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Friday, August 29, 2008

Know Your Resources

Occasionally your child will ask you for something that you just can't put your fingers on. Knowing where to go can make you appear to be so clever.

My current challenge came in the form of a request for a video about different types of fires. Such a video does not exist. There are videos about fire fighters, fire safety, and fire engines. There are videos about certain types of wild fires.

There are NOT videos about all the different types of fires.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided that the logical thing to do would be to visit the fire department. Perhaps they could provide me with a bit of information, or even loan me a training video, that would assist in providing Kira with this much needed information on fires.

My husband told me I was crazy. My husband told me that the fire fighters would also think I was crazy. My husband was WRONG!

Not only do the fire fighters think I'm NOT crazy, they do - in fact - have a system in place to deal with people just like me.

The fire fighter in charge gave me a phone number to contact the Captain. He told me she would know what to do.

So today, I called the Captain of our fire department. She is getting a set of literature together for me and Kira. In this pack of information, there will also be a 16 minute video made just for kids that will tell her all about fires.

We do have to wait until Monday to get this wonderful information. However, in the mean time, we made a trip to the library in order to fulfill the immediate hunger for fire information. I had the great joy of reading book after book after book about fires and wild fires.

So when you're trying to find something that seems impossible to locate - think outside the box. You may just find what you're looking for in an unexpected place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Bit of Drama

I have a new blog friend, Tiffany, who asked me some time ago to read some of her writings off of her MySpace page. After reading this particular story, I was amazed at how well she drew me into her world. I urged her to post this - or at least let me post it here with her name attached. To my great pleasure, she did post this on her new blog, Mom. Wife. Me. You'll notice that I've added her to my Sites to See list. She deserves this honor, and I'm certain that she will bring a smile to many faces over the years. To give you a teaser, here is a short portion of her story. Yes, you'll have to go over to her page to read the rest. I'm just mean like that.

Diary of a Part-Time Housewife
Brought to you by Tiffany

Pulling into the driveway, my knuckles whiten against the steering wheel. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck, and my shoulders slump. I know it's in there, waiting on me. Mocking me.

Disgruntled, I heft my bag to one shoulder and the baby to the other. As I trudge up the stairs, I begin to smell it: soft, gentle, deceivingly sweet, it holds promises of wrinkles and static cling. The scent dances along my nerves. I open the door and glance around the living room. Everything seems calm, but I know it's a facade. I know there are still mountains to be moved, waiting just a few rooms away.


Yes, that's all you get from me. Just enough to make you want more. Now, to find out what lurks behind the hidden recesses of Tiffany's doors you'll have to go visit her page. The trip is well worth your time.

Great Poem

I came across this poem today posted in one of my "mom" groups. I enjoyed reading this and felt you would also enjoy it. The poem was written by Dorothy Law Nolte. The insight is incredible.

If A Child Lives With. . .
by Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with criticism. . . . . . . .he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility. . . . . . . . he learns to fight.

If a child lives with fear. . . . . . . .he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with jealousy. . . . . . . .he learns to feel guilt.

If a child lives with tolerance. . . . . . . .he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement . . . . . . . .he learns to be confident.

If a child lives with praise. . . . . . . .he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance. . . . . . . .he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval. . . . . . . .he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition . . . . . . . .he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with honesty. . . . . . . .he learns what truth is.

If a child lives with fairness. . . . . . . .he learns justice.

If a child lives with security. . . . . . . .he learns to trust in himself and others .

If a child lives with friendliness. . . . . . . .he learns the world is a nice place in which to live.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Give the Cat a Bath

Do you own a cat? We have four cats. Lately, they all are lacking in freshness. They all need baths. I actually managed to bathe one of them in the tub before I wrote this article. That experience of tub bathing inspired me to come up with this new idea on how to bathe the cat.

Here is an amusing article that you should visit if you own, or plan to own, a cat.

Bathing cats can be one of the most difficult tasks that a cat owner has. And yet there are times when the cat just has to have a bath.

"Give the cat a bath." is a humorous article that might solve your problem. Though only you can decide if you wish to attempt this particular method. Mostly, you'll just laugh at the visual.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why Did God Make Moms?

I received this through a bulletin on MySpace and felt like sharing it here. It adds a touch of amusement to my very busy day. I hope you enjoy reading these questions and replies.

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.

2.Mostly to clean the house

3. To help us out when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.

2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.

3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of ?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.

2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1. We're related.

2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.

2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.

2. She had to know his background.Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?

3.Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.

2. She got too old to do anything else with him.

3 My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to be cause dad's such a goof ball.

2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.

3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do th an dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?

1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.

2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.

4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't do spare time.

2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.

2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.

2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.

3 I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brilliant Technique

There comes a time in every parent's life - even mine - when it is necessary to sit back and revel in the cleverness of another parent.

Today, I went visiting over to one of my newly added Sites to See - We're THAT Family.

I was confronted with my moment. The moment when I find myself bowing to the obvious parenting intelligence that can be found in Kristen's post.

Kristen may have developed the best form of discipline EVER. I'm not going to tell you about it, though. You have to go read for yourself. Suffice it to say that I am very, very impressed with her ingenuity.

Oh yeah - make sure you aren't trying to eat or drink anything when you go read her post. Consider yourself fairly warned.

What Do You Want?

Today's topic of communication has led me to another concept that I feel obligated to discuss.

Many parents make a certain tragic mistake with their children. I would like to see an end to this, and if this post can help educate parents across the world against making this mistake, I would be so pleased.

When I was young, I told my parents frequently that I loved them. My parents would respond in kind - telling me that they loved me too. Young children are very free with their affection, as I'm sure you've noticed from your own small children.

At some point, the dynamics of this exchange changed. I can not tell you when or why this discussion changed; what catalyst inspired my parents to respond in a new and unpleasant way. I can only tell you that their responses did change, and the new response had an incredibly negative impact on our relationship.

As I got older, my expressions of love were met automatically with a single question: "What do you want?" Gone were the days when my parents would respond by telling me that they loved me, too. Gone were the days of innocent expressions of affection.

Here is how this new exchange would go.

Me: "I love you, Dad."
Dad: "What do you want?"
Me: "Nothing. I just wanted to tell you I love you."
Dad: "Yeah, okay, love you too, now - what do you want?" or "Yeah, right. - What do you want?"
Me: Increasingly frustrated and hurt "Nothing. Nevermind."

Now, perhaps there were times when I did tell my parents that I loved them as a preamble to requesting some item or favor. I'm sure I did as this is a common tactic that kids use to get what they want. However, my Dad's response was so automatic, without concern for my intent or my feelings.

Would you like to know what happened?

I stopped! I stopped telling him that I loved him. I stopped talking to him about pretty much anything. I just stopped. He failed to accept my love. He failed to accept me. I gave up. I became increasingly withdrawn from my parents because of their obvious refusal to accept my affection. I was hurt more than I could ever explain to you here, in these written words.

I would like to be able to tell you that our relationship recovered from that error. I would like to tell you that we both got past it and moved on to a more accepting and open relationship. I would like to, but I can't. Truth be known, my parents have no clue just how much damage they caused to our relationship by reacting in this manner.

While my Dad does not ask me what I want these days if I happen to tell him that I love him (which is very rare), the damage that was done so many years ago is still there deep inside my soul. I still remember that he refused to tell me that he loved me. Instead, he insisted that I must secretly have some ulterior motive for expressing my affection.

So, when Gibson was 6 yrs old and constantly vowing his love for me, a friend of mine overheard him and told me that I was supposed to ask him what he wanted. My response to her - somewhat aggressively - was that I would NEVER do that to my child. I went on to explain to her why.

I have no idea if she took that conversation to heart or if she will continue in the path of her own parents by asking her own children what they want when they tell her they love her. She has to decide on her own what path she will take.

For me - my children will never be met with that question in response to their words of affection. I will always respond by telling them just how much I love them, too.

I hope after reading this, that you will respond the same way to your children, and if you happen to realize that you have already made this mistake --- go apologize. Apologize completely and thoroughly and explain that you simply did not know how hurtful this could be. Be sure your child knows that you do, in fact, love her very much.

The Magic of the Notebook

Communicating with your child is one of the most important tasks a parent has. It isn't always an easy thing to do, though. Some children simply shut down when you try to talk to them. Some topics are just too difficult to address face to face. There are, however, a few things you can do to make communicating with your child easier for both of you.

First, when your child is old enough to read and write well, you should initiate a notebook program. Start by writing a letter to your child on the first page of a composition or wire notebook. Explain to your child that the notebook is for the purpose of talking about those issues that the child may want to discuss but feels uncomfortable talking about face to face. Be sure to tell your child that she can ask you anything (in the notebook or not) and that you will always answer honestly and without repercussions. Choose a location for your child to leave the notebook when she is ready for you to read it, and a location for you to return the notebook to her after you have had a chance to respond. Perhaps your bed and her bed would be ideal locations. Also, be sure that your child knows that the content of the notebook will be private - between both parents and the child. She'll feel more comfortable opening up if she knows that you will not be sharing this with siblings and grandparents.

Expect that the early communications will be little more than notes of love or silly questions. Be sure to respond appropriately, regardless of what your child has to say. Eventually, though, the hard topics will begin to surface. When they do, you will already have an avenue open to address those difficult issues.

Another way to effectively communicate with your child is to talk while you are driving. It is often easier to discuss things when you don't have to look into your child's face. Topics such as sex, masturbation, and other personal issues can be very embarrassing for you and your child. Trust me when I say that it is far easier to talk about these things when you are looking at the road and your child is looking at the window pretending that they wish you would shut up already even though they were the ones that broached the topic.

Email can be a useful tool, also. Most kids these days have their own email at some point. What a wonderful way for you to remind your child that you think of her daily - just send a short note to her email. She may not respond, but she will read your note.

Soap crayons and your child's bathroom mirror can become an impromptu message center for you to leave messages of affection or even dreaded chore reminders. Be sure to mix it up a bit, though, if you use this method as a task center. Adding a touch of affection and surprise makes everything easier for everybody.

The real key to successful communication is keeping the lines open and working hard to control your emotions before you respond to any question. This is one area that I feel honesty is always best, no matter how difficult you may find it to provide straight forward and honest information to your child. It isn't always easy to talk about the issues that children face these days, but it is so very important. Just remember that if you do not tell your child about sex, drugs, and other issues - somebody will. Do you really want the kid down the street to be the one explaining these things to your precious child? Yeah - think about THAT for a day or two and you will quickly realize that talking about these things is far easier than you thought.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Links

Please take a moment to notice that I have added a few new links to my "Sites to See" list. I've had these links for a while, but was just waiting to see if they were something I wanted to share or not (except for Glaciermeow - and that's been just plain ole laziness on my part...)

I hope you visit and enjoy these new additions to my recommended sites.

Paint and Brushes

A stack of paper.

A set of tempera paints.

A few brushes.

A cup of water.

No more whining. No more crying. It's magic. Who knew?

Lay a sheet or blanket on the floor. Put down plastic trays for them to work on. Set each child up with her own paint palette, water, brushes, and paper. Sit back and enjoy the quiet.

My day just got so much better!!! Messier - but better.

The Power of the Tent

A few sheets and chairs can turn whiny, bored children into avid explorers.

All you need to do is pull a few chairs together and drape some sheets across the top. Your children will suddenly perk up and stop being whiny. They will drag pillows, blankets, and animals into their tent and disappear for hours.

You will still hear giggling and talking, but you won't see much of them.

If you're really creative, you can serve up lunch in their tent by setting up a grazing tray that can easily be slid under one of the chairs.

Your tent can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. If you get the entire living room furniture involved, your tent will be a certain hit that will need to stay in place for a couple of days so your children can get the fullest possible benefit.

So, if you're out of ideas for entertaining those little monsters - build a tent.

Oh - and just as a side note - I've tried buying the prefab tents that set up easily in the house. Those don't work. Apparently chairs and sheets are far more exciting than a prefab play tent.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Attack of the Gimme's

Oh my gosh. My child has been infected with the most horrid disease - "The Gimme's."

I have no idea what has happened, but my dear Kira has suddenly become the Queen of Gimme. We went to the store today and everything she saw was everything she wanted. I was followed around by a chorus of "Can I have this, Mom?" and "I want that, Mom."

Faced with this newest dilemma, I found myself telling her no over and over again. I did, however, make a game of the whole situation so that she wasn't too terribly disappointed. I believe that it is important for children to learn that they will not get every single thing they want.

At some point, it becomes necessary for children to start receiving their own money and buying their own things. Allowance - not tied to chores - is a good way to teach children the value of money and working hard for what you want.

I suppose we will be starting an allowance system for Miss Kira pretty soon.

**SIGH** She's growing up all too fast.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Collector of Books

I tend to believe that reading is one of the best skills a child can learn. In an effort to encourage this skill, I collect books of various styles and reading levels. This collecting of books can be somewhat expensive unless I take certain steps to stretch my book buying budget.

First, I have signed up with Scholastics to receive email notification of their warehouse book sales. These are absolutely awesome sales and are open to the public, though not advertised. You can go to the website to find out when and where one of these sales will be in your area. The deals that you will find will certainly shock even the most seasoned thrifty shopper. I generally plan to spend 2 to 3 hours browsing the books when I go. It is also best to go alone. Taking children or husbands will only shorten your stay and make the experience less pleasant.

Second, I frequent thrift stores. I have 3 or 4 stores that I visit regularly to see what new offerings they may have on their shelves. Books that would cost me $4.00 or more bought new can be purchased for as little as $0.30 at the thrift stores. I especially love buying my text books for home schooling at the thrift stores because they are super cheap.

Third, yard sales are awesome for getting books. People generally just want to get rid of their junk, so great prices can be had if you just take the time to stop and look. Of course, yard sales are iffy and you can easily spend an entire day bouncing around town and find absolutely nothing worth buying.

Finally, used book stores can be your hidden gold mine when it comes to buying books. You can get super deals on books that are almost new. Many used book stores also offer a system of trading in your own used books for store credit to apply to future purchases. n

Part of my collecting of books includes reading these books. I like to read what I'm putting on my shelf for my children to read. One reason for this is so I can monitor their material and be certain that they are not being handed something inappropriate for their age. Another reason is so that I can discuss the content with them while they are reading a specific book. I can learn what they enjoy reading and then make better suggestions to direct them to other books that I believe they will enjoy.

One thing is certain, if you want your children to love to read then you absolutely must supply them with reading material. A child surrounded by books will naturally grow to love and value the information and entertainment that books can provide.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Crown Your Princess (or prince)

Making you very own crown - particularly when NOBODY is sleeping - can be quite fun and entertaining. This activity can redirect the frustrations of a tired mom when the entire gang insists that bed time really is not NOW even though the clock clearly states that bed time is slowly slipping away. When you find yourself at a loss for entertaining NON-SLEEPING BEAUTIES, just pull out these supplies and let them create their own crowns.


8 X 10 paper - various colors (construction paper or card stock probably works best)


Plastic jewels, beads, sequins - cheep embellishments found in the local dollar store's art aisle

Glue - gooey glue, not glue sticks / the gel glue works wonderfully because it doesn't run as much


Cut a 3 inch strip of the paper along the longest part of the page. Set this aside to use as the back of the crown. This is the piece that will wrap around your child's head when she is wearing her crown.

Use scrap booking scissor or regular scissors to cut a design in the top part of the wider part of the paper. Make sure you leave a large area at the bottom to be the base of the crown. Use you imagination to design the top part of the crown - scallop shaped, triangle shaped, etc.

Let your child choose several of the plastic jewels to adorn her crown.

Put a drop of glue on the crown wherever your child wishes to place the jewel. Let her place the jewel. Repeat as often as necessary until the crown is fully decorated. Older children can work alone on this stage of the project or with minimal supervision.

Note: It is best to use small, light weight pieces to avoid an overly heavy crown that will droop when worn.

Use a bit of glue on one side of the smaller piece of paper to attach that to one side of the crown. This will be wrapped all the way around to fit your child's head after all the pieces are fully dry. It needs to be placed near the middle of the bottom portion of the crown.

Lay the crown on a flat surface to dry over night. When all the pieces are dry, wrap the band around to the other side of the crown. Measure to be sure the crown will fit your child's head properly. You need to be sure it won't slide down over her eyes and that it is large enough to fit onto her brow. Yeah - this is definitely the tricky part. Try getting a squirmy 2 yr old to sit still long enough to do this particular measurement. I dare you!!!

Allow your children to wear their new crowns where ever you may go for the entire day. They will absolutely love the attention that strangers will dole out on them, especially when they declare with glee that they made the crown themselves - (in the middle of the night, no less, when they should have been sleeping).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Opportunities Knock at the Strangest Times

So tonight, while NOBODY was sleeping, I decided to pull out the art. I've been promising Kira for days that we would do art, but I've not been well and haven't felt like dealing with any art time. Since I haven't set up my art center, she can't do art without a high degree of involvement from me.

Well, I took a nap this afternoon when Randall got home. I didn't get up until 6:30 - which turned out to be a good thing because Risa decided to have a very late night. It's nearly 1:30 in the morning and she finally went to sleep about an hour ago.

We tried to divide and conquer by sending Risa to bed with Randall while Kira and I spent some time sitting on the couch with for a bit of one-on-one school and art time. We did some finger painting - Colorwonders style - and then began working through a new workbook about the different countries across the world.

Near the end, we came across a page with different types of crowns. I decided - at 9:30 at night - that making crowns was a good idea. Please do not ask me why I thought this would be a good idea. I really do not know. However, Kira had so much fun making her crown (with help from me), and Angel - the 18 yr old - even had to join in and make a crown of her very own.

Well, after our crowns were finished, I sent Kira off to bed with Randall and I took Risa - who decided that sleep would be optional tonight - and she got to make herself a crown, too. She also got to finger paint and use the Colorwonders markers. She prefers the markers for some odd reason. Great fun was had by all.

Then, of course, the son-in-law felt that he could not be left out of all this attention getting. So, much to my surprise, he approaches me with an Algebra book in hand and asks if I would be willing to help him out a bit. Now, understand that he dropped out of school in the 9th grade and has been incredibly resistant to any type of learning.

This was a HUGE surprise and I'm still reeling from it - not quite sure what has come over him. One thing I have learned, though, is that you take these opportunities when they come, no matter how inconvenient they may be. You absolutely can not refuse to offer assistance - even at midnight - to the willing learner.

So found myself sitting on my sofa teaching orders of operation to a suddenly enthralled 20 yr old boy who swears he hates math. Much to HIS surprise, he had fun playing with my coke bottle tops and working out Algebra problems with the help of a bit of manipulatives. He even declared that he was taking the book to his room where he would continue to work on this newly developing skill.

I know that if I had refused, he would not have returned tomorrow and if I tried to engage him tomorrow he would have balked. By ignoring the inconvenient time, I was able to teach him in a way that he fully understands and in a way that left him feeling capable and intelligent - not stupid, as he was so often declared to be by those who should have been teaching him in grade school. Perhaps now he realizes that learning is possible for him and can also be fun instead of boring drudgery.

Now I'm overly wired and still awake from my late nap. I'm also buzzed by my previously mentioned teaching accomplishments. I figured now was a good time to share my thoughts, even though it is late and all my readers are probably sleeping - unless you happen to be in Australia. I'm not sure what the time zone is there - but YOU might just be awake.

Dealing With Long Hair

Does your little princess have long hair?

Does she like having it brushed?

Does she wake up with tangles?

Well, I have a solution to the tangles issue. At night, before bedtime, braid your daughter's hair into one or two braids. The hair will stay untangled - for the most part, and she'll wake up without requiring a painful brushing. When you remove the braids, she'll have some gentle waves in her hair that will last most of the day.

For those times when brushing out tangles is necessary, there is an easy way to accomplish the task.

First, use a detangling spray or a leave-in conditioner. Soak the tangled areas with the spray and let them sit for a few minutes before you try brushing through them.

Second, start at the bottom of the hair and work your way upwards SLOWLY. Tangles usually release a lot easier if you start from the bottom.

Third, let her hair talk. Yes - talk! As you pull the brush through the hair make squeaking noises that are perfectly timed with the movements of the brush. When you reach a tangle, make screeching noises and make it funny. Ask you girl if she knew that her hair would talk? Be sure to tell her that YOUR hair never talked to you when you were growing up. (I know mine sure didn't. My mom just yanked and yelled. And when Grandma Janet first experienced the talking hair episode she was amazed at how much easier the whole thing was when it was fun. Apparently her mom just yanked and yelled, too.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Stole It!

I found this at Reality Parenting and just loved it. I absolutely had to share it with you. Just understand that I did, indeed, practice a bit of thievery in order to bring this to you. I'm citing my source, though, so it's probably okay.

Attention Children:
The Bathroom Door is Closed!
Author Unknown

Please do not stand here and talk, whine, or ask questions. Wait until I get out.
Yes, it is locked. I want it that way. It is not broken. I am not trapped.
I know I have left it unlocked, and even open at times since you were born,
because I was afraid some horrible tragedy might occur while I was
in there, but it's been 10 years and I want some PRIVACY.
Do not ask me how long I will be. I will come out when I am done.
Do not bring the phone to the bathroom door.
Do not go running back to the phone yelling: "She's in the BATHROOM!"
Do not begin to fight as soon as I go in.
Do not stick your little fingers under the door and wiggle them.
This was only funny when you were two.
Do not slide pennies, Legos, or notes under the door.
Even when you weretwo, this got a little tiresome.
If you have followed me down the hall talking, and are still talking as
you face this closed door, please turn around, walk away and wait
for me in another room. I will be glad to listen to you when I am done.
Oh ... And yes, I still love you.

The Joy of Sons

I recently became addicted to Stumble Upon. In one of my stumbling events, I came across this website - The Joy of Sons - and emailed a link to myself so I could review it again.

The link starts with a series of humorous photos that will leave any well-seasoned mother laughing hysterically.

However, it is the list that follows the photos that is most amusing. I have copied the list and included it here - as I am certain this was initially an email that was intended to be forwarded to everybody. Just be aware that this list did come from the The Joy of Sons and you should also take time to go see those pictures. The pictures definitely add a bit of character to the list. Of course, if you have sons, you only need to review your own photo albums to enhance this list.

And you also find out interesting things when you have sons, like

1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3.) A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.

8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9.) A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.

10.) Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old Boy.

11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12.) Super glue is forever.

13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15.) VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20.) The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24.) 80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

25.) 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Money Money Money

Teaching your children about money is one of the important tasks that you, as a parent, should carefully consider. Many children grow up without realizing the true life cycle of money. When a child is old enough to understand, you need to begin training them about where money comes from and where money goes within a household. No child should enter into adulthood without fully understanding the financial requirements and financial management techniques that are necessary for being successful in maintaining independence.

The Thrifty Mommy has laid out a plan for providing your child with a proper financial education without overburdening them with worry and concern for the family's welfare.

Thrifty Mommy gives 10 suggestions for financial education that are well worth your attention. I do want to add a few touches to her already wonderful suggestions.

1) Children should also be involved with creating a weekly menu and a shopping list to take with them to the grocery store when they are old enough to do so.

2) Introduce your child to yard sales, consignment sales, and thrift stores. Teach them how reusing things can also be Earth friendly, as well as finance friendly.

3) I whole heartedly agree that allowance should not be tied to chores. My personal experience has shown that if you find yourself to be in financial difficulties that prevent you from paying allowance, your children will decide that they no longer need to do chores because they are not getting paid for it. Yeah - avoid that connection in order to save yourself a lot of frustration later.

I love all the comments that Thrifty Mom has in her posting about money. She has a good grasp of what kids need to know in order to understand what it takes to manage a household.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Can I Do Art?

My daughters love to do art. I have tried so many times to find a suitable way for them to do their art without causing too much difficulty for me. I have finally come up with an ideal solution that will allow them to do their art whenever they want, without much direction from me.

Setting up an art center is a great way to allow your children artistic freedom without putting too much stress on yourself.

Crayola has a wonderful page on their website that can help you set up an art center in your own home.

Check it out. I know I will be browsing it at length. I'll update later on how my own project of creating an art center is going. I definitely need to do this so my girls can do art without having to beg and badger me into setting everything up.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wish Granted!!!

Okay, just so you know, I love being nice to people. I love making people smile and doing things just for fun because I know somebody will walk away with a big smile on his or her face.

Last night I was privileged enough to discover this most amazing website. Wish Upon A Hero is my dream come true (and my husband's worst nightmare). This online community offers people across the world an opportunity to ask for or give assistance. The wishes range from the simplest requests for mail or birthday cards all the way up to those people needing help with their financial obligations or needing cars. There really is a wide range of wishes that you can browse. Registration for this site is absolutely free. You are never obligated to grant any body's wish, but if you choose to be a hero and grant a wish, you can be sure that the receiver will appreciate your grantings.

If you are like me and tend to be skeptical of giving money, you can opt to give to those wishes that have been verified by the administration. Or, you can simply grant wishes for cards and letters. Seriously, it is so easy to grant a wish to send some body's child a bit of mail and make them smile. That is my favorite wish to grant, because my little girls just love getting mail so I understand what these moms are saying when they wish for their child to receive a bit of mail.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Me - only "different"...

I know what at least one of my readers will be thinking when she reads the title of this post. (Admit it. You really did...)

Of course, this really is all about me. See, I love to write. I even love to write about issues that do not relate to parenting on occassion. So in order to provide an outlet for those times when I want to write about things not related to my kids, I created a new blog. Yes - just one more place where you can go to get your daily fix of me. You know you need me. You know you crave reading what I have to say. You know - in essence - that you love me.

So, for those of you who enjoy reading what I write - and can't seem to get enough - here is the link to my newly created page...The Trivia Cafe. This new page will be a random mix of tidbits and information. Basicly, I'll write about whatever strikes my mood.

Come visit The Trivia Cafe and have a cup of coffee or hot cocoa to go with your dose of random information. Be sure to tell all your friends so they can join you at the cafe.


Every class I ever took in college required me to write an evaluation of the professor and the class at the end of the semester. I was assured that the professor read each and every evaluation and took into consideration what his students had to say. I'm not sure if that is true or not. What I do know is that if those professors were telling us the truth about the importance of our role in their teaching, then they were good professors.

As a parent, it isn't really possible to ask your children to provide you with an evaluation of your job. They are not likely to know much about what you are doing right and what you aren't. However, as a parent, you should take a moment to evaluate yourself.

Honestly evaluating yourself as a parent can be somewhat difficult. We don't like to acknowledge the things we've done that were horribly wrong. Unfortunately, if you wish to improve your parenting skills, you have to take the good, the bad and the ugly into consideration.

If there are certain techniques that work for you and your family, make a note of that. (Be sure to rinse and repeat as often as necessary.) Successful techniques increase your abilities to parent.

Those techniques that failed miserably or left you wondering if your children would ever escape childhood without needing extensive therapy - yeah - chuck those and vow to never use them again. (Yes, we all have had those parenting moments when we foresee the future therapy sessions of our children where we will ultimately be blamed for all the wrongs and evils in their lives.)

Take stock of what you do each day and how you feel about those actions. If you find yourself in the midst of a parenting mistake and realize it quickly enough, allow yourself to take it back. Never be afraid to tell your child that you were wrong or that you reacted to quickly without fully considering the situation. Your child needs to see you accept your failures in order for her to be able to accept her own failures gracefully.

Most importantly - Keep a sense of humor. Nothing goes smoothly all the time.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's A Snap!

I love providing my readers with useful information and tips to make their lives easier. I also love the idea of making money while doing what I love. I've discovered that making money while writing on my blog is a Snap with Snapbomb.

I noticed that some of my favorite bloggers have signed up with Snapbomb, so I decided to find out what the fuss was all about. Well, much to my surprise I've discovered that Snapbomb will pay bloggers to write about certain items that relate specifically to their blog content. I'm all for finding ways to generate an income, so I've signed up to be a Snapbomb endorser.

The best thing about Snapbomb is that I get to choose what I want to write about and what to write with regards to that particular topic. There is no coaching or required "endorsing" to be done, I just write what I really think about the issue at hand.

Now, as far as Snapbomb goes, I'm still undecided on what I really think. For starters, the amount of pay for each post is not a whole lot. Also, my first foray into the opportunities section only provided me with two writing opportunities. When I went back to the site to actually start writing, I found that one of those opportunities was no longer available even though it had only been a couple of hours since my previous viewing. That was a bit frustrating and confusing. However, I am not deterred just yet.

I took my leap of faith, figuring there is really nothing here to be lost, and opted to create a post for the one remaining opportunity. For this post, I am expected to write a review for Snapbomb. It is a bit difficult to review something that I've only just begun using, however, I can tell you how easy signing up and getting started has been.

The site is very easy to navigate and fairly self-explanatory. When you first sign up, you are required to add the Snapbomb "widget" to your blog site. The widget will then take 24 hours to "value" your page. This valuing determines a range of rates that you will be paid for the posts that you write.

Snapbomb pays its writers once each month via PayPal (a popular online paying method). Unlike most other online money making opportunities, Snapbomb does not require a minimum amount of earned income before payments are credited. This is good because many others require a minimum that seems to be unattainable.

If you happen to have your own blog, and would like to find ways to make a bit of money while you do what you love, check out Snapbomb. You may find that they have a few opportunities that you just can not pass up.

Safety Lessons

I recently joined Bzzagent after seeing information about this on It's a Woman's World. I was browsing the Frogpond over at when I came across a really nifty (am I allowed to use that dated word?) website.

Do you remember McGruff the crime dog? You know - his motto was "Take a bite out of crime."
Well, it seems that Mr. McGruff now has his very own website. At, you and your child can explore a wide variety of safety topics including guns and bullies and many more.

There are coloring sheets and worksheets to print. There are stories and advice collumns that address specific issues. There's even an online game to play.

If you're in the market for teaching your child about safety, take a moment to go visit Mr. McGruff and learn how to "Take a bite out of crime!" while teaching you children how to protect themselves, too.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Free Stuff...

Who doesn't LOVE free stuff? I know I do.

I just entered a giveaway over at Lila's page. She's giving away a hand made purse that is pretty cute.

I hope I win. I have a friend that would just adore this purse.

Go visit Lila's page and see what she's up to.

Crayola Color Wonders

Crayola has a wonderful set of products that only work on special paper. Color Wonders has been available for a couple of years now, I believe. The general idea is that your little artist can paint or color without making a huge mess on her clothes and your walls.

Color Wonders products are specifically made to work only on the Color Wonders paper. The chemical reaction between the marker and the paper creates the desired color. However, if the marker is used somewhere other than the special paper - say, on a wall or two (Marisa, aka: Picasso) - then the marker leaves no markings. It is a life saver for the parent who has a child that loves to express her artistic self on every available object OTHER than paper. Color Wonders also has a line of finger paints, squeezable paint brushes, and a wide variety of coloring books, as well as blank paper.

I noticed this week that a couple of other companies have finally figured out how this technology works. Elmer has their own product now for coloring without making a mess. The product works only on the special Elmer paper. There's another company on the bandwagon, but I can't remember what it is.

Now, of course this leaves me to wonder if the Elmer markers will work on the Crayola paper. I may actually have to buy them just to find out. It's good to see other companies making their way into this domain now. Competition is healthy for prices. Lower prices are healthy for my well strained budget.

No matter which product you prefer, the mess free art is always ideal. With so many different options in the world of Crayola (and now the others), I'm sure you'll find something your little sweetheart will love. As for me, I believe Kira will be getting a set of mess free paint brushes for her birthday along with a few other select mess free products. She loves to do art, but I hate dealing with the inevitable mess. Maybe some Color Wonder products will make us both happy.