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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You Are Special

Today's post is brought to you by Mutual Love.

Check out the link to read about the real value of yourself and others.

Use this analogy to show your children - and yourself - just what you are truly worth.

Be Safe

Tonight is the big party night of the year. If you are out and about, remember to be safe.

If you are staying home, buy a bottle of sparkling grape juice and let your kids join in on the festivities and toasting. Serve it cold in champagne flutes or wine glasses with a slice of fresh fruit in the glass. Your kids will have a blast pretending to be all grown up.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Road Trip Survival Kit

Traveling with children can be quite a challenge on one's sanity, especially if you will be in the car for an extended length of time. There are, however, many things that you can do to make the trip easier for you and your kids.

First, prepare a series of games for the kids to play along the way. You know the ones - "On the way to Grandma's house", "License Plate States", "Alphabet Hunt" - these games can take up a great deal of time and be fun for parents and kids to play together. They can also become learning opportunities.

Second, prepare a survival kit for each child. The survival kit should be tailored to the interests of the child. To make your own survival kit you will need the following items:

-- A plastic container with a lid **shoe boxes purchased at the dollar store are perfect

-- Small toys

-- Crayons, pens or pencils

-- Small note pad

-- Small snacks suitable for eating in the car without parental assistance

Take the container and fill it with all the items. Decorate the container with each child's name, or let each child decorate their own box. Don't tell them what the box is for or what is in it.

You can wrap each small toy to be opened at various times along the way, or just put several different things in the box.

After you leave for your trip, give each child their survival kit. It might be a good idea to wait until the first half hour or so has passed and give them their kits as they start to get restless. Of course, it isn't necessary to wait. You can just hand them out when you first climb into the car.

Remember to bring blankets and pillows for each little monster (yeah, yeah, they're children - not monsters) so that they can sleep comfortably along the way.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What The ???

In the land of HOLY F-ING OH MY GOSH!!!!

Go to this link and watch this video. I'm not posting it here, because I don't think I can.

And hit this link to see a bit more of the craziness that I came across today.

I'm still stunned so I have nothing else to say.

Meet Chopped Liver

It seems around these parts that there is only one person in the world that matters.


That other person in the house - Daddy - no longer exists. (Well, except for story time...)

Daddy is just not good enough. He doesn't give the right kind of hugs or the right kind of kisses. He doesn't snuggle properly. Frankly, he is not wanted. Just ask anybody around here under 3 feet tall and they will tell you - MOMMY IS THE ONLY ONE!

So, in honor of his newfound rejection, we have named him Chopped Liver. You know what chopped liver is, right? The dish that nobody in their right mind would ever want...

So --- what does a parent do? Do I silently gloat that I'm the golden one and preferred by all the small people? Do I force those small people to give their chopped liver - ahem, father - some much needed attention? Do I pretend that nothing is amiss and realize that the day will come when the roles will reverse?

Hmm...perhaps a combination of the above options would suffice.

Seriously, though, children go through phases where they have a preference of one parent over the other. It's important as a parent to realize that this is not a moment of personal attack. It is just a part of kids being kids.

To chopped liver - just bide your time. One day soon you'll get to be cheesecake again.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Have you been dumped?

I have.

Click the button above to get yourself - and your blog - dumped.

Fun Fun Fun

I just love this website. Family Fun is amazing. There are arts and crafts, recipes, travel tips, games, and tons of other stuff. The magazine is awesome, too, but the website is literally at my fingertips whenever I feel like finding something new to do with my monsters - ahem, kids.

There are so many cool ideas that I couldn't possibly name them all. Of all the magazines and sites available for parents, this one is on my top list of must-haves.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fabulous Finds

In the spotlight today is ***insert drum roll here***

Coming to a Nursery Near You

It was the really cool pink Christmas tree that caught my attention. The tree was posted on December 12th, right by a really cool giveaway that I totally missed.

Dawn is a stay at home mom with 3 children. Her bio page contends that blogging helps her to maintain her sanity. Oh - and she homeschools, too. How cool is that?

I happen to think that keeping one's sanity with multiple children and homeschooling is not an option, and I should know...since I have multiple children and homeschool. Not that I'm crazy or anthing...............

You can visit today's spotlight star here.

For more information about Mom's Fabulous Finds, see this post.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After...

I hope everybody survived (and enjoyed) their Christmas celebrations. Today is the day when the cleaning up must be done. While you're cleaning the debris from the festivities, keep these tips in mind.

1) Never put the boxes out by the trashcan for passers-by to see what items might have been received in your house yesterday. Thieves tend to target those houses that received high end merchandise. Take the television and video game boxes to your local cardboard recycling factory or wait until just before the trash pickup is scheduled to place those items by the curb.

2) Your children will enjoy the boxes - especially the big ones - far more than any actual gift that may have been packaged in said box. Cheer up, though. Eventually the box will disintegrate and your child will remember that there was once a cool toy in that box.

3) Wrapping paper is cheaper the day after Christmas. If you wait just two or three more days - the price of paper will follow the course of our current economy. (down...down...down....)

4) The day after (or week after) Christmas is a wonderful time to stock up on gifts for any upcoming birthdays. Those nifty perfume and soap gift boxes that are so popular for Christmas - yeah, half price or even more starting on December 26th. (This is perfect for those Christmas events that take place after Christmas....)

5) Gift cards last for a few days, so it isn't necessary to rush out the day after Christmas to spend those cards. After all, they don't expired for at least 6 months or so. (The fact that "I" will be rushing out in the morning to spend my gift cards is irrelevant. The more people I can convince to stay home tomorrow - the easier my day will be...)

6) Most important of all - remember that the spirit of Christmas does not have to end at midnight. You can continue to spread good cheer and kindness for as long as you wish. Keeping this in mind will also help with those post-Christmas frustrations. (Do you really need me to list them???)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

This is NEWS!!!

The manager of a grocery store was recently shocked by the audacity of one particular shoplifter, who waltz right in and took what he wanted without bothering to pay. The store manager confronted the thief, but decided that it was best to avoid any physical altercation. The thief left the store with his prize without regard to the video surveillance system that caught the entire event on tape. Even with a clear video, police have been unable (or unwilling ?) to apprehend the thief.

To read more about this shoplifting story, visit this link.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm not writing - Honest!

I know I'm on "holiday." I'm not actually writing. I am reading, though. So while I'm out spending some time reading the sites of other writers, I might just come across something really good and want to share it with you. This post is about such a thing...

Go read about these two frogs. It's really cool. I promise you'll enjoy the trip.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

I want to wish everybody a very Happy Holiday.

I will be taking a break from writing in order to share the next few days with my family (and finish up all those last minute tasks).

I will resume my writing shortly after the Christmas holiday.

Well Wishes to All!!!


Lately I've been doing quite a bit of blog hopping. I've started using Entrecard, so I'm finding tons of new sites to visit in hopes of generating new traffic and new loyal readers. (A sincere thanks to my current loyal readers....I do love you.)

There's an interesting phenomenon in the world of blog these days. It seems that there is a touch of repetition going on throughout the land. I've come across several sites that seem to have the same content. Well, no, not exactly the same - just the same topics. I'm not talking about holiday topics, either. Several blogs seemed to be running the same cookie recipes. They weren't in the exact same order, but they were the same recipes listed over about a weeks time. It's like all these authors are reading the same magazines and getting the same ideas around the same time. (or several somebodies are just "borrowing" ideas from other places...)

Granted, I come across content that sparks new ideas for my site. I generally keep a running list of topics that might be interesting to discuss. When I come across a topic that I feel might be of value here, I add the topic to the list for further consideration. Later, when I can't seem to come up with something, I consult my list. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who operates this way. I do try, however, to cite my sources when I happen to get exact content from another site. Or if I'm expanding on something that somebody else had to say - I always try to link back to them.

It just seems to be so coincidental that all these people in this same community are seeming to have the same information. So it leaves me wondering just who is copying who (if anybody is, in fact, doing such a thing). Of course, I'm not curious enough to try to track down the answer - only enough to observe and take note...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just a Little Update...

I just wanted to let all my faithful readers know that little Miss Kira is walking.

Well - she can take 3 or 4 steps now without holding onto any furniture. She's still very wobbly and her knees still don't come together. She has a hard time bending her legs when she walks, too. It takes a great deal of effort and concentration. However, she is only a week out of her casts and is now moving forward - literally - with strength and persistence that just amazes me.

She's much more mobile through crawling now, too. She can generally go wherever she wants within the house. She does get tired fairly quickly, though, so I often have to round her up and relocate her at times.

Oh - one more thing - she can wear clothes again. We can actually manage to get pants and panties on now. Yeah - that's a real big deal around here since she's been without bottoms since the beginning of September. (Okay - we were using string bikini bottoms over the cast, but other than that... )

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fabulous Finds

This is the first edition of Mom's Fabulous Finds.

In the spotlight today is ***insert drum roll here***

Parenting Tips at Stuff that wasn't in the book.

This busy mom of 4 has a pretty cool site going on. For starters, there is a very easy to navigate table of contents. Whatever topic you may want to read about, you can find it easily. (Wish I had one of those...) Her content includes various deals and money saving tips, right along with all the great parenting ideas.

You can visit today's spotlight star here.

For more information about Mom's Fabulous Finds, see this post.

Introducing Mom's Fabulous Finds

I've recently joined Entrecard in an effort to generate more traffic for my website. I love writing and knowing that other people find my words to be helpful. Over the past week or so I've noticed that there are a tons of other people in the blogosphere just like me. They want to get noticed and get more traffic. There are lots of ways to generate traffic. One way is to advertise and network through sites like Entrecard, which is what I've been doing. I've noticed a sharp increase in my traffic since I started networking.

Well, as a way to help out my fellow bloggers, I've decided to begin writing about other parenting blogs. I know, I know...I already have my Sites to See and my featured blog display. This will be different, though.

See, the Featured Blog is a "paying" advertisement through Entrecard where I earn E-Credits for allowing another blogger to advertise on my page. I can then spend those credits for my own advertising purposes. If you're a member of Entrecard then you already know how this works.

My Sites to See - well those are my own favorites that I wanted to share with you. I also like to have that list readily available for me to

The blogs I choose to spotlight will be randomly chosen. The recipients will have no idea that I'm shining the spotlight on them prior to my post being written. (I will, of course, notify them after the post is written...) This is all about me trying to share with you some of the things I've come across as I shamelessly promote myself. It's my way of promoting others because I know that they want to be promoted. Of course, those that I choose for the spotlight will need to have some kind of substance that I feel is relevant to my own content. I won't be spotlighting any of the "get rich quick" blogs, or others of that sort.

Yes, of course you can ask me to spotlight your blog. However, I won't make any promises. I won't guarantee that a request to spotlight will be granted, and if it isn't granted I won't give any explanations. It's just a random thing...

Keep an eye out for the Saturday's Fabulous Finds and you just might find a new treasure in the ocean of blogs.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Shoe Boxes

Do you remember the shoe boxes that I discussed previously in my medicine cabinet post? Well, as I clearly stated, those shoe boxes quickly began to multiply. When I realized just how well the shoe box system worked for my medicine, I found that my household supplies might just benefit from this new method, too.

With this new idea swirling in my brain, I started making another list. Here's how the list went:

Light Bulbs

So, with my list in hand I headed out to the store again. More boxes found their way into my car. Wonder how that happened? Hmm.

After I got home, I sorted out all the stuff and set my newly organized boxes up in the closet with my other boxes. This was beginning to look good. Now, I could easily see what I needed to buy just by looking at my boxes. All those people in the house that never knew where to find anything at all - well, their excuses went down the drain in a matter of just a few short hours.


A few days later, I decided that this entire process could really turn into something amazing. I looked around my house and thought to myself, "What can I do with this?" It occurred to me that I had way too many art supplies and nowhere to put them.

"Aha!" My next project was born. I sat down and made a new list.

Pipe Cleaners
Pom Poms
---You get the idea, right?

Out to the store I go again. More boxes found their way into my car. Wonder how that happened? Hmm.

So I come home and sort out all the art supplies and label all the boxes. These boxes go in a cabinet in the kitchen down low enough for little people to get to them easily. After all, this is the stuff for them.

Of course, my satisfaction was short lived. After we moved, I discovered that there were other areas that could benefit from my newly developed obsession - ahem, method!

My scrapbooking supplies! Eureka!

Off to the store again. More boxes found their way into my car. Wonder how that happened? Hmm.

Okay! At this point my husband begins to notice that something serious is going on. When I send him to the car - ahem, ask him nicely to go to the car - to get my boxes, he returns and comments that he has never known anybody who had such an affection for small plastic boxes as I do. I told him to just nod and smile - which he did - and took my boxes. I sat down and sorted out all my scrapbooking supplies by color. Then I put those in my art room.

Now, I've done about all I can do. There's nothing else that will fit into those plastic shoe boxes. It just won't work. I guess my obsession is over - or at least curbed for a time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Medicine Cabinet

The thing about the standard medicine cabinet is this: When you have children, the cabinet isn't nearly big enough to contain all the necessary medical paraphernalia that you need to have on hand for those "just in case" moments. I'm sure I'm not the only mother in the world that has noticed this problem. My solution came about two years ago when I decided that organization was the only way I would ever be able to deal with a household that was inhabited by a new baby, a toddler, a preteen, and a teenager. I absolutely had to be able to find whatever I needed without having to think about it. After all, sleep was not something that I was accustomed to so thinking was hard.

I started by making a list of categories. My list went as follows:

Pain and Fever
Cold and Cough
Tummy and Vitamins
Spoons and Temps

(Yes, I had to go look in the closet to refresh my memory. I could not remember what categories I had settled on way back when. Remember that sleep thing? Yeah - still not happening very often around here.)

After I made my list, I went to the Dollar Tree (love that store) and bought the appropriate number of plastic shoe boxes. I decided that the plastic shoe boxes were perfect because they were large enough to hold whatever I needed, and they stacked neatly on top of each other.

I brought my boxes home and labeled them according to my list. Then I sorted out all my medication. The medication for pain and fever went in one box. The medicine for tummy issues and the vitamins went in one box. All the cold and cough medicine, including allergy medications, went in one box. All the diaper creams and antibiotic ointments went in a box. Then there was the box that held all the measuring spoons and the thermometers - of which I have several. (NOTE: The thermometer that was used for rectal temperatures was kept in the bathroom drawer so that it would never accidentally be used for oral temperatures.) In my Band-Aids box I put the standard selection of Band-Aids, a selection of gauze, bandage tape, and a tube of Neosporin Ointment. Having the Neosporin in the Band-Aids box just made my life a bit easier even though it would normally be categorized as a cream and go in the box marked for that product.

This method has lasted for over two years now and is still working for me. In fact, I have expanded my shoe box organization to include several other areas of the household. My husband thinks I have an unnatural attachment to plastic containers because I keep buying more in order to continue the process of organizing my life.

I digress, though. After I finished the organizing process, I found a shelf that was high enough to prevent little people from ransacking my stocks. I placed all the boxes safely out of a certain mischievous little girl's reach and then explained this new system to all the people in the household that were old enough to medicate themselves. After some training in the ways of returning said medications to their proper place, the system basically maintained itself.

Every six months or so - around the time we change the batteries in the smoke detectors - I sift through the medication to check expiration dates. Anything that's expired gets tossed and the remaining contents of the box get reorganized.

I also check the contents of each box periodically to see what might need replenishing. It's amazing how many Band-Aids and how much cold medicine the people in this house go through.

Of course, my prescription medications are kept seperate (ahem - left on the table by the computer so I'll remember to take them) from all the medication that is intended for family use.

If you think you might start organizing your home in this manner then you should consider one issue before you begin. Once you start, you'll quickly become addicted to the shoe box organization method. You'll find that this method works for all types of organization. (household necessities, scrapbooking supplies, inside the freezer, in the fridge, etc. etc. etc.) So when you start buying your shoe boxes for the medicine organization product, go ahead and buy a few extra - say, about 50 or so - to be sure that all your boxes are of the same style. Buying your boxes at different times makes it difficult to match them up. If they don't match, they won't stack nearly as well...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday?

I've noticed an interesting phenomenon here in Blog World. It seems that several blogs have a recurring post called Wordless Wednesday. The idea - in its truest form - is an interesting one. However, what I've noticed is that most of these Wordless Wednesday posts are not wordless. The creator of the post almost always adds some sort of explanation of the photograph for the reader to read.

Isn't that kind of opposite of the point of the post?

Shouldn't these Wordless Wednesday posts be left without words so that the reader can consider all the possibilities?

Why title the post Wordless if you're going to add words?

I'm really curious about this. (To those of my friends who do this and add their words...I'm not really complaining. I'm just wondering out loud (in print), so to speak.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's GONE!!!

We came home this afternoon a bit lighter than when we left. Kira watched with guarded amazement as the technician removed her cast with a saw. She was a bit nervous at first - okay, more than just a bit - but when she realized that it was going to tickle instead of hurt, she just grinned.

I thought it was very interesting how the saw worked and how the tech. used this neat little tool to pop the cast apart. He didn't pull on Kira's legs at all, just used that tool to pop the cast apart and then used some scissors to cut the cotton lining before he even tried to move the cast off of her leg.

Underneath the cast we found a small bit of cookie. I have absolutely NO idea how Kira managed to get a piece of chocolate cookie down in her cast all the way to her knee. What I do know is that she has complained for about a week now about her leg hurting where that piece of cookie just happened to be laying. No wonder she was in pain...

We also found a big batch of dry skin underneath the casts. Both of her legs were raw and scaly from being wrapped up for so long. She was horrified - then fascinated - by all the dry skin. She spent quite some time rubbing her legs and looking at her hands as the skin peeled off.

When we came home I scrubbed the bathtub and then ran a nice, warm bubble bath. Kira and I sat in the bath until the water was too cold to stay in any longer. She thoroughly enjoyed having a proper bath after four and a half months of not getting to be in the tub. She's missed her baths most of all, I think.

The next few days will be difficult for her because she has very little strength in her legs, yet she longs to start walking again. She has to regain the ability to support her own body without the assistance of those casts. I'm sure it will be a quick process for her, but not without pain.

Kira will begin physical therapy in six weeks after her legs have had time to fully heal and adjust to being in the proper position.

We've finished the hardest part of this healing process. Yet it is clear to us all that there is still so much work ahead of us. Kira is very strong and very determined. She already understands that she has to move slowly in order to make progress without hurting herself too much.

Thank you to all of those who have helped us - especially me - through this difficult time.

I want to especially thank my wonderful husband for being so supportive of me during this phase of our lives. Being able to escape for a couple of hours most evenings was an absolute sanity saver for me. I'm so blessed to have you.

Happily Ever After

I've been thinking a lot lately about fairy tales and Disney Princesses. The movies and stories that are considered to be classics always end with the Princess and her dream love going on to live "happily ever after". It occurs to me that this might be more than a bit misleading when it comes to the realities of relationships. After all, "happily ever after" takes a lot of work (and isn't always happy).

It's important to discuss with your children what it takes to maintain a relationship. These stories leave children - especially girls - to believe that loving someone is plenty good enough to last a lifetime.

When your kids are reaching the age where they can understand the level of work that goes into a relationship, you should begin to talk to them about the types of things you do to maintain your own relationships. If you're married or have a significant other, then let your child be a witness to some of the discussions that take place within that relationship. (No, don't have all out fights in front of your children.) When you are sitting at the table discussing the budget or just the plans for the holidays, let your child see how you each listen to the other and find ways to compromise.

If your children grow up without realizing that the fantasies and fairy tales are just that, then they will likely have a hard time adjusting to the realities of love and relationships. As we all know, it takes a lot of work and compromise - and plain ole stubbornness at times - to make a relationship last a lifetime. Be sure your children understand, so that they will be prepared to put in those long hours of frustration and sometimes being unhappy in order to maintain their relationships.


Kira gets her cast off today. Her appointment is at 2:00 this afternoon.

We're all very excited. After nearly 4 months being stuck in "stupid casts," this is a day worth celebrating.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Letters to Daddy

When my daughter, Kira, was born, I felt that I needed to do something special to help me mark her journey of growing up. At that time I wasn't much into photo albums or scrapbooks. I just couldn't see me trying to take pictures every day and then being able to recall what each picture was.

Kira was my husband's first child, so I decided to mark her first year in a way that would be special to both of them. Kira began writing letters to her Daddy. (Yes, I was the one writing, but the letters were from Kira and her perspective - or what I perceived her perspective to be.)

Now, Kira did not write letters every single day. On the days when something special happenned, she would write a letter to Daddy to tell him about her day. I did not tell Randall at first that I would be doing this. I just bought the special notebook and started writing. The first letter was written on the day that Daddy went back to work. When he came home that night, I handed him the notebook and told him to read. He was a bit perplexed but within minutes he was sitting on the sofa with teary eyes because Kira told him just how much she missed him while he was away.

This new notebook became special for everybody in the family. Randall's mother enjoyed reading Kira's letters. Randall looked forward to reading the letters. I would never tell him when new letters were written. He just made it part of his day to pick up the notebook and see if there was a new entry. Sometimes we talked about the letters and sometimes we didn't. I enjoyed writing them because it had become such a special treat for Randall.

Soon I will start reading Kira's letters to her. I know she will enjoy hearing about the adventures of her first year of life.

I didn't continue after the first year - and admittedly failed to complete the first year for Marisa - but when the girls are old enough to start writing (or dictating) letters then we'll begin writing letters to Daddy again. That is actually going to be part of our homeschooling lessons.

Letters don't have to be written to Daddy. They can be written to Mommy or Grandma or whomever plays an integral role in your child's life.

Scrapbooking Made Easy

I will be starting a scrapbooking service beginning in January. After much consideration and thought, I've come up with a system that will allow me to provide this service to those persons who don't have the time or talent to put a book together for themselves, but love the idea and want their own book.

I have my first client and will be using her book to advertise my skills.

I will be providing regular updates here in to show the process and progress of her book - yes, with her permission - so that anyone who may be interested in becoming a client can see how I work.

If you have any questions or want more information on becoming a client, please contact me or leave a comment here on my journal. I will give discounts to any client willing to allow me to post their finished product for advertising purposes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sweet Sweet Sweet

I don't know about you, but around my house the sweet tooth abounds. My kids just LOVE to eat sweet food. They love chocolate, fruit gummies, marshmallows - just about anything that hints of sugar.

In my quest to find a better way to indulge their cravings, I found Emerald Forest. Emerald Forest produces and all natural sweetener that can be used in all your recipes for sweet treats (just add a little extra liquid to avoid dryness).

I can satisfy my kids' cravings without filling them with calories... Imagine that. And they think they're getting their beloved sugar, too...

If you need some ideas for treats, you can always check out the recipes on the Emerald Forest website. They have quite a few tasty ideas.

Personally, I think the Pumpkin Bread is something I'm going to have to try. I love pumpkin pie. I can just imagine how much I would enjoy pumpkin bread. I can almost smell it now as I write about it. (Too bad I don't have any of the ingredients to make that bread. (Looks like I"m going shopping...)

The Sands of Forgiveness

Today's post is borrowed (okay - stolen) from Mutual Love, one of my newly discovered treasures in the sea of blogs. I was visiting there and found this post. It was so touching that I decided I really needed to share it here, too. (I seriously hope the writer of Mutual Love does not mind my thievery...)


Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:

Today My Best Friend Slapped Me In The Face.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:

Today My Best Friend Saved My Life.

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?"

The other friend replied "When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."


Now for my own thoughts...

It's very important to model this type of behavior for your children. Teach your children how to forgive those things that are not worth carrying around. Extra baggage of anger and resentment weighs us down and makes it more difficult to see the joys in life.

As parents, we also need to learn to write our parental hurts in the sand of life. When our children "hate" us or reject us, we need to realize that it is all just a part of growing up. They don't truly hate us (at least for the most part).

Sand and stone - how completely opposite of each other.

Friday, December 12, 2008


There's a fairly new networking site that I want to discuss today. Networking is a wonderful way to make friends, get yourself noticed, increase traffic (which is my current goal), or just have fun.

acobay is a networking site that works a bit differently than the ones I've seen before. With Acobay, you create your profile and then tell the world about the products you use or the places you like to visit. In this way, you can connect with other people who like the same products or visit the same places. It's a way to meet people that you may have something in common with or just market yourself to increase interest in your ventures. (For me, I'm marketing my blog. I want more visitors...I want more loyal readers...So I network.)

The site is still relatively new, but the process is simple. I opened my account today and posted some of my stuff to my list. I even did a bit of browsing of the other stuff that was already posted. I found a magazine - Taste of Home - that was being discussed. Naturally I joined in the discussion because I know a bit about that magazine and wanted to get noticed. How else can one get noticed unless one speaks up, right?

What I would like to say about Acobay is this: The FAQs are limited and not very helpful, so you're basically working it out on your own. Luckily, the system is fairly easy to navigate without much direction. It took me a bit of playing to figure out how to leave comments and such on an item because the buttons are not clearly labeled, and they don't have that nifty pop-up box that tells you what they are. Maybe in the course of the construction, the designers of the site will make these aspects a bit easier to use.

If you want to get in on the ground floor of a brand new social networking site that shows promise...go sign up at acobayand get busy sharing your stuff... (Mom always advocates the concept of sharing, after all.)


The holidays are upon us. Magic is in the air.

Family traditions are a great way to celebrate the season and make it special for your children. The traditions can be big or small. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Your children will enjoy whatever you do to make the season special.

Here in mom-land we do have a couple of traditions that we try to maintain for the holidays.

First, every year we drive to Lake Lanier for their Nights of Lights and Santa's Village. It's a wonderful evening of driving through lights, with a final stop at Santa's Village where the kids can roast marshmallows and ride rides. There's also a bit of shopping at the Village Store involved, of course.

Second, their Grandma has a visitor that hangs out at her house for the season. His name is Harvey and he's an elf. There's a book, The Elf on the Shelf, that tells all about the elf and how he leaves every evening to go see Santa and report on whatever is going on in the family. Harvey moves around quite a lot. Every time he leaves, when he comes back he finds a new place to sit. The kids have to figure out where he is when they come to visit.

These little things are so simple, but the entire family looks forward to them.

If you don't currently have any holiday traditions, now is a good time to start. Figure out what will work for your family and turn it into something special.

Remember to have fun, too...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Featured Blog

I want to direct you to my newest feature.

At the left side of the page, you will notice please the new "Featured Blog" box. In this box, you will find a new blog being advertised every day. The Featured Blog will change every 24 hours, so be sure to check it each day to see who I'm promoting. Advertising in this space is completely free, so if you want your blog to be featured for one day - then it's really simple.

Go to and create your own account. (This is completely free, also.) After you create your account, read their eBook for Beginners (Yes - you really do need to read the book. It explains how the system works.)

After you create your own account, come back and drop your Entrecard onto my card box. Then, go through the process to request advertising.

I would gladly explain the entire process to you here, but I'm brand new at this so I'm not exactly sure what all is involved.

What I do know is this --- Entrecard is an online community that increases traffic to your blog by making other people aware that you exist. You can opt to drop your card on other blogs and they can drop their card on yours. Then, there's the advertising, which gives you 24 hours of advertising your own card in their spot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bedtime Snack

Around my house, bedtime is the cue for little people to become very hungry. I was growing quite frustrated with the late night 'hungries' because I just knew that they were not really hungry. They just didn't want to go to bed.

Well, about a week ago I began the bedtime snack ritual. About 20 minutes before bedtime, everybody gets a snack and a drink. After story time, they no longer have the 'hungries' as an excuse to avoid bed. (They do still try...) When they start complaining that they are, indeed, starving - I simply remind them that they just had a bedtime snack.

It seems to be working around here. Bedtime has become less of a struggle and much more enjoyable for everybody.

I use the same technique to avoid the bathroom requests at bedtime, too.

I try really hard to consider all the possibilities of what the little people might come up with as a new excuse to avoid the dreaded bedtime. If I can figure out what they might want or need before they have the chance to inform me, then I can give them what they might want or need before I declare it to be time for bed. If they already have everything they might want or need, then they have no reason to delay the dreaded bedtime. Aren't I so clever....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Note to Self

I have to admit, I'm taking this idea from one of my favorite sites "Me Only Different" (see my Sites to See - it's late and I'm lazy.).

I have a bunch of random thoughts - none of which work for their very own post. So - I'm making a post of my random thoughts and information...just like she did a while back. (Thanks for the idea...)

1) Dead batteries in the camera means you miss that really cute shot (of Marisa - standing up in front of the chair - sound asleep because she slid down to the floor while she was sleeping - and then woke up before Mom could get the batteries replaced...)

2) Quality products are worth the extra expense. (Otherwise, that advent calendar that you were so proud of making will start to fall apart when the glue completely dries because you used the "cheap stuff".)

3) Scrapbooking with children nearby is a recipe for disaster. They will absolutely insist on "helping" - none of which will be helpful in any conceivable way.

4) Marisa will not comprehend the meaning of the word "NO", no matter how hard you try to explain it. (Exception - if Marisa is the one saying "NO," then you can guarantee that she knows EXACTLY what it means.)

5) It's good that your 2 yr. old wants to sleep with her books. It shows that she has a keen grasp of the concept of learning by osmosis. (After all, how many times have you been known to sleep on your text books with the greatest hopes that the information would magically materialize in your brain upon taking that important exam that you meant to study for...)

6) Tired kids sleep well at night. (Unless they fall asleep an hour earlier than bedtime. Then they wake up after two hours, having had a nap and ready to burn the midnight oil.)

7) Pajamas are not suitable for trips to Grandma's house even though Grandma's is only 10 minutes away. Grandma expects that little girls should be fully dressed (including socks and shoes) when visiting. If you fail to dress them properly, be prepared for the consequences. Best just to take time to dress them.

8) If Grandma shows up to collect kids and they are in pajamas, you might just be able to get away with putting tights on under the pajamas and convincing Grandma that they are just wearing "light weight" pants for the sake of layering. (Hey - it actually worked for me today...)

9) Eating out guarantees that my normally ravenous children will not be hungry (until ten minutes after we leave the restaurant...).

10) Bedtime movies should always be educational. It guarantees that little heads will be asleep much faster.

And one final note --- if you suggest that a certain person stays home instead of going out to watch that very important SEC Championship football game --- you can guarantee that loads of work will get done very early in the day just to make sure they get to go watch that game. ( was very productive for unpacking and putting things away - thank you SEC)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Poor Berries

I was driving down the road yesterday - headed to the "old house" to collect some mail. We've just recently moved, but I haven't done my mail forwarding forms so we have to go collect the mail every so often. As I was driving down the road by my old house, I realized that much of the roadside was completely clear. Then, I come across the open field of bushes - only there weren't any bushes anymore.

I suddenly realized that somebody (presumably the electric company) has clear-cut my blackberry bushes. They didn't just get the bushes on the sides of the road, either. Those [expletive deleted] people clear cut the entire stretch of bushes that runs out between the trees. Yes, all the way to the other side of the woods, my blackberry bushes were GONE!

Okay - I admit - I was (am) pretty upset by this even though I didn't actually "own" any of those bushes. It just doesn't make any sense. The bushes were in no danger of even beginning to interfere with the power lines. I doubt they will be back in force by next summer. I was really looking forward to taking my two girls blackberry picking next summer. Now, I'll have to either hope to stumble upon more bushes or take them to berry picking farms.

I've never been to a berry picking farm, but I doubt it will be quite the same as picking wild blackberries out in the woods. This is so, so sad...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We got a bit of snow flurries yesterday. It wasn't enough to make a fuss over, but there was snow to be seen.

Around here, snow is a rarity. We hardly ever get enough to play with. Last year it snowed one night, but was gone in the morning. Luckily, we had bundled the kids up at 9:00 at night instead of going to bed. We went out and played in the snow and got lots of pictures.

If you do get snow - and enough to play with - then make sure you take full advantage of the magic that snow creates. Get your kids outside and play with them in the cold snow. Snow ball fights are lots of fun. Show them how to make snow angels and build snow forts. Then, after you're all worn out (and frozen solid) go in and make up some hot chocolate for everybody.

Your kids will cherish the memories you create when you do these simple little things. It's important to join them in their games instead of just sending them out to play. They'll remember that you took the time to be involved, even when you might have preferred staying inside and being warm.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today is the day to begin your countdown to Christmas. This is the first year I've made an advent calendar. In fact, until recent years I had no idea what the advent calendar was for. This year, my girls will each have their very own advent calendars to count down the days until Christmas. I hope this will become a treasured memory for them.

If you want to incorporate the advent calendar into your holiday celebrations, it is quite easy to do. You can make this as simple or as elaborate as you choose. Here are a few ideas for creating your own special advent calendar.

1) You can buy a store bought calendar at Target or any other department store. I noticed some very nicely made wooden boxes at Target with little doors for hidden treasures. The boxes start around $25.00 and are made to last a lifetime. You can purchase one and then fill each compartment with a special treat for your child to find each day.

2) You can use a paper calendar and tape a piece of candy to each day of the month of December to count down the days until Christmas.

3) You can make your own calendar with cardboard or other materials. Include a small treat for each day.

What I did ---

I took that wonderful wallpaper that I've been collecting from Lowe's and found some that was appropriately colored for the season.

I cut pieces of cardboard out of those pesky moving boxes that we have piled all over the place and glued the wallpaper to the cardboard.

I cut strips of collector card inserts to create pockets for my advent calendar.

I glued or used stickers to create various decorations to the front of each clear pocket.

I filled each pocket with a small treat. I used candy and small toys to fill my pockets. You can also use pieces of paper with special activities for the day.

I cut card stock to the appropriate size and wrote a number on each piece **1 through 24**. Then I taped it to the front of each decorated pocket in the proper numerical order.

-- I made two separate calendars - one for each girl. Every day they will get to remove a number from the front. Each number will reveal a decoration and a small treat in the pocket.