Thursday, February 28, 2008

Friday's Feast #10 for me

Who was the last person you hugged?
My son who came downstairs a few minutes ago for a late-night snack.

Share a beauty or grooming trick or tip with us.

Take your makeup off every night!

What does the color yellow make you think of?

The sun, and flowers, and all things spring. And the butter-yellow color of the nursery when the twins were just born.

Main Course
If you were to make your living as a photographer, what subject would your pictures revolve around?
Nature! Flowers, trees, rain, insects, birds. And of course, family. Candid shots.

What was the longest book you ever read?
The Stand by Stephen King. Probably the only book I ever read of his all the way through. The man is twisted. But The Stand was an awesome book. The movie does not do it justice.
Visit other Friday's Feast blogs by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Welcome to edition 21 (or is it 22? I forget!)

13 Things to Do on a Rainy Day

1. Watch the rain. It’s peaceful and it’s actually interesting to watch the patterns created by the wind. This won’t take long. Go on to number 2.

2. Read a good book such as Grisham’s new novel The Appeal.

3. Take a nap. The sound of rainfall is soothing.

4. Watch a movie you’ve never seen before.

5. Pop popcorn or make milk shakes.

6. Play a board game such as Life or Monopoly.

7. Play card games such as War or Hearts.

8. Make a card for someone, anyone, the old-fashioned way using scissors, construction paper, and markers.

9. Organize your closet. You know you need to.

10. Write a letter (yes, an actual, snail-mail letter) to someone who lives “long distance.” Won’t they be surprised?

11. Re-discover your youth by creating a do-it-yourself craft with typical household items such as toothpicks, paper plates, and markers.

12. Surf the Internet. (Duh, you knew that was coming!)

13. Count your blessings.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

We have a large household - the two of us, and each of our two children, plus a dog = seven. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep the house in order with so many people (and a dog). Sometimes it just seems easier to ask who is closest to go set the table or empty the dishwasher, but we have found that having a chore calendar motivates the kids to take their responsibility seriously, and running the household becomes more efficient.

This is not rocket science, but it certainly helps our busy family. We have certain chores that are the kids' responsibilities. Each child has an assigned chore or two for the week and another for the weekend. The chores rotate weekly so no one has to do the hardest chore every time, and they get some variety.

The chore calendar stays posted on the refrigerator for the month, so there is never a question about whose turn it is to do what. You can get the kids into a routine so that you don't even have to remind them to do their job. (well, in theory) And it doesn't take long to create one using the calendar creation in Microsoft Publisher. Once you get accustommed to creating one, it's mostly just copying/pasting. Publisher does most of the work.

This works great for our family! Maybe some of you can adapt it to fit the needs of your family. Have a great week, everyone!

Visit other Works for Me Wednesday participants by clicking here.

Heads or Tails

Today's edition, brought to you by Skittles Place, is HEADS - WONDER *or TAILS - WANDER.

“Recess!” the teacher announces. Everyone in second grade hurries outside to claim their piece of playground equipment and space. I wander to the edge of the playground which is surrounded by tall pines and majestic oaks. “Hmmm,” I think to myself, “this would be a great place to play house!”

I set about gathering piles and piles of pine needles, unconcerned about the dust and debris spoiling the cleanliness of my green, cotton dress. The mounds of pine needles form the walls of my imaginary house, and I draw a line in the dirt where each door and window should be. Just as I’m about to begin my game, after meticulously “building” my house, the teacher calls, “Recess is over!”

Disappointed, I wander aimlessly back toward the school building, back toward the monotony of math and reading. I wonder if my house will be there tomorrow?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pay it Forward Book Giveaway

I have a book to give away during February, and time is running out! This is a nonfiction book about health and the world's leading cardiovascular health program. The cover touts, "Natural prevention of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and many other cardiovascular risks. The book also claims to be, "the definitive cardiovascular health guide for you and your family" as well as, "the first patented therapy for the natural reversal of heart disease."

The title is Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks - but People Do by Dr. Matthias Rath. This is the 1999 edition, and it's in like new condition. You can check it out in more detail at Amazon.

If you'd like to win this book, please leave a comment no later than February 29, and I will use random number generator to select the person who receives the book. Thanks!

Tackle it Tuesday!

Oh, I have been a procrastinator! That is so NOT like me, really. I am seriously a go-getter, get-R-done kind of gal. Not on this particular task, though.

I have been treasurer for the Bay Area Youth Football Association for the last two years. The season has been over since Thanksgiving and I have had piles of papers! Receipts and payments to categorize, deposits to categorize, a running record of the status of our account in relation to our budget, bank statements to reconcile, end-of-season reports to fill out. I couldn't put it off any longer! I have one final report to submit, and my two years as treasurer are over -- just in time for me to take on a volunteer role with baseball or band! It never ends, does it?

I reduced this...

To this...

Go me!

Give Me Five Monday

The 'Give Me Five' Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here's how it works. Each week, Becca will put out a random topic and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back to her! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn't have to be in any order of importance.

Give Me Five favorite things to do in your favorite season of the year.

Although Christmas is my favorite holiday, winter is not my favorite season. And as a teacher, one might assume that summer is my favorite season. While I do love summer, I can’t count it as my favorite season. Spring is nice, but everyone gets “spring fever,” which can be trying to one’s patience, particularly at school/work. Weather-wise, Fall doesn’t last very long in my part of Texas. In fact, most people wouldn’t really call it fall. We don’t have the many beautiful color-changing leaves, and our weather is as unpredictable as usual, but there are still plenty of good things about Fall.

1. Football! The Texans (pro football) aren’t much to watch, but the last two years, my son’s Texans football team has been awesome! It’s impressive to watch fifth and sixth graders run their plays, and it didn’t hurt that they won against every team except one, making it to the playoffs for the last two years including the “Superbowl.” I can’t wait for him to play for his school.

2. Thanksgiving – I don’t cook a huge meal every year, but I really enjoy making turkey and cornbread dressing (which, for all my northern friends, is NOT the same as stuffing). I enjoy having family over, bustling around the kitchen, and making sure everyone is having a good time.

3. The first cold snap – Wearing a sweater or jacket after the heat of a long, humid Texas summer is the best!

4. Back to School – Most people would assume that teachers would dread starting school after a summer off. It’s actually a time of renewal, a fresh start. Everyone gets off to a brand new start.

5. Halloween block party – The main thing I enjoy about Halloween is our block party. Ten to twelve families have participated for the last three years. We have food and drinks, a costume contest, games for the kids, and while a few of the adults go with the little ones to trick-or-treat, the other adults get a chance to socialize.

Visit Becca's Buzz to see what other Give-Me-Fivers are Saying!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Last Week's vegetarian menu didn't go as planned! We gave in out of exhaustion. We didn't want to cook! So, on Wednesday, we ate what someone else prepared, and it was chicken... delicious chicken. I did most of my lunches after that vegetarian, but we kinda gave up. Remember, though, we were just trying it to see if we could do it, not for health reasons or anything like that. This week we're going back to a very typical menu at our house.

Monday - Grilled hamburgers (since the weather is expected to be near 80 again tomorrow), all the trimmings, cheesy tater tots, baked beans, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Tuesday - Mexican chili (super easy crock pot meal - boneless chicken breasts, can of beans, can of corn, picante sauce) served over bite sized tostadas or rice.

Wednesday - Garlic Rosemary Pasta, salad, and bread. We were supposed to have this last week.

Thursday - Guys Night Out - Girls get their pick. I have no idea what it will be! Maybe the vegetable pizza we didn't have last week when we blew it!

Friday - I get to eat dinner with my scrapbooking buddies, and two of the kids get to have pizza at their band lock-in. Hubby can fend for himself and the older daughter. They'll probably go out for pizza.

Passion - Sunday Scribblings

This week's Sunday Scribbling's topic is passion. “Passion” is associated with many things. A passionate love, hate with a passion, compassion for our fellow man, a passion for fashion, or even a passion for chocolate.

But in a Christian’s life, passion is most often associated with Christ’s passion: His trial, suffering, and death at the hands of His oppressors. Then his glorious resurrection to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God.

The passion play is a dramatic presentation of these events in Christ’s life. I have never attended a live version of a passion play, but I have been interested in the one my relatives in Arkansas have attended in Eureka Springs, AR, which claims to be America’s Number 1 Attended Outdoor Drama. You can check it out here. Below is a scene from the live drama.

Then, of course, there is the cinematic version The Passion of the Christ directed and co-written by Mel Gibson. I wouldn’t allow myself to see it when it first came out, not only because of the intense violence, the thought of watching a son sacrificed while his mother looks on, and because it was right around the time my father died, and we had talked about this movie. So, I didn’t watch it for almost two years, and then only when my step-daughter promised to watch it with me. Moving, emotional, heart-breaking, and touching, it details the final hours of Christ’s life in a realistic fashion. Overall, it is an extremely powerful film.

Check out other responses to the topic “passion” by visiting Sunday Scribblings.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #2 Week 264

Unconsious Mutterings is a free-association meme. This is my second post for this meme.

She says :: I say

Protocol :: Order
Girlfriends :: Hanging out
Shoulders :: to cry on
Coming home :: peace
Let it in :: I'll let it out
Honor :: Trust
Tyler :: basketball coach
Thriller :: Michael Jackson
Angela:: my sweet angel daughter
The winner is :: ME!

Scrolling Saturday

Scrolling Saturday is a meme in which you dig up an archived post, dust it off, and repost it. This meme is hosted by Such Simple Pleasures. Read what other people re-posted by clicking here.

New Friends - Originally posted January 4, 2008, not that long ago, but since my son's friend is over tonight, I thought it was appropriate.

“The shortest distance between new friends is a smile.”


A few days ago, my son and his friend were riding in the back of my Forerunner on our way to spend Christmas gift cards. They were playing a game where they waved at people in other cars and tried to get the people to wave back at them. They decided that the people who waved back were nice, and the people who didn’t wave back were “sour.”As we were walking in to Target discussing their poor results (1 in 5 waved back), I told them to smile at people because if you smile at someone, they will smile back. I believe that is true, and we had fun putting the theory to the test. I'm going to take my own suggestion and try to smile more. People can’t help but smile back, and it fits with my intention to project happiness even when I might not be feeling very happy. Maybe in the process, I will make a new friend.

I am reminded of a song we used to sing at Campfire Girl camp:"Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."

The Nearest Book Meme - TAG!

I was tagged by Penelope Anne for this meme.
Here are the rules:
Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)
Find Page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Tag 5 people.
I wanted to cheat because the nearest book to me is not what I'm reading now, but what my husband recently finished. He is catching up with classics he didn't read in his youth. So...
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:
"Should she indeed awake, and see me, and curse me, and denounce the murderer? Thus would she assuredly act if her darkened eyes opened and she beheld me. The thought was madness; it stirred the fiend within me - not I, but she, shall suffer; the murder I have committed because I am forever robbed of all that she could give me, she shall atone."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Just Another Post

I have nothing to say.

You can quit reading now.

Just kidding. Well, sort of.

It's Friday, and that makes me happy on one hand, but on the other hand, I am still sick with the crud. I should buy stock in Kleenex! That's why I feel "blah" right now. For the last three weeks, someone in my household has been sick, including me. Sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, cough, earrache. Just when I get better for a couple of days, and think I have kicked it, it comes back with a vengeance! One of my daughters had an ear infection (she's better now), one of them has strep throat, and one of them has a sinus infection. My son has been the only one who (knock on wood) hasn't really been sick. Even my husband has had the crud. The gloomy weather of late doesn't help.

Here in Texas, we have strange weather. While some of you are dealing with snow, we are having 70 degree days and 45-50 degree nights. Every four or five days, the temperature during the day drops so our high is in the mid-50's . Two days later, it's mid-70's. Back and forth! Back and forth! We're getting quite a bit of rain, too. Which brings me to...

Someone left the sun-roof open in the 4-runner for two or three days and it STORMED Wednesday! I didn't discover it until this morning because I've been driving the truck. The inside of the car is a mess, the leather and the floor! And the smell! I can't begin to describe it. My husband didn't believe that the smell was so bad, until he drove it to Bubble Island tonight. It's supposed to feel good when your husband tells you you're right. How often does that happen? I had him wet-vac the carpet, but I think I'm going to have to take it to a detail shop. This incident led to a great writing topic for my sixth graders today.

Lest you think I'm just a complainer, on a positive note, I took my daughter to Mardel tonight, and the lady who was checking out in front of us had about 40 items in her cart - no exaggeration! Instead of getting frustrated, I waited patiently, which is huge for impatient-me. I offered to push one of her (extremely-full-of-merchandise) carts to her car. She actually allowed me to do this, a complete stranger, and it left me with a warm feeling - that I had done something kind for someone else instead of just thinking about myself and how miserable I've been feeling AND that I have modeled kindness for my daughter. I am no saint, to be certain, so this small thing made me feel good.

Let me end by mentioning small things again. Have you checked out Rachel Anne's blog and her Small Things Challenge at Home Sanctuary? It's not a contest. It's a way to help you bring peace, order, and/or beauty to your life by doing small things each day. Check it out!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What is Your True Color?

Take this test!
You're blue — the most soothing shade of the spectrum. The color of a clear summer sky or a deep, reflective ocean, blue has traditionally symbolized trust, solitude, and loyalty. Most likely a thoughtful person who values spending some time on your own, you'd rather connect deeply with a few people than have a bunch of slight acquaintances. Luckily, making close friends isn't that hard, since people are naturally attracted to you — they're soothed by your calming presence. Cool and collected, you rarely overreact. Instead, you think things through before coming to a decision. That level-headed, thoughtful approach to life is patently blue — and patently you!

Some of this is true, but not all of it. I definitely lose patience easily, and I'm not sure my presence calms anyone. But the rest seemed on target. If you click the link, be prepared to turn down a bunch of offers before it finally takes you to the results page. I almost gave up on it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 20

13 Unusual or Little-known Facts about Snoring
As you can tell by the title, I'm frustrated by a lack of sleep. Snoring has been a fairly constant source of frustration since we got married a few years ago (No, I'm not young. It's our 2nd marriage). I know he can’t help it, but I can’t help being sensitive to the noise, either. It’s not a pleasant situation for either of us. Instead of listening to my moaning any further, here are 13 bits of trivia about snoring. (And if you're interested, there are links to some informational sites if you click on the word "snoring" in the title or the second sentence.)

1. A slang term for snoring is “sawing logs.”

2. The medical term for snoring is “stertor.” (That’s a really ugly word!)

3. 45% of normal adults snore at least occasionally.

4. 25% of normal adults (is it really normal to snore?) snore habitually. Some sources say that 1/3 of adults snore at least a few times a week.

5. More than 300 devices are registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office as cures for snoring.

6. Many people say that a lot of these 300 devices actually just awaken the snorer every time he/she starts to snore (like the t-shirt pictured with stuff sewn into the back of it to keep the person from rolling onto his/her side). In other words, most of them don’t work! But they’re worth a try if you’re as frustrated as I am. And there are so many different "remedies."

7. Snoring is caused by an obstruction of the air flow to the mouth and/or nose.

8. An ear, nose, and throat specialist is called an otolaryngologist. Say that three times fast!

9. Losing weight can help snoring (though that’s not hubby’s issue. His weight is fine.)

10. Tilting the head of the bed upwards four inches is said to help snoring.

11. Before the more fancy laser procedures, doctors would actually TRIM and TIGHTEN the tissues in the throat surgically. The fancy name for this surgery is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. (That reminds me of the movie Monster House when the girl tells one of the boys that the chandelier is the house’s uvula, and the boy responds, “Wow, I didn’t know [the house] was a girl!” But I digress… a lot! Maybe ya had to be there.)

12. The snorer has NO control over the snoring. (I keep telling myself that!)

13. The snorer’s bed partner would like to be able to sleep in her own bed! (To be politically correct, I should say his or her, but I am talking about ME!)

I'd link up with other Thursday Thirteeners, but the URL isn't working right now. But you can sign Mr. Linky and/or leave a comment!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

This is the first time I have ever felt like I had something worthwhile to share on this meme, though I read it all the time!

Do you have bags, boxes, or stacks of your children's art work and school papers that you want to save, but you're just not sure where to put it? I mean, our regrigerators can only hold so much. I have found a method of storing them where they are still easily accessible and viewable.

I use Itoya Art Portfolios. These are storage/display books of various sizes. Mine are 11" by 14" and have 24 sleeves for 48 views. They are archival safe, acid free, and have a polypropylene cover. I have purchased them at Hobby Lobby and online at It's an easy and attractive way to clean out those boxes of awards, artwork, and mementos that you have been saving without having to create a whole scrapbook page for each one.

You can turn this...

Into this... (This is two of them)

It works for me! To see what's working for other people, go to Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Rocks in my Dryer.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Heads or Tails

Today over at Heads or Tails, courtesy of our hostess at Skittles Place, the topic is The Letter P!


Pure Paradise

Positively Perfect

Precious and Priceless

Give Me Five! Monday Meme

The 'Give Me Five' Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here's how it works. Each week, Becca will put out a random topic and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back to her! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences.

Give Me Five positive traits or accomplishments you admired in a person or persons that you aren't getting along with or have hurt or offended you in the past.
Wow! This really forces me to look inward. I can't, in all honesty, say that there is anyone I am not getting along with at this exact moment, but I can say that there are people I don't really like much, or people who I feel have wronged me in the past. I'm going to have to think of something good to say about them - and think of FIVE of them!

1. I'll start with my hardest one. My EX. We get along well enough because of the kids, but I wouldn't choose to sit next to him during a train ride through Europe. I mean, we divorced for a reason! I do admire the love he has for our children, though. I've always said he is a good father. I'm thankful for that. Have you ever felt like you would jinx yourself for writing something down? That's how I feel now. I need to knock on some wood!

2. There is a colleague, P. G. whose dedication to the academically challenged students in our school is admirable. She really gives it her all.

3. Next is one of my sisters-in-law, C. A. I admire her devotion to physical fitness and pilates.

4. Before I finished my teaching degree, when I was working in apartment management, I had a supervisor that I didn't care for. Her name escapes me right now. I have to say that I admired her, though. She had determination and motivation, and she was always dressed for success.

5. This last one is going to be hard, too. My husband's EX, L. M. I admire her ability to be, not only civil, but pleasant to me. She and I have never argued about anything.

That was difficult, but I feel better! Now, go check out the other Give Me 5-ers!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A New Meme to Try!

I'm going to give this a try. It's from Luna Nina, and it's called Unconscious Mutterings. It's all about free association, and the best part is, there are no rules! She posts the words, you write what comes to mind, and then you post a link to let everyone else see what you came up with. Easy. Come play with me!

I say ... and you think ... ?

Passport :: Europe

Small world :: Annoying

Radio :: AM Talk

Marine :: Hard Core

Wall :: Paint

Wanna be :: Gangster

Pigtails :: Adorable

Hyphen :: ated

9.99 :: 100!

Unrated :: Adult

Menu Plan Monday

We are going “vegetarian” for one week! No, it’s not a health kick, and no, it’s not a diet thing. It’s just a “see-if-we-can” thing! So, it’s peanut butter, baked potatoes, salad, and cheese pizzas for lunch this week, and the following are our dinners:

MondayCheese Quesadillas (“Go make yourself some dang quesadillas!” - Napoleon Dynamite) Mexican melting cheese and red and green bell peppers on a made-from-scratch flour tortilla from Kroger’s tortilleria, lightly grilled on each side.

Red beans and rice (and navy beans for the ones in the family that don’t like red beans)

WednesdayRosemary Garlic Pasta, one of my husband’s favorite meals.

Thursday Salad (minus the bacon bits) and tomato basil soup.

Friday Garden ranch pizza. This is a recipe from Pampered Chef. We love it! (You make a Hidden Valley Ranch sauce with freshly pressed garlic, HVR seasoning packet, and mayo. You top it with finely chopped broccoli, carrots, red peppers, and mozzarella. Bake it on a refrigerated pizza crust if you don’t want to make your own. I also use the Pampered Chef stoneware for this. Delicious!)

I think we’re going to be able to make it through our vegetarian week!

Win a Hannah Montana DVD!

Once again, 5 Minutes for Mom has pointed me in the direction of a new site I love. I've placed a link for Momsational in my sidebar. Right now, they are having a contest (okay, LOTS of contests) but the one in particular that got my attention was the giveaway for the HM DVD. Have you ever tried getting tickets to see her? If you have a tween daughter, chances are good that you have. And have you seen the lines for her movie/concert? Well, what better way to please our daughters than to win a copy of her DVD? It's good, clean fun!

Momsational says, "On the heels of the sold-out 56-city concert tour comes the latest DVD from Disney Channel’s wildly popular comedy series, Hannah Montana: One in a Million." Here's the contest link.

Sunday Scrappin'

TO JOIN IN THE FUN:**Just post your TA-DA's (accomplishments) for the week,
your TO-DO's (plans/goals) for this coming week, and share pictures if you have any.
**Answer this week's "bonus question" in your post: What are your best organizing tips for storing your craft supplies? Go to Sunday Scrappin' to join the fun!

This week I made my husband's Valentine card. It was so much fun making it without him knowing what I was doing, and he was truly surprised! My son said it's a little girlie, but hubby doesn't seem to mind. Here it is.

This coming week, I need to work on my children's "through the years" books. They aren't ordinary "school days" books. They have places to put pictures, to write in names of friends, what they want to be when they grow up, school information, likes, dislikes, and photos and keepsakes. That's my plan.

Bonus Question: When I am going to take my scrap stuff to my sister's house, I take my crop-in-style. It holds all my paper, there is room for my chalks, charms, ribbon, and other embellishments, as well as tools. I also have a sticker binder, My memory mate binder with scissors, pens, and other tools, and my picture keeper. I put all three of those in one rolling cart, and off I go! I want to know how to keep some of my supplies at my fingertips at home for the rare occasion that I get some scrap time so I don't have to pull out all my big carts. Any ideas?

Have a great scrappin' week everyone!


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