Friday, May 30, 2008


Well, I managed to get all the stuff crossed off of my to-do list, get a last minute radical haircut, attend church with the fam, get a decent night of sleep, leave almost on time, pick-up the in-laws, kiss hubby good-bye-thank him for helping us load up the X-cargo snail topper on the van, and then make the 10+ hour drive in about 12 hours. (Need I say we took our sweet time?) Tonight is graduation-obviously the girls and I did not go. Alyssa's class has over 500. I love my niece-but holy mackerel that would be a long time. She did not seem to care that we were not attending. We will attend the party tomorrow and celebrate her there!!

Today I navigated a large city with some general directions and a map. That is amazing for me. We went to Chuck E. Cheese, Wal-mart (Aunt Flo decided to travel with me!! YEAH!), yard sales(I love yards sales in other towns!!), a park, a mall and the girls decided they did not wish to visit the local library. We scored a few bargains yard saling and we may go again in the morning depending on the weather. The highlight of the girl's day was when Aunt Marla brought them down a VERY special bag of goodies when she found out we were going to Chuck E. Cheese- a big bag full of saved tickets. There were over 1200 and we got a cool spiky ball and miscellaneous cheap and sundry "prizes". The girls were soooooo happy to get all those tickets and they love their new ball. Alyssa is also handing down her American Girl dolls and accessories-I don't even know how to thank them for that one!!! WOW.

My in-laws are so wonderful. I am always very quiet when people complain about their in-laws. Mine have always treated me wonderful!! They are not perfect-but they are pretty awesome. I am truly blessed to have such a loving extended family! I am also missing my Mr. Wonderful very much. The retelling of the family stories are not the same without him. Keep that house clean BABY!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Laundry Finished?

I went to the laundromat and I am amazed at how everything has changed and yet everything has stayed exactly the same since I went there as a young lady many years ago. The machines are exactly the same, at least they look it. They no longer take coins though. You have to rent a card and put money on it. The machines only take these cards. The kids were elated as there were very few people there and the attendant put the TV on DISNEY(my poor deprived children don't have that at home, we only have limited basic cable-about 14 channels). Another plus side is that I could still finish lots of laundry in under an hour which is a heck of a lot more than I can accomplish at home!! Except the one load that was left sopping wet and DIRTY in the washer. We took that one to my in-laws. I had consolidated all of my running and did not want to pack sopping wet clothes around. They were wonderful about it. Plus they are always caught up on laundry so it is not a problem.

So, all of our laundry is done-except for all the clothes we removed to change into pajamas. We WILL wear these pjs again tonight!!

Erik did lots of research last night and we believe a new washer is in order. Prices range from about $400-2000.

And oh what heights we'll hit, on with the show this is it!! (Sorry, I went all looney tunes for a minute.)

Life is better though for those of you worried about my fragile state of mind. The prayer group Sunday night really blessed my socks off and gave me the strength to limp through another week. Peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys.

This will be my last post for a while. Not sure if I will have blog time again for a few days. Miss me. Cry a little. Perhaps Erik will post while I am away?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wash No More

As I get all the loose ends tied up for a short trip the girls and I are taking, I discover the washer is broken. Now, I know I complain about laundry all the time but I am thankful to have the means to wash clothes. Two loads are left undone. I guess I will have a lengthy visit at my mom's today.

Just when I thought things were looking up! This too shall pass.

Erik will have a project to work on while we are gone.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

More God

Those of you who don't know Him or want to know Him can roll your eyes and skip on to the next blog if you wish. It's going to be one of THOSE posts.

The two things that most stand out to me from the prayer seminar are some wondrous and dynamic tidbits of information that came along just when I needed them. God's timing is always perfect. Here they are and why they are so powerful to me.

  • "Do not allow any apparent contradictory circumstance to detract you. If you do so, you miss the blessing." This concept knocked me on my rear, in a good way. The speaker then went on to elaborate how hard it must have been for Abraham to trust God-the promise of Isaac and the sacrifice that wasn't. The seemingly unnecessary years Joseph spent in prison. Thomas doubting Christ. All of those things were necessary for God to bless them in a mighty way. Why do we think our blessings should come at no personal cost or pain?
  • God MUST be invited into our lives to be in fellowship with us. Sure, he's always there and the Holy Spirit is indwelling within us-but for God to actively be in our lives and be involved, it requires an invitation from us. He stands at the door and knocks-we must invite Him in. I have been inviting like crazy. In fact, I have been boldly demanding things from Him-things like a prayer service tonight that would lift my head. He delivered and how. Abundant blessing and four friends who just became much better friends! The realization that I need to pray more with my friends also came. I used to do so very often but I let it fall away. (I missed you and thanked God for you Steph S.!! Our praying time together still blesses me.)
  • Praying with your spouse will lower yours odds of divorce to 1 chance in 1000. I want that kind of insurance. I want that kind of intimacy. I am praying it is a new habit I can start.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just for me...

We had a prayer workshop today at church that was the shortest 6 hours of my life. I swear God orchestrated the whole thing just for me. The speaker even said at one point that his heart felt very heavy for someone and I thought if he looked at me I would burst into tears and he would know. He didn't and I waited many times for him to be approachable, as in-not surrounded by people-but the moment never came. Tha's okay, his words were God's words and they were exactly what I needed to hear AND, knowing God, I wasn't the only one that felt like the whole thing was orchestrated for my benefit.

Maybe, just maybe I can emerge from the lowest part of the valley. Little by little, inch by inch.

Friday, May 23, 2008

It is amazing how close people can be in my life and yet still be so far away from the "real" me. I am a very closed person. People who know me well can now laugh hysterically. It is still true. I am so open about things-struggles, mistakes, decisions, big events, certainly my past-that people often feel I am an open book. The trouble is that there is alot of big stuff brewing just below the surface that never makes it out. I have friends I can count on one hand who know the REAL struggles of janjanmom. The struggles I can't talk about with anyone else. The struggles that are uniquely mine, not the ones that overlap with normal and abnormal family stuff(husband included).

All of this to say, I am in a valley. A very deep one right now made deeper by the normal crazy of my day to day life. As if being in a valley is not enough-I feel as far from God as a person can get and still be a believer. I'm very angry with Him. Sitting in church right now makes me feel as out of place as a goldfish in a sauna. Got a good scripture recommendation? I figure I will read some Psalms by David-he is my spiritual twin brother. And pray for me. This has been coming on for a long time and I fear it is here to stay for a long time. This does not mean I will be all mopey and depressed when you see me-that isn't my style. In fact, I'm really funny right now. Almost a laugh a minute. It's called a coping mechanism, I believe. That's what I'm doing, coping. I know this too shall pass. I hope it is soon too because valleys are so out of style in summer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Juggling It All...

...and not very well. I feel like a one-armed juggler in a 17 ring circus. I can't even keep up enough to move past one ring much less all the others. I feel discombobulated. (Oh how I love that word.) It fits me to a tee. I feel like our school year just did not end the way I wanted it too. I have decided just to let it go and we will do some brush-ups intermittently through the summer to keep their massive brains receptive. I have all my curriculum purchased for next year except the math, which is the most expensive. I also have to solidify exactly what literature I will be teaching but I will be doing that based on fiction books we will check out from the library.

So I feel very good about next year and a little out-of-joint with last year. Honestly though, I don't know any homeschoolers who finish out the year without a few regrets. There is just so much available to teach that we can never get through it all. I keep trying to remind myself that they don't do the WHOLE book in public school either.

I know my kids have had a good school year. They are smarter this year than last year. They are all doing very well and I need to swallow the guilt and be done already!! I feel better just writing this post. School year 2007-2008 is officially over. Now we are going to the library where my kids will want to read for fun the whole summer long. I am doing a good job. My kids are good enough, smart enough and doggone it, people like them.

PS-I fully realize I am not keeping up with blogging, reading blogs, or commenting. Be patient with me. Our May this year is insane and I am desperately treading water as I am way over my head. The holiday weekend will also be crazy and the end of May will feature some traveling here and there. It all makes for a crazy janjanmom!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Erik!!!

You are awesome and I love you. I hope you have had a wonderful day. You just keep improving with age like fine wine. Speaking of which, let's go enjoy your present. ( ;

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

" Please adopt me, janjanmom. You look so thin."

Look, Erika made me this snazzy collar. I feel pretty.

Belly rubs make me comatose.

Not Keeping?

Ha. Fat chance. Meet Daisy, the newest member of our family. If only she were not a perfect little lady. We went out and bought her a real collar after these photos-and a nice rawhide bone. Toby tolerates her well. She doesn't bother the cats at all. She loves to be petted. Loves children. She barked at strangers walking by with a mean bark we did not know she was capable of. She is also the softest dog ever. Plus, once the girls had painted her toenails hot pink, she was pretty much irresistible.

In other news, I could not bring myself to vote for Hilary OR Osama and was quite delighted to find John Edwards still on the ballot. He was the lesser of three evils so he got my vote. Yes, I am a registered democrat. Erik's dad said I threw my vote away. Most people just stayed home.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Homeschool Conference Review

Location: A+ Very easy drive, parking was good-even if I did bump a small pole trying to fit in a too small parking place. (Yes, I did move to a roomier spot.) The Nashville fairground was an excellent location, plenty of room. I do wish the workshops had a better location as they are just sort of sectioned off. This along with subjects focused on made me decide not to attend one.

Vendors: A+ One of the ladies with me remarked there were fewer vendors this year but I shopped all day to get to all of them. Everyone I was interested in visiting was in attendance plus a few more I was happy to meet.

Cost: C- It costs $15 for an out-of-stater to attend, $25 for in-staters-this is a pre-registration amount. The at-the-door price is more. In my opinion, this is too much money. We were not handed a bag of goodies as we came in-but we did notice them on our way out. The "goodies" consisted of literature and very few coupons. The door-prizes were very slim and the procedure for winning them was not explained at all. I would figure the vendors paid money to be there as well so it just seems like there should have been some nicer "goodies" in our bag and maybe even a nice tote to put them in.

Quality of Workshops: C- I fully realize how wrong it is to rate workshops even though I did not attend one. However, I was not even remotely tempted to attend a workshop because they were all speakers pushing a particular curriculum instead of just general homeschool issue speakers. I think most of the people attending the conference agreed because when I poked my head in a few times-the attendance was very poor.

OVERALL Conference GRADE: B- I would go again with a group of ladies to have a fun weekend of fellowship and shopping. I would not go for the purpose of buying curriculum. Most of my homeschool needs continue to be met by Rainbow Resources and I prefer shopping in my PJ's and having things delivered to standing in long lines and then lugging it around all day. The rainbow resources line was long most all day long and they ran out of things. It is one of the best places to buy curriculum second only to AMAZON.

Overall weekend trip with the girls grade? A++++++++++. I had so much fun shopping at the conference and at Opry Mills. I am not someone who enjoys shopping very much but I did come across some fantastic bargains (Many brand new things for a quarter!!!) that made my pulse quicken. The only thing that makes me more excited than a good yard sale is yard sale priced retail things. The fellowship was excellent. The hotel we stayed at was top-notch even if the hottub did close at 10PM. The only sour note was that Kathy's battery was dead when we got back to her car. However, Jenn's husband was very close and he came to rescue us all. We posed for pictures hoding jumper cables we could not use while we waited.

I probably will do something else to enjoy a weekend with friends besides this conference next year-but for my first homeschool conference-I declare it was very fun. I am very grateful to have gotten to tag along with my former co-op homies!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Bargains, walking, shopping, waiting in long lines, talking non-stop, driving, pictures...oh and a grand finale involving jumper cables (Sandy, God blessed you when I missed the exit, it would have meant more waiting for you until you got home!!). These are just some highlights of my weekend.

More later as I have hit the ground running since returning. We hosted care group, are planning to go to the movies later, Mom has a doctor appt. tomorrow and I am having my dad over tomorrow night to celebrate his birthday that I was out-of-town for. May is such a crazy month!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mr. Wonderful is Wonderful

BECAUSE...he is happy I am going to a homeschool conference with friends this weekend. There are a million reasons why I should not but he knows how long it has been since I had any "me time" so he is in favor. He is even excited we have a nice room (Sandy rocks!). I may not blog for a couple of days-or I might, I do like to journal EVERY day and feel a bit off when I don't.

He also took Lilly to the music store with him and they looked at a pink guitar. She was delighted to accompany him to his favorite music store. They are kindred spirits.

I just needed to post to tell you some more about the wonderfulness that is Erik.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby

Gotchu on my mi--iind. On this date 14 years ago, I walked down the aisle with my dear father to Mr. Wonderful. My own McDreamy. It was a wonderful day. He was so handsome in his tux. The most handsome man in the room. We stared into each other's eyes during our unity candle song-The Rose-the longest song in the world. We were both grinning from ear to ear. I'm sure my braces were shining from the light of the candles. I look back on my 22 year old self marrying that day and I chuckle a little. She had no idea what she was getting into. However, God is good and faithful. I married a man so opposite from me that it often makes me laugh out loud. The fact that we are so different has made our time together wonderful times of growth and ADVENTURE. We have both grown up alot and still have plenty of room to do more growing. We have both patiently tolerated those growing times and growing pains. I have all I could ever want in him. A great husband, father, provider and...more. We are not perfect-we are just perfect for each other. He has taught me the the meaning of unconditional love by showering me with it. I was a very slow learner in showering it on him-but I think I finally am making some progress.

Happy anniversary Erik!! I love you! Thank you for putting up with me for 14 years. Thank you for giving me stuff for the house instead of jewelry because you know me so well. Thank you for giving me hugs, kisses, and love without end amen. You are still my Mr. Wonderful.
Game Over?

If you know Erik and I at all, you will discover very quickly that we are overprotective. Erik is sooo much more so than I-but we both are. The funny thing about that photo is that only one child is wearing a life jacket. Now, in KY it is the law that all children are to wear a life jacket when in a boat or ON A DOCK if they are under the age of 16. We abide by this law completely. However, at the time of this photo, Kayla and Lilly were finished fishing and walking the dog around the grounds of the state park we were visiting. I had them run over and get in the picture and then they could go back to running the dog around on land.

So in this picture, two very protective parents are allowing two of their children on a dock without a lifejacket. One of them though is the golden child and completely safe. It just makes me laugh everytime I see it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Let the Game Begin...

Today we play a little game. Look at this picture and guess why it makes me laugh until my sides hurt.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Long Post
Our hero. This fish waited for at least 30 minutes for Dad to finish getting the boat back on the trailer and return to our dock. We took turns holding the pole with the fish on it until Dad could take it off the hook. I feel certain that Erika will be able to take it off the hook now that she has been instructed. If I had had my fish glove and the tackle box I would have taken it off. Hubby did not leave us the tackle box or any supplies because...well we usually don't catch anything.

Don't I look fetching? My big catch of the day. It was a "bait fish". Not good for eating or impressing anyone. Erik said it was very slimy. It was a fun catch though-very spunky.
Erika's big black crappie. These are wonderful fish to eat-if you catch more than one. Our total catch was a very small bass, my nasty fish and this large crappie. We gave it away to some other fishers who also caught one large crappie. Hopefully they were able to make them for dinner-there were only two of them, so they each had a fish.
If you come across the most pitiful looking dog in the middle of a deserted country road...keep driving. Certainly do not stop your van, allow your three squealing girls to call said dog up into the van. You will spend the entire car ride home assuring them they cannot keep the dog. They will spend the entire car ride home deciding on the perfect name-Daisy(?). We are trying to find the dog a home. In the meantime though, three little girls spend all of their free time making sure she feels very loved. Her feet are bigger than mine. So is her appetite.

In other news:

  • Mother's Day was great. We celebrated for two days. Erik took the girls Saturday afternoon to buy me some candles I've been needing for the living room. I needed 3- just the right number. They tied little branches and embellishments on them which is perfect as these are for decoration only. Erik will hopefully sprng for curtains in the living room as my "real" present later. I spent Saturday delivering corsages and flowers to mother's and grandma. Saturday night we had Erik's parents over for supper and had a wonderful visit. Sunday, Erika made Erik and I breakfast in bed-a tradition for Mother's day. It was delicious. She made egg puffs-essentially scrambled eggs baked in muffin tins. She added asparagus, green peppers and cheese. We have endured many years of extemely soggy cereal before we worked up to this-actual yummy breakfast. YES, we did eat the soggy cereal. You can't crush the service of a child no matter how gross the cereal. Then at church I watched my oldest child do puppets for the littlest kids. She does a great job. I'm sure the sermon was great-but I was glad I decided to catch the puppet show for preschool instead. After church we took lunch to Erik's grandma and visited there with his parents again and also his Uncle Jerry, Aunt Judy and cousin, David. Then we went to my Mom's so I could change her dressing and plant the flowers and bushes she had gotten for Mother's Day. Then all the kids piled in the play room watching cartoons while the grown-ups watched and heckled "Castaway". The hardest movies in the world to watch. Although heckling it was quite fun. We came home to a house still clean from Saturday and vegged. It was a great day.
  • Friday we had our last keepers meeting and to quote my children, "It was the best meeting ever." The mom that hosted has a beautiful 73 acre spread including a lake, a disc swing that swung over that lake, Llamas and chickens, and a playhouse. We missed Mia and her family very much-but it was still wonderful fun and no one wanted to leave when the meeting as over. It is too bad this club didn't have the right chemistry. As a whole, we had an awesome year of really great meetings.
  • Last Wednesday we went to our local newspaper for a tour of their facility. It was neat to see the place but our tour guide did not seem to enjoy children or giving tours. There was nothing hands-on and we heard very little of what she said because she talked so quiet and we were such a large group. My kids were not engaged and I was annoyed by that. I was also annoyed that everything I learned in high school and college about newspaper is obsolete. Apparently no one uses a light table for lay-out anymore. I was THE border person in high school so it pains me a little. D**n computers. Hee hee. Oh the times, they are a changin'.
  • Today our homeschool support group has a day meeting at the park. If my kids can behave themselves-we will be going. Now that they are each in their rooms, there is a chance we may attend. I hope everyone comes-it will be a great day weatherwise!!
  • I have now lost 15 lbs. This is not a diet, it is forever. One week of that I not only did not lose-but I gained a pound. Overall though-it is working and it is very easy because I don't crave sweets and carbs all the time. There are times though, when the habit of eating is so strong I struggle. Like while watching a movie. Or hanging out with people after a big meal when everbody is still munching. Not having the cravings makes it possible to rationalize not eating when everyone else is. Oh and the fact that I truly am not hungry. I was always hungry before-my brain was stuck on "I'm hungry" 24-7. The book is The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet by Dr. Rachel Heller and Dr. Richard Heller. I have seen them at yard sales and thrift stores for almost nothing. I believe it was an Oprah book. The amazon link shows them for as cheap as a penny.
  • Pay-per-post rejected my post. I fixed their link which did not link. This made it a reject. Of course their provided link does not work on my blog-so they are dead to me. I don't have the time or knowledge to make it work. It took me about three hours to do all I was supposed to do and then the post was rejected. Some of you might have an easier time doing it but I decided it just wasn't worth it. The emotional satisfaction of blogging will just have to be enough. If you have found a good way to earn revenue on your blog-share with me please!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Miss Me?

I miss posting, but there are a hundred million things keeping me from blogging.

One of those things is a beautiful black lab named Daisy-she has inspired a new motto in my head, "KEEP DRIVING".

Mostly though it is because it is Mother's Day weekend and that spells busy. I will catch you up on life as I know it soon.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I'm BACK!!!

Hula girl gave me this award. The people I am passing it on to are some major soul sisters for me. They are real life friends. We go to church together and I get to see them often. They almost know me as well as I know myself and yet they still continue to talk to me and bestow their gift of friendship upon me. (Mia, you would have been in there but Hula got you.) They hug me when it's been a tough week. We don't have to lay all of the groundwork of a conversation-we can just jump right in there. Thanks, Ladies. I am blessed to have such excellent friends.

Sara M. Steph R. Sandy

I would also be remiss if I did not bestow some long distance friends with this award. They are soul sisters of another variety-they give me cyberhugs which are not the real thing-but close!

Steph S. Jacinda Summer JettyBetty (AKA-Hawaiian Honey)

Really, every blog I read deserves this award and I feel like I should link all the blogs I read. But then you would know how many blogs I follow now thanks to the magic of google reader and that would just be embarrassing!! Just know-if I read you, and I comment when I read-not often but enough for you to know I am out there-you definitely made the excellent cut in my book.
Corny Post

We got fresh sweet corn with our veggie co-op yesterday. It is the most awesome sweet corn evah!! Corn is one of my most favorite things. I froze two bags of it to enjoy on other days. I plan to buy a whole crate of it for myself in the next day or two. I want to freeze alot more of it. We have planted some in our garden but our gardening skills don't always live up to their full potential. ( ;

I am also excited about the eventual homegrown tomatoes-but that is way far off for now! I like a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich better than almost any other sandwich. YUM.

So I'm just wondering...what is the summer vegetable that you most look forward to??

PS-yesterday was an exhausting full day 8AM-4PM with my mom, but it went very well. My tongue is really sore because I bit it so often-but the victory is that I did bite it alot instead of trying to "FIX" her.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Gong Show

Today, I will spend an entire day with my mother. God is really using my times with my mom to grow me up. I have spent an entire life studying this scripture without really getting it:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

I get it, slowly, finally. Stubbornly. I do place principles over people. I want things to be right. I want my mom to make the changes she needs to make to take good care of herself. Is that wrong? No. But it is wrong to always be trying to fix her. At some point we have to accept those we love-even their flaws. At some point "fixing" them is not an option. It never works anyway. I can't fix other people. It makes me a gong show. Please pray that I can make these changes starting today. I want to enjoy the time I have left with my mother. It is truly a blessing, I don't want to waste that blessing time gonging.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shhh! Testing.

Something about seeing those signs just makes me want to squeal my tires and honk the horn.

Do you think I may have a problem with authority?

Monday, May 05, 2008


In the past 24 hours I have:
  • done laundry(only 2 loads though and the second is still in the dryer)
  • push mowed a different part of the yard(it's finished now)
  • almost finished a book
  • had 2 showers
  • heard a "Who"
  • slept in
  • took part in our first boat ride of the season
  • played with minnows
  • laughed at our dog playing with minnows
  • marveled at how much more the kids enjoy minnows than fishing
  • marveled at how much fun minnows are
  • caught a fish
  • watched my daughter catch two
  • had one get away
  • hubby had one get away
  • kept up with a dog on a boat ride and while fishing on a dock
  • had grilled pork chops for a very late supper
  • tried to finish a book that won't end.

TMI-I have also yearned with every fiber of my being for something more absorbent than super plus.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Such a casual word these days. People bat it around like a kitten with a little ball of yarn. Believing it to be harmless. The KEY to a better life. A new and improved beginning. I have a friend batting it about right now-she may even read this blog. I hope she reads this post.

I have never known anyone who looked back at hard tumultuous years of marriage and been sorry they stuck it out.

I have known lots of people who looked back from the other side of divorce and wished they had stuck it out instead.

Now, don't misunderstand me, I do not believe divorce is an unforgivable sin. I'm not condemning you if you are divorced. There are many cases where there is no other answer. There are cases where people are young and stupid and make mistakes they regret-marriages and divorces. There are people who are better off after divorce (eventually) but it ALWAYS comes at a price. Most divorced people are emotionally traumatized in a way they had not foreseen. It defines you in a way you had not expected. Even people who ARE better off, people who moved on to have glorious lives with wonderful second spouses do not escape the pain or scars. It is like grieving a death-but the person lives on.

The bottom line is that a marriage is more than a commitment to your spouse-God joins people together and when children are involved, that union becomes even more solidified-those bonds are never broken, even after the divorce is final. Only a very few are able to move on as mature adults and nurture those children together, yet separately. Most people cannot take the road of esteeming highly the "ex" where their children are concerned. This is a devastating blow to the children because, after all, this other person is a part of them in a very huge way. The more they hate and resent that other parent, the more they hate and resent at least half of themselves.

There is nothing more under attack by the evil one than marriages and intact families. Satan's plan is to attack, divide and destroy. Your spouse is NOT the enemy. You are on the same team and it is critical that you be a help-meet to him and he to you.

The best way to change your marriage is to change yourself. If you have SERIOUS marriage problems, there is probably a charity out there with your problem as its title. They will probably support and counsel YOU for free. Or, there is probably someone in your church who has been right where you are (or at least in the neighborhood) who can be your light at the end of the tunnel(it isn't always a train!). Changing yourself doesn't seem like it will help at all-but I can assure you, from personal experience-it changes everything for the better. And sometimes, the assurance you give your spouse that you are there-for better or worse-is just exactly what they needed to realize how good it feels to be loved and often gives them the courage to also change. It doesn't neccessarily change the circumstances, but it deepens the love and commitment so much that the circumstances will take a backseat.

Eliminate the "D" word from your vocabulary and focus on the "M" word by bringing back some good old fashioned "Love one another!" Making it to the other side of BIG problems will bond you like nothing else.

My darling hubby and I are looking at 14 years of marriage this month. There are many who did not think we would make it past one. We've seen marriages we thought were better and stronger come apart at the seams. We don't kid ourselves that it has been easy. Or that it will ever become easy. But we do agree that it is worth every struggle, every tear, every fight, and every making-up. Marriage is worth the work.

You know who you are-I'm praying for you!
I'm a Postie!!

**hopefully I can get these codes figured out soon!!Nevermind-I think they are right now!!**
I did it!! Proving that any one of you can do it to as your computer knowledge far exceeds mine!!

I've often thought that since I spend so much time blogging and keeping up with my favorite blogs-I should do a little something to make money at it. Then I go to an ad page site and freak out a little. Then I decide nevermind. So I go to pay per post and read about them. It seems legitimate. It seems like I can pick and choose things that interest me-and hopefully will interest you as well. The criteria is very straightforward. It seems fairly easy to do and I can do it as frequently or infrequently as I would like.

I am providing you with the link and therefore the opportunity as well. You can wait if you want and let me be your guinea pig, I don't mind. I will absolutely let you know how it turns out but I think it is going to be a very worthwhile thing. My service so far has been very prompt and friendly.

Here is how it works. You click this link and submit your information. Then you wait for your blog to be approved. The approval process is very quick. The website has several pages of advertising opportunities. You just click the ones you want to do and write your post according to the criteria.

I promise to let you know exactly how things turn out. I highly recommend going ahead and getting your blog approved though if you are interested.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Say Something Saturday

If only I hadn't slept in today. If I'd gotten up early instead, then missing most of the yard sales and bargains wouldn't have happened.

Our day today:
Sleeping in for me, cartoons for the kids
Housework-very light but neccessary
Birthday Party
Dressing change for Mom
Lilly spendng the night with her cousin
A very brief trip to the mall-no purchases
Sam's club visit
Kroger visit

Tomorrow is as full as a tick on a hound dog too. The family will be splintered in 4 different directions. Wowee what a weekend!!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Oh Bother

I push-mowed our yard yesterday. This was because our riding mower did a smoke and mirrors act,well, minus the mirrors. I made the call that it probably wasn't a good idea to continue mowing with that much smoke coming out of it. Then, I had a flashback to our old neighbor, Fred. Fred past away a few years ago. He survived a horrible car crash that would have killed most people only to then die from pneumonia before ever leaving the hospital. Fred was a typical old man in that he was nosy as could be, and yet kept pretty much to himself. He was a good neighbor to have. Quirky, but very kind and so was his wife.

So yesterday I was remembering the last time we had serious lawn-mower breakdown troubles. Erik and I had gotten the whole ginormous yard mowed except one very large square. I was trying to finish it our with our pushmower but night was quickly approaching. Two neighbors, Keith and Fred came over on their mowers(they had just finished their own mowing) and wrapped up our mowing in less than 10 minutes. It was an awesome neighborly moment. We were humbled and felt ushered into our new community with love only neighbors can show you.

Alas, there were no neighbors yesterday, as I was mowing in the daytime and all were at work-but it made me smile and spurred me on to think of Fred and the fact that if he could have, he would have rode over and helped. Maybe he was responsible for the perfect breeze that blew all day and kept me from being even the slightest bit hot despite the strong sunshiney day, you never know.

So anyway, that got me thinking about the fact that I just don't like to ask for help. I would not have asked Keith and Fred to help us mow-they just came over and did that day, years ago. AND yesterday? I did not run in and call on any of the people I KNOW would have loaned me their mower. I just made do. It was harder and took a loooong time, but it didn't bother anyone. I don't mind being bothered-I love to help and usually do so anytime I am asked, but to actually solicit help seems really uncomfortable.

Why is that? Reading Testosterhome's post (that I will link below) made me stop and ponder this a bit more. Am I missing out on some of the best blessings of friendship by being too independent? Go here and read and let me know how you are and what you think about the whole "bother" situation.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bar Stool Economics

This came in my in-box and I had to post it because most Americans just don't get it!! Please post it on your blog as well.

"Best explanation to share with some of your friends, who clearly do notunderstand this complex principle.

Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beers and the bill for all tencomes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would gosomething like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with thearrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve."Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce thecost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could theydivide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted thatfrom everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each endup being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested a plan to reduce each man's bill, and he worked out the amounts each should pay.And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Note that the tenth man got the smallest percentage reduction and now paid 61.25% of the total bill, where he previously paid 59% of the bill.

While I'm struggling to remain in the middle class with today's soaring energy prices, I realize that I am better off than a lot of folks. I also understand that without the economic opportunity that comes with the investment of the rich people far outweighs the supposed unfair tax breaks they get. Read on. This is where it gets good. Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to comparetheir savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20 declared the sixth man. He pointed tothe tenth man, "but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too.It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when Igot only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible."

AND, this little email doesn't even get into the penalties rich singles or rich married couples without children face!! But we still hang onto our mentality of, "Who cares, they are rich and I'm not." Some people never even stop to consider the fact that rich people generally work hard to become rich. Sure there are examples of people who don't-all over Hollywood, but we would much rather boycott Walmart than the movies.

The fair tax system would help our contry so much and not effect most of us a penny. Study up on it folks!! The people interested in wealth redistribution(Give us your money and we will spread it around to help the poor and programs we want to help.) are killing this country!!
The pictures are taken.

The tests are finished and graded.

Portfolios are completed and handed back.

Grades are averaged and reports cards finished.

Last night, our entire co-op(minus two part-timers who did not make co-op the priority they should have-heehee) skipped church (and ironically the blessing, as we are a Christian co-op) and headed to a local pizza joint to celebrate together the end of the year. Normally this co-op concludes with an elaborate banquet or some other grand finale, but this year we had no energy left for anything more than a nice meal together that someone else cooked. Plus the Passover Seder that we did after spring semester was enough for the year!!(It WAS AWESOME, but also long and required alot of work and planning!)

So last night we visited, laughed, ate lots of pizza, pasta and salad and then presented each child with his/her report card. It was so much fun. Oh and in between the two things there was much token buying, game playing and dorky prizes including some excellent disappearing ink.

It was a fun night and we all enjoyed it very much knowing that our co-op responsibilities are complete. It was bittersweet for us as we are not coming back, but they will still be there if after our year off if I find I just can't cope on my own. (So many people doubt my ability to homeschool my children without co-op. IT makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside-NOT) Monday, we start Mom's fun school to finish up the year where we catch up on many things but mostly focused on math, Bible and grammar.