Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday Happy

Making me happy today:

ONE. 11 years ago today Big Daddy and I were married. It's been oh, so hard and it's been oh, so worth it and oh, so wonderful. I love that man ~ He Rocks.

TWO. My new shorter haircut. Yes, I'll post a picture. Eventually.

THREE. Kid Nation. I love watching the show with my girls. Their insights are incredible!

Have a great Friday, y'all, and a great weekend!

Advice Forum Friday - Christmas Pix

Yo, yo, yo! It's Friday, folks, so it must be time for Advice Forum!

This week I've got Christmas Pictures on my mind, and I want some great ideas from y'all. Here's what I've got planned so far: I'm making ivory tutus (I heart tutus!) for the girls, and they'll probably wear a black leotard underneath. I spent around $20 on tulle, and we already have the leotards.

I'd love to take the pictures myself; I figure if I take about 100 shots, I should be able to get 2 or 3 that rock, right? I've got some white and ivory vintage tablecloths, I've got some gold lame, and I'm thinking about doing some kind of backdrop with those. With me so far? And I think we'll also go over to my parents' house and do some in their back yard, cause I just love their landscaping. And finally, if we get the Christmas tree decorated in time, we'll of course take some in front of the tree.

Now here's where you come in. Tell me your favorite kid photo tricks, the best Christmas picture you ever saw, anything that comes to mind. I know there are all kinds of brilliant tips and tricks out there that are just waiting to be introduced to me. So spill it, sister!

And also, I'm still looking for a digital camera, and I would love to know what kind you have, and how good the photos are. Also, what photo software do you use?

Okay, that's it for me this week. Do you have a question or need some advice? You know the drill - write a post, link to me, and sign Mr. Linky.

Saw this at Jennifer's and had to steal!

Your Elf Name Is...

Twinkles Twinkle Wink

Didja miss me?

Hey, y'all. The absence of brilliant posts here has several causes, some of which are:

Faux Knitting
Carpal Tunnel

Every post I've thought of lately seems to start out, "Don't you hate it when..." or "It just drives me crazy that..." And since I don't want to turn into Complainer McFussyPants, I haven't posted.

So here's what I'm gonna do. Every day for the next however long, I'm gonna write a post about Three Good Things. They may be serious, they may be silly, they may confuse you, and the post may be short. But they will be Things That Make Me Happy.

Today's Three Good Things:

One. Limited Edition Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper. When Big Daddy brought me a bottle, I was skeptical. I love my Diet Cherry Vanilla DP so very much, and I didn't want to cheat. A friend of a friend said it tasted terrible. The first time I tried it I was uncertain. But then I tried it again. And y'all, it's like drinking chocolate with no calories. Granted, there's no yummy fat either, but I can't get over how chocolately this stuff is! So even though I drink Way Too Much DP All Day Long, I save this stuff for one yummy treat every night. Amen.

Two. Faux Knitting. So far I've made three and a half hats, and have three scarves in progress. The stinking Carpal Tunnel is slowing me down, though.

And Three. It's Christmas, y'all! I wish I could slow time, but past attempts have been unsuccessful. I'll just have to enjoy it fast while it zooms on by.

There you have it, friends. Today's Three Good Things. What's making you happy today?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas Giveaway

Wow, talk about spreading the word at the last minute - there are some absolutely wonderful prizes in the Christmas Giveaway over at 5 Minutes for Mom. Hurry on over right now and maybe you can still get in on them!

Christmas Giveaway 2007 Sweepstakes

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's a minor Christmas Miracle!

It's a Christmas Miracle, y'all. I'm getting a free review copy of this:

I will definitely be telling you all how much this means to me - later.

In the meantime, Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My brother is a Sneak

E-mail from my brother: Should we have a birthday cake for Mom on Thursday? (Her birthday was last Saturday)

My response: Sure, if you want to. It would be a nice surprise for her. What time are we supposed to be there? 12:00 or later?

And he's got me: Can you get it? Around 11:30.

You know, I saw it coming, but I just couldn't figure out how to duck.

I couldn't be more proud.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Back in the Saddle...AGAIN

Well. When it comes to Menu Plan Monday, I am nothing if I'm not inconsistent. But here's what I know - on the weeks when I make a plan, even though I may only stick with it 75%, things run much more smoothly in the kitchen department around here. And my life needs all the smooth it can get.

This week, my plan began on Saturday (the day I planned it) and goes through next Friday (when I ran out of ideas). I covered breakfast, lunch and dinner, although roughly. You'll notice a lot of leftovers for a couple of days. My poor, poor family has got to clean out that fridge. Plus, have got to save money for Christmas!

So without further ado, here it is - my Grand Plan.

B - Waffles
L - Out (running errands)
D - Chili Pie (Fritos, Wolf Brand chili, shredded cheese and sour cream)

B - Oatmeal (although it may have been Pop Tarts)
L - Out (Grammy's Birthday)
D - Leftovers

B - Cereal
L - Leftovers
D - Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich

B - Pancakes
L - Tuna Sandwiches and Chips
D - Baked Potato Soup (from a mix, adding bacon and cheese), Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

B - Oatmeal
L - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
D - Sausage Rolls (can you save roll dough to use later?)

B - Muffins
L - Dinner at my brother's - I'm making Paula Deen's Macaroni and Cheese.
D - Friends are coming over, we're having snackies, watching football, and planning for Black Friday

B - Cereal
L - Leftovers (I hope!)
D - Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thanks for checking me out! Now be sure to go look at the other Menu Plans at Org Junkie!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mornin', people.

So it's 10:12 a.m., and here's my day so far.

6:00 Wake up to potty, decide to stay up and make sure Big Daddy gets up for work. Too often, when I go back to sleep at this time of the morning, I become unresponsive.

I read blogs and research digital cameras.

7:15 Big Daddy gets up - I ask him to go check on Scooter who went to bed with a fever. I haven't checked on her yet for fear of waking the other natives.

7:16 Scooter comes toddling in - NO FEVER!

7:20 Remaining natives come roaring in. YUCK.

I lay down the law - I will be getting into this bed and dozing until Daddy leaves for work. You will be quiet and watch Quality Children's Programming until such time as I arise.

7:25 Pooh gets sent back to her room for playing on my bed

I am unable to doze. Instead I watch WordGirl. Oh Yay! At some point I make oatmeal for breakfast.

8:30 Remind Big Daddy that he has to do his Fantasy Football roster before he leaves for work. Discuss FF with him until he leaves at 8:45.

8:45 I get out of bed and sit down to do my FF roster, Menu Plan and Grocery List.

58 Interruptions ensue. I'm still not dressed, Scooter's not dressed, and I haven't printed out my grocery list yet. I guess I'll shower after my errands.

I did have time to blog about it, though.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Advice Forum Friday

It's Friday again, y'all! One week closer to Thanksgiving - heck, it's practically here - and more importantly, Christmas!

This year, I'm asking Santa for a laptop and a camera. I'd love a camcorder too, but I'm hoping to find a camera that also takes short video clips. And here's the kicker - it has to cost practically nothing.

I'd love a great, fancy camera, but let's face facts - it would take me forever to figure out how to use it, and I can't afford more than about $300. I want great quality photos, quick shutter speed, video clips, and lots of zoom.

Now, for the laptop, all I really want to do is access this here internet from wherever I am. I'm gonna need Word and Excel on it, and I'll probably use it to download my pictures and video clips, and hopefully burn the videos to DVD. So, I want 1GB and a DVD burner, right?

This is where you come in, my friends. Tell me what laptop and digital camera you have, and what you like and don't like about them. Anything else I forgot to ask? Tell me that, too!

And if you need advice, help or input today, just write about it at your blog, link to my post, and sign the Mr. Linky down below.

And have a great weekend!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Amazing Race

Are you watching The Amazing Race this season? Be sure and check out my disjointed commentary on the Entertainment Blog.

We survived The Garage Sale!

Hey, guess what! I survived the Garage Sale. It wasn't that bad at all, but boy was I exhausted!

Overall we made almost $800, split between my friend Karen, my dad and me. Not bad for sitting around telling people "No, you can not have perfectly good blue jeans for 25 cents."

Here are some of our highlights from the event; funny, annoying, and sweet.

My Dad took care of the money, which was a real blessing. Pooh said he looked like a Tax Collector, sitting at his little table with his money box and notepad.

A mentally handicapped man rode his bike to our house about 5 times over the two days. He bought VHS movies, several every time. On Friday he was counting out his change and gave me a totally demolished dime. I gave it back and said, "That's okay. This is enough." On Saturday he gave me that same old demolished dime, and I just took it and handed it to the Tax Collector, who said, "Hey, who took this crappy dime?" I told him, "Just throw it away, the sweet guy wanted to pay with it."

A stray cat took up residence in our driveway Saturday and didn't leave until we packed up. He slept on the furniture we had for sale, and when it was all gone, climbed into a box of linens and went to sleep. We hoped He wasn't a She, looking for a place to have babies. Thankfully, nothing biological happened.

Some people ask you to take less for absolutely every single item, no matter how cheap it's priced! For example,
"How much these jeans?"
"Jeans are One Dollar." (This already down from $2)
"You take fitty cent?"
"No, jeans are One Dollar."
"Oh, come on, you take fitty cent?"
"No, jeans are One Dollar."
"Fitty cent?"
"One Dollar." BIG FAT SMILE

Same customer, different pair of jeans:
"How much these jeans?"
"Jeans are Two Dollars."
"You take One Dollar?"

I understand that some dickering is intrinsic to the Garage Sale Experience, but for goodness sakes, when I find something that is reasonably priced at a Garage Sale, I Just Buy It. For The Price That's Marked. Because that's fair! If I don't want to pay full price for it, I offer less. But to offer less just to be a butt? Ack.

So I'm a mean Garage Sale Lady. Because of you ask me to take less on every single item, I'm gonna start saying No to everything. But if you're sweet, and ask about some stuff, but pay my price for others, I'm gonna give you half of the stuff you've picked out for free. Because I like polite and not-so-pushy people.

I warned my friend up front that I'm Jekyll and Hyde when I'm running a Garage Sale. I sent one pregnant lady home with all my crib sheets and baby bedding, FOR FREE. But the rude people before her had to pay full price for everything.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how tacky do you think I am?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Advice Forum Friday

Hey, y'all. Guess what - I'm having a Garage Sale! Oh My Goodness, I am going to be SO TIRED!

So my question for you this week is short and sweet. Do you still have a (telephone) land line in your house, and if so, what services are included?
And here's why I ask. I almost NEVER answer my home phone these days. Everyone I know has my cell phone number, and if I'm busy, I just don't even bother to check the home phone when it rings. And I also forget to check the answering machine, although when I do, it's just recordings and hang-ups. UGH.

I am oh, so tempted to just cut off our local phone service altogether, except for one thing: 9-1-1. I want my kids (okay, and me) to be able to call 9-1-1 if we need to, and if we aren't able to communicate our location, I want the dispatcher to know where the call is coming from. Which isn't the case with a cell phone. And that's the only reason I haven't dropped my phone service.

So what do y'all think? Lay it on me. And if you have a burning question to throw out this week, just post it on your blog, link back to this post, and sign the Mr. Linky down below.

I'll let ya know how the Garage Sale goes. Ack.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Protective Mother

CAUTION: Rambling, neurotic motherhood crap coming up. Be Ye Warned.

Y'all, I think I might be an over-protective mother. And I didn't want to be, really. Let me clarify. I want to protect my children from physical injury, illness and life's big bumps, but I didn't want to be the kind of parent who interferes or is always making excuses for their child.

My Aunt Lulu raised some spoiled useless kids, because in her eyes, they could do no wrong. In trouble at school? "Well, that teacher has it in for her, bless her heart." Get fired from the job? "Well, he was only a little bit late, for heaven's sake." Yeah, every dang day! Quit his job? "Well, his nerves were so bad, you know."

So even though it's not Advice Forum Friday, please tell me if you think I'm becoming Aunt Lulu.

Tink has always had very good luck with teachers. Even in the beginning, when she was fresh out of a shelter, and behaved HORRIBLY at daycare, she had a teacher who really got her. Miss Lori was firm but understanding and kept me in the loop, so we could work together to help Tink feel safe, and at the same time improve her behavior.

Pre-K - GREAT first-year teacher who didn't take any crap, but was sweet. She went on maternity leave six weeks before school was out. Their substitute for the remainder of the year was Mrs. Holly. Not so sweet.

Kinder - WONDERFUL teacher.

1st Grade - I talked about Tink's teacher here. Unfortunately, she was in poor health, and in the first 4 weeks, missed several days of school before leaving permanently. Then there was another sub for 2 weeks, and now a permanent sub has been assigned for the remainder of the year. More on that.

So. My child who has issues with change because of her time spent in the foster care system has had at least 4 teachers in 8 or 9 weeks. Oh, and p.s., so has the rest of the class. So - they're crazy. Are you surprised?

Here's the deal. The substitute Tink had at the end of Pre-K was VERY rough. Even physically. So much so that another parent reported her for shaking and spanking Tink. And when the other kids in the class were asked about it, they said, "Oh, she didn't spank Tink. The only one she spanked was Christian." Nice.

Guess who my daughter's permanent teacher is. That's right - it's Mrs. Holly. Oh Holy Night. I have been trying and trying and even trying to be objective in this situation. I Mean It. But here are the things that Tink has been given bad marks (and missed recess) for:

Looking in her desk while the teacher was talking.
Getting her crayons out before the teacher told her to.
Having a messy desk.

Now look, y'all, I know my kid acts up. She talks too much, just like her Momma, and if she came home with a frowny every day for talking too much or running in the halls or kicking or talking back or etcetera, I'd sign that sucker and send it back without a second thought. And talk to her about her behavior. And make sure she corrected her behavior.

But a messy desk? You should have seen Pooh's desk AND locker in 1st grade - they were disgusting, and I corrected her for it. And while all the things I listed above may have been disobedient, did they warrant a "frowny face" or "walking the line" at recess? I just don't think so!

I guess I'm just frustrated, y'all, because Miss Holly just called me to tell me that Tink hurt herself at school, but she's okay. But she didn't just say,

"Tink fell and hit her head, but she's got ice on it and she's okay."

Oh, No. She had to say,

"Tink was scooting around on the benches, and she shouldn't have been, and that's why she fell and hit her head...blah, blah."

I just really feel like this lady is gunning for my kid. And the feeling sucks.

You know what, though? It's my job to stick up for my kid. I may have a little Aunt Lulu in me, but mostly I'm just a Mommy, and if a girl can't count on her Mommy to have her back, then what's she got?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

How cute are they?

That's right, I made the tutus. Uh huh, you're just a little envious, aren't you?

Problem is, I'm a bit addicted. I'm already thinking of making red and green ones for Christmas pictures. My poor girls may wear tutus for every special occasion until they're 13 years old. OOH, OOH, I could make a homecoming tutu...and a prom tutu...a graduation tutu...and a wedding tutu...and...I'd better start cutting!

Advice Forum Friday - Questions, Questions, Questions!

Hey, guys; how was your week? Mine was BUSY and SICK. Great combination. But it's almost over, and I can't wait until Saturday so I don't have to get up to take girls to school or pick them up, but can just hibernate in my house or run around all day if I want to.


We're back for another scintillating edition of Advice Forum Friday. I just have to thank you guys for answering all of my questions, REALLY. I'm the kind of girl who likes to know what other people are doing and how they're doing it. Not because I have a need to conform; it's more that I just want to know I'm not alone, you know?

So here's my question for you this week. When your kids are asking questions, and trying to learn, do you ever say, "Enough! Time Out!" For example, today Tinkerbell apparently learned about compound words at school. You know, blackboard, whitewash, that kind of thing. So this afternoon at home, she's big into the compound words. Except she really doesn't get it, so she's just trying to make everything a compound word.

"Pencil. Pen. Sell. Is that a compound word?"
"No, honey. It has to be two words that keep their meaning when they're stuck together. Like blackboard. Black. Board."
"Okay. Hmmm...Burger. Bur. Ger. Is that a compound word?"
"No, honey. Ger isn't a word. They have to be real words."
"Oh, I get it. How about dinner? Din. Ner. Compound word.
"No, baby. Ner isn't a word. Breakfast is a compound word, though. Break. Fast."
"Really? Oh. Well how about Daddy? Dad. Dee."

You get the picture. This goes on, on and off, all afternoon. She obviously doesn't get the idea, and I'm trying to cook dinner or pick my nose or whatever, but I'm so over teaching her at this point. But I feel guilty because I don't want to discourage her from trying to learn.

Have you ever felt this way? And if so, how do you handle it? I generally just say, "Okay, that's enough compound words (or whatever) for today. Let's go over it again tomorrow." Problem is, she is so into it that she doesn't want to stop and ends up getting her feelings hurt because I do.

Bring on the wisdom, people.

And if you have a question for our friends out there in the blogiverse, just write about it on your blog, link back to me, and sign the Mr. Linky down below.

And have a great weekend!