids and loved it.
  8. I CAN'T BELIEVE MAY IS ALMOST OVER!!! I hate how time seems to be stuck on fast forward. Summer comes and goes so quickly!! Boating season is here, I predict we will be on the lake as soon as hubby gets a day off! We would have already been, but it was cold and windy on his last day off. Windy days are torture on the water.
  9. If we don't pick strawberries soon, we are gonna miss them!! Maybe tomorrow. Also, our garden is doing very well and so far I am managing to keep it hoed. I am a very bad hoer. HEE HEE. Read that out loud and it's funny.

Well, I guess that is all the rambling I have for today. My girls were given a sewing machine and they are really enjoying it. We have two now, so no fighting. Lilly is wanting me to help her hand sew and despite my aversion to it, I shall help her do some sort of project. Oh boy, crafting day here we come. Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Primary Day!!

I am a bit distraught. I changed my voter registration to democrap so that I could vote in the primary. At the time, there were never Republican primaries. Now there are. No fair. I suppose I shall try to pick the "best democrat". That is an oxymoron if ever there was one!! (Joe Lieberman, you remain my one exception!!)

Don't forget to vote, especially if you disagree with me! Far be it from me to make all the decisions, democracy rules!

Because I love you, I am doing some investigating to see if this particular "job offer" is legit. Apparently, I need only to sign up, get my blog approved, and then post an advertisement to get paid a small amount per post advertising it. I hope it all works out because, as you well know, I spend alot of time blogging and reading blogs. Perhaps if it could bring in revenue here and there, Erik would not roll his eyes as much when he sees me blogging.

I promise you full disclosure and the first of that comes from the blog approval step. It takes about 2 days and then it took me about 4 days to work up the courage to write this post. I am leery of all things internet business related. We shall see if my fears are warranted.


Tales from the scales update~ +2

I blame it on the wonderful food at Brandon Springs and helping to celebrate my husband's birthday which involved eating large amounts of shrimp boil ingredients. Mostly the blame goes to myslef for not getting focused. The Weight Watchers binder is open as of today and I am tracking my points. I want a gold star next week.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, Darlin'!

42 years ago, something wonderful happened. You were born. I love you so much and I am so happy to have been able to enjoy about 14 of those years with you. I hope you have had a great day and it just gets better now that you are home reading this.

Enjoy eating your weight in shrimp!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Brandon Spring, you had me at "Hello"
I am back from Round two of Brandon Spring! It was just as awesome this time. A different group, but still a great adventure!! Look at all of those crawfish found in a very plain looking ordinary stream. It seemed like we would find nothing. As a child, I used to visit a stream with clean sparkling water like that, drink from it and pretend to be an Indian living in harmony with the land. So, stream strolling was an especially eye-opening experience for me.
The last picture was a beaver dam, at least the top of it. Of course we did not see any beaver. All wild life had cleared the entire area the moment our feet hit the beginning of the trail. We had fun though and the kids were very hypnotized and excited by the trail and everything Patrick had to share with us about both beavers and wildlife. Lindsey was our stream guide and she was great too. Great teachers, great times and the best part is, it totally counts as logged school hours. Home school flexibility, I love you.

The other moms and I also discovered that Brandon Spring has a fountain of youth. None of the employees look their age. We thought Patrick was early 20's, late 20's at the most. We asked him and he confessed, 33, dad of three boys. WOW! He is the male ranger in the group shot. One mom thought he was a student. Also, Lindsey (that I thought came right after high school dismissed) was a college graduate. I won't divulge her age, but she is older that 17. I should go back more often just to look younger.
Richard runs an awesome retreat center and has worked hard to find a staff that loves nature and loves kids (of all ages!). It really shows and our family has some mighty fine memories! Good times, good times. I surely hope my co-op will make Brandon a yearly event. I can't imagine not returning at least once a year!!
Now, true confession time-this was originally a girl scout trip. Our troop planned and voted on this activity as our grand finale. I just knew how they would love it. I looked forward to all the bonding they would do in the heart of nature. It ended up being a time of last minute scrambling getting friends and family to fill in the gaps that cancelling girl scouts left. IT was not an option to cancel the trip as staff had been hired, food had been purchased and we had given our word to be there. So, it was not at all the trip I thought it would be, but it was great fun anyway.
Also, it was my grand finale as a scout leader. I am happy that the scout chapter of my life is closed. It was a wonderful thing that enriched my life and the girls and I have made many wonderful friends. Girl Scouts, we bid you fond farewell. Live long and prosper. Keepers of the Faith, here we come.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Since my quiz ( ) , I have decided my quiz must have been too easy. My friend Stephanie made a 100 on my test while I scored a 30 on hers. Also, Sara D. made a 100. She is a counselor and apparently an excellent "listener". I fully expected that Erik had better make a 100. I don't see alot of other people with hundreds on their quiz result pages.

If you have not taken my quiz yet, please do-then tell me what name you used, I don't recognize some of those names!! It is fun even if you have to guess. Also, leave me a comment if you made one-cause I want to take it. Me and quizzes go back to high school when I took every magazine quiz that was ever printed.
Miserable Malady

I suffer from a horrible disease. It is common among homeschool moms. In fact, I can only think of one friend who does not suffer from it's clutches (you know who you are!). It is so invasive, taking over almost every nook and cranny of your life.

"Quick, tell me, what is this malady!", you say. Homeschool moms may be guessing self-doubt, but that is not the malady I am addressing today. The life changing/home altering disease I am dealing with this day is CURRICULUM ADDICTION. The dark, ugly secret of the homeschool community.

Hi, I am Janjanmom and I became a curriculum junkie as soon as I had a child in utero. I was obsessed with teaching my child every good and proper thing using books and learning toys. The obsession only intensified to the life altering level we are currently at when I started to homeschool my three children 2+ years ago. The biggest problem is that others have the same addiction and tend to place their "learning materials" in yard sales at ridiculously low prices forcing me to snarf them up like there is no tomorrow. Another culprit is the Rainbow resource catalog. Their gifted writers could make a rock from the driveway sound like such a wonderful teaching tool that you would be a fool not to purchase it. I have not ever actually purchased a rock, but I have bought many an item I did not want or need. (plus, shipping is free when you spend an absurd amount)

As I am continuing in my decluttering, I have reached the thing I have put off until last-curriculum. It is ugly. The scariest part of addiction is looking it in the face and saying, "NO!". And trying really hard to mean it! I will hopefully be organizing a curriculum sale soon and I can bless another family with items they WILL USE, not collect! I fancy that I will bless their school and their pocketbook with a much-discounted price! Hopefully, I will bless my own home and pocketbook by using the phrase I have heard all my life, "JUST SAY NO!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Talk Radio

I am a talk radio junkie. There are many reasons for this. The first reason is that we have a local news show that is top notch. Just the right blend of snarky sarcasm mixed with great news. That starts off my morning. Hats off to you, Dunk!! Then comes Glen Beck and even my girls know, that one gets turned off. He ain't usually fiitin' to listen too. He talks pretty off-color most of the day.

At 11, Rush saves the day. My husband can't stand him but I find him hilarious. He is full of satire and sarcasm. As I tell hubby, he is a "character". He pretends to be like that. I think in real life he is kind of like that-but he is a shocker on his show. That is his goal, to say it like no one else. I can usually only listen to him for an hour or so. Also, his profanity level is up so if he is too much of a potty-mouth, he gets turned off. Sean Hannity comes on from 2-5. I don't enjoy his show much. I listen from time to time, but he is basically Rush WITHOUT the punch.

Afte Sean comes the best of the best...The No-Spin Zone. Bill O'Reilley. He is my favorite and the one I listen too the least just because we don't listen to anything but each other during supper and TV usually wins after supper. I do love to hear Bill though. He starts off each show with "no-spin" news where he gives just the facts. As far as I know, this is the only place to get unbiased news. Now, after that, he is very biased and the rest of the show is straight Bill opinion. I love it because for the most part, Bill and I agree. He is looking out for me. I've read all his books and I hope he runs for president some day. He is rich as can be and I don't think he could be bought like so many other politicians. He also has the added bonus of being a christian. Come on Bill, be the prez!!

So this is my day, cleaning house, teaching kids and keeping up with the news via talk radio. Who could ask for anything more!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Official week 1 weight loss ~ unchanged

Today is weigh-in for the weight loss challenge. I mentioned last week that I had a 3 lb weight loss to energize me. Today, that is still all I have. Truth be told though, while I have certainly been much more dedicated to moving, I have not altered my eating one iota. The biscuits and gravy sitting on my tummy this moment are a reminder that my diet MUST be altered. The Weight Watcher's binder is out, now I just need to actually open it and start tracking my points. It is a delightful program and doesn't make you give up anything. I could even have a candy bar for breakfast if I want. It has way fewer points than the biscuits and gravy!! Curse you wonderful biscuit recipe!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Today we celebrate 13 years and it has been just like a roller coaster. We have had heart-pumping excitement and through it all you have been beside me all the way. We have taken turns getting squashed against the seat, me holding on with white knuckles, you sometimes being so brave you hold both hands up in the air.

Thank you for loving me and being patient while I "get my crap together". Thank you for also working on "getting your crap together" so I don't have inferiority issues!! I love you and can't imagine life without you. As frustrated as we make each other, there is a very strong bond of love holding it all together.

You are still Mr. Wonderful and I would do it all over again-but I am glad we don't have too.
Since I went to a whole lot of trouble to make this, it will get top billing for a while. Hopefully I will get sick of it before you do!!

I did this once before. It is a hoot!

It was fun and since Deana did, I made another one!!

Please take my quiz!! Then make one too!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Make sure you pee first!!

This is the best youtube EVAH!!

Happy Mother's Day!!
Happy Mother's Day!!

In celebration of this special day, there is something I must share. When I think of my "MOM" job, I am filled with guilt. I am not at all living up to the ideal I have in my brain. I wanted to be much more June Cleaver-ish. I would settle for just not yelling at my kids so much. I had an argument with my daughter yesterday over clothes. Not a justifiable one either. I chewed her out for wearing jeans this summer. I was so upset that she is wearing jeans all the time instead of shorts. The behavior does seem odd, but in regards to fights we COULD be having-I should be thanking God we are only arguing over such as this. (She wore shorts today and called it to my attention-can you say mommy guilt?)

So to have my own special day seems weird to me. I feel like such a failure in so many ways. When I was growing up, I never wanted to have children. When I was grown, I knew I was not "mommy" material. Now I see ways that I was wrong about that, and a few where I was right. Having children made me grow up in a way I did not anticipate. With the first child came a selflessness I could not have ever predicted. Love so strong, I worried over things that "could" happen. A protective instinct so strong, I know full well I could kill someone if they threatened my family or myself.

The mirror also came with my children. The one that shows your best and worst traits embodied in another individual and played out on the big screen called life (major high def!). Although the mirror catches glimpses of some really bad traits, what keeps me crawling out of bed in the morning are the glimses of good traits.

This morning, in true Mother's Day tradition, I was served breakfast in bed. Scrambled eggs and a banana. If we had some bread, I bet it would have been toast. Then I received a paper basket, 3 homemade cards, a dime wrapped up in a jean pocket from the craft drawer, a candle holder and this poem from Kayla:

by Kayla

A mom is someone who loves you,
A mom is someone who picks up
after you a lot without
complaining (sometimes),
A mom cares
A mom is charming and chatty
A mom is sweet and kind
A mom is great,
A mom knows people love her and
doesn't take advantage of it,
A mom loves back
A mom is wonderful
I love my mom

What can I say, my daughter loves the parentheses (she gets it honest). I laughed over that snarky bit of sarcasm in the parentheses to the point of crying and had trouble reading the rest. I love my Mother's Day presents. We don't take the kids to buy gifts because it is much more fun to see what they make us. I am rejoicing that Erika can now cook because cheerios sitting in milk while they get everything else ready taste AWFUL!! I'll take cool scrambled eggs any day of the week.

I may cry a little when everything is perfect and the gifts are better because I can't imagine better gifts than the ones I received today. I may not be the best mom in the world, but I am the best mom my kids have!! Hee hee!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Doin' a happy dance!!

Field day is over!! It was alot of fun and I am rejoicing in my soul that God held back the rain, gave us gorgeous weather and a great group of helping parents!! I LOVE my homeschool support group. It is fantabulosa.

We are returning the inflatables in about 15 minutes and that completes my responsibilities. Next project moving to the front burner. Some day I won't have four burners all full up. I will scrapbook then. ( ;
I am such a lemming!

However, this is one I really need to participate in. I have lost about 3 lbs in the last week but that is nothing in the big scheme of things. I think it is time to bring out the Weight Watchers binder and (gasp) maybe start some sort of movement every day.

Thanks Sandy, for blogging it to my attention. I wish us both success!! The gold stars make me want to.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Open mouth, insert foot...

My nephew's birthday party was this weekend. I had a great time, it was a fun party. Just before I left though, I managed to completely humiliate myself and make one of my sisters look really bad as well. Here is just an example of the wonderful communicator that I am.

Someone asked me how I ended up with all girls. I said, "I don't know, my sisters got all the boys except one who got one of each." HERE IS WHAT I SAID WITH BRILLIANCE "But she did two dads." Then I tried to recover with, "I mean, her first husband passed away." I just walked away hoping they knew what I meant. It was awful. I can't even tell my sister-although I know the sister that heard it probably already has!!

Those are some great words to leave with.

I believe that number is over 10,000. Wow. Sorry about that, obviously I can't read my numbers.

Today we have a day off from testing so we can have music recitals. Lilly has not been a very diligent student this year, so I am fully realizing that this recital may not go well. She just needs one on one attention, I think. Plus, our class is a "Mommy and me" and since I am soooooooooo musically illiterate, I know it holds her back. Every time I watch her or help her, I tell her something wrong and then go, "Oh wait, yes dear, you were doing it right." Even Erik who is VERY musically inclined has a little trouble because the chords are solfage (do re mi...) not lettered. He adapted pretty quick but doesn't really have loads of time to practice with her. It has been quite a challenge.

Have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Testing was interesting today. I was in charge of the youngest ones. They are all boys except Lilly. She was so funny trying to boss them all around and organize their playtime. They were so funny listening to her and then...doing what they were already doing. Yep, it is genetic. Boys don't wish to be bossed, who knew? I just brought them to my backyard so they could run around and burn off energy. They did.

Oh my word, my site meter is over 1000!!! Who knew I was so popular. Probably 500 of those are me. I should have filtered myself out of there, but I don't know how to do it now.

Peace out, dudarinos. Get lots of rest and eat healthy meals and snacks.

I felt I needed to post that somewhere since the schools always do. It makes no sense to me. I don't think I can drive by any quieter. The rebel in me does want to honk all the way by, but I am trying to be a good example to my children so I just do a quick honk...Heehee.

My kids are so excited. They have been up since 6:45 and asking, "When do we leave? What time? What is it going to be like?" Except Kayla, wo is saying things like, "Are we really doing CATS testing? Just like school? Will you and Dad really give us $50 if we get them all right?"

I am nervous. I know exactly how it must feel to have your job hanging on the performance of a kid's test. Totally unfair. My benefits package is at risk here. I may lose my tenure and be on academic probation. They may bump me down to teaching kindergarten.

Actually, I AM at risk for a good stern lecture which could prove to be very uncomfortable. It will be good to know our strengths and weaknesses, which is , after all, the reason for testing in the first place.

Answers to questions? We begin testing at 9:30. Each grade tests separately. It is the Stanford Aptitude test and the OLSAT. Yes, we will pay $50 for a test with all answers correct. And no, these test scores won't determine whether or not we homeschool next year, but they could influence some curriculum purchases! ( :

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ode to Mowing

I love to mow. I love the beautiful freshly mown(mowed?) grass. I love the way I am surrounded by brave robins and mockingbirds looking for bugs right where I have just been. I love the gorgeous straight rows of a fresh cut. I love smiling as I drive over a hole Tobilicious Toby or another before him dug. (Except that one hole that is big enough to lose a wheel in which I avoid.) I love singing "Another One Bites The Dust" in my head as I run over another toy. "Hey, I'm gonna get you too, heyaaaaaahheeyahheeeyahhey......" It is a good feeling. It will stay done much longer than the living room I slaved over all day yesterday which is already undone.

I love the roar of the mower which drowns out all else. I love the talks I have with God. I even love that I will come in to a fresh freckle or two on my face. I love that hubby mows the big hill that feels all wrong as you mow it. I also love that it is 3:18 and we are all done.

Now, to work on the garden. I love to till. I love to plant seeds into the soft soil and watch them sprout and grow.

God is good. Thank God I'm a country girl. Where's my Fiddle?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Quotable quote:

Lilly: "A married kiss is when you spit on someone and then smear it all around"

Dear Lord,
Please bless her future husband with the gift of patience.
Fun names...

Because I am organizing a whole bunch of people into a group activity, I thought it might be fun to share some of the Miss names I have been bantering about in my overloaded and under-rested brain. Please think of some more and leave them in the comments!

Miss Informed: Despite the lengths you went to including every single morsel of information, Miss Informed will immediately ask a question you answered in the first sentence of the email. (Heather, if the shoe fits wear it!! JK-you answered you own question and then blamed the fog on your kids-totally the right plan!)

Miss Correction: Immediately points out the seventeen misspellings and errors in your email. (However annoying this is-it is completely essential to get this feedback)

Miss Spoke: She will sign up with glee and then back out curtly and without explanation at some mysterious "wrong" done to her that had nothing to do with you, per se, just something she had to do-as a statement. (Seriously, delete and move on. Ask no questions or you WILL be sorry.)

Miss Butterfly: She is happy and jolly that you have organized and is an organizer in training. She will watch and study and work toward planning the next activity. (Praise the Lord for butterflies!)

Miss Moth: She used to be a butterfly until a group of people sucked all her pretty colors off. Now she suffers from a special sort of burn-out that won't allow her to even socialize with a group of people that might ask her to do something. (Sure, you just want me to sweep-that's how all of this got thing you know I am baking 12 dozen cookies and out $50.)

Miss Spider: She is camped out in her web...waiting. Stalking. She will spin her web of discontent and try to make everyone hate you, what you organized, and love her best. Miss Spider really wants to be a butterfly but hasn't learned how to play nice.

Miss Congeniality: If you are lucky, there will be 52 of these on your sign-up list. They don't want to organize and they never will, but they are willing to jump through hoops of fire to help you pull it off. Thankfully, most of the world falls into this category.

Miss Spaz: She will sign up for the most important item or job and then forget to come.(Or just not "feel" like it or it isn't sunny-seasonal disorder, you know!) Tis best to know who these people are and have a back-up plan. She may turn over a new leaf though-at any moment so give her room!

I have been all of these at one time in my life or another, except the moth. It is on my list of things to do. HEE HEE.

I love organizing. Stop sucking off my pretty colors you crazy people!!! ( :

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Why is marriage so stinkin' hard? Life flows along wonderfully until there is some conflict or other, then it is soooooo hard. I have been spending some time at the Marriage Builders website which is run by Dr. William Harley. He is great. Even he admits marriage counseling is the hardest counseling. It is because we are both right. We each believe our opinion is the right one. If he could only accept the rules.
1. I am always right.
2. If I am ever wrong, refer to rule number one.

I guess it is probably because he has the same rules.

Don't get me wrong here, hubby and I have a good marriage. We are very much in love and care a great deal about each other. We are committed to this roller coaster ride that is marriage. I just really prefer the peaks to the valleys. Don't you?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Someone posting a question about teachers on the church discussion board got me really thinking about some of my old teachers. I posted that my most influential teacher was Mr. Baker who was such a die-hard conservative republican that it made me angry. I was a liberal democrat and could not wait to be old enough to vote that way. I thought Kennedy was the best president ever, Lincoln was my next pick-but I overlooked his party. I can remember being so angry after Mr. Baker expressed with conviction that the only thing Kennedy ever did right was get assassinated at the right time. I was angry about that for a long time. Now, as I look at the messes he kept himself and this country in, there is some truth to that statement. Mr. Baker was a tough teacher. I never achieved an A in his class, mostly because I did not like History or World Civ. He did give me the correct interpretation that famous people are just that, people. Their lives were rocked with scandals and relationship problems, they just had to do it in the limelight.

So this of course, leads me to thinking of other teachers in my life that made a big impact on my life. Mr. Woods is the next most influential teacher I had, not because he was the smartest, best teacher-but he taught me that I was worthy of respect. All of his students were called Miss or Mr. whatever just like he was. He said he would treat us with the same respect we gave him. That was huge for a seventh grader. It was also ok for him to call me what he called my sister-brilliant strategy for as many siblings as he saw come through! He was such a nice man and he taught us Health and Science enduring many middle school giggles. We could tell that he was thoroughly embarrassed but he never lost his composure or dignity. I had him as an adviser for Industrial Arts club in high school (He gave me permission to be in the club despite not having a class-too funny-I was even an officer) and he was still the same way. He liked kids, cared about them. He listened. He was honest and quick to offer good sound advice.

Mrs. Watkins was another wonderful teacher. She gave me special permission to take Biology as a freshman (I was supposed to be in ICP-intro to Chemistry and Physics). She fostered a love of Biology in me. She was rather close to retirement and had been teaching the same things for many years. However, she was not stale at all. You could tell she loved it and it was infectious. She also challenged us as a class and planned many fun outings. One of those was going to St. Louis to a Chiropractor school to see a real-life cadaver. Fascinating. We were allowed to cut on it and it was dreadful to see a human in such a state. Harder still to know that this was a "street person" who had no relatives. This allowed him to be donated to science. When I think of the doctors he equipped for service though, I guess it makes for a useful life.

I had some really bad teachers as well. I won't mention their names. Many of my teachers never really cared alot on an individual basis. They sort of had a job to do and they did it. The ones that really were most impactful are the ones who took the time to care. To use teachable moments to develop character. There were a few of those. I was a certifiable teacher's pet so I can't recall ever having a teacher that did not love me. I guess I probably at least liked all of them as well. I am thankful for all of my teachers, good or bad, they taught me alot. One in particular taught me how important self-restraint is as she "lost" herself almost daily in class. One of my good friends told her off for being too emotional. He stared her down and told her he was done with her yelling and crying every day. Miraculously, she never took him to the principal and showed more composure from that day forward. (She was a drama teacher for goodness sake!)

I hope I am a good teacher to my kids. I hope I am a good teacher to the kids I come in contact with. I hope I care just enough and plant seeds that encourage learning. I hope I am an educational "flamethrower" fuleing a love of learning that lasts a lifetime. I plan to be tough and soft all at the same time.