Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Last year I posted a big post all about claiming Halloween for God. It went into great detail about not hiding in your house and making it the devil's holiday. I still subscribe to that philosophy, so we will be painting the town orange and black tonight! The big girls are going to a halloween party slumber party so we will be down to only one That will be an interesting change of events.

Today, we will be going to pick up our girl pets from the vet. All fixed and happy. I might also go and buy some food today as our cupboards are bare...or we could just live on candy for a few days...hmmmm...thinking...I guess we should go and buy food.

Sorry, not much exciting to post today. I leave you with this quote from one of the greats:

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Totally Random

  • My grandma told me she got pregnant on her honeymoon. She said no one truly believed it, but it was the truth. I believe her, why would she lie to a little kid when she was very old? It happens, people sometimes get pregnant very soon after they are married, even on their honeymoons.
  • When I was 14, I rode my bike endless miles. When I was fifteen, I was still a bikeriding fool. I went everywhere on my bike and loved it. When I turned sixteen, as soon as I had my permit-the whole bike thing was dead to me. I have enormous calves and thighs as a result of those bike rides.
  • My favorite color is red and it has been since about 5th grade. In 4th and 5th grade, my favorite color(along with every other girl my age)was purple. Hello Kitty, Rainbow Brite, and Strawberry Shortcake were very popular as well! Anyway, back to red, I love it. True love forever.
  • Halloween has turned into a huge event. What happened to it just being one night of eating candy until your stomach hurt?? Now you have to pace yourself for the whole week before. My kids love planning their Halloween costumes. They plan almost all year long. Erika had all the stuff to be the Joker for Halloween. Then she saw the movie and did not want to be him anymore. That made Erik and I very proud. She has planned to be a dead cheerleader instead. (Exit pride.)
  • Tomorrow, the three remaining female pets in our house that could have offspring will be getting that taken care of. It will cost an arm and a leg but totally worth it for peace of mind!!
  • I love to drink coffee, but at night not in the morning. It is a comfort drink for me more than a jolt to wake me up. What does that say about me?? I don't really love it in the morning-I drink it if it is there but it is not a must have.

What an offbeat post. Hope you liked it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


When I think back to my high school years, mostly one thing springs to mind. What did I want to be when I grew up? It was the most pressing question ever. It was everywhere I went, everyone I talked to wanted to know. Some folks could have cared less but they still asked even if it was just to make conversation. By the time I was a senior in high school, my whole life was mapped out. I had been planning since middle school. I had won several scholarships, but not enough to attend the four year college I wanted to go to. Financial aid was different back then so I got the bright idea of moving out on my own, which would qualify me for grants. I moved out, got the grants and fell into plans to become a nurse. My journalism career plans died when the four year college plans had to be put on hold. Nursing looked great to me because it was only two years and the hospitals seemed to all have shortages so the job outlook was sweet. Never mind that I was not quite "nurse material". I was mostly only "party girl material" since moving out on my own. Pretty soon, I was making all sorts of wrong choices and derailing my life.

Unfortunately, I had no one in my life who mentored me. My parents just were not and are not THOSE parents. I had no one to encourage me to make wise decisions. So I got caught up in a whole bunch of bad ones. However, God was looking out for me. He had plans for me. Plans that had never crossed my mind. Plans for a life I did not even have a frame of reference for. Plans that would utilize all the lessons I had learned from unfortunate circumstances. He used my mistakes to train and equip me for the job that suited me best.

It's amazing really, that I would end up a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. It shocks me and yet at the same time, I can't hink of anything I am more equipped for. Not having a role model growing up has made it challenging and there are days (like today!!) where I just don't think I can make it. However, I know this was the plan for me. I also don't think this is it. I think God has other plans for me and it makes me very excited to think about the years to come.

I just wish someone would have explained to me when I was in high school the following: When you grow up and become an adult, it is much more important what kind of person you are than what you do for a living. You will make mistakes and pay ALOT of "stupid tax"(A Dave Ramsey-ism). You will eventually fall in love and want to spend your life with someone. This is a gift from God and together you will find a way to support yourselves and your family if you choose to have one. You can continue to learn, better yourself, and make more money. However, a person without character will never be "successful" even with all the degrees and money in the world.

I'm glad God was working on my character while I was working on...well alot of things I shouldn't have been working on! I could fill a dump truck with the mistakes I have made, but the lessons I have learned are priceless. I hope my children grow up with plans to make a life for themselves and not just plans on how to make a living.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Newlyweds-Jason & Brittany

The Family

Elizabethtown, IL...Be still my heart!!!

Camel Rock at Garden of the Gods (IL not CO)

Today we skipped out of church early so we could take our annual daytrip for fall. We love to go to Garden of the Gods and climb on the rocks and see the awesome scenery. It was as perfect as always!! I love fall and this yearly trek always makes me really happy. We did something a bit odd this year. Despite the fact that we have been going to this place since before we had children, today we missed a turn and ended up in the coolest town ever-Elizabethtown, IL. I loved it. It had me at hello. It is right on the river and there are two bed and breakfasts with spectacular views. We will return...and hopefully without our darling offspring. We sat in the gazebo and watched boats going by. Gorgeous.

After my heart was full of fall and water scenery, we hurried back to hometown to attend the wedding reception of my nephew, Jason and his bride Brittany. It was really sweet to celebrate their marriage with them. They eloped to a little chapel in Gatlinburg on Oct. 15th. They have been together longer than Erik and I so it wasn't a big surprise. A little great nephew/niece on the way prompted them to move beyond "common law" and REALLY get married. I just got through looking at their wedding pictures online and trying to narrow down the ones I want. I just love weddings. New beginnings. I love new beginnings.

Our children are very upset to have missed our church's Halloween bash but someday they will discover you really can't do it all and weddings celebrations trump Halloween bashes. However, they don't really get that now. I had thought we could maybe just go late. I even changed clothes to go and sat on the couch for a minute and then it hit me...I was tired. Very tired and thankful I had not told them I was thinking about going late.

It just wasn't meant to be for us this year and tomorrow we have a big visit to the toenail doc with my mom and stepdad. That should put everyone in a sunshiney mood!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Book Reviews

I have built some quiet time into our school day here and there for reading. I love this and I read as well. I want my children to love reading. An education never ends as long as there are books to be read!! So here are the books I have read lately and also books we have listened to on CD.

Stand Tall by Joan Bauer (audio cd with the kids)
Excellent book. Covers everything from pets to veterans. Perfect for the child who is taller than peers, or different in any way from their peers.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
This book is a very gripping book. It grips your heart and sends your emotions on a roller coaster ride. I loved it.

Something Blue by Emily Giffin
Contiunues the story of Something Borrowed and is a great story of how people can and do change. I loved it as well and can't wait to finish the series!!

A Can Of Peas by Traci DePree
AND THEN Dandelions in a Jelly Jar,
AND THEN Aprons on a Clothesline
This book I grabbed because the title was so goofy. It ends up being a Christian story that has two more in the series. I am on the third one now. It is such a nice story about farming and the little things God does to grow us in His grace. I really liked them all alot.

We are currently listening to The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien on CD.

I am also listening to The Power of Simple Prayer by Joyce Myer. It is great and I highly recommend it to anyone who struggles with their prayer life and also those who are legalistic about their prayer/Bible study life.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grammar Nerd

I don't know where it comes from, my nerd-dom. Neither of my parents loved school or really even liked school. However, I must confess, I loved school. With my whole heart. I still love school-y things. Mostly though, I love language arts, emphasis on grammar. There was a time when I could tell you anything you wanted to know about grammar. Dangling participles, irregular verbs, gerunds, and all manner of strange terms were my specialty. So now it is VERY important to me that my children at least have the knowledge of correct grammar and sentence structure. (By the way, I do not claim the grammar excellence I once had-give me a couple more years teaching my kiddos grammar. "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was." Thank you, Toby Keith)

I have searched high and low for language arts programs that fit the bill. Shurley English is the best thing I have found on the market, HOWEVER, my middle school children hate it. Despise it. Groan when I haul the books out. It all stems from the jingles-silly songs to plant the concept in your brain. Jingles make Erika and Kayla remember how much they loved Barney and they die a little inside. (It should be noted here that Lilly and I love to sing goofy little jingles adding to the groans.) Easy Grammar/Daily Grams are another popular program-but I don't care for them. Easy Grammar has too much work and Daily Grams are best as a review/supplement. I know they are designed to work together but who wants THAT much grammar in one day or week!!

So now that mid-October is here, I have decided to make a change. I was inspired by a CD I listened to from a homeschool conference. The speaker stated that one should spend money on the subjects she/he is weak in and be ecclectic with your strong subjects. Essentially stating that you can design your own curriculum in the subjects you are strong in. So, I have spent about 5 hours already working toward that end.

I have had so much fun planning it out and getting things together. It has been a shot in the arm for a chick going through the doldrums of mid-semester blahs. Please leave me a comment with your favorite language arts link if you have one. Here are a few of mine:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No Longer Spittin'...

Now I am just mad. Where is the responsibility in this country?? I am responsible for the decisions I make, good or bad. Let's say I allot myself $50(Just an example...that is not in OUR budget!!) for eating out this week. At the beginning of the week I got to a fancy Japanese restaurant and spend $40. Now I only have $10 left to get me through the week. Let's go even further and say that $50 is all I have for my lunches each day that I work. What now? That was Monday and I have 4 more days to go. What if on Tuesday I spend $8 on my lunch. Now I am down to $2 for Wed, Thurs, and Fri. I manage to eat for $2 on Wed. but now I have no more money. What do I do?? Use a credit card? Borrow from a friend? Freeload off of family with more money? Beg from strangers? Fast for three days to teach me a lesson? The responsibility is on me. I made a poor choice and I must learn a lesson or continue to suffer every week.

I learned this lesson pretty early in my life. I moved out on my own at 18 and moved back home broke and in debt a couple years later. I freeloaded off of my family most of the time for food. I learned some lessons(mostly though I waited until later and learned with my darling hubby about finances from Dave Ramsey) about living within my means and also about getting better paying jobs. I never had a degree to shop with but I was still able to secure a job making very good money waitressing and then working in bank processing. The bank processing job was horrible hours but I had a decent job with benefits. It was perfect to work around my schedule at the local community college where I was working toward a degree in communications (after two wasted years pursuing a nursing degree that I decided I no longer wished to get).

I came from a dirt poor family. At one point after my parents first divorced, our family consisted of a mom working as a nurse aid for minimum wage supporting 4 girls(2 TEENS, one elementary aged and one preschooler). My father paid $80 per week child support, unless he was laid off. He had a great job and chose voluntary lay-offs most of the time and then only had to pay $40 per week. The only program my mom accepted was REDUCED(I am sure we qualified for free) lunches. We had less than nothing and I can remember days when there was very little to eat. My mom learned the art of frugal. We had grandparents who put out a huge garden(they didn't need it!) and we picked and froze vegetables. I was raised on beans and potatoes, potatoes and beans. That got us through. 2 years later my mom remarried and we were suddenly bumped up from below poverty to lower middle class where I remained until I moved out at 18 and discovered poverty again. ( ;

We all start out on a pretty level playing field here in America. We choose to do well in school-for some that comes easier, or we choose to not do well in school. After school we choose to go to college, vocational school or begin training in a vocation not requiring school. Sometimes we choose a path of an entry level job (minimum wage). Whatever our choice, it is one we have to live with. After that, we choose our spouse. We have the option to choose someone frugal, someone who is a big spender, or something in-between.

I do not consider my life cushy. My husband works VERY hard at a job people consider cushy but it isn't. The post office hires people off the street as casuals-no test required-and they often quit after one day. Not only does he walk all day but he carries at least a 50 lb mail bag. He is proud of his job and we make alot of sacrifices to live on one income. I would consider us middle middle class. Through careful planning and frugal living we are able to save money and plan for life. My kids don't eat junk food because it isn't worth the price. As we collected food for a food drive the other day, one of my children commented, "These people are eating better than we are." There was some truth to that. We hardly ever have prepackaged snacks, not because they cost alot, mostly because I don't see that as "better". Of course my kids do, but when they are grown I hope they will appreciate being fed an apple instead of a package of fruit snacks.

The government does not have the responsibility of feeding, clothing, bailing out it citizens from debt. Social programs(and more importantly the dependence on social programs) have been the demise of this country. We are not a socialist country. We seem to be trying to be-but we aren't. When the government comes in and tries to "FIX" people's lives, it creates a false sense of "RESCUE" and causes a breakdown in communities and churches where charity and goodwill should be.

I am all for charity...I just don't think it should come from the government.

PS.-Welcome Jon, I am so happy to have you as a reader!!

PSS>Mia is one of the thriftiest women I know. She won't be waiting around for that economic stimulus check-BUT, if she gets it she will make it go farther than anyone I know. She inspires me to be a better steward and appreciates every blessing that comes her way!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spitting Mad!!

I am spitting mad that there might be another mail-out of checks!! Disguised as economic stimulus. Our family received the last one and this is not something we needed or wanted. It did not work, so what have the politicians decided????? It did not work so we should do it again. What a crock of bull. I am soooooooooo sick of this. Hand-outs don't help anyone EVER. If people are struggling with money they should work more and spend less. That is what we do. We certainly don't sit back and wait for the calvary. It isn't coming. The calvary is within us. We are blessed to live in the most prosperous country in the world. A country where the opportunities for success are EVERYWHERE. All that is required is the ability and desire to work.

***edited to add...I was not criticizing current government programs, I think they have been designed to be more of a hand-up than a hand out. Of course there are people who abuse the system, but for the most part I think our social programs work with the recipients to encourage them to do personal development and better themselves. I am not opposed to WIC, food stamps, or help with housing. Unfortunately, I think they are a necessary thing. HOWEVER, economic stimulus checks ARE NOT. It is just free money doled out by the government AND THE GOVERNMENT IS SO FAR PAST BROKE IT IS RIDICULOUS!!!

Can you imagine if I told you I was a trillion dollars in debt and then offered to give you some money to "help" you even though you were doing okay. Would you not think that was the stupidest decision evah?????

By the way Anonymous, who are you?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Guilt and the Gospel

In our care group yesterday, we discovered we are a bunch of "mavericks". Our topic was Bible study. I expected a major guilt trip as I usually get when discussing such things. ( A trip I no longer take, by the way.) However, I was pleasantly surprised that in our group that was not the case. We were all in agreement that although Bible study is very important, it should not become a checklist thing to do every day. It should be a part of our lives but it is not the most important thing-our daily walk with God is much more important. An open heart and an open prayer life with God is so much more important. That is NOT to say spending time in the Word is optional, it certainly is not. I just think forcing yourself to digest pages of scripture because "as Christians, we HAVE to" is counterproductive. Giving ourselves assignments to study the word is a fast ticket to legalism. Being open to God's nudgings into the word is a blessing.

How do you feel about Bible study? A discipline to be carried out every day or something to be done as the spirit leads you? Or something else altogether?

Overall, we have had a top-notch weekend. Today is hubby's day off and we will make a joyous day of it. Happy Monday!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

2 Funny, 2 True!!

Author unknown, I wish it was me!!

"I'm voting Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that
my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of
gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn't.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of
spending the money I earn than I would.

I'm voting Democrat because freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended
by it.

I'm voting Democrat because, when we pull out of Iraq , I trust that the bad guys
will stop what they're doing because they now think we're good people.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe that people who can't tell us if it will rain
on Friday CAN tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don't
start driving a Prius.

I'm voting Democrat because I'm not concerned about the slaughter of millions of
babies so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make
profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the
government for redistribution as THEY see fit.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the
Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would NEVER get their
agendas past the voters. "

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own"

It has been a very full day today. We had a total splurge of eating out at DQ. We all got kids meals with ice cream cones as our treat. Considering the fact that a small ice cream cone costs $1.89 and a kids meal costs $3.59, their kids meal with a cone is the bargain of the century. DQ has the very best ice cream in the world. The soft serve chocolate? Just as fabulous as the vanilla, IMHO. Then we went to the park and had our PATCH meeting. (One of my dear PATCH friends did not show up leaving Kayla and myself a little verclempt (spellcheck doesn't know so how do you expect me to!!), but we managed to build a bridge...and get over it.) It went well. I had the oldest kids there which was a wake up call to me that I am now the "older woman" Titus refers to. I was really happy to hopefully help some new moms get a grasp of the homeschooling journey and let go of unrealistic expectations.

I apologize if any of this is a repeat! I started the whole meeting by explaining that being organized does not always mean being neat. We homeschoolers REALLY live in our homes so it is hard to always be tidy. Add a few science experiments, timelines and maps and this is not very tidy!! Organized mean your home has a flow and/or system to it. You know where things are and they are housed in such a way as to be easily used. Organized means you can find a warranty. Lots of tidy people wouldn't even bother looking because it might make a mess. Monks would have them all filed by size, number of pages and color.
  • All the paperwork on the flat surfaces in your house can be filed into three categories: ACTION, TO BE READ(but requires no action-a magazine article or newsletter, for instance), TO BE FILED. If you have some sort of open file system that you can put out within easy access and then file all papers into the correct file folder. We discussed today that the action file would need to be subdivided in many households (school, work, each family member, bills, to be signed,etc.). The best part about this file system is that you can take the concept and customize it however works best for you and your family.
  • The above step does require you to have a file cabinet or filing system somewhere in your house. If you need help with that, BLINGO(click my link and then if you win, I win!) or google organizing or filing. This will come up with a bazillion links so don't lose yourself in the inter-world!!
  • I know I already mentioned in a previous blog the index card phone/address file system. (How's that working for you, FRED?)
  • Binders and folders. I keep my life filed away in binders. Once this summer, I lost my three hole punch and I nearly slipped into a panic coma. It was merely placed on a top shelf neatly beside my stapler and my rulers-a new home at the time. My main binder keeps all the crap I print off for lesson ideas/future and current lesson plans/world book's national grade level course studies for each of my children/Jason's extensive reading list/movies I want to check out at the library/menu plans/grocery lists/projects I am working on. Folders are used for my kids subjects, unit studies, whatever won't fit neatly into a notebook. I buy the snazzy indestructible plastic folders for my teacher keys/master copies so I can easily spot the difference. I label these folders and binders with shipping labels for the fronts and address labels for the spines. I can just rip them off and put on a new one if I need to change it OR put two and just relabel.
  • We discussed organizing websites such as FLYLADY and menu planning websites like emealz (which I am totally looking into!!).

We discussed alot of other stuff too, it was so much fun to listen and interact with some ladies so new to homeschool. Enthusiasm is always contagious and I was about a quart low so it was good to be refreshed. I will finale with my all time favorite homeschooling website . It is a Christian homeschooling site and not all homeschoolers are, so please take that into consideration. However, the concept of seeing learning as a fire to be lit, then flames to be fed instead of a bucket to be filled is a concept that is useful to ALL educators!

How was that AMY? Do you feel like you were at the meeting? Oh yeah, Stalker Heather, EVERYONE got a door prize. I miss you darling. Come over, I will load your SUV up with door prizes.

Because of all the links, this post took 4 hours to write. I'm only slightly exaggerating!!

Another Day, Another Dollar

We are gearing up for a busy weekend. It is quite insane. Tomorrow I will be tackling the complicated, calorie-laden world of German cookery. We will celebrate OKTOBERFEST with some friends. It is always exciting-German beer (ACK!) (German wine is mighty fine!), German appetizers(including assorted fishes-ACK!), the mighty king-potatoes, and many other fine foods. This is actually my husband's love-he longs to open a German Restaurant. Unfortunately, I have spent too many years working in restaurants for this to appeal to me. HARD HARD WORK + incredibly long hours make Janice an unhappy girl!! Oh wait, that is a description of my current job...and yet somehow I am happy. Better not to add another job to the list though.

Today is my homeschool support meeting and I will be facillitating it. I will be addressing the topic of organization. Looking at my house right now makes me laugh out loud. It has been a busy week. I still know where things are...buried. heehee. It is very complicated to run a household. Without being organized I would go stark staring mad.

Erik and I continue to look at houses that are larger. We especially love love love the old houses our town is so famous for. However, while I love the houses, no yard can compete with ours. It makes me swoon a bit because I love it so. Plus our neighborhood is top-notch. So we go, look, then come home and we are happy to be home. Our house payment is pretty cheap compared to most with a relatively short loan time so we count our blessings. We are truly blessed, cramped at times, but blessed.

I must get off of here, too many other things pulling at me to lose the day online. ( ;

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Here Am I

I am posting at the library today because life necessitates it. We will also be eating supper at a restaurant. Gas prices are falling but I still wouldn't call it cheap gas, so we will stay in town as long as we have places to be in town which is pretty late today.

Last night we skipped church so I would not miss one moment of the debate. (I am so climbing in my handbasket now.) This debate was a good one so I am glad I watched. I liked McCain again. I hate the way Obama laughed at everything. He is so smug. McCain is a good guy-he wants to change the government. I believe him, he has a record that shows it. He is a...wait for it...maverick. (Take one down, pass it around...) Obama says he wants change but I don't believe it. He just wants more of my money and between gas and groceries, I can't give anymore. Actually, truth be told, we don't pay any federal taxes-because we have so many kids, we always get our paid in taxes as a refund. Since we are a one-income family we are just below the rate to be taxed. So you won't win my vote by promising me a tax break. (Don't worry though, lest you think we escape taxation, our city taxes have to be paid in a lump sum each year and they are UGLY!!) TAXES are never the answer to anything, so quit telling me they are. Plus Obama is bought and paid for by the Democratic party. Could YOU, afford to go to Harvard??? How did Obama-a modest man of modest means afford it? I think the democratic party has been grooming him for this gig since he was in high school. (Okay, maybe not that far back, but far enough back that he owes a LOT of favors.) McCain just seems the lesser of two evils. Plus I researched his big scandal, Keating 5, and that was the tamest scandal I have seen since before a stained dress. The Kennedy's pets have bigger scandals. Read my lipstick...McCain/Palin.

Okay, enough politics-Lord knows we all have an opinion and I doubt I am gonna change anyone's mind. If I do, leave your comment in lipstick...heehee.

Next post, no politics.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Please welcome my friend Jill to the blog world. She apparently has too many thoughts running around in her head and needed an outlet like the rest of us bloggers.

Also, run on over to Everyday Mommy and enter a contest!! Hopefully the odds are somewhat better than the contests at Pioneer Woman's blog!!

Today is as busy as can be. Yesterday was one of those holidays only the post office gets, so we spent the day with Dad. That makes today our first day of the week and very busy!! I hope you accomplish as much as we do!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Variety IS...

...the spice of life. Really, it is. The world would be so boring if we all agreed on everything. The best thing someone can do for you is disagree. It makes you rethink your position, maybe even do some research. Looking at things through the eyes of someone else often gives you a fresh perspective. This will either convince you that your opinion was right, change your opinion-a little or alot, or help you know who to avoid at the next potluck...heehee. The bottom line is that two people seldom have the same opinions about anything. Great debaters listen, re-examine their opinions and then change their minds or fight for what they believe in. (Not literally fight!!)

Now that I have said all of that...go on over to J-lo's blog and weigh-in. She has said some pretty hefty things about crime fighting. Be gentle, she wasn't expecting this kind of traffic at her humble blog.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I was perusing my facebook account and realizing that a whole lot of people from my graduating class are on now. The last time I had checked it out, I added all of them-all five of them I think it was. Now there are so many more!! I have had fun catching up on people, as much as those little sentence blurbs allow! I left facebook wanting more. I wondered if people are married, how many kids they have, what they have done with the last 18 years. Facebook is really more for people you have already caught up with, doncha think? Of course, some people have all those things on their page-but others don't. Some say single-but you wonder, have they been single for 18 years or was there a divorce in there somewhere. What is their job now? Have they reinvented themselves afresh like I have? Have they had to let alot of smalltown ideals fall away? Have they been let down by key people in their life? Have they kept in touch with old friends better than I have? Are they "family hermits" as well-not by choice so much as that is the way life happens.

Do most people keep up with their best friends from high school? Am I a "bad friend" because I could not maintain those friendships because my life circumstances and theirs just couldn't mesh? It isn't as though I planned it that way. I was never getting married, but then I got married first-and I was only 21. Some of them still have not married and they wanted to. Some of them haven't and they have no desire to. I am not at all sorry for how my story turned out. I love my life. I love my family-so much in fact, my life is centered on them. My husband is really the only best friend I need, but I am still blessed with many other BFF's. However, most are from the present, not the past. How about you? Do you still have friends from high school that you are very close to? If you do, treasure it my friend. I am hoping to rekindle some old friendships and if it works I know I will treasure them as much as I do the "new" ones.

Oh yeah, and Kristin-I am really loving our new blogging friendship!! Does anyone else from school blog that I don't know about??

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Worried? Who me?

Pioneer Woman had that question on her blog. Actually, yes, I am a bit. It isn't new though. I have been worried since gas spilled over to $3.00 a gallon. Every cent past that mark increased my freaked-outed-ness. You see, I am a stockpiler of a few things by nature-feminine supplies, toilet paper and shampoo. You will usually find medium to large stockpiles of those three but lately there are a few other things I am trying to stock up on as the price is fabulosa. It kind of started with the grocery game but it has grown into a very thoughtful and handy habit. After all, when you come across things you use all the time, why on earth would you not buy several? I look at it as an investment. Things are going up-so when things are cheap, stock up. We have enough school supplies for the next 2 years (maybe 3-4). I am all stocked up on tape for Christmas. (ha, like there will be a need for tape with no presents to wrap!!) I am planning to buy a mumbo jumbo bag of rice at Sam's next paycheck. That way, if we really can't afford food sometime in the near future, we can exist on rice and clean water. People in other countries would feel blessed with that. Also, we have an abundance of camel crickets in the garage. Did you know Americans are among the few that do not supplement their diets with insects? I hear they are an excellent source of protein and I am sure they are low in fat.

Please don't think me a pessimist for my planning for the worst. I am just mostly a realist. Plus, I am a little bit optimistic if the worst comes about. I'll finally be skinny. I am really not truly worried alot, just trying to be smarter. We have a lot of waste in our household-more than some, less than others. We are slowly and surely trying to whittle away at our wasteful habits. We haven't adopted the mindset of people who lived through the depression entirely, but they are looking smarter and smarter these days.

Top 5 things we are doing to cut back:
  1. I consolidate all trips to town with a list of other errands. I want to extend gallons by driving less overall.
  2. I am passing by restaurants. Even the dollar menu is more expensive than eating at home. In fact, this has sort of got me experimenting and cooking more. The kids have stopped asking too. They know we aren't and they know why. One day we last week, we ate out twice in one day though-because I wasn't driving back home. I fed my family twice-once included Erik for about $13.00.
  3. Shopping sales at my corner market almost exclusively. The few non-sale items I am buying still cost less if you factor in the gas. Plus, we like the corner market-it feels like home.
  4. Taking advantage of leftovers. They used to kind of rot in the fridge. NO MORE-now they are hubby's and my lunch. Sometimes all leftovers are pulled out and we have warmup night for supper.
  5. Stockpiling. It works. Chicken breasts or pork chops on sale? I buy alot. Toilet paper on sale-you betcha. yeah!!

What are you doing different? I want to be an ostrich and just bury my head in the sand until it all goes away, but I think we will enjoy leaner times for at least as long as we enjoyed the booming credit years!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fun Things

  • I have a heel spur on my left foot. Oh the pain. There is nothing so humbling as walking like a very elderly person at the ripe old age of 36. Just the first few steps, then the pain sort of numbs a bit.
  • My favorite soap lady, The Foil Hat, has the nerve to decide to call it quits. AND, we don't have the extra money to make the kind of order I want to make. (The kind that would get me through the next fiveyears. Go on, go buy some!!
  • Okay, this one IS fun, except for the topic. Because it would be fun to win a prize. Pioneer Woman has a contest going and it doesn't involve coming up with a catchy little caption for a photo.
  • McCain and Obama both stink. Obama with his smugness and McCain saying the same thing over and over made for a really bad debate. I just keep saying, "Is this what America has come to? Is this the best both parties could come up with?" I still really love Palin but I finally watched some of her interviews and they are REALLY bad: TOTALLY poor-Carolina-beauty-pageant-girl-that I won't-name-because-I-think-she-is-finally-forgotten BAD. I will still support her with my vote and a sticker on my mini-van.
  • I finished Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin and I can't wait to finish the series!! First though, I have to finish a book I will mention when I finish it.
  • Lilly locked my keys in the van today at my Mom's. She did it on purpose too-the way my van is wired makes you have to work really hard to lock yourself out. She couldn't tell me why she did it, but assures me it is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that will never happen again. (At least the "on purpose" part, I hope).
  • I'm sorry Hula, but I gotta say it, loud and happily: I LOVE FALL!!!!! We do so much fun stuff this time of year and I love sweatshirts (especially my gray one-the one I posted about) and I love being cool at night!! I love the lower humidity!! I love bonfires and campfires. I love no bugs-or at least fewer bugs. FALL, YOU ROCK!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Homeschooling Post

I had a very brief phone chat with one of my friends(Stalker Heather) this morning-I had to set a timer to keep with my rules for myself about not letting the phone(or computer!) eat up my day. She posed an interesting question. Why is one day of homeschooling the perfect NIRVANA day-one where you accomplish everything, and a magazine could take your picture as the homeschool family of the year and then the next day is from the pit of perpetual fires?? Because, honestly, after NIRVANA day, it is so much harder to have a bad day than just an entire week of so-so days.

Stalker Heather was just having a bad day after a good day, but I have to say my really good days are usually followed up the same way. JASON, is this how it is for public school teachers as well? If is isn't, then "say it ain't so, Joe" because that isn't fair.

Meanwhile, back at the homeschool ranch, we are not having a particularly good or bad day/week. It is just average. We are dotting all of our i's and crossing all of our t's. Still plugging away at fractions...moving on to multiplying today (praying with all my heart that they finally have a full understanding of subtraction and addition of fractions, least common multiples and greatest common factors). Lilly found borrowing as easy as carrying and I would feel blessed indeed if grammar wasn't so hard for her. (We all have our hard subjects, right?) Also, I am trying to POUND the the three branches of government into three brains. Yesterday, I bought a couple of unit studies from Currclick (sign up, they give away free downloads every week!)that will hopefully help us!!(actually I bought a bundle of 5 unit studies on sale for only $6.50...WAHOO!!!!)

We are also studying architecture and construction of bridges, skyscrapers, (David McCauley's Building Big series to be exact), etc. to phase into physical science.(plus butterflies) Colonial America and Neil Armstrong are our history focus. Then art, grammar and spelling finish us out.

What are you studying? Do your really bad days follow really good days?

Monday, October 06, 2008

I don't know where this came from-I got it as a forward...but I love it!!
School is Life...Life is School

I could offer up a million apologies for being too busy to blog-but that gets so tiresome, doesn't it? I've missed you, my bloggy friends!! Blogging is just one of those things I have to continue even if it sometimes gets crazy and I can't keep it up like I want to. (heehee-insert off color joke) I need something that is just mine all mine. This blog is that for me and also a journal. Very little of my life is all about me-but in this one little corner of the universe, it is. Call me selfish if you want but I need it and I think it allows me to be more introspective and also more giving in all the other areas of my life.

So, I will play a little game of catch-up. We have a new pet. (this pic does not quite do him justice) He is gorgeous. Black and granny smith apple green with a little white in the background. Now, top that off with very dazzling yellow polka dots and you have a truly gorgeous marvel of creation. Now if you recall, this year we were departing from life sciences and stepping into the wide wide world of phsical science. Therefore butterflies were not in our lesson plans. However, several things have fallen into place that have made butterflies again find their way into our studies. First, NPLD happened to have a day of butterfly tagging for FREE. We paid to do this last year so we were delighted to get to do it for free!! Then hubby scores some awesome St. Louis Cardinal tickets requiring a trip to St. Louis and guess one of the places we had never gone...The Butterfly House!! All three kiddos definitely wanted to do that this time and this just so happened to fall on the Tuesday before the Saturday tagging. Then fast forward a week and a half. We are at a friend's house checking out her new house and the yard. What did we find??? Our new pet. So, parsley was acquired (thanks to my friend Amanda who purchased it for me since my checkbook was left at home) and then we placed it in with our pet who is a very hungry caterpillar INDEED!! It has been fun reviewing butterflies and marveling at what the girls have retained since we had our butterfly house/raised painted ladies, and last year's silkworms. Sometimes the best school is life. Sometimes the best life is school.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

We left the house this morning at about 10:15AM and we did not come back home until 8PM. The whole day, all I could think is that some folks have days like this every day. I cannot fathom it-but I have to say-my hat is off to you. To manage a household, schedules and just life in general without having downtime for planning is phenomenal. Of course, I do realize that people play whatever hand they are dealt and do the best they can. I was a successful full-time college student (15 hours) despite working two jobs and living in an apartment on my own-we are marvelous creatures that can do whatever we set our minds to doing. Anyway, today was fun-we had two picnics and even picked up an extra child. Tonight I am mom to four girls. ( : This means tomorrow morning will be delightful-full of nice playtime OR it will be disasterous with lots of girl drama. Pray for the former with me!!

I just finished watching the debates and Governor Palin rocks the Kasbah!!! I had jealousy pangs that my friend Kristin got to be there. I hope she blogs every last detail!! This will be the best debate-so I am sorry if you missed it. McCain/Obama debates will be a let-down. How about Palin/Obama and McCain/Biden debates instead?? Oh wait, no one wants to watch a couple of old guys so I guess that wouldn't fly. heehee.

Tomorrow is Friday-or as we call it, housecleaning day. Hope you have a great one and a wonderful weekend.

PS-I know these are tough times and things are financially tight for everyone but every fast food place we passed today had a ginormous line at ALL different times of the day. I guess since we are down to eating out every once in a blue moon-I found it very shocking!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fun Website!

This website lets you take a quiz to see which statements you agree with (without knowing who said it) and then matches your answers with a candidate. Shockingly, I had all McCain checks except one. Hee hee!!

Read My Lipstick: McCain/Palin