Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A New Appreciation

I have never been a fan of country music. Actually, I was always one of those people that really disliked country music. But, this year, my 9 yr. old son is getting an Ipod shuffle from Santa. I wanted to go ahead and put some songs on it for him so he could listen to it as soon as he gets it from under the tree. Now, he is a huge country music lover. It cracks me up! He seems to know every word to every country song that comes on the radio. Seriously, I don't know when he listens to this stuff, but, he knows it all. And, boy, does he love to sing. It's really pretty darn cute. So, I started trying to put the radio on country stations while we are in the car, just to get an idea of which songs are his favorites. I've spent several hours now, loading his Ipod. I have to say, I'm really starting to dig some of these songs. I think I may even be LOVING some of these songs (especially Sara Evans). Why is it though, that so many of the country songs make me cry. I'm a total sap I guess, because I have been brought to tears listening to more than a couple. Songs that probably aren't even supposed to be sad. I must be hormonal or something, I cried the other night too, when we watched a DVD (Spiderman 3 - it was definately my favorite of all the Spiderman movies). We had a family movie night. We all gathered around the fire, made popcorn, and watched the movie. And, here I am, crying at the end of Spiderman 3. My family probably thinks I've lost it. Oh well. Back to the country music story. DS is also getting a brand new "real" guitar and guitar lessons for Christmas. He has no idea, but will totally flip out. Well, I am off for now to do laundry. My laundry piles just don't seem to be getting any smaller, no matter how many loads I do EVERY day. Have a nice evening.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Photo Meme

While visiting this fun blog, I found a cool, new twist on the ever-popular "meme". It's a Photo Meme. The idea is to type each of your answers into a google image search and then choose from the first page of results to answer your meme questions. (I cheated a little though, I had to go into the second page of results on a couple;o) Make sense? Okay, my photo meme is coming right up. If you would like to do a photo meme of your own, post a link in my comments section so that we can check it out. Here goes:

1. Age at next birthday

2. Place I would like to travel

3. Favorite place

4. Favorite objects

5. Favorite food

6. Favorite animal

7. Favorite color

8. Town where I was born

9. Town where I live

10. Name of past pet

11. Name of past love

12. Best friend's nickname

13. My nickname

14. My first name

15. Bad habit

16. First job

17. Grandmother's name

18. College major

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday shopping

Here I am on Thanksgiving, pictured with my oldest child, Cameron (14). Most of the time, we get along great. I appreciate his hilarious sense of humor and we are alike in many ways. We both love to stay up late and sleep in; we're not morning people at all. This totally drives my husband crazy, as he is one of those people who actually love to get up early and thinks it's a sin to sleep past 9 a.m. Of course, as he's gotten to be a "teenager" we have had our moments where we seem to clash and argue, but, I'm sure that's to be expected. I was thrilled yesterday when he asked if he and I could get up and do the early morning "Black Friday" shopping together - just the two of us. Not too many opportunities for us to do things by ourselves, so I was all for it. Hubby was working at the firehouse, so I arranged for the other kiddos to sleep over at my parent's house. We had the house to ourselves and went to sleep around 11:30. Then, as hard as it was, we got up at 2:45 a.m. We arrived at Target at 3:30 and got in line behind about 25-30 other people. Everyone was friendly and things went very smoothly. We ended up talking with several people who were in line behind us, and they were all so nice. The temperature was 28 degrees, and, although we THOUGHT we had dressed warmly enough, we ended up freezing our butts off. We were there to get the digital picture frames that were on sale for 49.99 (I needed four of them for gifts, so, I figured standing in line in the dark, freezing cold was worth saving $80). By the time 6:00 a.m. rolled around and the store opened, there were so many people in line, that it literally wrapped all the way to the back of the building. We went right in, I grabbed the digital frames, Cam grabbed the video rocker chair that he wanted (for the great price of $32), we went straight to the checkout line, and were out of there by 6:10. Then we went to the mall, Kohl's, and finally to McDonald's for breakfast. It may not sound like any big exciting event, but, spending that one-one-one time with Cameron was awesome! I mean, he actually WANTED to be there with me, so how great is that. And, I'm about 80% done with my Christmas shopping. Whoo Hoo! How about you? Did you go shopping on Friday? How were the crowds?


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my family -- we are so blessed to have four beautiful, healthy children. I am thankful for our home, our friends, the bountiful food we have to eat every day, and the safe community that we live in. I am thankful for the new friends I have made through blogging. I am especially thankful for all of our service men and women who are sacrificing so much for us. Here's wishing everyone peace and a very happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Pre-teen turmoil

My daughter is eleven. She is beautiful, sweet, well-behaved, and smart. Very smart. She is in gifted classes at school - she is a math whiz, she plays piano, she plays softball, she practically has a photographic memory. Actually, she really blows me away with how awesome she is. Of course I realize I'm a little prejudiced about the topic, but still. Friends who have older daughters have told me, "just wait till she hits those teenage years, she will change, you just wait..." I didn't believe them. Not my sweet, loving girl. She wouldn't succomb to those back-talking, know-it-all teenage ways. I think I may be about to eat my words. Lately she has been an emotional wreck. She gets so irritated with me. I embarrass her with the music I listen to if her friends are in the car with us. I find her rolling her eyes or sticking her tongue out at me. She cries at the drop of a hat. The other night at dinner, I felt so bad for her. She's a very picky eater, if we're having something she doesn't like, she will pick at her food, taking tiny bites and inspecting each and every morsel. Hubby started imitating her, by putting little bites of food on his fork and making faces at her. She immediately burst into tears. Then her little brothers started laughing at her. Which made her cry more. I'm sure her hormones are a factor and I know it's a hard age for a girl. Especially a girl who has three brothers. We were at her piano lesson last week. She had a few minutes before her lesson started, so she was practicing her recital song on one of the extra pianos. (She's playing 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies' at her recital this year, and it's a tough song to learn). I happened to look over at her and she's fighting back tears because she is frustrated with the difficulty of the song. I pray for strength to help her through these upcoming years. I pray that she stays interested in school and academics and music. I pray that we stay close and have the kind of relationship where we can talk about anything. I pray that I can overlook the eye-rolling and remember what it's like to be that age. I know everything will be fine. She really is a great girl!

(Here's a picture of us from this weekend. We spent the day with a friend and her mother shopping and having lunch at The Cheesecake Factory)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

7 Things Meme

I've been tagged by Martha to do the "7 things about me" meme. (By the way, if you haven't read her blog, check it out. She has a wicked funny sense of humor and really cracks me up). This is my first time being tagged so I guess you could call me a "meme virgin". I'm about to divulge some little know facts about myself, but, don't let them scare you away. I promise, I'm a perfectly normal person (or so I keep telling myself). Here goes:

1. I am generally in a bad mood if it's a sunny day. I know this goes against the laws of nature, but, it's true. Give me an overcast, cloudy day anytime. Hubby says I must be wired wrong. When it's sunny, I tend to get a headache, not to mention that I can spot all the windows that need cleaning in my house or see the dust on our piano that I need to clean. At night, I'm constantly yelling at the kids to "turn off the lights". I just prefer darkness. Maybe I used to be a vampire. Scary.

2. I'm obsessive-compulsive. Seriously, it's getting worse as I get older. At night, I have my little ritual that I go through before bed (in order) -- checking to make sure the garage door is closed, checking to make sure the basement lights are out, checking that I turned off the water to my washing machine, and checking that my oven is turned off and that the coffee maker is unplugged (which is totally weird because I don't unplug any other appliance), making sure all the doors are locked. Checking all the kid's rooms. And, when I'm grocery shopping, I can't take the first item off the shelf, I have to reach back and take the fourth item. This one really gets hubby, drives him crazy...if we are lounging around on the couch watching tv, we like to cuddle up under a quilt. The quilt HAS to be right side up (the 'piecing' part has to be up, not against my skin). There's more, but, like I said, I don't want to scare you away. They probably have medication for this. I should check into that.

3. I hate to dust (see post #1). Seriously, I would scrub toilets till the cows come home. Just don't make me dust. Enough said.

4. I've had the same best friend, Anna, for 33 years. Our families knew each other before we were born. We were in kindergarten together, and from then on, we were inseperable. We know everything (good and bad) about each other. And, she's the one I call when I am upset or need to vent. We both have four kids. We have a pact that if one of us somehow ends up in a coma, the other will come to the hospital to do our pedicures (we both have a problem with untidy feet). And, if I die, she is to come onto my computer and let all my bloggy friends know (she also is directed to destroy certain items hidden in my house, I'm not SAYING it's a sex tape or sex toy, but, you think what you want). She's totally got my back!

5. I am a magazine junkie. I buy fashion magazines, decorating magazines, scrapbooking magazines, celebrity gossip magazines...I can't help myself. It's something that I'm really trying to work on.

6. I am nosey. Very. When we moved into our neighborhood, we were the first family to live here (it was a new development). Every time a car would drive by at night, I would jump up and look out the window. "Who is that?" "Why are they driving here?" After all, no one else even lived in the neighborhood yet. One night during my nosey nightwatch, I saw a truck pull into the garage of a house that was still under construction. I figured they were either a)kids looking for a place to make out or b)going to vandalize or steal from the house, so I called the police. The police came and ran them off. I should start a neighborhood block watch program or something.

7. I have a huge fear of deep water. If it's even up to my mid-chest, I cannot stand it. I do know how to swim, but, I wouldn't call myself a strong swimmer. I HATE going to the lake. I've swore that I will NEVER EVER go on a cruise ship (a huge bummer for hubby). I love the ocean, but, only if we're strolling along the shore, no more than knee deep. And, I try really hard not to project this fear of water onto my kids, but, I'm a nervous wreck when they are swimming or around water. On the other hand, hubby loves the water. He grew up going to the lake, water-skiing, boating...etc. His family does not understand or sympathize with my fear, and it can really tick me off. This has been a issue between us many times during our marriage. Last summer, we went to Florida with his family. One night we went out to dinner at a restaurant that was on the bay. There were docks where you could walk around to see the fishing boats. My sister-in-law decided she wanted to make a family picture on the dock. This particular part of the dock, was extremely narrow and had no railing or anything. There were twelve of us, and she wanted all of us to cram together on this narrow strip of wood with no railing! A couple steps to the right or left and you would be in the water. She asked another patron who happened to be standing by, if they would take the picture for us. Now, usually I am somewhat meek and quiet, so at first I didn't say anything. Then as she continued to try to get everyone posed for the picture, I started to get really freaked out. The kids were all over the place, there was no room, it was crowded (I'm about to hyperventilate at this point). I quietly mentioned that I thought we should move to another spot. I mentioned this twice but no one paid any attention. So, finally I totally lost it and started yelling "I CAN NOT STAND HERE, I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS"...etc. I made a real spectacle of myself, I tell ya. All the people standing nearby stopped talking and looked over to see what was going on. There was even a small stage on the dock with a band playing, and yes, even the some of the band members looked over to see what all the commotion was. Hubby was mortified, but I could not help it. We left shortly after and as soon as we got in our car to drive away, I burst out crying (I tried to hold it back because the kids were with us, but, there was no holding it back). Maybe I should cry in front of my kids more often. They were totally quiet and when we got back to the condo, they were walking right next to me, holding my hand, rubbing my back. I suppose they thought I had lost it. Hopefully they aren't too traumatized.

So there you have it. Now, you know some weird little tidbits about me. Hopefully, you won't hold them against me and you'll still come by and visit my blog. If you would like to do the "7 things" meme, go for it. Just post it on your blog and leave me a comment here so I can come over and read all about ya. Thanks, Martha! That was pretty liberating, LOL!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Sweet land

Recently I participated in the Fall Y'all bloggy giveaway, as did many other bloggers. My giveaway was a movie night gift basket. I've been meaning to post about the movie that I included in my gift basket. It was not one that I had ever heard of; I just happened to come across it at the video rental store. These independent films are my favorite and I really enjoyed this one. The DVD is titled Sweet Land. It's about a german mail order bride named Inge who travels to Minnesota to marry a young farmer, Olaf. Since it's just after WW1, the people are not accepting of a german coming into their town, and the couple is forbidden to marry. Although things are awkward between them at first, they do end up falling in love and Inge eventually proves herself to the town. The story starts out in the present, but through flashbacks, tells the story of Inge and Olaf. It's a touching love story and a bit of a tearjerker. So, if you like this kind of flick, check it out.

Also, I want to send out my thanks to some fellow bloggers. First, to Jacki. I was the lucky winner of her Fall Y'all bloggy giveaway -- a $15 WalMart gift card. How awesome is that! And, if you are reading this Jacki, I've lost your blog address. Could you email it to me so I can visit you again. Thank you! Second, to Sarah. I was fortunate enough to be a winner of her bloggy giveaway as well. Her prize is an awesome book that I can't wait to share with my sons -- The Dangerous Book For Boys. Thanks to you both, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your generosity.


Thursday, November 15, 2007


Can anyone tell me why the pictures from my previous post ("Holiday Shopping Carnival") are no longer showing up??? All I can see are big squares and a little red X....that's never happened with any of my other pictures that I posted so I was just curious. Thanks!


Monday, November 12, 2007

~*~*Holiday Shopping Carnival*~*~

Today is the day! 'Don't Try This at Home' is hosting a holiday shopping carnival. Participants are posting their fun and unique holiday shopping finds, along with the links where you can purchase these goodies. The idea is to help each other come up with Christmas gift ideas that are not your typical run of the mill "socks and underwear" type presents. I don't know about you, but, I love trying to find something different or original to give as a Christmas gift...something that really fits the recipient and that they will, hopefully, be thrilled to receive. So, without further ado, here are my fun finds. I hope that something on my list may be just what you are looking for. Let me know what you think.

1. This little adorable drawstring pouch can be found here at There are a couple different patterns to choose from, this one is my favorite. It would be perfect for holding a variety of small treasures -- an ipod, a calculator, small camera, lip gloss and a small mirror. And, it's cheap at only $5.00. I'm thinking stocking stuffer, or something that your daughter could give to each of her close friends. The only drawback, these must be very popular because at the time of my posting, they are out of stock. I'll be checking this site often to see when more arrive. Other items that I liked on this site -- their funky mis-matched socks and the cute little sock change purses.

2. Next, head over to and check out these hip salad servers. They are made out of melamine and the patterns are to die for. This would be a nice gift idea for your favorite hostess, a newlywed, or someone who is living on their own for the first time. Also very affordable at $15.00 for the pair. I'm diggin' these!

3. I love shopping on Etsy! So many talented and creative people selling their goods. And, it's always special when you buy something that is "homemade". Here's the perfect example...Angie, at Three Lulu's makes these fabulous monogrammed aprons. How cute are they! SSssshhhhh...gotta keep this a secret for now, but, I ordered a matching set for a certain mother-daughters group of my own family. I can't wait to see them all decked out in their aprons. She makes monogrammed tote bags that are very nice, too. Go check them out and tell her I sent you.

4. At, there are lots of nifty gadgets for any techno-loving people on your list. I think this waterproof monocular is pretty cool. I'm also thinking it's the perfect stocking stuffer for my husband or teenage son. The price is $24.95.

5. This is such a sweet item. I think any little girl would be thrilled to open this gift. It can be purchased at for $24.95. In addition to this 'My First Sewing Kit', there is also a 'My First Crochet Kit' that is equally adorable. Each kit comes packaged in it's own little suitcase; how fun is that!

6. From are these clever wall-mounted key holders. You can purchase a "His" or "Hers" or both. This could be a useful gift for many people on your list. Practical AND fun! They are $24.95 each.

7. To me, any of the beautiful soaps from the Giana Rose Atelier online shop would be a luxurious and thoughtful gift. I especially like this little guy -- a pretty owl sitting on a porcelain leaf dish. He's $20.00 and his scent is white lychee fragrance. Go to the website and see all the lovely varieties available.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed my holiday shopping list. To check out lists for all the other carnival participants, click here. Happy Holidays and happy shopping!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Funny dog - Good dog

Here's a couple pictures to share of our dog, Emma. She is spoiled rotten, we like to call her the diva. She loves to sleep (especially with her head on a pillow), if she has to go out to the bathroom, she rings a bell that is hanging on our back door, but, if the ground is wet, she will tiptoe around and act as if she doesn't want to get her feet wet (sometimes she will turn right around and run back in the house). And, she has to be in the middle of I was trying to unload my dishwasher and fix dinner, and she was laying in the kitchen floor right in my way, she wouldn't budge. (please excuse my messy kitchen)

Here she's sleeping in front of the fireplace, with her ear sticking straight up. I guess she doesn't want to miss anything.

On a serious note, she is a really good dog. I've never posted about this before, but, our youngest son, who is seven, is on medication for seizures. In February, he started having seizures. The first time was during the night, while he was sleeping (he happened to be sleeping in bed with me that night, as DH was working overnight at the firehouse). He's had a CT scan, MRI, EEG's...all tests have been normal. Since February, he has had about 15 seizures; they have all been, thank goodness, at night and/or when he was sleeping. Although they are not classifying them as febrile seizures, we've noticed a pattern in that they always occur either shortly before, during, or after he's had a fever or starting to come down with a little bug. Usually when he has a seizure, he will go on to have a cluster of one or two more throughout that night. For most of the seizures, they are about a minute or less, and, he stays somewhat awake, screaming through the whole thing. A couple of the seizures have been more of the grand mal type -- where he is totally out of it, wetting his pants, and goes into a deep sleep afterwards. Those are the scariest. The neurologist has told us that many kids have seizures for unknown reasons and then outgrow them. We are praying for that. We were also told that the seizures do not actually harm him or cause damage. Last week, a stomach virus hit our house. Everyone but DH was sick at some point over a period of about 10 days. "Z" (our youngest) had been having some tummy symptoms for about a day. When he went to bed that particular night, Emma (our dog) followed him and slept on the floor right next to the bed. This is very unusual because she has her certain spots in the living room where she sleeps EVERY single night. It was like she was keeping watch over him. I remarked to DH that I thought this was strange, that she hardly ever slept in the bedroom. Sure enough, later that night after we were all sleeping, Z had two seizures. I think maybe Emma knew or could sense something and that is why she was sleeping near Z. Any time he has had a seizure, Emma has immediately run to his side and stood by until it was over. Our other son, who is nine, had three seizures when he was two years old. He was on medication for two years, and *knock on wood* has never had another seizure. They do not really think that the two cases are related, just a strange coincidence. We just pray that Z does outgrow the seizures and that if or when he has another one, it will continue to happen at night, when he is at home safely tucked in bed. My worst nightmare is that it would happen while he is at school and not with me. Overall, he is a healthy little boy and we are thankful for that. Thanks for listening!


Saturday, November 10, 2007


My lovely new blog banner was made by Kris at Blissfull Elements. She is so creative and does such wonderful work. Thanks, Kris...I love my banner!


Super easy recipes

Thought I would share these recipes that I made for dinner last night. I'm all about super quick and easy, and both of these are just that. For our meal, I made chicken enchiladas, served with black beans. And for dessert, it was coconut chess pie.

Chicken Enchiladas:

2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed
1 jar (8 oz) salsa, divided
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 pound (12 oz) Velveeta cheese, cut up
1/4 cup milk

Stir chicken, green pepper, cream cheese and 1/2 cup salsa in saucepan on low heat until cream cheese is melted.

Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down, in lightly greased 12x8-inch baking dish.

Stir Velveeta cheese and milk in saucepan on low heat until smooth. Pour sauce over tortillas; cover with foil.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Pour remaining salsa over tortillas and serve.

Coconut Chess Pie:

1 stick butter
1.5 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup flaked coconut
2 tsp vinegar
1.5 tsp vanilla

Combine butter and sugar in saucepan, heat, stirring until melted and well blended. Let cool and combine with all the rest of the ingredients. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake for about 1 hour at 350, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

*I baked mine for about 50 minutes and that ended up being a little too long I think*


Friday, November 9, 2007

What to think?

Our youngest three children attend public schools. Both schools are fairly new, located less than five minutes from our home, and overall, we love them. Happy with the teachers, the test scores, the facilities, etc. Our oldest started high school this year. When it came time to register him, we found that we just weren't pleased with our public high school. It's overcrowded (they are currently building additions to the campus, but, in the meantime, several teachers are having to use small trailers for their classroom), we've heard so many stories of drug problems (I'm not naive, I know this can probably be found at just about any high school, but still...), in the last few years, there have been a few students (girls) to commit suicide (were said to be related to bullying and threats and mySpace), we've heard stories of girls making out with each other in the halls (nothing against homosexuals, but, I don't want my 14 yr. old son seeing it in the hallways of his school), and the academics just didn't seem up to par. DS is smart; he's not one of the top students but he's not at the bottom of his class either. He is a bit of an underachiever, he's not going to go the extra mile if he doesn't have to when it comes to schoolwork. We were afraid in that school environment, he would just get passed along, never really being challenged or motivated to do more. I think he hangs with a good group of kids, so, he probably would be okay. But, it just wasn't feeling right to us. So, we started looking into private schools. We're not catholic and paying for a private school was something we never planned for, never expected to do. But, we knew of a small catholic high school that had an excellent reputation. It's not in our town, it's about a 35 minute drive from our house. But, in past years, quite a few students from our town have enrolled there. They provide free bus transportation, which is great. The school is small, only around 300 students (compared to our public high school which is up to almost 1200). The private school has a long history of academic and moral excellence. We visited the school several times, each visit left us feeling like this was the place we wanted DS to be. We were especially impressed with the principal, he seemed to be a visionary leader with so much enthusiasm. Of course, our son was a little less than thrilled. He didn't want to leave his friends, friends that he has went to school with since kindergarten. But, after much discussion and coaxing, he agreed to attend the private school. Our next door neighbor's daughter, and a few other classmates also decided to attend the private school. So, he did have familiar faces with him. He joined the football team (his first time ever playing football) and made many new friends. His schedule has been grueling and the school work has been challenging. But, all along we've felt like we made the right decision.

If you're still reading this long post, thanks for hanging won't believe where this story is going....

Even though we've been pleased with our decision, our son has not. He continuously tells us he doesn't like the school, he's tired of the long commute, etc. When report cards came out last month, DS's grades were not good. Failing grade in one class, D's in two others. We were so disappointed and felt like our son wasn't putting forth the effort he should. We grounded him and have tried to stay on top of his assignments/homework, etc. He's doing better this grading period, but, still states he doesn't want to be at this school next year. So, this is what we've been dealing with for the school year. We keep trying to explain to DS how important it is for him to do well in school, that we think this school has a much superior environment than he would have at the public school, etc. Then, last week, a horrible turn of events happened. We were shocked and didin't know what to think....the principal of his school was pulled over by police in a shady area of a nearby town, found to be dressed in drag and cited for loitering with the intent of prostitution. OH. My. GOODNESS. This man is a very distinguished, highly respected professional with an impeccable reputation. What were we to think? The story was all over the news. They even showed the police dashcam video from when he was cited. Upon searching his car, the police found a g-string, crotchless panties, cowboy spurs....he offered a story about going to a costume party (it was the night before Halloween) but it seems his story wasn't solid. He is now suspended, on leave from his position. This just makes me so angry, here we are singing the praises of this school to our son, making sacrifices to pay for said school, and then we find out that the leader of this school is not what we thought. I don't want my son to go through his entire high school career being unhappy. But, we do want the best possible educational experience for him. We are really torn and just don't know what to think. We feel good about the other school administrators. I realize that they, nor the school, can be held responsible for the actions of the principal. It's just a very strange and confusing situation. Above all, we just want the best for our son. Thanks for listening, I know I rambled on today.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Holiday Shopping Carnival

You may have noticed the pretty little Christmas button on my sidebar.... Don't Try This at Home is hosting a holiday shopping carnival. Here's how it works: on Monday Nov. 12, participants will post on their blog. The links to our posts will then be put on a Mr. Linky at Don't Try This at Home's site. What are we posting you ask? Well, the idea is to share unique and fun finds that would be perfect for Christmas gift-giving. This way we can help each other come up with gift ideas for those hard to buy for people, or ideas that are different than giving the same old thing each year. I think this is very clever and can't wait to see everyone's list. Be sure and come back on Monday when I'll have my own list posted. After all, there's only 47 days left until Christmas.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007


We're all so excited! ABC's Extreme Makeover - Home Edition is in my hometown filming an episode this week. The family that's receiving the makeover lives only about 20 minutes away from me. They are known to many around these parts, their story is so inspiring. Click here to read more about them. Extreme Makeover Home Edition is one of our favorite family shows. Every time I watch it, I end up bawling my eyes out. It also makes me appreciate all that I have - a healthy family and a home to live in. Not sure when our town's episode will air, I heard it wouldn't be until February. I'll keep everyone posted.


Trying times

So, before I settled into my happy days of being a stay-at-home mom, I was a registered nurse. I worked nights at a hospital in the transitional care unit (this is like a step-down unit from ICU). I loved working nights -- I'm just such a night person. The hospital was darker and more quiet, with hardly any doctors buzzing around. It was just more laid back than the day shifts. Most of our patients were elderly. I loved working with these people. Some of them were lonely or confused with dementia. Even though that could be challenging, I loved talking with them and listening to their stories (even when sometimes their stories didn't make any sense). It was somewhat like taking care of a child. As much as I loved the people that I took care of, I can't really say that I miss working. Just before my third child was born, we made the decision that I would stay home full time. Up until then, my husband had taken care of the kids while I worked and usually the mornings after work (so that I could sleep). But, in addition to his job as a firefighter, he had also started his own lawn and landscaping business. It was getting harder and harder for him to stay home and take care of the kids so that I could sleep. We didn't want to put the kids in daycare (not that there's anything wrong with that, it was just our personal choice not to do that). So, I became a stay-at-home mom. That was 9.5 years years ago. I've never really regretted this decision. There were times when money was tight and I felt like "oh I should be working so we wouldn't have to worry about this" but then things would always have a way of being okay. Right now is one of those times. For the last few years, DH has been building houses. Usually just one or two a year. Enough to supplement his firefighter income and help us live comfortably. But, now the housing market is pretty much at a standstill -- no one is building houses right now. We are starting to feel the stress of only having the one income. We've discussed the posibility of me going back to work. But, I have to tell you...after being out of nursing for almost 10 years, it's a scary thought. So much has changed - technology, medication, I would be a nervous wreck. And, even though I think my job as a "mom" is one of the most important jobs of all, it has changed me. I just don't think I have the confidence to go back out into the work force after all this time. Not to mention the work I would have to do in order to even get my nursing license up to date. I would be required to take an approved refresher course before going back to work. This course would take quite a bit of time and is pretty expensive. So, I really don't think this is the route to go right now. I'm just torn about what to do. I could find another job of some sort, but, not one that would pay what I could make as a nurse. I'm hoping we can just ride out these tough times and get through it without me going back to work. Is that selfish of me? We have four children, who go to three different schools. They play sports, are on the academic team, take piano lessons, etc. The thought of having to coordinate all that while working is truly daunting to me. Plus, DH works 24 hours shifts at the firehouse, so on those days, he is not here at all. I don't know how all you working moms do it. I am in awe of you, really. It's just such a tough thing anyway I look at it. Anyway, thanks for listening. It feels better just to talk about it.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Christmas card postmarks

I know it's still the first week of November. But, I am already thinking about Christmas cards. I love to send out Christmas cards. And, every year, I have such good intentions of going that extra mile and hand-making all my cards (never happens). And, I totally love this idea -- did you know that you can get all your cards addressed, sealed, and ready to go. Then, put all of the cards in a big envelope or box, and mail it to the postmaster of "North Pole, Alaska" or "Santa Clause, Indiana" or "Bethlehem, Pennsylvania" or any other town that you choose. They will postmark your cards and send them on their way to your family and friends. Just a fun little way to put some more Christmas cheer into your season. This year, I'm determined to do this. Here's the link where you can get directions for mailing your cards and see a lists of towns with holiday-sounding names.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

And the winner of my 'Fall Y'all' giveaway is....

I want to thank everyone who visited my blog and entered my giveaway. I'm just blown away by how many comments were left; I appreciate them all. Participating in the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway carnival was a blast - thanks to Shannon for hosting. It was so much fun that I hope to do another 'movie night' giveaway in the future. Check back in with my blog and watch for details. I hope to make my 'movie night' giveaways something that I do on a sort of regular basis (every couple months or so??).

Now, to announce the winner -- I used a random number generator to determine the winning comment. The 'Movie Night' gift basket goes to.....

~*~*~ Life as a Mama ~*~*~

As soon as 'Lifeasamama' has received her gift basket, I'll post the title and details of the movie that I chose. Thanks again, to everyone who entered. I hope you'll come back and see me.


P.S. You can go here to see links for other bloggy giveaway winners.