Saturday, January 31, 2009

Truly Powerless

At my house the temperature is a balmy 39 degrees. Today, we ventured tothe library to attempt to cure our cabin fever. Erik, the kiddos and myself are all living with my in-laws. They have a gas fireplace, a gas grill and a gas water heater. We are very blessed indeed. Aside from lights, computer, cell phones, and TV-we have it good. We are enjoying living with Memaw and Papaw. We will probably gain 20 lbs since we are cooking anything that thaws. Gotta use it or lose it.

I have compiled a list of things we would do differently if we had known we would be iced in.
  1. The number one thing I regret are those 6 hours of electricity we had when our power flickered and then came back on. Why oh why did I not turn the dryer on to get our load of sweatclothes nice and dry? And why did I put a roast in the crockpot?? Hello, SLOW cooker + ice storm = finish the roast on the grill. It was very yummy though!
  2. Why did we have frozen berries? Nothing more disturbing than berry juice. It can fool you into thinking it is blood which creates un-necessary freaked outed ness.
  3. Fill up the cars with gasoline for goodness sake!! The lines after the fact will make you cry.
  4. Switched to Hula's power company. Of course, we can't do that but it sure would be nice. We will be without power for a long time.
  5. Own a phone that does not require electricity. Good grief...what were we thinking??!!

I could go on and on-why do we have so many trees around our house? Why do we only own one chainsaw? However, I am mostly just grateful. Grateful all my family is safe and sound. Powerless(pun intended) but roughing it. Two of my sisters have generators now. We are not going to go that route. We can make do til next week. Those sisters are more rural and will be without power for a while. As my sister Linda put it, "This will all be a bad dream in your town and we will still be in 1850." Alas, the advantages of being closer to the big town are numerous. However, they are all warm and well fed.

My kids have truly enjoyed camping out at their grandparents. I miss my bed. I miss my animals. We go home to check on the cats daily. The dogs are taken in by our neighbors that love them as much as we do but when we go there they can't wait to see us and smooch us. I really miss my electric blanket.

We have so many trees down it isn't even funny. Our community will never be the same again!! At least 50% of the trees are downed or will have to be cut down. We have big limbs on our house but as far as we can tell, none of them went through. When our power is restored, we have a live wire from our security light in the yard. I'm praying like crazy that it doesn't kill anything. We reported it long before the big stuff hit, so hopefully they have a record of it.

I don't know if this post makes any sense or not. I'm a little out of practice at everything but charades(where mom acts out a kitty making poo in the litter box) and Go Fish. Good times. Things could be so much worse. Thank you God for family and providence.

I hope all of you are safe and warm. Be thankful for the linemen that not only do repairs in their own towns, but also travel to help other towns. They are awesome and I appreciate them so much more after all of this!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hot Chocolate...Mmmmm!

Looks like that will be on the menu at some point tomorrow. It is icing like crazy here and it looks just like snow. Which is good. That makes it a little easier to travel on and it isn't as likely to break a bunch of trees. Or knock out the power. I worked on laundry a bit today, got everyone's bed linens washed and put back on. It just seemed like we would all be cozier that way.

Our home school train was off to a late start today, but we made it out just fine. We got our school in. I am so thankful we don't miss because of the weather. In fact, we do better on snow days. The girls get to go out and play and then come in, warm up and do a little school to earn some more play time. Homeschool snow days ROCK!!

I will be praying for my darling hubby who will not only have to travel in this mess, but he will also have to walk on it all day. I hinted at a sick day and he scowled at me. I am proud of his stellar work ethic and his unwillingness to lie and say he is sick. At least 20% of the people he work with are not so inclined so that will make for a tough day. Pretty good odds, though. Despite what you hear, most mail carriers are good honest folk with pretty even temperaments.

Oh well, not much to say on here. I need to plan out school for tomorrow. Be careful if you have to get out in the bad weather. I'll be thinking about you Hula, Trailboss, and others I know that are local and will be out and about. Pack a blankie just in case!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Read THIS. Can you even imagine what the toy list looks like??? I didn't even go there. Don't sell anything on those lists or it will cost $100,000. (If you get caught or someone sues you.)

Government Intervention

I can't help but notice that everytime our government gets involved, we the American public get screwed. I am thinking of all the fraud and waste that goes on with welfare. I am thinking of the fact that if you return unopened food to a store, IT MUST BE DESTROYED. I am thinking of the absolute waste of all things to do with the government. The way they have set up social security-let the young people of today pay for the old people of today and hope for the best. (I believe that may be a ponzy scheme as I understand it-pay off old investors with the money of new investors??) I don't have any faith it will still be in existence when I am old enough to receive it.

Basically, everything the government gets it sticky fingers on gets a little bit dirtier. Being a frugal person and also a person that has a bellyful of the overconsumption of Americans, I am in love with yard sales, thrift stores, consignment sales, etc. I believe the best way to reduce, reuse and recycle is to buy and sell your used or unwanted items.

But guess what? The government can't handle it. Instead of protecting us from China and their unfair, illegal lead practices, they want to cripple a whole section of American frugality. They might ultimately protect us from China but they will make sure we are very sorry it happened. This monstrosity will ultimately choke homeschoolers and I am not so sure that isn't what they are after in the first place. I shudder to think what this will do to my small town that has a thriving business of selling antiques. What will this do to them????

Read this:
"The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.
The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties. "

Is it just me or does that paragraph say two opposing things?? Can I sell it or not? Yes, I can sell it and nothing is required of me , but if I do sell something that doesn't meet the standards I will face civil and/or criminal penalties. That my friends is what you call a CATCH-22.

Please go to this blog and read the comment by Heather of beloved used books to find out what you can do.

AND...PLEASE DON'T push for government controlled health care. Can you just imagine all the hoops we would have to jump through to get anything done? How much wouldn't get done? Go ahead, ask someone who lives in Canada how they like it. Most of them cross the border.

Lawyers and politicians are trying to kill this country.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chug-a Chugga Choo Choo!!

The homeschool train is not only still on track but she is gaining strength and making up for a few days we missed when I was not feeling well. We have settled into a little routine again for the first time in a long time. The work was getting done but the routine was bad. I am getting more structured and organized which makes everybody know what is expected and that is a good thing when dealing with tweens and drama queens. Half of teaching is being organized. Then you can loosen up and enjoy the ride instead of fretting over all you have left to pull together.

In other news, I started the Beth Moore Bible study, Esther today. I have really been looking forward to this one for a while because she did some of the research for it on her blog. And yes, I totally participated. So call me Al Gore, because I helped write this one. Just kidding, never call me that!!

It seems to be just what I need right now, as it is subtitled, It's Tough To Be A Woman. And in my experience, it really is. Top three biggest hurdles according to all the opinions and responses she gathered:
  • Yielding to others; Submission
  • Balance, finding it
  • Hormones, hormones, hormones

May I just say DITTO!(megaditto)

So all in all, today has been a fairly good day. Let's just hope it stays that way, I REALLY need a good one.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

She Says It All!!

And with such flair. Please go here and read this:

Accepting Good

I am convicted because I am often so reluctant to receive. I am conflicted because sometimes I feel I could really be Catholic-I love the ceremonies, traditions and the prayers, especially the prayers. I am convinced that she is my bloggy sister because of her thoughts on the way Bush was treated.

Thank you, Testosterhome for calling it to my attention!!

(Calm down, Jason-remember??, the above site wasn't what you hoped for!! heehee )

One Day

It's only been one day, but already I feel like the recession is over and I have more money to spend. NOT. It really drives me crazy to read and hear just how much people are expecting from our new Prez. I hope he has some big powerful shoulders and a giant wallet, cause we have massive problems and big debt. The recession has been on my mind for quite some time. The reason for that is that my husband and I spent quite a few years in our own recession. Allow me to tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a young lady who had finally landed a job that worked around her college schedule and also paid well. She was very happy indeed for she had had many jobs that were not worth the time spent there. Alas, those low-paying jobs plus her spending habits had landed her right back at square one-living at home with Mom again. So now she was enjoying a second chance at financial health. She even set some of her paycheck aside each week to go into savings. She was doing well and slowly getting her credit cards paid down to a "normal" size. Between school and work, she had time for very little so this was a good time to pay down debt and save a little money. In fact, she even work a part-time job on weekends to have a little spending money so not to take away from digging out of her debt.

Meanwhile, in another village, there was a young man who had been through the worst time of his life. His first marriage had ended. It was a terrible time for all involved. All assets were liquidated, debts paid off, lawyer fees charged and he emerged as a Phoenix out of the ashes. He lived in a small apartment. Living was cheap. Job was good. Money was in abundance. Motorcycle was purchased(Nothing says divorced man quite like a Harley). After a time of healing, this man was ready to date again.

Two worlds collided one day. He and she both visited the same friends on the same day. And they were charmed with one another. And YES, it did have a little something to do with the motorcycle which absolutely made her swoon. And yes, she did climb right onto the back in her dress which made him smile. She didn't think about her hair one time as she squashed a helmet on it...and again, he smiled. When he smiled, she saw his dimples and melted into a pool.

Five short months later, they were engaged. Five short months after that, they were married. Both had fully recovered from their debt and bad decisions and so the couple started with a nice clean slate of credit. They enjoyed their credit very much. They bought a new house, new car, project car, got a home equity loan to do some sprucing up, took lavish vacations, and really enjoyed all that the good life had to offer...on credit. They ate, drank, and were very merry.

Then one day, two years into their marriage, the test was positive. Scarcely three months later, it was positive again. They added two little girls to their family right in a row and learned all about the problems with debt.

They spent the next 4 years trying to work through a Dave Ramsey class that they could not exactly do because they did not bring in enough money to pay the bills they had wracked up. Slowly but surely they worked and worked their way out of debt. (Detailing cars for friends, family and co-workers as a side job for grocery money.) Somehow, through grace only God can give, they managed to stay married and even in love through the struggles. The day came when it was determined that they should downsize their home. They placed their home on the market for a ridiculously high price and didn't care if it sold or not. AND. IT. SOLD. At a bit shy of the ridiculous amount, but still a handsome profit was made. Another house was found in a much better neighborhood at a much lower price (OUR miracle). The couple learned a new way of life. One that did not include massive debt. It was hard for them to adjust because the other life had been so much "FUNNER"!! They added another girl child to their home and still continued to make better financial choices. Money was put in its proper place...the great tool chest of life. It is only a tool, not a secret to happiness.

This story is all about Hubby and I. We are finally through our recession-at least on the backside of it. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel enough to know it isn't a train. We are not completely out of debt yet because we have had times of weakness. We have failed some in our mission to eradicate debt. Debt is a sneaky snake that seeks to entice your freedom away. At times, we have been bitten. However, we don't spend like we used to and we won't ever spend like that again. Recessions teach you a lesson.

I hope America bounces back from her recession smarter as well. I don't look for America to ever return to the level of spending she once engaged in. It isn't a wise way to live. It is not possible to sustain that way of life for long. Eventually, she PAYS and pays dearly for overspending. Unfortunately this means America as a whole will change. She won't experience quite the same "BOOM!" she has been having. Now is the time for us to sit back as a nation, lick our wounds, pay down some debts, and make some smarter choices.

I hope we return to American made quality goods instead of foreign made crap. I hope we return to a world of starter homes and saving up for cars. I hope we don't fritter away our weekends "shopping" at malls for nothing and buying everything we come across. I hope we value people over stuff. I hope we learn the art of doing it yourself. I hope we return to "paid for" homes and cars, home cooked food and a SERVICE station or two.

Don't get me wrong, I am not Amish...I love me some gadgets, I just hate how disposable they have become. How disposable everything has become. HOW INCREDIBLY WASTEFUL our country is!! We could take some of our new technology and our old ways and we could be unstoppable!! But we can't do it by buying and borrowing everything we need from other countries. That is NOT the American way...or at least it shouldn't be.

Whew!! That was a long post!!
God bless much so that you discipline us with a heavy hand!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Red Letter Day

Not in the typical way, of course, at least not in the typical way for me. It is a red letter day for me because we have had the first decent school day in quite a while. Momma finally got her groove back and even though I would like to pinch the heads right off a couple of my students, I have managed not to act on that. Just for Today, Lord. I have to fight that battle one day at a time.

I also was immediately was in a good mood because it snowed beautiful powdery snow. AND, not enough to go play in so I don't have umpteen extra loads of laundry.

We even took time out of our school day to watch the Inauguration-thanks to Dad. I would have bypassed it altogether and that would have been wrong. I even managed not to chuckle and heckle. I got on to my kiddos when they did. This is our president and he deserves respect as do all presidents. The way Bush was treated today was dispicable. COMPLETELY. It makes me quite angry that I am expected to respect someone who is not my choice for president(and I will) but others don't have to. What a horrendous double standard. Bush was a good president. He stood up for what he believed was right even if it made him unpopular. That commands respect. Demands respect. You don't have to agree, history will write his successes and failures, we just have to respect. He was elected and then re-elected. That is no small feat. He didn't steal any elections either. He won fair and square just like Obama. If elections could be rigged by Republicans, they would be rigged consistently-that is for sure.

Tonight we go back to gymnastics and I know Erika just can't wait. I am excited for her. Not that I want to get out in the cold-I don't, but I will.

I have my school day for tomorrow and the rest of the week all mapped out. Come hell or high water, we are back on track. Don't mess with my track!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Side-View

If I could show you a side view of what all is going on in my brain right now, you would fall over dead from an anxiety attack. It is just too much.
  • worrying over friends going through trials or sickness
  • fretting over our homeschool
  • worry about my parenting
  • worrying about our family's spiritual health
  • family that we never seem to have time to visit
  • far-away friends that I am out of touch with
  • worry about money
  • worry about my own health
  • worry about being fat(not enough worry to eat differently or exercise)
  • worry about the boxes of clutter and shelves full of books
  • concern over school projects started but not finished yet

All of those things kind of scratch the surface a bit about what is stealing my joy and yet, my Lord tells me to fear not. Not to worry, he has plans for me. So why do I continue to do so? Why do I allow these thoughts to clutter up my brain and leave little room for finding the joy in the day to day ordinary?

So tonight, I took a little break in my normal routine to go out with some homeschool buddies, eat and laugh and have a big time. It was a nice break. However, as soon as I walked in the door, I picked up all my baggage again.

I'm really glad my church is starting a new ladies' Bible study. I really need it!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Normal Bedtime?

It has been a very pleasant weekend and I am going to bed at a decent hour.

First, interview questions for Sara.
  1. What is the biggest blessing motherhood has brought you?
  2. Who are your mentors?
  3. List your top ten methods of being frugal.
  4. Talk a bit about the pros and cons of having close family members living so far away from you.
  5. Your husband works in the home. Do you ever wish you could trade places with him for a day...being at home but not "disturbable".

Hope those are hard without being to hard and I am eager to read your answers.

Have a happy Martin Luther King JR day tomorrow. There will be no mail so I get to snuggle with my honey in the morning.

Principled Discovery is doing a give-away of Apologia Biology 2!! Go check her out and sign up to win!!

I just love contests...I seldom ever win, but I love them anyway. Have a great weekend, y'all!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Dog Ate My Book

First, my sad news. Lilly didn't get a part. She was sad and she cried. But after much talk and convincing, she is OK now. Better luck next time, Baby. Or maybe we will suffer through many many rejections. Such is the life of an actress, so I hear.

And now, a book review: I am very sad to report that I had to piece this book together as it arrived via UPS without even a doorbell ring. Unfortunately, Daisy found it before we did. For the Tough Times written by Max Lucado is a perfect book for a friend (or maybe yourself) going through tough times...really tough times. It is perfect sized-approximately 80 pages and slightly less than 5X7, to fit in a purse or briefcase easily. This books gets right to the nitty gritty of the fact that God is FOR US and that when bad things happen, he will be in our midst working the details out for our good. It also goes into great detail about how it is not God's will for bad things to happen, but that doesn't stop him from being there with us all the way through.

At $10.99 retail, the price is perfect for slipping this into the hands of someone who is really battling the YUK life sometimes throws out to us. It would cover anything from death to divorce(although I frequently put both of those things in the same category).

Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors because he is so good at making things relevant. Sometimes we forget that Job was a person just like you and I. We talk about him as though he is some supernatural hero of patience. He wasn't. He was one of us in another time and place. What was so great about him was his unwavering faith in God. Our God who was and is and is to come. We need to work on developing that same kind of faith-faith that gets us through this rat race called life. David suffered great losses-losses that he was at times responsible for. He was such a colossal screw-up. It took him so many tries to get things right, yet God loved him and he made it into the FAITH HALL OF FAME. God doesn't require perfection from us, rather he helps us most when we are broken failures.

Some days I feel like Job-studied and ready for anything life hands me. However, most of the time, I am a female version of David. Lost in my own sins wondering and wandering without aim or purpose yet trusting that God's grace is sufficient for even me. Our God loves us and seeks each one of us individually. This book helps make that clear.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fighting Depression/Hibernation

I am actually not fighting...then a friend called and that helped. Then she sent me a funny joke. Not that any of you would ever struggle with depression/hibernation issues...but just in case, I'm sharing the funny.

Went to the doctor for my yearly physical.

The nurse starts with certain basics.

How much do you weigh?' she asks. '135,' I say.

The nurse puts me on the scale. It turns out my weight is 180.

The nurse asks, 'Your height?' '5 foot 4,' I say.

The nurse checks and sees that I only measure 5'2'.

She then takes my blood pressure and tells me it is very high.

'Of course it's high!' I scream,

'When I came in here I was tall andslender!

Now I'm short and fat!'

She put me on Prozac

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hula Answers

This time it is Hula interviewing me. I love this whole interviewing thing. Fun for everyone. And just after that, interview questions for Shortymom-my newest bloggy friend.

1. When you take a week long vacation how many pairs of shoes do you take (just for you) and what kind are they?

Just one usually and I don't have to pack them because I'm already wearing them. I plan my outfits around my nicest pair of Birkenstock's. Right now that is a brown leather mule-I wear alot of brown right now.

2. In Sartre’s play No Exit the three main characters are stuck in a room with no exit and don’t like each other. They eventually realize that hell is being stuck with each other forever. What person or persons would be hell for you to be stuck with in a room forever? If you don’t want to name names, just speak in generalities ie..the girl who relentlessly picked on you in third grade.

I can think of three or four specific people that any one of which would drive me totally bananas and they are neither of the following personality types. However, I feel badly how easily those names slipped into my thoughts so I will keep it general.

  • A shopping diva who is obsessed with herself/himself.
  • Someone who believes a certain way but they have no reason behind it...a jellyfish that changes opinions according to whatever is popular right then.
Although, in retrospect, that second one wouldn't be so bad if it was just the two of us. After all, they would believe everything I said, right? Nevermind...that would drive me insane.

3. In honor of the inauguration: If you could ask any US President, living or dead, one question and he would have to answer it HONESTLY, which President would you pick, and what question would you ask?

So, Tommy Jefferson, just how many children do you have?

Isn't that a pathetic question? It's still the first one that popped into my head and it made me chuckle. Lofty thinking-that's me.

4. Our local newspaper does a weekly thing where they stop someone on the street, ask what the top ten songs are their iPod are and print them. What song in your entire music collection would you be most embarrassed to see in print next to your name?

The whole Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus (Which one is which can get so confusing!) CD. What can I say, she is a good singer. I don't like the direction I think she will eventually go in, but right now I think she is a very talented girl.

5. Are you a “hat person”? If so, describe your hat or hats. If not, explain why.

I wish I was because my hair frustrates me daily, make that every time I look in the mirror at it. However, I have a round face and multiple chins-hats are not a good accessory for faces like that.

SHORTYMOM questions!!

1. Which one of your pets is your favorite and why?
2. What is the most frustrating thing about your kids playing sports?
3. Do you plan to have more children?
4. What is the best thing about raising a family in Smalltown, KY?
5. What is the worst thing about raising a family in Smalltown, KY?

I got feedback from one of my friends today that her interview questions were too hard. WAH WAH!! I can't wait to read her answers.

Lilly got a call-back!!

Of course, that doesn't mean ANYTHING-but it is awesome news for us. So did her friend Emma! She is soooo excited. Me too. Gotta go call Dad.

Another Interview!!

Just when you thought it was over, it isn't. I haven't yet begun to sing. heehee.

For Steffie.
  1. You are in a unique position to see the good and bad side of Christians in our church. What is your biggest encouragement?
  2. Other side of the coin, what has been your biggest disappointment?
  3. What is you absolute best marriage tip?
  4. Did you/Do you EVER have days when your kids drove/drive you nuts? (Please don't say no.) What did you do?
  5. What is the best advice you can give about a grandiose wedding? I am looking for the best things and the things best left out.

I can't wait to read your answers!!

In other news.

Lilly had her first audition Monday night and she was great. I was so proud of her. And Erik. He was so into coaching her I almost sat on his hands. He keeps picturing her winning her first Golden Globe and it makes him a little crazy. The only problem with auditions, there were about 50 other kids there who were also big hams and I can only imagine how many came on Tuesday night. I have her all prepped for rejection-citing all the reasons she might not be chosen-some of those kids are in the acting classes put on by the same theater, some of the kids have been in plays before, the director knows some of the kids by name, some of the kids had resumes with pictures(seriously good idea), etc. I also hugged her much and told her how awesome she did, how proud we were of her and that I would keep bringing her to auditions until the cows came home. She will be okay no matter what happens and we will go see the play to see who got the parts and if it is anyone we know.

Erika had her first gymnastics class last night and she did great. She is soooo limber the instructor was amazed. At one point she told Erika-"OOOh honey, don't do that!! That would hurt a kid with normal shoulders!" She had so much fun and it just so happens the only other girl in this particular class is someone Erika already knows. YEAH!

Now, to find something that will interest Kayla. That will be a challenge indeed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interview Questions!

I've given a couple of days for everyone to let me know about being interviewed. I will also include a set of five non-person-specific questions at the end. I would be delighted for anyone who did not ask to be interviewed to answer those on your blog. Some day when you have blogger's block or something. Please let me know with a comment when/if you have answered the questions.

  1. What are you most looking forward to about your new grandbaby?
  2. What is your biggest homeschool challenge?
  3. What is the biggest pet peeve you have about OPP(other people's parenting-not that other abbreviation from that song).
  4. Tell us about the most creative way you have ever disciplined your children.
  5. When is your birthday and describe the perfect birthday present for you.

Amy-I'm a honey (this is what I thought your blogsite meant for an embarassingly long time)

  1. What is the most challenging thing about a long recovery?
  2. What is the best Christmas gift you ever gave?
  3. What do you say to a grieving family at funeral home visitation?
  4. Tell about the best way you have found to keep "smart alec backtalk" from your children out of your life.
  5. If a group of 20 people were coming to your house for dinner, what would you make to feed them?.

Amy with a foil hat

  1. In your former life as a soapmaker, what was your favorite soap?
  2. What is the best thing about living in Florida, besides the awesome sunshine, seashells and ocean?
  3. Could you house a family of five for a mini-vacation...heehee? Totally not kidding. Describe the most painful houseguest experience you have ever had.
  4. Do you participate in The Pioneer Woman's contests? If so, have you ever won? I think they must be rigged as I have never won.
  5. Was it fun and therapeutic to break all that glass for your kitchen? Who did you have in mind when you were doing it?

That's it, no one else asked for interview questions. I'm a little sad because I could totally interview the whole world and not run out of questions- much like my children. So if you want interview questions, it isn't too late. It's never to late. A comment of "interview me" gets you questions!!

Here are the BONUS questions you can answer if you want. (Not that it would make me really happy and smile alot or anything to see these on your blog.)

  1. What is your biggest problem with homeschooling? If you are or aren't, you probably have an opinion.
  2. Describe what it means to be a liberal Democrat.
  3. Describe what it means to be a conservative Republican.
  4. How do you feel about the stimulus checks the government is considering mailing out?
  5. Have you read The Shack ? What are your thoughts on it if you have. If you haven't or won't read it, tell me why you feel that way.

So, there you have it. Please feel free to answer the bonus questions, interviewees and lurkers. Just let me know in the comments so I can come and read and also so my tens of readers can read as well.

Also, feel free to ask me an interview question or two as well. You know how I love to "talk".

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Interview on The Jason Show!!

A very popular show in CALIFORNIA contacted me for an exclusive interview. The questions are highly unusual, but hey, I can't refuse. Inquiring/ENquiring minds want to know. (Okay, that is a slight lie, I asked to be interviewed, WHATEVER.) Please leave me a comment if you would like to be interviewed by me and launched into possible superstardom. Or maybe just answer some random questions that will spark a post that doesn't require alot of thought.

These are my questions from Jason. Thank you, Jason for being nice to me. When I read J-Lo's questions, I nearly died. (Especially the bonus!!)

1. If you could be anyone of the opposite gender, who would you be?
Maybe I am weird-okay, I know I am weird and my answer is a toss up between three people.
  1. My husband. I would finally know what he is thinking. Men of few words are so impossible sometimes. Plus it would be kind of neat to be regarded as quiet and hard to get to know. (Instead of really blunt, never shuts up)
  2. Bill O'Reilley. Because after hubby, he is the man I am most interested in.
  3. Rush Limbaugh. Seriously, he is so rich, he even gets his t-shirts dry-cleaned. And I quote: "That way everything always looks brand new." Plus, he never has to hold back a thought. That's gotta be fun.

2. Is your second toe longer than the first?
No, it is about the same length. However, it also has a weird bend that makes it appear ever-so-slightly shorter than the big toe. Also, I have the smallest toenails in the world. I can paint all of my toenails besides the big one with one brush dip and still have some paint left over.

3. Paper or plastic?
Plastic. The handles and ease make it easier to bring in 15 bags of groceries, fight the dogs back and unlock the door without setting anything down.

4. How old do you wish you were, and why?
I am okay with my age. I earned every gray hair in my head. I'm so proud of them, I dye them on a regular basis.

However, if I get to have all of the knowledge I have now and go back, I would probably head back to age 13(when I really started doing things that were quite detrimental to my future) and make some REALLY different choices for myself!!

5. If you could change one thing about Kentucky, what would it be?
I totally heart KY. Totally. Even though it is cold right now and I hate the cold (except snow, I love snow)-it just makes springtime even sweeter!! The only other place I have ever visited that I like as much as KY is Evansville, IN-similar town size to the one I'm in and the climate is about the same. However, my heart, soul, and roots are pretty firmly planted in KY. I do love to visit other places though!!

That was kind of fun...don't you want to be interviewed too?? Leave me a comment!! I'll be really nice or ridiculously snarky. Either way, I promise not to ask if you would prefer to fart loudly in public or visibly wet yourself. Sometimes there just is not a good answer to hypothetical questions.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sad Saturday

We are just finishing up school today. Now, re-read that sentence and think about the fact that it is Saturday. Now picture what my week has been like. I am partially to blame because I am back to feeling like dammit. (Pardon my language but there is not a better fitting word.) The kids have sensed my misery and totally taken advantage of it. Plus, this is day 2 of us not having a vehicle. Our car is being repaired. Thank goodness we got all of the repairs done on our van in time for the car to have issues. Financially it has just been one thing after another.

There is really no need to blog farther about all of that!! You can already tell what kind of post it would be and really, I don't want to write it anymore than you would want to read it.

Good things:
  • This week we have read 3 books in "The Magic of Language" series by Ann Heinrichs. They are a very interesting way to beef up language arts. I try to take a multi-media approach to school and learning. While I would prefer to just use all workbooks (self-grading if they existed) but I don't think that is being a good steward of all the resources available to teach my children.
  • There are also some great books about math. Today we read: What's Your Angle, Pythagoras? by Julie Ellis. There are lots of other math books too. Lilly is reading a couple of books about roman numerals too.

There are sooooo many options for supplementing subject matter studied with books. The key is...look in the non-fiction section of your library. I try to limit myself to 20 books at a time. Otherwise, it hurts my back to carry the tote bags of books. Also, the smaller the number of books, the greater the likelihood that we will actually read them.

Now I am off to soak in a hot bath because I am so cold and I hate winter. (Except snow-I like snow!!) I will then vegetate and hopefully finish the book I am reading while the kids play Playstation 2 until their thumbs fall off. (Or they fight and I banish them to their rooms.) Either way, it works for me.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Very Small Window

Our weather in these parts is just crazy this time of year. It might be warm, cold, freezing, raining(both water and ice), don't get to know. The forecast is usually about 50-50. Sometimes they predict large amounts of ice and get the roads ready for NOTHING. Other times they expect nothing and get hit hard. IMPOSSIBLE.

However, today is apparently a fluke, a somewhat warm day sandwiched in the middle of cold stormy days. So, I have done what any self-respecting homeschool mom would do. I've sent the children outside for play. So I can blog. Bruhahahaha. I'll be brief because there is much work to do in this house that cannot be accomplished with wordiness on a blog. (BOO HISS)
  • A book review. Yesterday's snarky snark post requires it. This one is the kid's book I flipped through at the library and then found myself sucked into reading. It is called Sixth Grade Glommers, Norks & Me written by Lisa Papademetriou (remind me not to complain about my last name ever again!) This book is so funny and bittersweet. Mostly though, the character responds to the other middle schoolers almost exactly the way she should. If you have a sixth grader...or just a middle schooler, this is a safe and good read.
  • Toby update. Wednesday we took Toby in to get his wetcast off. As we all held our noses in the midst of his stinky paw, we got the good news that he would no longer require a cast and we could take him home with a paw pad healed and 7/8ths intact. (AMAZING considering the damage to it!) As I contemplated how bad that car ride was gonna smell and the aroma it would leave in the car for who knows how long, I tried to remain celebratory. Then the vet saved me. "You want to leave him here overnight so he can lick and clean on it and pick him up tomorrow? It will only be around $8." "Yes, thank you. We would like that very much." Bless her forevermore. We love her with all our being. We picked him up the next day and he looked great and he was mostly unscented. By the way, her name is Caudill and the vet she works for is VERY close to a fast food restaurant on the south side. (That should give you locals all the info you need!) She is awesome and I am indebted to her forever. She could have totally socked us with some whopping vet bills, but she did it all under $300. ON A SUNDAY. Included were weekly dressing changes. Plus Toby keeps hopping in the van wanting to go see her. Total doggy crush.
  • Housework is totally out of control...but I have good intentions today.
  • I am signing Erika up for gymnastics(finally found a place relatively close to home that isn't all about cheerleading!!) and allowing Lilly to audition for a play-mostly for the experience of auditioning. I think she is totally too young to actually get a part-but we shall see. Goodbye calm world. Hello taxicab craziness. What am I thinking?? Seriously. Oh look, gas is going up. Wahoo.

I hope you accomplish all you want to today. Please pray for me today as I attempt to cross 700 things off my to-do list.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Superior Dance

People who can read and write-and also find time to do so will always be a bit superior to those who don't.

A bit of smug for the year. Now I am off to do a little superior dance and you should as well.

Slowly catching up with life, school and such.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sorry Guys.... I'm drowning in schoolwork, report cards(designed, printed, filled out and handed out as of today), room-swapping, grading papers, wallpaper removal plus the normal day-to-day stuff.

I will post ASAP!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Book Review

A different kind of history book!!

The American Patriot's Almanac by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb is an awesome resource. It breaks history down by the date that the events happened. This means every day you can read what happened in history. As a homeschooler, this leaves the door wide open for my learners to do some research on whichever event peaks their interest on that day. We want to train our chldren to be lifelong learners and what better way than providing them with a daily prompt to do some digging into today's history.
Today's reading will give you a glimpse into what an awesome tool this book is and how it can translate into a whole treasure trove of study.
Ellis Island
"The first week of January 1892 saw the opening of a new U.S. immigration station on Ellis Island in New York. A 15-year-old lass from Ireland named Annie Moore entered the United States and history when she passed through its doors, becoming the first immigrant to be processed there."
The book goes into even more detail on Ellis Island leaving the door wide open to all sorts of projects stemming from Ellis Island research. However, it also tells us a tiny blurb about a few more historical happenings:
  • 1781 A British force led by Benedict Arnold burns Richmond, Virginia.
  • 1914 Henry Ford, head of Ford Motor Company, introduces a wage of five dollars a day in his automotive factories. (This could lead to many discussions considering the auto company news today!!)
  • 1925 Nellie T. Ross becomes the first woman governor when she succeeds her late husband as governor of Wyoming.
  • 1933 Construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

I believe this chronological history book has a place in every home. It is fun and easy but also plays the role of encouraging learning flawlessly.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hannah vs. Barbie

First, Toby and his duct tape. He's saying, "I miss Phillip."
This is Barbie.

This is Hannah Montana who sings, "I Got Nerve" when you press her
stomach and came with a light-up guitar. Unfortunately, she's lost her
head after only two days of play. We still have her though-for the tune.
Sorry Hannah, Barbie has the victory.
This reminds me of a famous poem; If by Rudyard Kipling.
"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs...."
Go on and blingo it (click my blingo link!). It is one of my favorite poems and it has nothing to do with Barbie.
Hat tip to Sara for giving me this blog idea!! PS. We totally loved the day today, it was fun, fun, fun!!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Big Fight, Big Fire

(Erika got a cool pink Kodak for Christmas and she is really enjoying being a photographer. These are pictures of our fire tonight. Pretty nifty.)

Jan 1, day one of the brand new year. We had a grand finale of lots of fireworks...of the words variety. It was really no one's fault, per se. Sometimes money stress just becomes overwhelming and the tension breaker is a big fight over whose fault it is. Then the next day when sleep has improved your judgement, you both realize sometimes it isn't any one's fault-life just attacked your wallet one too many times. We have almost recovered from the financial strains but it was really overwhelming there for a few weeks.

Jan 2, day two of the brand new year. We decided what we really needed to do to end the day right was make a big fire. So we took all the kids and pets to the burn pile and lit up the sky with a real purty fire. A very nice catharsis. Almost as good as screaming at the top of your lungs but much quieter.

So far I've gotten no where in my "plans for self-improvement" unless fighting with hubby and building a big fire are in some way self-improving? Yeah, I didn't think so.

However, tomorrow is a brand new day!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Let's Not Call Them Resolutions

Let's just call them a plan for self-improvement. I offer you a few of my plans for self-improvement.
  1. I plan to install one of those filters people always say I was born without. I say what I think a bit too easily and I think one of them-there filters may make my life a bit easier. I will also purchase one for Lilly. I can't help my easily-read facial expressions though-unless there is some sort of screen I haven't heard of.
  2. We have made the commitment as a family to avoid running our animals over with our vehicles. It has not only proven to be very expensive, but also heartbreaking to have a dog with a bandage covered with duct-tape. (To prevent chewing and such.) (You might be a redneck if your dog has duct-tape wrapped around his bandage.)
  3. Hubby and I are being much more self-controlled with our spending. I plan to make even more cuts in our spending on food while being more intentional about planning meals. I have been horrible in the menu planning arena lately.
  4. Hubby and I will also make smarter purchases for our homeschool. We will give much more thought to what we buy. I personally have to seriously make wiser choices in the homeschool department. I must remember that while most curriculum out there is top-notch, not even a super-human teacher momma can use all of it. Translation: Stop buying too much curriculum!!! You do not need to go to a curriculum fair!! Use what you have. Sell what you aren't using. Trade out stuff with fellow curriculum junkies.
  5. While I am very proud of how much decluttering I have done, there is still more to do. I want my super-awesome storage closet to be a tool our whole family can utilize in a positive way, not an embarrassment I hope no one sees.
  6. I plan to open our home to entertaining our friends and family more often. While my house is small, it isn't too small to have friends over. We are blessed to have a nice home and I want people to come over and share it with us much more often.
  7. I want to save money. Usually when I get a few dollars extra, I plan how to spend it. For example, if I get $13.00 from a consignment shop- I generally turn around and spend $13.00 on something else. While this is not exactly "wasting" money, we need to shop to meet our needs not just shop because we have some extra money.
  8. Of course, to drop some pounds. It just wouldn't be a New Year's Day if I didn't really wish strongly to be thin and resolve to work on it.
  9. The garden. We want to have a nice garden this year and we know what it takes. Our plan is to actually accomplish taking care of it this year.
  10. Be nicer to my children. I tend to be a yell-er and I am working very hard to be a bit slower to anger. I did not wait to start this one, I've been working on it BIG TIME for about 2 months. I am slowly improving. As I improve I get to experience the joy of seeing my flaws acted out in the children I have taught it too. Nothing is harder to watch than the way our children mirror us.

How about you? What are your self improvement plans??