Monday, September 29, 2008

The Brain, It is the First to Go....

All day long, while I was at the park for Moms and Tots, and driving to the bank, and then to the dentist, and even while I was sitting in the dentist's chair being cleaned and polished, I thought of a TON of things to come over here and tell you all about when I made it back home to my computer....

...they have all eluded me. I honestly cannot think of a single thing that I wanted to share with blogland. Can you spell f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-i-n-g??????

So, here I am with nothing to say....sigh. And I need to leave in about 31 minutes to take the girl to cheerleading practice. And I have a list of things I wanted to get accomplished before I left. And I haven't even started because I came home from the grocery store with a massive headache, and I needed to lie down until the acetaminaphen/aspirin combo kicked in.

So, I guess I just stopped in to say that I have nothing to say...sigh.

I'll try again tomorrow....perhaps my brain cells will have awakened by then...............zzzzzzzzzzzz....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kid-Safe Internet


My kids, LOVE to play online computer games... especially, my soon to be 13 year old son. There have been a couple that his cousin showed him that he has really enjoyed playing. But here's the problem...sometimes, when he searched for these games on the internet, he would stumble upon some inappropriate content. It could have been a site that just happened to have one of his search words in it, or even if the game/site itself was fine, some of the advertisements on that site were not.

The man and I were concerned about this, but still wanted the kids to be able to play games online. (They get a variety of games, without us having to go out and buy any! :)) So, I googled "kid safe internet" or some such thing, and although I found many different options, I chose Kidzui for our family.

It's a download onto your computer that allows kids to view only kid friendly sites. It is also customized by age, so when my 3 year old wants to play, he is offered different games and activities than when my 12 year old signs on. And the girl gets offered different sites than the boys (ie: Strawberry Shortcake, Hello Kitty, etc.) although they are not limited to these, they are simply age/gender appropriate recommendations. They can also rate different sites and games, so that the other kids can see if their brothers or sister liked a game or not, and if they might like to try it.

They can access the internet as well, from their Kidzui homepages, but if they try to go to a site that is not "kid-friendly" or "parent approved", they get a message stating that the site is blocked, but Mom or Dad can unblock it for them if they choose. It's been great! The kids are able to go to their Spelling Time website that we use for some of our schoolwork without problems, but You-Tube has to be approved. This has been so very helpful!

Now, like I said, there were many other similar programs out there that we could have chosen, but Kidzui offered a FREE membership, so that's the one we chose. :) They do offer paid memberships as well, that allow the kids some more "fun" stuff to personalize their pages, etc. But that is the kind of thing that they have to do with their own allowance money, so for now, they are happy with the free site. And they are really enjoying all the new games and videos offered by the site.

Oh, and what I did for our family was to remove the regular web-browser icon from the desktop on the kids computer. I told them they had to click on the Kidzui icon to get online now. :) But you can set the computer to automatically turn on Kidzui when you logon and then require a password to get out of it, so they can't logoff of
Kidzui and logon to your regular internet. I didn't want to automatically start anything, so I just removed the internet icon and told them it was gone, and to use the new one. Hey, it Works for Me!

To see more ideas from fellow bloggers, visit Shannon's place for more Works for Me Wednesday tips and tricks!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Catching Up is Hard to Do....

Hmmm, that sounds like a song...

Anyway, I just wanted to stop in here during the last 12 minutes of my 15 minute break to let you all know how things are going over here.

I'm feeling much better with regard to having to re-adjust to my prescription. That's a HUGE relief. Thanks to all of you who were praying for me. So far, I'm doing pretty good as far as my legs are concerned. I've been able to run/walk and do my strength training on my regular schedule. I've had some pain, but nothing major, so I'm hoping it wasn't the prescription after all and I'm getting past whatever it was. :)

This week, I'm trying to catch up with all the daily stuff that got pushed aside last week because I was too sick to do anything more than what was absolutely necessary. You know, taking a week off really messes things up! And trying to make up the work always takes longer, because everything is dirtier than it would have been with one week's less dirt!

On a happier note, I've been reading a lot. :) I just finished Kevin Leman's Have a New Kid by Friday" and I really liked it! The concept of taking these little steps to change your kids' attitude, which in turn changes the behavior, and then builds the character really appealed to me. Many things around here are easier, although he was right when he said that it would "get worse for awhile". There is still some testing of the process going on, but I can see some good results and hopefully, with me not being so sick, I'll be able to do even better at implementing everything I read. If you are having trouble getting your kids to listen, obey, and have a cheerful attitude while doing it, I would highly recommend this book!

I've also started on two more books for the Blog Book Tour, and they are both really good! I can't wait to be able to share them with you all on the Tour. One is a non-fiction, so I'm using it right now in my daily quiet time, and the other is fiction, so I'm just enjoying it in my down times. Yes, I do take some down times during the day...I have to...to maintain some semblance of sanity! I may have to lock myself in the bathroom to do it, but I do find 5-10 minutes here and there throughout the day to read and just chill out....all.by.myself. :)

Speaking of which, I'm 2 minutes past my break time, so I'd better get going!

I miss visiting with everyone, and I hope to be back soon!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yes, I'm still alive...

Hello everyone! Yes, I'm still alive, and so far today I'm FINALLY feeling pretty good.

Which is a very good thing, because I have a list about 16 miles long to do today! So, I won't be hanging out here with you all, but I did want to check in and let you all know that it looks like I may finally be adjusting to my medicine again, and so far...my legs are just fine. I even started running again this week...woo-hoo!

Okay, I've got to get back to my list now, but this came in my email today, and I wanted to share it with you all, so that you could please be praying for this family. It's not looking good, and all the prayer support they could get, would be great! Feel free to post on your blogs as well!

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/coleruotsala

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm Getting SO Excited!

I LOVED "Facing the Giants" and I can't wait to see this next one!










Monday, September 15, 2008

Uuggghhh...

Hello Blogland,


I just thought I'd stop in to explain why I haven't stopped in....


I don't remember if I filled you all in on the trouble with my legs, but about 2 months after switching prescriptions for my endometriosis, I started having really bad pain in my legs. The doctor made me stop taking the new prescription (which was a bummer, because once my body adjusted to it and I got through the initial vomiting/headache phase, I felt great!), and sent me to a vascular surgeon to be checked for blood clots, or other circulation issues.


Everything checked out fine, and the vascular surgeon said he felt it was a muscular issue, not a vascular issue. So, I am now back on my prescription and going through the whole vomiting/headache phase all over again...sigh. I'm sincerely hoping that I will adjust much more quickly this time, and that I will be through this business soon. In the meantime, I'm pretty much a lump who gets up to take care of kids and try to teach them stuff.


I had hoped to make a bunch of cookies for some friends this weekend since all activity was cancelled around here due to IKE, but I just didn't feel like standing up! I did have a baby shower cake that I needed to do for a friend at church, so I did manage to get that one finished and delivered, but I didn't stay for the shower itself....sniff, sob. I had much more elaborate plans in mind for it, but like I said, standing was not my friend this weekend.


This was her second boy and her theme was "Airplanes", so this is what she got.



Yes, those are cookie airplanes stuck in icing clouds.


And now, I must muster myself up to take the girl to cheer practice where I will sit in the nice cool air and watch without moving...doesn't sound too terrible to me! Thank goodness for brothers who are now old enough and responsible enough to babysit, so I don't have to chase a 3 year old around 8 different football practice areas! :)

Hopefully, I'll be back up and blogging more fun stuff soon.

Oh, and please stop by and encourage Kelli. She's having a rough time, and could use some prayers right about now. Thanks!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

There's a Hurricane...and yet my world is quiet!

I have nothing to post. I can't think of a single thing to share with my bloggy friends. What's up with that?

1. The Longhorn football game was postponed because of the hurricane, so I didn't have to make my weekly cakes and cookies for that. Therefore, I have no pictures to share with you.

2. My daughter's football game was cancelled because of the hurricane, so I have no cheerleading stories to share.

3. My husband is out playing with his deer feeder and his motorcycle, so the kids and I are just chilling at the house.

4. My washing machine is on it's dying breath, so there is no doing laundry today.

In short, life has been boring around here for the past couple of days, and I have nothing fun to share with you all. Boring is nice sometimes, but not very good blog fodder I'm afraid.

Well, I do have an NCIS marathon to watch, and baby shower cake to bake for tomorrow, and some cookies to make for some friends who have been waiting...patiently, so hopefully, I will have something good to share with you all later on today!

In the meantime, enjoy your weekends with your families, and those of you in Ike's path...stay safe!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Get Cozy, Josey!



Get Cozy, Josey by Susan May Warren: How do you get cozy when your new "home" is a frozen tundra? Josey's dreams of small-town Minnesota bliss melt away when her hubby's relocated to a Siberian village. No indoor plumbing...or junk food! But this feisty former missionary knows how to multitask: juggling toddler twins, empowering local housewives, spreading God's word - no worries, Josey. It's finding time alone with the man of her dreams that will take some real work!


Okay Folks, I'm back to give this book a proper plug! I had the privilege of reviewing another of Susan's books here a few months ago. You may remember that it was the third in a series and I was on a mission to purchase the first two. Then, there was another opportunity to review another of her books--again, the third in a series--but I missed out. So I went out and bought the whole series myself and read all three within one week!!! So, the next time I was offered the chance to review yet another of her books--again, the third in a series!--I jumped at it! And you know what? This one became one of my favorite books of all time!

Each of the three series I have read so far have been written in a completely different style. Have you ever noticed that when you find an author that you love, and you read every.single.thing. they've written, that after awhile they become predictable? That just doesn't happen with Susan's books. Even within a series, I was delighted by surprise endings. But each series was so different, that I just didn't know what to expect.

The Mission: Russia series was very Tom Clancy meets Dee Henderson. The Noble Legacy series reminded me of some of my favorite Karen Kingsbury novels. This Josey series was like hanging out at some of my favorite blogs. It's written from Josey's standpoint as she keeps us updated on her day-to-day life as a wife, mom, and part-time missionary...in SIBERIA! Josey writes with humor and realness much like some of my favorite blogs. In fact when I first started reading it, I immediately thought, "This could be Fiddledeedee!" (Especially when she discusses the merits of chocolate for breakfast...and then lunch! To which I wholeheartedly agree, by the way. :))

You can find this book and ALL of Susan's books here, and I highly recommend that you head over there and stock up! When you're finished with that, head on over to Susan's blog tour post and leave a comment telling her your favorite winter time activity or winter memory and be entered to win a Get Cozy gift basket!

The basket will be loaded with Godiva chocolate, Starbucks coffee, Harry and David Moose Crunch, gourmet hot cocoa, and a fab pair of snuvvy PJs!


You know I love you, if I'm sharing that bit of information with you...'cause that basket has all my favorites in it, and I really want it for myself!! :)

While you're there, you can check out the list of other bloggers on this tour, and you can go visit with them too and see what they are saying about this book!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Really Good, and You Should Read It!

Howdy Ya'll! Today is my day to review Susan May Warren's book "Get Cozy, Josie", and it's a great book, and I LOVED it...but I'm having some issues getting onto my blog on the computer, so I'm coming to you from my phone. Mobile blogging has it's perks, but I haven't figured out links or photos yet, and this post needs to be chock-ful-of-em!

Therefore I'm going to write a full and proper post for you tomorrow, but for now...It's a Great Book, and You Should Read It!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Reason Number 6,751 Why I Love Jason Castro

In Jason's weekly Video Blog this past week, he shared the book he's been reading, like he always does, and guess what it was...

THE SHACK, by William P. Young!!!

You may recall that I read that book awhile ago and mentioned it here on the blog. I loved it as an example of what God wants our relationship with Him to be.

Jason admitted, as did I, that at first he wasn't too sure about it, but the more he read, the more he got into it, and now he is really enjoying it.

But here's the coolest thing, thousands, and I do mean thousands, of people tune in to Jason's vlog every week. I will be willing to bet there will be a run on this book this week, and many people are going to discover that God wants to have a personal relationship with them!!!

Jason's mom said that if we knew all the details of how Jason made it on American Idol, that we would have no doubt that it was God who put him there...I think she's on to something!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Humbly Defer....

I'll not be writing a post today. Well, I guess technically, by writing this and posting it, I am, but I'm only writing this to send you elsewhere today. Shannon at "Rocks in My Dryer" started a new Thursday series a few weeks back titled What I'd Like for You to Know, and it has been completely amazing to read the different stories from various bloggers that she has put together. Today, her guest poster is my bloggy friend and fellow kidney disease sufferer, Kelli, at "Living in Grace". Kelli opens up about some of the specific struggles she is going through on her road to a kidney transplant. Her daily blog has let us get to know her wit and her strength and an inkling of what her struggles have been over the past two years, but this special post goes much deeper and will touch your heart. You must go here and read Kelli's heartfelt post today.

And if you're like me, you'll want to go here and read all the other posts in this series if you missed them the first time around.

You may have noticed the "Operation find a kidney for Kelli" button in my sidebar. That search is still on, and if you are interested in being tested as a living donor, you can click that button for all the information. And if you are interested in donating money to help Kelli pay for all her medical care (or maybe that laptop that her husband needs to help him be able to work while also being with Kelli as much as possible), there is a donation button in Kelli's sidebar that you can click on to make a donation via PayPal. I'll check with Kelli to see if I can get the code to put the button over here as well, but hanging out over there is pretty cool anyway, so why not just head on over!

Okay, that's it for my "I'm not posting speech"...man I use a lot of words to not say anything, don't I??? Now, go and read this post. Please :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

When it rains...


This weekend we had a birthday party for a friend, our first football game of the season, and a pool party for a friend who moved away and was in town visiting. Sunday night, Benji got sick...in MY bathroom...ugh! Monday, Jon got sick...and still is. Tuesday, little Dave and I got sick...I believe there is a stomach virus in the house! This morning, Maddie is coughing, and sniffling....sigh.

Today is supposed to be the first day of Maddie's new ballet class. She's moving up to the big girls REAL ballet class! In a few minutes, we'll be leaving to go get her new ballet shoes...she needs "split sole" shoes for the big-girl class...whatever those are. So, we're heading out in the hopes that she will feel better after she's been up and around for awhile, and she will get to dance in her new shoes later this afternoon.

I think it's God's divine provision that today is another "Backwards Edition" of Works for Me Wednesday! So here's what I want from you all...anything that makes your life easier! I don't care if it's housework, homeschooling, sports and activities, grocery shopping, WHATEVER! Anything that you do that makes your life easier in some way...I want you to share it in the comments, 'kay? (And having fewer children is NOT an option, LOL!)

And now I'm off to try to make myself presentable enough to head to the pharmacy and the ballet shop!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's Crazy, I Tell You, Crazy!

I feel badly that I've been gone from here for a few days, so I had to stop in for just a minute, but my day is quickly getting away from me, so this will be short and sweet...


I believe I promised some cake photos the last time I dropped by, so I think we'll just post those today and try to be witty and entertaining another time. :) (Hey, I said, "TRY"...I have no pretense of grandeur here, people.)


This cake was for Mocha With Linda's daughter!



And this one was for the employee of a friend who was retiring after 20 years...apparently she's a chocoholic, because this cake is chocolate, with chocolate icing, and chocolate fondant/gumpaste, and it had to look like a box of chocolates! The wet spots are just that, water drips from attaching the bow and gift tag that didn't dry before I had to take the picture...they were all dry before they ate it though...don't worry! :)

And, its FOOTBALL season again, which means that for every University of Texas home game, I will be making several dozen cookies, and either a cookie cake or a regular cake...depending on the weather (cookie cakes are not as likely to melt as a regular cake with buttercream icing!) Here is a sampling of last weekend's cookies...

And last week's cookie cake was dedicated to Vince Young because they were retiring his jersey before the game...


Well, that's all I've got, and I'm way behind on everything else around here, so I'd better scoot!