Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wal-mart Lesson

I held off going grocery shopping as long as possible but with the upcoming snow storm for tomorrow I had to head out tonight and get 2 of the 4 stores done. The majority of the shopping is now done. I have less than 10 things to get at each of the remaining 2 stores.

Jessica got $20 from my father's fiance for her birthday last month. She has just been holding on to it. Sunday night Jessie blessed me and gave me a foot rub and painted my toe nails. She was having a hard time with the nail polish. A lot of it was old and getting dried out. She was telling me how she would like new polish. I told her she could use her money to buy new polish and I would bring her to the store to get it.

Little did I know that to her that meant "the next time I go out, I will bring you." But in her 8 year old mind that is exactly what she thought. It was about 7:30 this evening and I was finishing up my grocery list. She came in my room and pulled her list out of her pocket book. She actually made a list of all the colors she wanted. She was telling me how excited she was to be getting her polish. At that point, even though I would have loved to have some quiet time to myself I brought her with me.

Jessie was a big helper in the store getting whatever I needed. We chatted. We laughed. The excitement was building as we made our way through the store and over to the nail polish. FINALLY we were standing in front of 20 different colors. Jessie, being the mini-me that she is, then got her list out and went one by one to find each and every color. It was fun to watch her think through her decisions (like which shade of blue to get). We added up how much she was spending as we went along. It was great!!!

This one shopping trip gave us an opportunity to use math (adding up the prices. subtracting it from what she had), reasoning (in another store she saw a pocket book she liked and she had to think through spending her money), decision making (deciding colors, what to buy, how many) and communication (talking to the cashier. Giving the cashier the money, getting back the change. using manners). All skills she is going to use in the real world some day.

So do you think I can count this as a homeschool day : ) kidding....just kidding ; )


I am exhausted!! I feel like I have been going ever since Emily's birthday (December 16th). For the most part I did pace myself. That was until Christmas Eve. I kicked it into high gear and now my body is angry with me. With Fibromyalgia too much stress or being on my feet can cause a flare up. I have been in one since Saturday.

To bring this under control there are a few things I can do:
1. Rest. This one can be a tough one for me. There is a lot to do!!
2. Tylenol and Motrin together. 3 times a day. My doctor originally wanted me to do this every day. NO WAY!!! I know the affects Tylenol can have on your liver. That is why I save this regimen for when I have a flare-up.
3. Eat RIGHT. Too much junk and not enough fruits and veggies. It make a difference.
4. Exercise. Here is where I feel a Catch-22. My body hurts all over. The last thing I want to do is move it. But exercise is proven to help. I am gonna have to start small, maybe just 10 minutes.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Zachary!!! The Big 1-0!!!

I can't believe it. Zachary is 10!!! Where has the time gone. Too fast. Double digits already. I thought, since Zachary is 10 I would list 10 things I love about him (in no particular order).

1. His heart. If I am having a bad day, Zachary will try very hard to turn it around. He has been known on many occasions to leave on my bed a piece of chocolate with a note saying how much he loves me.

2. His musical ability. He LOVES to play the piano. At any given point throughout the day you could find Zachary sitting at the piano playing.

3. His creativity. I have never seen a child come up with so many ideas. Give him a box and duct tape and you never know what you are going to get. A few examples: a basket ball hoop. 4 hole mini golf course. Airplane. One of my favorite memories is the time he took easel paper and taped it together to cover a 10x10 area. He then colored in a baseball field...a very accurate baseball field. He then made bleachers with fans, players on the field, and the announcers box. It was incredible.

4. He love for God. He asked Jesus into his precious heart back in August. He faithfully reads his bible every night. He likes to play church and lead the music and do the message.

5. His blonde hair.

6. His way with younger kids.

7. He puts others first. We have come down to the last candy (or whatever) and he has given it up saying he knows Alex would enjoy it or he knows Alex would be sad if he didn't get it.

8. The excitement he gets over birthday's and holidays. I have no idea where he gets that one from ; )

9. He still likes to cuddle.

10. He's Zachary!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

My Honey's favorite Christmas Song (one of my favorites too). Enjoy.

Discharged : )

Emily met with Early Intervention on Monday. I am excited to announce that Little Miss Emily Grace is discharged, no longer eligible for services!!! : )

This was an exciting moment for me. It made me feel like we really are making a difference in her life. We got Emily at 6 months old. She was 6 weeks preemie. Early Intervention assessed her at 7 months. She was all over the chart with her development. I remember them telling me at the first assessment that she didn't shake a rattle (or any other object). This is something she should have been able to do at 2 months old. Yikes. Her biggest delay overall they said was Language Development.

After a 3 month wait Early Intervention finally started. She was now 10 months old. At the beginning Sue came once a week, for 1 hour at a time. Out of that one hour, Emily was miserable for about 45 minutes (sometimes the WHOLE time). But we pressed on. And I watched. I watched to see what Sue did with Emily that was different than what I did with my previous children. I watched to see what toys she used. I asked questions. And then I went to work.

If Sue used a peg board with Emily then I made it my mission to find a peg board (thank you homeschool convention : )
If Sue used bubbles, I had a ready supply.
If Sue used puzzles than I snatched every one that I could find at yard sales.
Then, I set up a time daily and did these things one-on-one with Emily. I called it Mommy Intervention.

The progress she has made is incredible. Now I don't want you to think I am trying to say "look at me and what I did". No, far from it.

I am sitting here in the wee hours of the morning with tears in my eyes thankful to God that He brought this precious little girl into our life. I am thankful that He picked me to be her Mommy. I am thankful that He used me to help her. It breaks my heart to know the life choices her birth mother made and how because of those choices this child could have had a much different life (enough said on that one). I am thankful that we can give all the glory to God. She can be a testimony for Him.

Have a Merry Valentine Christmas??

Last night I brought my Mom Christmas shopping. I couldn't believe my eyes. You know what I saw? Valentine decorations out!!! They were displayed right next to the Christmas decorations. I was floored. Since when don't we get to enjoy one Holiday without them (being the retail world) trying to shove the next one down our throat. Seriously.

Our world is in a fast forward, microwave, must-have-it-now state that they don't take this moment in time to reflect and enjoy the birth of our Savior.

Monday, December 22, 2008

6 Seconds.......

I have been waiting for this day for about 2 months now. You know what it is? I bet you'll never guess ; ) Alright, I'll tell you....It's the Winter Equinox!!! Are you excited or what?

Okay, I have a feeling that for the average person you are not too excited. But for me, it means I am that much closer to longer days.

A few weeks ago I wrote about S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and it's effects on me. Well I wanted to give you an update. Back on December 12th, I was woken up bright, no let me change that to dark and early by my hubby. He called at about 6:45 to tell me I needed to get up and do "the light". I wanted to just hang up on him but instead I listened to his wisdom and reluctantly got up, did my devotions and headed downstairs to pull out "the light". I was at a pretty low point and felt like it was going to be no use. But I didn't want to go against Hubby. Actually, truth be known, I figured I would do it, see no change and just be able to say "told you so" and go on with my pity party.

But in incredible thing happened after I did the light. I actually didn't feel worse, in fact, it felt good. So the next day, I got up again and did "the light". Within a few days I was getting up at 6:30 all on my own compared to the dragging myself to get up at 7:30 (if I was lucky---it was really closer to 8).

Today made day # 11 with "the light". I wish I started this back in October when I was feeling myself slip. My mood is SO much better. I am not as anxious or easily irritated. I am enjoying life again. I have hope.

The light isn't the only thing making the difference. I also take B6 and B12 every morning now. I read that B6 can help with the production of serotonin. Low levels of serotonin have been found to be associated with depression.

Of course I know that the One True Light is God. When I was feeling lower than low I felt forgotten. I felt God and I were just not connecting. But I pressed through. It can be tough, but I held on to His word, meditating on His promise, sang out His songs just knowing that even though I felt alone, He was holding me the whole time.

I figured there might be others out there that could benefit from this post. There are others who might be wondering what this light looks like. So here it is. These three things have made a HUGE difference in my life.

Vitamins B6 and B12, "the light" and The One True Light--God's Word

You might be also wondering why I chose 6 Seconds as my title today. That is because the weather man today said we had 6 seconds more sunlight today than yesterday. 6 seconds. That's enough to make me happy today : )

Chirstmas Cookies

I did LOTS of baking this weekend.
I will start in the middle with Sugar cookie candy cane, starting in the upper right going around clockwise---Hazelnut Tea Cookie, Chocolate Dipped Macaroons, Crinkle Cookies (thanks Kate), Fudge (thanks Wendy), Peanut Butter Blossom.

I will be giving them out to neighbors, CJ's guitar teacher, Early Intervention, and the Social Worker. I already gave a plate to my sister.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Still Snowing

It's still snowing and I'm still baking. Yesterday I made fudge, hazelnut tea cookies and chocolate dipped macaroons. Today I will be working on 3 more creations.

We are planning on watching The Santa Clause 3 (we watched 1 and 2 already this past week), eating popcorn and playing some games with the kids. The kids are really excited because I took their Game Boys out. Since they haven't played them in at least 6 months (probably longer), it is like they are brand new toys to them.

So how's your weather? What are you doing this weekend?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowy Weekend

Today is day two of my Snowed in weekend. Yesterday (into the night) we got 12 inches of snow. This is outside my back door.

This is outside my front door.

Well one thing you should know about me.....I HATE SNOW!!!! Yeah, it's pretty on a postcard but besides that, yuck!

I am however, enjoying the fact that I have no plans to leave this house until Monday morning. We are suppose to get more snow tomorrow so I will not be going to church.

Yesterday Chris worked 14 hours. Today he will be doing the same. The kids had a very good day yesterday. I think it is because I kept them busy with activities. Before the snow started I ran to the market (along with a few other hundred people) to pick up supplies for the weekend. No, I did not need milk and bread (which I don't get that whole thing anyway. If you are snowed in what are you going to make with milk and bread? Never been able to figure that one out). I went to the market to buy the rest of my baking supplies. I had already been planning to do some baking this weekend and now I have the perfect snowed in weekend to do it. After the market I stopped at the library and picked up lots of movies (different ones for different age groups) and a couple of books.

Once they were done with one activity I moved them on to the next. They watched Toy Story, colored, made a club, read books, played in the snow, and had hot chocolate with whip cream. The day was fabulous. It wasn't until about 6:30 did things go a little sour. Chris was on is way home and I was finishing up dinner. They didn't have an "activity" to do so they started getting a little wild. Luckily, Chris came home and he occupied them. After dinner we played Gestures. I then let the 3 middle kids sleep under the Christmas Tree. It was a hallmark moment.

The kids are already chopping at the bit to get outside today. It is 19 degrees out right now and it is still a little too early for our neighbors. I am hoping today will go as smoothly as yesterday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

SSHHH---Mom's Christmas Gift

I finally finished my Mom's Christmas gift early Thursday morning (around 1 a.m.). If it wasn't for my friend Pam and her daughter JoHannah I would never had been able to finish it. This is only the second quilt I have made. Besides doing home-ec in jr. high this is the extent of my sewing experience. I remembered how to do the inside part from the last one but I didn't know how to put it together from there. Pam opened up her home to me Wednesday and I went over kid free. Not only did they bless me by giving me the chance to do this, they invited me for dinner and Pam's 3 daughters wrapped ALL my Christmas presents!!!!! What a family!! Here's the finished quilt. I hope my Mom is going to like it. She knows I was making one. In fact, I did some sewing in front of her. BUT, she thinks I was making it for my mother-in-law. She has not seen the finished product.

And if that wasn't enough, JoHannah blessed me with a basket full of goodies as thank you for teaching her chemistry class.

I love gifts like this. A gift from the heart.

Chocolate Truffle

All week I have been following a great blog series by 5 woman. They are doing a Bloggy Progressive Dinner. Each day they took turns being the host. First day was Drinks, 2nd day appetizers, 3rd salads, 4th main course and today is desserts. I have come across some wonderful recipes through this. I thought I would join in today with a dessert. My sister gave me this recipe. Many years she would bring to my house for Christmas. It was so good that I had to know how to do it myself.

Chocolate Truffle

1 Chocolate cake mix--prepare according to directions
2 instant chocolate puddings--prepare according to directions
1 tub of cool-whip
1 package of Heath Bar Crumble (you find it in the baking aisle with the chocolate chips)
1 truffle bowl

After you make the pudding and cake it is a matter of layering in the truffle bowl. I make the cake in a 13x9 pan. I cut it into many squares. It is easier to put it in the truffle bowl that way. Start with the cake. Put a down a layer down in the truffle bowl. Top it with some pudding. Next add some cool whip and then top with the Heath Bar Crumble. Then do it all over again to make another layer of all the ingredients. Put it in the fridge until you are read to serve. Enjoy!!

Head on over to The Happy Housewife for more delicious desserts. She also has a give away (that I hope I win because I could really use it).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily!!!

I can't believe it...Miss Emily Grace is 2 Today!!!! I am so blessed to be called her mommy. This was taken Friday night. All the kids were out and she helped me make the salt dough ornaments. This child cracks me up. I love her with all my heart. In fact, she's my Mocha Love!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Food

I thought I would give you an update on cooking this week since I tried 2 new dinners (1 including a homemade pie crust) and cookies. 2 of the recipes I got were from the ladies at Happy to be at Home. If you haven't checked out there website it is a must. They are the whole reason I even got interested in cooking this summer. Before them, I was more than happy to let my hubby do the cooking or order out.

Not to sound full of my self but----YUMMY!!!! They were a hit with everyone. Now that is not to say that there weren't some bumps in the road.

We had Chicken Potato Pie on Tuesday (switched the day due to grocery shopping). I tried and tried to get the homemade crust to come out right, but it was....
a mess. No matter what I did the dough kept falling apart. If it didn't break when rolling it it would when I tried to lift it up. I did flour the counter top. It didn't help a bit. Honestly, I think the probably was the counter itself. It is not very smooth feeling, kind of bumpy. I am going to pick up a pastry mat before trying this again. I had to pick up each piece and lay it on the plate and then the pie.
I guess not that bad for my first try. I am hoping this will becoming easier. This is me at the beginning of making the crust....
And this is me after.......

Friday night Chris brought the middle kids to play practice for the children's church musical. They had cereal before they left. While they were gone I made Chicken and Bean Burritos. Talk about an easy recipe to put together. And it taste FANTASTIC!!! Chris, CJ and I ate it Friday night for dinner. It was so good that I served the leftovers to the whole family Saturday night with rice and topped with shredded cheese. This is going in the MUST-HAVE-AGAIN pile. I plan on making some and sticking it in the freezer for a simple lunch for me and CJ.

Saturday night the 3 middle children were in the church play. I volunteered to make cookies. I am planning on making our neighbors cookies next weekend so I have been going to Food Network daily and looking up the 12 Days of Cookies. Not only are their recipes but video's on how to prepare each. I am a visual learner so the videos were a HUGE help. I decided to make Candy Cane Cookies.

Since I was making a cookies for a larger crowd I made 2 batches of dough. The first one I did red and the second in green. On the video they mixed the food coloring in by hand. I did my whole recipe in my kitchen aide, including the food coloring. After I got done with the first dough I put it in a seperate bowl while working on the second.

I did things in steps. I made 10 balls of each color, then rolled out each color, then finally put them together. I wasn't sure if the food coloring would get on my hands and in turn get on the opposite colors dough. Also, I figured assemble style was faster.
Twisting the two colors together
This was the first set I did. I figured out a few things from this set. First, ditch the parchment paper of the counter!! It was easier to roll them out on the smooth kitchen table (maybe I should have tried the pie crust there). Also, when I twits them together, I could put a roll action to it.
Finished product..........
I impressed myself with them : ) Who would ever think I could be so talented.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yard Pickup

We had some very wet and wild weather this past week. It blew some trash and recyclables all over the yard and street. Yesterday I asked Zachary and Alex to please go clean the yard. Most kids would have just gone outside and walked around the yard and picked stuff up. With Zachary, you never know how a job is going to be done. He brings his creativity to just about everything he does. This is what I saw when I looked outside--

Yes, I know it is December in New England but yesterday morning was very mild (the mid 50's) and he had been in the house up until this point.

Zachary is riding the bike and he had Alex go around picking stuff up and putting it all in the wagon. At some point Alex used the shovel behind him.

12 Days of Christmas

I don't know if you have heard about this group of guys. 12 years ago they were in college and put together a group. This was a video of them back in 1996 singing at their college. After college they all went on there way and 2 years ago someone (I believe one of the members of the group) posted this video on youtube so family and friends could enjoy. Well they ended up getting 2 million hits, 1 beginning from the President of Atlantic Records. He signed them to a 5 record deal. Can you believe the power of the web!

I got a kick out of the song. If you are not family with the song Africa by Toto you might want to listen to it first to get the full effect. BTW, the name of this group is called Straight No Chaser. I am sure when they all were in college they thought this was a funny name. I wonder now that they are all grown men how they feel about it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Hurry!! CBD sent me a code that is good until Dec. 11 at 11:59 p.m.. It is good for 10% off an order of $50 or more. This code CAN be used more than once. The code is 289305.

And if you can, please go through my CBD link on my side bar. I do get $$ if you do.
Thanks : )

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What a Great Difference

Today I went to see my Nurse Practitioner at the Family Practice I go to. I have been having high blood pressure issues for the last couple of months. I have been exercising atleast 2-3 times a week for the last month. I know it needs to be more, but it is a start. I have also lost (according to my scale this morning) 4 pounds over the month too. I have been trying to cut back here and there (like not getting a Frapacinno from Starbucks every time I go to Target--or drive by Target for that matter). The blood pressure was slightly better but still high. I have a physical scheduled for the end of January and we will recheck it then. My goal is to lose 5 more pounds by the time I see her.

I spoke to her about my winter depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D. for short). I told her that after having two great years where I wasn't even fazed by winter this year it has been tough. I would say I started to feel the affects around October. I told her that some days I feel like I do everything I can just to hold it together. I can start crying very easily, crave carbs (and chocolate) more than usual, and just straight up don't want to get up before 7:30...but yet I would love to crawl in bed by 8 p.m., energy is gone. And my poor kids have gotten the blunt end with my mood (big time grabby patty). So after telling my NP, Kathy, all this she asked me how I was doing with getting into the Word. Uh, well....not so much. I feel at times very distant from God...very unworthy. She reminded me how a few years ago I told her that God used the S.A.D. to draw me closer to Him.

During that time I was getting up early before anybody else in the house. I would use a light box for atleast 30 minutes and during this time I would meditate on His word and pray. After that I would put worship music on. I would fill myself up with Him instead of looking to myself to get through this. Kathy reminded me of this today. I left feeling a little better and I know what I need to be doing.

Depression is very lonely. There is one song that sums up how I feel. Take a listen. This was the best video of the song I could find on youtube. His mouth and the words don't line up. Pay that no mind. Instead, close your eyes and just listen to the words.

I thank God that I have the N.P. that I do. Most would have quickly just written a prescription and sent me on my way. What a great difference it makes to go to someone that can gently remind you to look to the Lord.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday, December 8th

We did pretty good sticking to our meals last. Especially considering the lack of organization I had to them. You see, I had planned on going to the market on Monday (which for me consists of about 4 different stores). Chris ended up working overtime so I didn't go. Everyday since then it has been a "run to the store and I will go and do the regular shopping tomorrow". However, I never made it to the store. Chris would either stop on his way home and pick up the few things we needed for that day or I would run to a small convenience type store. Needless to say I am sure we blew the budget. But this is a new week, right : )

Last week's homemade pizza was not as homemade as I would have liked. Chris ended up picking up one of those pre-made shells. Still cost alot less than if we had ordered out.

So here goes....

Breakfast--Blueberry muffins, oatmeal, banana bread, french toast, eggs with bacon, cereal (on Sunday before church). Saturday will be OYO (Own Your Own).

Lunch--L.O. Portuguese Soup, turkey sandwiches, BLTs, grilled cheese, mac & cheese, PB&J and Sunday will either be OYO or take-out since I will most likely stay close the church since the kids are in a play at 3 p.m..

Monday--Chicken Pot Pie. Got this recipe from Happy to be at Home. They have a great e-recipe book with 50 recipes in it for only $4.95. Well worth the money!!! This will be my first time making a homemade crust. I will let you know how it comes out.

Tuesday--It's Taco Tuesday!!! Tacos, Rice and veggie tray

Wednesday--Red Chicken with potatoes and carrots

Thursday--Steak, baked potatoes with some sort of veggie. I am not sure what I will be having for dinner this night since I don't eat red meat.

Friday--Chicken and Bean Burritos. We were suppose to have this last week but didn't get a chance. I can't wait to have this.

Saturday--Homemade pizza. This time I am going for the homemade crust and all. Again, I got the crust recipe from Happy to be at Home.

Sunday--Cheesy Chicken Shells, salad, garlic bread.

I going to attempt at some point to make homemade bread. I am still looking for an easy recipe. I don't have a bread machine but I do have a Kitchen Aide mixer. If you know of a great recipe PLEASE let me know. I will make sure I give you credit for it : )

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Menu Plans.

Weekly Wrap-up---December Off?

Do you school in December? I have decided to officially take the month off. Originally I figured I would school until December 12th. Then we took Thanksgiving week off and I changed it to December 19th with the thought that we needed to make up the week we took off. Then last week hit.

Monday the house was a mess from the weekend. I used the morning for us to clean and do chores we should have done over the weekend. Chris picked up an overtime and wasn't getting home until 7:30 p.m. (he left the house at 3:30 a.m.). While it is Fantastic that he was able to make some extra money (especially in the state of our economy) I had to make changes to our day. While CJ was at guitar lessons I brought the other 4 kids to Target and BJ's for a few groceries (the original plan was to do a complete shopping that day when Chris got home). We picked CJ up and dropped him off at the highschool for football practice. At 3 I was finally able to put a very cranky toddler down for a nap. By now I needed a break and sent the kids outside while Emily slept. Believe it or not but as crazy as it may sound, at 5 p.m. when the kids came in I actually tried doing school. This probably would have worked out better than it did but Emily then woke up from her nap and she was in a worse mood than when she went to bed. I tried putting Blue's Clue on but she would only watch it if I held her. After almost an hour of this I raised the white flag in defeat. The rest of the night consisted of both Emily and I in tears. When Chris got home at 7:30 he said we could just order Pizza from down the street or cereal. I was determined at this point to give him a good meal after working such a long day. After a few more bumps in the road we finally sat down for dinner at 8:45 p.m.!!!! Thank goodness, it tasted great and it was worth the wait (chicken parmesan, spaghetti and a salad). I went to bed with a very heavy heart and felt like (again) I was a failure.

Tuesday I felt slightly better but I knew something had to change. First up....schools cancelled until January. I don't know why I keep thinking it would be a good idea to school through December. Life in general is busy added to it birthdays and special events. Now when I say no school I mean not in the traditional sense. We will be using this time to do Christmas crafts, bake cookies for neighbors and friends and spend time together as a family playing games and watching movies. I am hoping we could do a nursing home trip.

Next, I need to do some serious planning for January. There is the saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." We have been working without any set structure to our day or me planning things out. I keep saying these are things I need to do but then life gets busy and I don't. I am re-reading Managers of Their Home right now. Good stuff. I believe this is just what we need.

Wednesday Chris and I did our Christmas shopping : ) Except for a CBD order I believe we are done (except for each other). A lovely friend of mine has volunteered her daughters to help me wrap. Last year she made the same offer and passed on it. Boy was that dumb. There I was Christmas Eve finishing the wrapping. I won't do that again.

Thursday and Friday were better days even though I was feeling under the weather with a cold. Thursday we went to high school co-op. It is real hard to stay focused this time of year (and the cold didn't help). It was decided this week that we will make this coming Thursday our last co-op until January. Yahoo!!! I think we could ALL use the break.

Friday we made our first craft. It was a Christmas snowman. The project itself didn't go all that well. The glue wasn't holding very well. But you know what.....he Christmas CD that was playing made up for it. While the kids were finishing up I made Chocolate Crinkle cookies. We were then suppose to decorate the tree but we hit a snag (this is for another post). This was gonna have to wait. CJ has been in a play at the church this weekend so Jessie, my mother and sister and myself went to go see it. TALK ABOUT FANTASTIC!!!! Again, I am hoping to do a post of it tomorrow.

Saturday the middle kids had play practice in the morning, CJ had the play at night and in between we were able to decorate the tree. Chris brought the boys to see the play and I stayed home with the girlies. I love watching how the two sisters (or sissy's as we call them) interact. Emily went to bed around 7:30, Jessica 8:30 and then I had almost 2 hours of quietness. I love these stolen moments.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Target Fun

The 3 middle kids had practice today for a play they are going to be in at church. On the way home I stopped at Target to pick up 1 package of lights for our tree. CJ went off with Alex to get the lights and I, along with the other 3, headed over to the shoe department in search of a pair of black shoes for Emily. When the boys caught up to me this is what they were wearing....

CJ and I both think he looks like one of the Wendy's commercials.


Not to be out done, Jessica and Zachary had to get in on it(yes, I gave them permission to go over and find hats...it looked like fun!).
Jessica "I love you" signs


Do you think they are ready for the cover of the homeschooling magazine yet?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Merry Christmas

Tomorrow we head out Christmas Shopping. A little something to get us in the Christmas Spirit.
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Menu Planning, Dec 1

Boy is it hard to get back into the swing of things. There are still lots of projects around the house that I want to get to. First things first. I will start with meal planning and shopping lists. I plan to go grocery shopping this afternoon after I drop CJ off at the highschool for football practice. Wednesday is our annual Christmas shopping trip (I wrote about it in a previous post). I want to make things as easy as possible for my mother that day so I am going to throw a roast in the crockpot before we leave. Zachary should be able to make the grill cheese so all she will have to worry about is breakfast (which Zachary could probably make too).
Hope everyone has a great week! : )

English Muffin pizza
Chicken Parmesan with Tomato Basil Bread (thanks for the recipe Kate!!)

Tuesday--LaMuffins (like McMuffins you get at McDonald's but since our last name starts with La we call them LaMuffins)
Turkey Sandwiches
Ck. Stir-fry with Rice

Grill Cheese
Roast, potatoes, carrots (and a piece of chicken for me)

Thursday--French Toast (made by Chris)
Left overs or sandwiches
Chicken and Bean Burritos with Rice (again, I got this recipe from Kate's wonderful website)

Friday--Blueberry muffins
Not sure for lunch
Homemade Pizza (This will be a first!!!)

Saturday---OYO (Own Your Own) breakfast
Pasta with Kidney beans
Pork Chops, Baked Potato, green beans (since I will be at a Cookie Exchange)

OYO Lunch
Portugese Soup

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Menu Plans.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
This year we actually made our own dinner! The last time we did this was 1997! We usually get a turkey dinner from a local restaurant. But I decided to save money (lots of it actually) by doing it ourselves. I did alot of the prep work yesterday. I made 3 pies (2 pumpkin and 1 double layer pumpkin pie), mashed sweet potatoes, mashed carrots and turnips, chopped up the onions and celery for the stuffing (which Chris made last night) and cut up the potatoes for mashed potatoes. Chris already put the bird in the oven. Now it is time to relax and enjoy the morning.

Chris' sister and 2 kids will be joining us. So there will be 11 of us all together. Last year we had to bring Emily to the ER because she had a high fever. I am hoping to stay away from that place this year : )

I hope everyone enjoys the day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Homeschool Song

Found this through one of the blogs I follow. Thought it was funny.


CJ made the newspaper today. The highschool he plays for is highlighted today for the Thanksgiving Day game tomorrow. In a separate article they talk about the improvement the JV team has made. About CJ the paper says "With (another student's name) called to the varsity, sophomore CJ (last name) has handled the quarterback duties. The coach noted that CJ is a hard running quarterback." It also has an individual picture of him (along with 11 others---3 in total being sophomores).

What a testimony to God. Here he is not even going to the school but getting recognized. He is in a play at church over the first weekend in December. Do you know what he did. He personally invited each of his coaches, he handed out tickets to the football players, put a poster up on his locker for the play and gave a ticket to the to the athletic director and his secretory. Of all his accomplishments, telling others about God makes me the most proud.

Ready, Set.......Shop?

Can you believe Christmas Eve is 4 weeks from today!!?? Unbelievable. This year has just flown by. Black Friday is (of course) this Friday. Do you go? I try to avoid crowds as much as possible so I will not be heading out at 4 am in hopes of a great deal. 2 years in a row I did do the mad dash and I will have to admit, there is a certain excitement of being at a store that early trying to get the hot item. That was about 6 years, 3 kids ago. You know what I have found.....except for a few spectacular deals, you can get some great deals throughout the whole season.

So for the last 5 years we have used a new system for Christmas shopping and it works great for us. First we make a list of all the people we will be buying for. We have cut our list way down. It consists of our children, 2 nieces and 2 nephews, parents, and angel tree gift. That's about it. I may get a gift card for the mailman.

Next we brainstorm some ideas for each of them. Each of our children get 5 gifts, 3 from us and 2 from Santa. We look over the budget and we are ready to go. Since Chris' days off fall in the middle of the week it works out great. We pick 1 day (usually a Wednesday) and book my mother WAY in advance to sleepover the night before. On this 1 day we do ALL our shopping minus shopping for each other. We start off the day going out for breakfast just the two of us. We make the game plan of what stores and in what order. Then we shop, and shop and shop. We will stop for lunch.

This works out great for us. For one thing it is all done. Than it is the added bonus that we got to spend the day together just the 2 of us.

This works for us. What do you do for Christmas shopping?

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Monday!!

It's Monday!!! I decided to go crazy and take this week off from school after all. YIPPY!!! I am going to use this week to do crafts with the 3 middle kids, cleaning and organizing (the hallway closet is high on my list), and enjoy the break with the kids. This is a busy time of year and it is only going to be getting busier.

Emily's birthday is 3 weeks from tomorrow. Her adoption is suppose to be that day too. We plan on having a celebration that day to celebrate both. Zachary's birthday is on December 29th. So time to organize will make things easier in the upcoming 5 weeks.

I am feeling much better today. Saturday was awful (as you can probably tell if you read the previous post). Yesterday we went to church and I came home and watch a movie. I usually don't take the time to sit and watch one....but you know what....IT FELT GREAT!!!! I then cleaned the black hole (my room). After dinner I watched the Amazing Race.

I am taking a step back right now in homeschooling. I am my worst critic. I know the kids are progressing in their education. I think I need to chill out. Instead of being worried about what might happen years from now I am just going to concentrate on this year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Okay, so I went MIA (again). I seem to be doing that alot lately. I have to be honest.....this has been the toughest and most emotionally draining school year to date (this is year number 7). When I am feeling upset and down I figure the last thing people want to read about is me boo-hooing. So instead, I retreat, and go missing for awhile.

Last night I went to my homeschool support group meeting. I head it up with 2 other ladies. I was very excited to hear a friend of mine, Pam, speak. Oh she was good. She has 5 daughters ranging in age from 10 to 26. She has been homeschooling for 17 years. She honestly is one of my favorite people to just talk to and listen to. There is so much wisdom in that head of hers. And what a servant's heart she has.

My plan last night for the meeting was to go and just listen. I didn't plan on saying very much, if anything at all (which is unusual for me). But Pam challenged us with a question "Why did you start homeschooling and why are you still doing it. Has the reasons changed". I thought is was just a question for each of us to ponder. Well next thing I know, everyone was going around saying their answer. It got to me. The first part of the question was easy. Why did I start. I knew that. But why am I continuing to homeschool. Well I lost it. The flood gates opened. Honestly, at this point I am homeschooling out of pure obedience to my husband and God. The flesh part of me felt done. I am tired and find no joy in it...AT ALL. The Mom part of me knows I would be dealing with a whole other set of problems if they were in PS. Then there is the part of me that wants to do it not because I have to but because I want to.

It just so hard right now. I feel like I am running a race and I am just not fast enough. Last year was my first year ever hsing with a infant/toddler. I slacked off on somethings in school. Long story short, I would say my younger kids are doing a level lower in their reading, spelling, math books than their "school grade". Now I am trying to play catch-up and basically going at a pace to catch them up by next year. I keep telling myself that if I could just go a little faster now, than once they catch up I will slow down then. But in the meantime, I am burning out and I lost all joy for homeschooling. The kids hardly do a craft project. We hardly ever read together. And fun kinds of activites just don't fit into my neat-little check off the box kind of thinking right now. And character issues or attitudes......they just get me angry because now I am really taken back. IT'S AWFUL!!! This is NOT the mom or homeschooler that I wanted to be.

The Ladies at the meeting were all so encouraging. But you know what...I am usually the one doing the encouraging and it is a much easier place to be in. I feel so unworthy right now. I feel the kids deserve so much better than what they got stuck with (me that is). The Ladies were telling me those were all lies from the creator of lies. It is easier right now to believe those lies because of the way I feel. I am in a valley right now and it is hard to believe that there will ever be at peak again.

If you have ever felt this way or have any advice I am open. Please keep me in your prayers right now. Thanks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Jessica!!!

Today is Jessica's 8th birthday!!!

Let's Hear it for the Boy!!

CJ made Red-Team Player of the week this week for the high school football team!!! Now I know you must be wondering what that is....so I'll try to explain (from what I know). Like most high school football teams, varsity is where it is at. In our area we have a freshman team, JV and varsity. Our varsity does not have any starter who aren't seniors (except for when the varsity QB was hurt than they called the JV QB up). For JV, you have your starters--mostly Juniors with a handful of Sophomores). They now take these starters from JV, called the red team, and they practice with varsity. The idea is for red team to be the opposing team. When varsity wins (which they do most of time) their real game, red team is recognized. It is felt that they have prepared them sufficiently. One player on the red team gets recognized as player of the week. This week it was CJ.

His coaches had some really great things to say. It has already been said that they expect him to be a starter next year for varsity (he's a sophomore this year). This is a little funny considering this summer he didn't expect to get any playing time this year. He had it all figured out. Varsity had there star QB. JV 's QB was already picked out too from the year before. He went into this year figuring he would get no playing time at all during a game. But see, that just goes to show you that with God, anything is possible.

After the first real game of the year the Varsity QB got hurt and was going to be out for some time. When this happened everyone moved up in the line. The JV starter now became the Varsity starter and CJ moved into starting QB for JV. He expected this to last only a few games...2 at the most. However, the Varsity star stayed out longer than expected. 2 weeks turned into 4. When the varsity starter came back to practice CJ thought for sure he was done with starting himself...but do you know what happened....PRIDE.

No, not pride on the part of CJ, but Pride on the part of the original JV starter. He got a taste of varsity and he didn't want to go back. He would rather sit on the sidelines during a varsity game and have no playing time at all than play a full game at JV!!! He said so himself. He said he had "better things to do on a Saturday than play JV". Well you don't have to ask CJ twice to step in. He was more than happy to stay doing what he loves. Playing the game.

Last night was a special night for CJ. He got to have 6 plays in last nights varsity game!!! He played a few different positions. HE LOVED IT!!! He came home very excited to play under Friday Night Lights.....and I think it helped that he played against the city that we use to live in. Oh, BTW, he really couldn't play anymore than he did in Varsity. State rule is if you play 10 plays at the varsity level you are ineligible to play that week at the JV level.

One last thing to say. I am proud of my son. He works hard to keep his body in shape and takes his sports seriously. But you know what I am even more proud of.....his new found perspective of it all. A few years a go all he did was think about sports morning, noon and night. He got up watching Sports Center and went to sleep listening to sports radio. He wanted to be a professional sports player in either football or baseball. But something has changed in him over the last year. He is now open to God's direction in his life. Now don't get me wrong. He STILL wants to be a professional sports player but he is open to the possibility that he might not be. This is HUGE...VERY HUGE!!! He knows that God may take this all away from him someday....and he is okay with that. My boy is growing up. Not just age wise but growing in the Lord. Not too long ago he sent me an email and I noticed his signature quote at the bottom.

"If I'm only remembered as a good athlete, I've done a bad job with the rest of my life."

I am proud of you CJ for the young man of God you are turning into. Love ya!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Well yesterday's little upset stomach turned into much more. I had the whole 9 yards...fever, body aches, stomach pain and well..you get the idea. Today I am feeling better...not 100%, but better. Chris is now in bed sick. Same symptoms. I think Emily had something too. Last night Chris told me she wouldn't eat much and she wasn't herself. This morning when I got up there was vomit in her crib. Talk about feeling like an awful mother!! The one night I fall asleep with my bedroom door closed and no monitor that happens. I have no idea if she woke up and did it or did it in her sleep. This morning she goes between cranky and big smiles.

CJ is helping out as much as he can. He has lots of work school work he has to do so he doesn't fall behind. Zachary has decided he is going to be daddy's special helper. He is carrying around Chris' cell phone. He told Chris just to call him on it if he needs anything. He looks so proud carrying around the phone---waiting for it to ring.

Jessica's birthday is Saturday. This has been a tough week. This will be her 4 birthday with us and true to form, the week leading up to her birthday is always a challenging one. She is pushing every button she can. I am trying my best to stay calm but it can be hard. Atleast it is down to just her birthday. For the first 3 years we had her EVERY birthday (no matter who's it was) and holiday she went out of her way to try to ruin. She has come along way. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

Well I am hoping to get some school done today since we ended up taking yesterday off unexpectedly. Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still Here

Just wanted to say a quick hello. I haven't been feeling very well over the last week so my computer time has been way down. I have had a hard enough time doing the thing I need to do (like school, grocery shop and preparing meals) that the energy just hasn't been here mentally or physically to blog. Chris has done a marvelous job doing the things I just couldn't (like TONS of laundry).

Yesterday was the first day in a week that I felt almost like myself. Today I woke up with an upset stomach. I am hoping it will pass because Chris and I are suppose to go and see Fireproof tonight with another couple.

So if you think of it, please keep me in your prayers. What I really need at this point is a good, restful night sleep. The last time I had a night that happened was about 9 days ago. This is all coming about because of Fibromyalgia. It is a vicious circle.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Hair Do

I believe I have mentioned it before but I will just in case you are new to the blog. I have 3 beautiful children that are adopted. I feel truly blessed and I KNOW each one was picked out by God Himself.

My oldest daughter has a stubbornness about her (I don't know where she gets that from ; )
She can be told something over and over but until she experiences it herself she isn't going to believe you.

Well today she got a lesson on disobedience. Jessica is biracial...her birth father was black and her birth mother was spanish and white (so I guess that is tri-racial). To look at her you won't automatically say she was black....except for the hair. The hair gives it away (not that it a secret or anything). She has extremely thick hair with tight curls.

With ethnic hair you do not need to wash it as often. In fact, there was a time a few years ago that I would bring her to the hairdresser once a month and they would wash and straighten it. That would last her the whole month. The place I was going to closed and since then I have been doing it at home.

Well my little darling likes to do her own thing. As many times as I would hide the shampoo or tell her not to wash her hair she would. Let's face it....who can resist the delicious smell of the shampoo. So after fighting endless wars on this I told her if she was going to wash it she needed to brush it out (not an easy task). I would remind her over and over. Long story short.....she has NOT been brushing it out. She washes it and puts it right back in a ponytail. Today I went to take the scrunchy out and the hair was so knotted it stayed right it that position. There was only one thing to do......cut it.

I didn't want to cut it. In fact, I tried my hardest to brush it out but it was BAD! But this brought about some great learning opportunities. First off, before I even started Jessica's hair she had an upset face. I asked her what the problem was. She said "I have just wish right now, that is to have straight hair." This has been a sore spot for her for 3 years now. Many of her friends have long, straight hair. She use to wish for it. Today I told her "You know Honey, God gave you that beautiful curly hair. And by saying that you wish you had straight hair it is like saying that you think God made a mistake. God doesn't make mistakes. But you did make a mistake. You decided not to take care of it. Wishing for straight hair isn't going to solve this, but you realizing you did something wrong will."

When it came time for the cut she cried BUCKETS! Yes, I did cut it myself. I used this opportunity to talk to her about disobedience and consequences. I have told her many times that everything we do has an affect, whether good or bad. This was a result of her wanting to do her own thing (like I said, this is an area we are working on consistently). I did call Chris and the boys up (they were out getting their own haircuts) and told them that they need to use compassion when they come in. Jessica was upset enough.

Well to all our surprise, her hair came out pretty cute. I say surprise for 2 reason...1 I did it and 2 the horrible mess it was in. I took off at least 8-10 inches in spots---if not more. So what do you think?
Jessica's new do. The front is pinned up.

We did show compassion and love too. Her Daddy picked her up a sundae to cheer her up. Who would have thought that one haircut could bring about some many of life lessons.

Tuesday Review

Over at Homeschooling and Loving It Angela has been doing a Tuesday Review. Basically, find something you love and write a review. I have been wanting to do a review for a while, but was stumped on what to write about. What would people find interesting? What do people want to know about? These are the questions that stump me all the time with my blog in general. I don't want to bore or offend anyone.

Well the last few times I have vacuumed I have said to myself "I love this vacuum. I should tell people about it." So here I am : )

In September Chris surprised me with a new vacuum (and Rug cleaner too). It is funny how our perspective changes. I remember our first Christmas married Chris got me a vacuum and I wanted to cry. Needless to say, it went back. Well 16 years later I was thrilled to get one! Seriously...I had wanting a new one and when he walked through the door I couldn't wait to play with my new toy.

I am now the proud owner of a Hoover Deluxe Elite Rewind. It has 12 amps, Lifetime Hepa Filter, automatic cord rewind and is bagless. I never thought of getting a bagless vacuum before this. Now I love it. Why you may ask...because of this.

Gross isn't it? YES!!! That is why I now love bagless....you get to see the dirt right away. Now here is the shocking part. I vacuumed Sunday night! It is now Tuesday morning (I usually vacuum the main floor daily, bedrooms once a week and family room atleast 4 times a week. I actually enjoying vacuuming. It is my favorite household job). Also, this came only from my main floor---living room, hallway, dining room and spare room. (You should have seen the pile the first time I did my whole house with this vacuum). It really pulls the dirt out of the rug. In fact, the week before I got the vacuum we were all sick. After I vacuumed each room for the first time I would show everyone the canister and how much dirt there was. Chris looked at it and said "why wonder we were all sick!"

It comes with 3 attachements plus a hose in the back that comes out so you can do stairs or furniture. Emptying is a snap and cleaning the filter is easy. Just snap off the canister in the front, open the top (1/4 turn counter-clockwise) and the filter is in the top.

One of the best things of all....the price. We got it at Best Buy. Regular price is $130. He did get it on sale. I have also seen it online for about $100.

I hope this helps. And please know....we are not dirty people. We are just a normal family with 5 kids, 1 inside dog and a powerful vacuum
: )


Don't forget to vote today. BTW, Starbucks will give you a free cup of coffee today if you vote. All you have to do is go in and tell them you voted and you will get a Tall cup of coffee.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Co-Worker Vs. Friend

Yesterday, when I was out and about, I ran into a former co-worker. She still works on the same floor I worked on for 5 years. You know what she asked me..."Are you still working there?" I was shocked to say the least. I looked at her with a puzzled look on my face and said "I LEFT 14 months ago!" She didn't believe me at first. She thought I was kidding. But I told her it was no joke. It is sad to say, but this isn't the first time this has happened. Back in the spring I ran in someone and she asked the same thing (I had already been gone for atleast 6 months). They both tried making up reasons why they didn't know I was gone: We worked different shifts, I worked usually only on Saturdays, Things get so busy at change of shift....blah, blah, blah. The truth is, they were only work acquaintances, not friends. I knew the difference and kept it that way. Sure, we'd talk sitting around the breakroom or the nurse's station but I would be careful at what I would say. They never knew the real me. I knew that once I left that job so would end the "friendship". I have had enough jobs to know how it works. Now don't get me wrong, I know there are some people that really are friends with co-workers and continue there friendship after one of them leaves their job. I have NEVER had that experience. I also never went out with anyone from work other than stopping for a coffee on the way home a few times. My free time was too busy. Also, hanging around with a majority of my co-workers would have meant I would have had to compromise in what I believe in. That wasn't happening. I guess what I am trying to say is the word "friend" is just too special to me and I don't like to give it to just anybody.

Friday, October 31, 2008


A friend of mine is going to be starting up a 10 week Beth Moore bible study starting in November. Between Nov. and Dec. she has 4 Wednesday's set aside. The other 6 weeks are on Tuesday's spread out through January and February. I was excited when I first got her email. How I have longed to get into a study. She sent the email out Tuesday while Chris was dealing with his Nephew Joey and his hospitalization (Joey's that is). I didn't get to speak to Chris about the upcoming study until Wednesday. Now I must tell you, my husband is one of the most wonderful and thoughtful men I know. Just 2 weeks ago after he worked 2 doubles in a weekend, he called a friend of mine to see if I could go over because he knew I could use a break. He is always encouraging me to find a hobby, go take a ride for quiet time and stuff like that. So just imagine how surprised I was when he told me that at this time in my life he does not think it is a good idea to commit to a 10 weeks bible study, especially since for the first 4 weeks it is on a Wednesday and it is during a busy time of year for us (between Nov. 15 and the end of the year we not only have 3 major holidays we have 3 children's birthdays too). Thursday is co-op day and he feels that I would be setting myself up for burn-out going out the night before. Well you know how I said he was the most wonderful and thoughtful man just a few sentences ago.....well I still stand by that. One of the things that is so wonderful about him is he brings great balance to me. He thinks things through in a way I might not have. He knows my strengths and weaknesses and he was thinking of me 100% when he said he does not think it is a good idea at this time. And you know what....he is right. I have come along way. Not too long ago I would have fought this but now, I can take a step back and know that God has put Chris as the head of our home and He (God not Chris) always gives us what we need.

I still have the desire to do a study. God already took care of that. Monday night, before I even knew my friend was doing a bible study, I ordered Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit along with the study guide that goes with it. I originally bought the book a few years ago and loved it. Terri Maxwell, the author, talks about her own battle with depression and how she dealt with it. Oh how I could relate. I would make it a point to read the book every year before being the school year. This past year I was unable to. I had let someone borrow my copy last year and they lost it. I didn't realize how much I missed reading the book until recently. Yesterday it came in the mail and I was flipping through the study guide. I know this is just what I need at this point in my life. This school year has been off to such a bumpy start and I am trying to hold off winter depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Reading this book, reading scripture, and meditating on the word of God....that is what God knew I needed.

What a blessing it is to have a husband like Chris. He knows when to encourage me...and when to put the breaks on : )

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I don't want to go into too much detailed but I would like to ask that you would please keep my nephew Joey in prayer. He is my older nephew that stayed with us for 4 weeks in September (through October). He just got hospitalized for mental illness. We are not too sure what exactly is going on. He has imaginary friends (BTW, he is 14) that tell him what to do. Wisdom and a reality check for my sister-in-law is needed too. She just thought all this time that he had a "vivid imagination" and he "was creative". Sad, very sad. I tried talking to her back in April about some warning signs I was seeing but I was just brushed off. My heart breaks for the whole situation. I can't imagine having to drop a child off at a hospital : (

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is a Meme over at Homeschool Blog Awards. I thought it would be fun to do. I am to list 10 (or more) interesting, fun, weird, or crazy facts about myself. So here goes!

1. I have chocolate EVERY day in some form (pudding, ice cream, candy, hot chocolate to name a few).
2. When I was a teenager I preached twice in front of the whole church during our Teen-Take over services. I couldn't do it now. I don't like to talk in front of groups of people.
3. Most people would probably say I have a very (loud) outgoing personality. In truth I am shy and I make myself talk to get over my fear.
4. When I was in Middle School my best friend was Jessica (like my oldest daughter). I thought it was so cool that she was called Jessie at home.
5. I pick things up off the floor with my toes (family trait...my sister can do it too!)
6. I played the flute from 4th grade through 12th grade.
7. Because of being sick so much with mono in high school I had to make up 8 weeks worth of school. They made me come back the year after I was suppose to graduate to do it. I finished in November.
8. Because of #7 I actually graduated married. I finished school in November, married in January and had the graduation ceremony in June. BTW, by diploma does have the November date as the date of completion.
9. Our 2nd son, Zachary, was name after a Lego commercial from our childhood. On our honeymoon we talked about future kids names and my hubby said he wanted "Zach- Zach, he's a Lego maniac". I know you are all singing it now : )
10. When I go grocery shopping I put my things on the belt grouped together by categories. Examples---all the frozen things together, all bathroom things in another group. can foods has a separate pile...you get the idea. Hubby likes to drive my crazy and throw things randomly up there just to get me going.
11. After I take a shower I always put my socks on first because I can't stand the feeling of floor (or rugs) on my feet. In fact, it is a rare occasion that you will find my walking barefoot....even in the summer.
12. I am STILL afraid of thunder storms.
13. When I was 10 I was "Little Miss Southeastern Massachusetts Hemisphere".
14. I have gone to college 3 different times. First time for Medical Secretary (didn't finish because we moved back to Massachusetts after Chris was done with the military). Second time was Medical Assistant. I worked for a year and a half. Third was for Nursing. I have an Associates in Nursing.
15. Even though I do have a degree in nursing I chose to stay home full-time with my children after working 5 years..and I DON'T MISS IT----AT ALL!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekly Wrap-up

Yeah!!! We did a full week of homeschooling!!! I feel like I am finally back on track : ) You may be asking what has made the difference. I can some it up in one word....Perseverance. I was determined this week that no matter what, I was going to get through the 3 R's with my 3 middle children. In this season of life, that is my goal. I feel they are at the age that it is essential to get a good foundation in it. Once they do, it will open all kinds of doors to their learning adventure.

Monday hubby (Chris) worked overtime (which means he was gone from 3:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.). I used the morning to clean. CJ had guitar lesson at 1:30. Usually he goes right to the high school for football practice but they had given the JV the day off. It was great. We were able to have a relaxed afternoon of learning as Emily napped. Zachary decided that he wanted to surprise Chris when he got home with confetti and signs saying "I love you Dad". We shut off all the lights and when Chris came in they threw the confetti on him. What a way to come home.

Tuesday was uneventful except for the fact that Alex just couldn't seem to keep himself out of trouble. Because of this he didn't get through all his schooling. One of the newest rules in our house this year--If you can't behave for Mom and get through all your schoolwork than you are not allowed to go outside and play. Wasting Mom's time = No playtime outside. Early Intervention came over for Emily. She told me that she fears that Emily won't qualify for services in December when they reassess her because she is at or above age level for everything except talking. The words are really starting to come, in fact she says a few new words everyday to us. She will NOT speak in front of EI which if she does that at the assessment she may still qualify. Honestly, I feel she is ready to move on.

Wednesday and Thursday's are Chris' days off. I ended up going over a friend's house Tuesday night and staying until 2 a.m.!!! I couldn't believe it. By the time I got home and went to bed it was after 3. I expected to be paying the price for my late night all day. To my surprise, Chris got up in the morning, ushered the kids downstairs and closed my bedroom door. While I was sleeping (until 9) he started school with the kids. See, yet another reason I love that man. I did take over school when I got up.

Thursday is Co-op day! Emily stays home with Chris while I bring everyone else. Because Alex had such a rotten week of homeschooling he was not allowed to go. He stayed home and Chris did school with him. Zachary takes Writing, Pre-Chemistry, and Spanish at co-op. Jessica and Alex take Literature Pockets, Pre-Chemistry and History Heroes. CJ is in high school. He takes Honors English 2, Public Speaking and Chemistry. I am the chemistry teacher. We are using Apologia chemistry. What a challenging course. This week I was extremely frustrated in class. It is hard to teach when students don't come prepared or act like they don't want to be there. I drop CJ off right at the high school for football practice on our way home. It is a long day to be out (8 a.m. until 2:30) and away from Emily. But I know she is enjoying having her Daddy all to herself.

Friday was uneventful (which is fine with me). Highlights from the day: we had pizza for dinner, watched Dora after dinner on the computer and CJ had a Varsity game. He didn't play. He has be there and ready to go in if needed. His team did win : )

That about sums up the week. I am grateful to get through a full week of homeschooling. Looking back I see some areas that need improvement. I am going to work this weekend at putting together a loose schedule to follow. It will include practice times for piano, time for each of them to play with Emily and time set aside just for them with me. Math is CJ's weakest subject and I need to set aside time for him to make sure he gets the concepts.

Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Monday!!

It is the beginning of another homeschool week and I am hoping to make it our best so far this year. It hasn't been a great start and I have been really down on myself for it. Looking back now I can see that we had alot going on and I should give myself a little grace. We started school this year September 8. September 13th my SIL and 2 nephews moved in. Even though they were gone during the day there were lots to do with extra people. Then my Uncle came to visit and even though he didn't stay with me, 5-6 out of the 10 days he was here I was making dinner for him and mom too (that made 12 people in all). Then I got sick. Last but not least, my Seasonal Affective Disorder has rendered it's ugly head. It didn't dawn on me until Friday that I was being affected by the shorter days. Unfortunately, I blew some things way out of proportion. Some things DID need to change but the way I went about it was wrong. Things are better now. I had a slower paced weekend but was still able to get a good amount of organization done. So here's to a great week!!

Breakfast--Bagels, oatmeal, LaMuffin's (egg sandwiches), Pancakes, French Toast, Banana Bread.

Lunch--Grill Cheese, chicken patty sandwiches, BLT's, left over American Chop Suey, PB&J,

Monday--BBQ chicken, rice, corn
Tuesday--Pork Chops, baked Potatoes
Wednesday--American Chop Suey
Thursday--Topsy-Turvy Thursday---Taco's, Rice and veggie platter
Friday--Not Sure yet
Saturday--Pizza Night
Sunday--Shepard Pie

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday's Ramblings

Today I am off and running. It's co-op day! I teach the high school chemistry class. Today we are doing 4 experiments to catch us up since my lab kits just came in on Tuesday. Chris will be home with Emily. I love that they get to spend special time together on Thursdays, just the two of them : )

Tomorrow night is our support group meeting. I am suppose to be leading it but I am at a loss for a topic. I hate to make it open forum but I don't think there is any particular subject matter I feel lead to at this time. Any suggestions?

I follow a blog called Ashley's Story (you can get to it from my side bar under Blogs I Love). This poor sweet little girl is only 3 years old. About 2 years ago she had a multiple organ transplant and right now she is fighting rejection. Yesterday they did another biopsy to see if there is any improvement. Sometime during the night her Mom updated saying she was spiking a fever and she doesn't like the way she looks. Please pray. Please go over to the blog and leave the Mom a word of encouragement. Thank you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun and Relaxing

What a great weekend we just had. Friday night Chris and I went on a date. We started off at a family owned Italian style restaurant. The quality of food is so much better at this type of restaurant compared to the chain-type. After dinner we ran to the market.....wild--I know!! I needed to pick up a couple of things and we rented a movie from Redbox. While out, my Mom called. Emily had been going around the house looking for me. I had been out all afternoon at a tea (I will do another post on that) and I was home for a very short period of time before heading out to dinner. I missed her too : ( So my Honey being the great Dad he is, scooped her up when we got home and we played with her on our bed. It was a fun way to end the day....listening to her laughing.

Saturday my sister-in-law and nephews left around 9 a.m.. She ended up staying at her friends house through today. I think she can tell that I am not happy with her right now. Somehow, I became the bad guy in all her drama. I had to really bring this before God. It was my idea to bring her to my house. My idea not to take a dime of money from them so she could save it all. I have tried to help her make wise decisions (and put her children first for once). Our lives have been totally interrupted for the last month....but yet she looks at me as the enemy. She said that she keeps trying to take 2 steps forward but "people" keep pushing her 4 steps back!! There is a fine line between compassion and enabling. It started out as me trying to show her compassion but it ended up that she really doesn't want to change her life. She thrives on the drama. So I had to stop. I had to make it not so easy for her. She noticed that and went to her friends house. At first I was angry. Then after praying I was reminded about how Jesus must have felt. He was performing all these miracles for people but yet He was betrayed, spit upon, and hung on a cross. How can I compare to that? I can't. Talk about putting things in perspective. My family just enjoyed the day yesterday, Sunday, drama free. The day was just so smooth. Chris was finishing up dinner in the kitchen, Emily was walking around, CJ was doing homework at the computer, and the 3 middle kids were sitting at the table playing cards as I corrected papers from my Chemistry class. I loved it. Chris looked at me and I told him "I just love our family". He agreed.

Saturday was awesome!! CJ had a JV football game. I didn't get to go because the van is still leaking transmission fluid (and we can see from where) and they switch the location of his game. BUT, he had quite the cheering section! My dear friend Pam brought her 3 girls; JoHannah (who is in my Chemistry class), Clara, and Allison along with 3 of CJ's other friends; Luke, Tasha and Brianna (Luke and Tasha are in my Chemistry class). My friend Wendy's husband brought their 2 kids along with her step-father. Chris was able to get out of work a little early to go. Pam's daughter's made a sign for CJ (he loved it!!!). During the game he could hear them cheering for him. He LOVES that! He thrives on it. They must have been an inspiration for him because he (as the quarterback) ran in for not one-but 2 touch downs!!!! I can't believe I missed it! After the game Pam came over with all the kids. The kids played ultimate frisbee and football with Chris outside. I made lasagna and garlic bread for dinner. A good time was had by all.

Saturday night CJ and Zachary slept over my mother's house so they could go to church with her. So Sunday morning I only had 3 kiddos. It's so funny how having 3 is such a break for me. Emily decided she wanted to be a big girl and sit at the little table we have for breakfast instead of her highchair.
She was funny. She would take a bit and then run over to me in the kitchen. I would tell her to go get back in her seat and those little legs would run back as she laughed. She would wiggle herself back into her chair. It was adorable. After breakfast I did some breakfast baking for the week. I made a double batch of blueberry muffins, a banana bread and banana muffins. I had walked out of the kitchen for a minute and came back to find this....
Isn't she so cute!!! She had the door closed at first when I walked in. I could hear her laughing so I peaked in. If you can't tell....I love to hear her laugh. It is one of those whole body belly laughs. I am having tons of fun with her. I am enjoying the moment and not trying to rush through the toddler years. Instead I am trying to embrace them.

Well that pretty much wraps up the weekend. Since Chris is working it is a school day for us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Emily Potato Head

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Duggar's on TLC!!!

Duggars are back on TV in 17 Kids and Counting. I LOVE IT!! What a great example of a Christian Family on TV. They make no excuse, no compromises, and no apologies....this is their family...God and all!! Last night's episodes were about their oldest son Joshua getting engaged. They talked about courtship VS. dating, why dating doesn't protect the heart and their "rules" during courtship (they were allowed to hold hands). You can catch the Duggar's on Monday nights 10-11 pm on TLC. BTW, according to their website, Joshua got married on Septmember 26, 2008. Also they will be coming out with a book in December.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Getting There

Well it's Monday! YIPPY!! We have actually gotten some schooling done today : ) It is lunch time now and I plan on doing more after. CJ has a football game today at 3:30 so we all will be heading out to that. After the game we will have my mother, sister, niece and a friend over for dinner. Including my SIL, nephews and my family there will be 14 of us in all!! WOW! Lucky for me, my Honey made a HUGE pot of Portuguese soup for tonight---yummy. All we need is some bread and we will be all set. It is a great warm-you-up kind of meal after a fall football game.

I am feeling 90% better. This virus has settled into my chest. No more fever or body aches. I do still get tired easily---but I don't have time for that so I have been just pressing on.

The countdown is on....SIL and nephews are scheduled to move on Saturday!!! I don't think she made the wisest decision in regards to her apartment (she took an apartment upstairs from the X-live-in boyfriend's mother). She is one that needs to make the mistake herself because she doesn't listen to reason. You know who I feel bad for in all this...the boys. Because of her lack of maturity (she is 34 but acts 15) and parenting skills the boys are the ones who get hurt or miss out. As an example--my younger nephew in 10. He really doesn't know his father all that well. He talks to him on the phone once in while but in 10 years he has probably spent a total of 30 days with him. Well she left everything in Florida to move back up to MA to be with the XBF (they had been talking for 2 weeks on the phone). My nephew after a very short period of time started calling him Dad. XBF was allowed to discipline him and they went around saying they were a family. Now they broke up and my nephew wants to know why no one wants to love him. He wants to know what HE did wrong. THAT IS SO NOT FAIR TO HIM!!! Now she is moving into this apartment. The kids call XBF mother Vo-Vo (Portuguese for grandma) and I am sure he will be there sometimes. Talk about throwing salt into a wound. I have tried talking to SIL about this. She just laughs it off and says "everything will be alright". I think it is away to stay close to him. She truly believes XBF is going through a faze and be back. Sad, very sad.

Well to lighten the mood before I end today I have a joke CJ sent me.
After being interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said: "Let me see if I've got this right.
"You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning. And I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their T-shirt messages and dress habits.
"You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self-esteem.
"You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship, and fair play, how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job.
"I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, offer advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage respect for their elders and future employers.
"And I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.
"All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, and a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps!
"You want me to do all of this, and you expect me NOT TO PRAY?"