Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do the iPod Shuffle With Me!

Okay, I know I've been scarce. This weekend was chock-ful-o cake and cookie mania, "High School Musical 3" cheezy bliss, and stomach virus yuck! Then yesterday was a long day at the Pumpkin Patch with our Moms and Tots group from church, then menu planning and grocery shopping, followed by a much needed "Spiritual Spa" time at church with the ladies.

I debated with myself all day long about going/not going to the "Spa Night". Cheerleading practice was cancelled, so I didn't need to worry about that, but I am so behind on just the daily chores around here, not to mention the few MAJOR cleaning/reorganizing projects we've started in the kids' rooms, that I really felt that I might oughta stay home and clean something. However, hubby assured me that even though I walked in from the grocery store with 7 minutes to get to church, that they could all find something to eat without me, and no one would die in my absence...so I went. It was FAB, and I plan to go again! It's a 3 week thing, and it's calm, and restful, and everything smells good, and it was really dark, so the fact that I had on no make-up and was still wearing my ball cap because I had no time to do anything with my hair after the Pumpkin Patch, didn't matter in the least! Aaaahhhh. I totally missed Rachel's Bubble Bath Night, but this was better than Calgon any day!

Anyway, suffice it to say that it's been busy around here, and it will just be getting busier as we get closer to my niece's wedding. Weekends are scheduled to the hilt, and weekdays are being spent preparing for the weekends' activities. Therefore, I don't expect to be around much for the next few weeks. I will do my best, but I'm not promising anything...'cause I'd just be lying anyway! :)

So, for today's short-but-sweet adventure, I propose we all do the iPod Shuffle! (Yes, you can still do it if you don't have an iPod.) All you do is get out your iPod, MP3 player, CD player, or Stereo System...all that is required is that it has a shuffle feature...then hit that shuffle button and list the first 10 songs that appear on the playlist! See, it's easy! And it'll be fun to see what everyone else has on their iPods too.

So, here's my shuffle:

1 My Passion -- Travis Cottrell
2 Stars Would Fall (I'm Crazy) -- Monk &
3 King of Glory -- Chris Tomlin
4 Hallelujah -- Jason Castro
5 Intro -- Travis Cottrell (Alive Forever
6 What I Want -- Daughtry
7 Used To -- Daughtry
8 Slow Down -- Third Day
9 Thin -- Skinny Songs
10 Dream On -- Brooke White

And just for fun, how about you add the last song/album that you downloaded or bought.


High School Musical 3 Soundtrack!

So, if you have your own blog and you want to, post your list at your place and invite all your friends to play along, but be sure and leave a comment and a link to your blog so I can be sure to come and check out your list. If you don't have a blog, just leave your list in the comments!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Live Blogging Today--Part 2

Hello again! I decided that my lunch break was a good time to end the first part of this Live Blogging Extravaganza and start a new thread. Besides, I put in 2 - UPDATE #3's on the last one and had to go fix it...clearly 3 is my maximum number of updates!

So, while I was away, I finished off the rest of the Spaghetti Soup...sigh, sniff, sob. And had the first taste in my quest to find a viable substitute for Brach's Butterscotch Disks. I LOVE Brach's Butterscotch Disks as much as I LOVE LifeSaver's Butter Rum candies. The problem is, true Brach's brand is hard to locate these days, and Butter Rum Lifesaver's are next to impossible. So, I'm on a quest to find a substitute that I can live with when I can't find my beloved Brach's or LifeSavers. I'm looking for something that can be readily found in any grocery story. My first taste test was of a LifeSaver's CremeSaver's Butter Toffee hard candy. It was a tad richer than my beloved Butterscotch, but yummy nonetheless. Definitely a decent stand in when necessary! I'll let you know how the remainder of my testing goes...

I also folded and switched over the next load of laundry. So, loads 1 and 2 are folded, load 3 is in the dryer, and load 4 is washing right now. Now, I'm back to the cookies! My icing should be just about ready...it's been mixing for about 8 minutes now, so two more, and I'll be ready to start painting 4 dozen football jerseys white! Yee-Haw! I'll check back in when they are all painted and on the drying racks...


WHEW! 58 cookies are now white. They will get their details in about 4 hours when they've had time to set up really good. And yes, it actually took me all this time. I didn't do anything else while I was gone.

Which means that now it is time to fold and switch the laundry again! YIPPEE!!! Then I'm going to change so that as soon as The Man walks through that door, I can go get that run in that I missed this morning because it was cold. Hopefully, he'll be home before the temperature drops again! I really need to run, I've been standing, or sitting in a wooden chair all day, and my legs are beginning to swell...not too bad today, but still.

Hey, that reminds me? Did anyone watch "House" this week? The story line was tough to watch, and I almost turned it off, but I'm always intrigued by the medicine stuff, so I fast forwarded through all the offensive parts and just watched the medical parts. The lady in this episode had MY KIDNEY DISEASE!!! Fortunately, it wasn't what was killing her...geesh! And it was a different type, because hers was treated with sodium bicarbonate, and that's a BIG no-no for me, but still...it was interesting to listen to them say all the things that the kidney disease could be causing. I'm not crazy after all!!!! :)

Okay, back to the laundry...sigh. Oh, and Cheri--your lunch sounded yummy!!! Aren't leftovers wonderful?

Check ya'll later!

Live Blogging Today!

Hey there! Today is chock-ful-o-stuff that I have to get done, but the blogosphere is calling me! It's been trying it keep me side-tracked and off-task all morning! My solution? LIVE BLOGGING!

I've decided to live-blog through my day with you guys. So, while I work, I'll keep the blog up and I'll be updating throughout the day...kind of like Twittering, but without that pesky 140 character rule! :)

So, welcome to my kitchen! Today, I've got lots of cakes and cookies to work on for delivery tomorrow, so I best get busy! I just started a load of laundry and got my kitchen table all cleaned and "antibacterialized" (according to spell-check, that is a made-up word...hmmph!) for cookie making, and my cookie dough is ready to be rolled out, cut, and baked!

I'm hitting play on my favorite music player, and attacking that cookie dough! What are you doing today? Go ahead and leave comments, I can respond on my next break!

One question for you all...should I just keep updating this particular post throughout the day, or post separately for each update and just number the updates as I post them???? Help me out here, people!

***UPDATE #1***
No comments yet, so I'll just add to this post...assuming that no one has read it yet! :)

One pan of cookies is in the oven and the second is sitting on the table ready to go in. I've turned the first batch and I have 2 minutes left on my timer, so I can come by and check in with you all!

I really should be emptying the dishwasher, but hey, those dishes aren't going anywhere now are they? NOPE!

So what are you all doing today?

***UPDATE #2***

Okay, 2nd batch is out of the oven, 3rd batch is in...4th batch waiting patiently for its turn in the fiery furnace....only 56 more to go!! (Just Kidding...I'm not THAT crazy!)

I think I'm going to go add some more songs to my favorites up there. I'm getting to the end of the list, and there have been some new ones I wanted to try out. Any suggestions? Who is your current favorite artist?

***UPDATE #3***

Okay, 4 dozen cookies are baked and ready for decorating! I also added a bunch of songs to my favorites up there. Not sure how many will stay. I just plugged in the names of 4 artists that I'm currently enjoying and loaded everything of theirs that was available for the player. I'll listen while I work and keep my favs.

Cheri-(not my sister) Sorry to hear the boy is sick... :( and that you're floors are buckling....aggravating, isn't it? Hopefully, you'll find a new place that you LOVE soon!!! Feel free to hang out here today...I'm chained to the kitchen, but I have a computer in here, so it's not so bad! :)


FINALLY, the last batch of cookies just went into the oven!!! That's about 6 dozen cookies, if you're counting. I folded the first load of laundry, switched the laundry in the washer into the dryer and started load #3. As soon as these cookies are out of the oven, I'll take a break for lunch (my version of This recipe for Spaghetti Soup which I had to adjust for my stupid, stupid diet.) However, my version is still quite tasty...just ask my mom! (Although she did add salt :)) When I have more time, I'll be happy to post my version of the recipe for those of you who also can't have preservatives, salt, or anything else that generally makes food worth eating! Really, I'm getting pretty good at making stuff that tastes pretty good despite my dietary limits...as my waistline will attest! I may even sneak a minute or two to read a little in this book which I would sit and read non-stop until I was finished if I could. I've loved Jon and Kate Gosselin from afar for about a year now...through my TV. But their amazing faith and devotion to God just don't come across in the show the way they do in the book. I think I'll make them my new "Pretend BFFs", 'cause they totally ROCK, and they give God all the credit for all of it!

Welcome DJ! I think I'm following you on Twitter, too. I can't remember if I'm following your wife, but clearly I need to, being a Dr. Pepper girl myself and all!

Okay, cookies are out! It's lunchtime baby!!! What are you all having (or had) for lunch...gee, it's getting late! No wonder I'm hungry! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday...Peppermint Countertop Spray

Last year sometime in the late fall, I read a post over at Scratchin' The Surface which is now Life of GRITS, otherwise known as "Bev's Blog"! ANYWAY, in that post, Bev casually mentioned that she had "just finished mopping her floor with peppermint water, and..." the post went on with some profound wisdom that generally comes in Bev's posts, but there were quite a number of us, who zeroed in on the whole "Peppermint Mop Water" thing, and her comments apparently filled up with questions about it. :) So, the next day, she indulged us by revealing that she mops her floors with a bucket of hot water, a small squirt of dish soap, and a few drops of Peppermint Oil (which she found at the health-food store).

So, I jumped on the information, and began doing the same in my house. I absolutely LOVE the way it cleans my floors with no residue and everything smells all "pepperminty" and "holidayish" when I'm finished!

So, imagine my delight, when around Christmas time last year, I discovered Method Peppermint-Vanilla Countertop Spray Cleaner! It was absolutely wonderful, and my kitchen smelled so yummy...it made me WANT to clean the counters, just so the kitchen would smell good! Unfortunately, I soon discovered that this was a "Limited Edition" item, only available during the holiday season....aarrgghh!

But, as I was walking through my local Target one day, I saw it! It's my beloved Method cleaner, with no dyes or fragrance! I bought it, took it home, added a few drops of the Peppermint Oil I use for mopping, and a drop of Vanilla, and voila! My "pepperminty", "holidayish" smelling kitchen was back in business!

I should add that the kids suggested that different scents for different seasons might be appropriate, so we also use Lavender Oil, Lime Oil, Orange Oil, or Cinnamon Oil when the mood strikes!

Gee, now I feel like cleaning something!

Remember to check out more Works for Me Wednesday ideas over at Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Today is my husband's 41st birthday! So, in the time-honored bloggy tradition, the kids and I have come up with a list of 41 things we love about him. And even though he generally doesn't read the blog...or have any desire to do so...we're posting it anyway!!!

Forty-One Things We Love About You:

41. You're a handsome specimen of a man!
40. You make pretty babies. (Um...MADE pretty babies...all done now!:))
39. You allow the children to try things that I never would.
38. You coach the kids' baseball teams.
37. The kids WANT you to coach their teams. :)
36. You encourage the kids to try new things if they want to.
35. You ask me to video tape Maddie cheering when you can't make it to the game.
34. You show Benji what you're working on, and explain how you do it, and why.
33. You get Jon's sense of humor and you laugh out loud with him.
32. You recognize Maddie's inner beauty and you adore her.
31. You smile whenever Dave walks into the room.
30. You always seem impressed when I show you my latest cake.
29. You don't allow the children to be disrespectful to me...ever.
28. When you do something, it is of the highest quality.
27. Everyone wants you to do stuff for them (See #28).
26. When you have worked in someone's house, they want to keep you around even after you're finished.
25. When you work, you work hard.
24. When you play, you play even harder.
23. You don't like to play without me.
22. Or the kids.
21. But you will, if you see that perhaps I need a break.
20. You have allowed me to take a weekend or two away by myself, and the kids were still alive when I got back.
19. You stayed up most of the night to install my new washer and dryer so they would be ready for me to use as soon as I woke up.
18. You even scrubbed the laundry room top to bottom before you put them in, so I wouldn't have to do it.
17. You bought me a new oven one year for Christmas, because you knew I really wanted one...even though you really wanted to paint the house instead.
18. You never do anything half-heartedly.
17. You are always willing to help out any of my family when they need you.
16. You are a now a NASCAR fan...even though when I got you, you were strictly an "Indy Car" man.
15. You always take me to cool places. (This one was from Maddie)
14. You always buy us the best presents. (This was Benji's contribution)
13. You are funny. (This from little Dave)
12. You have a truck. (Um...that came from Jon)
11. You share your chips with us (From Maddie and Dave)
10. You let us eat Pop Tarts for breakfast at the Deer Lease. (From all the children)
9. You laugh at stupid movies with us. (From the boys)
8. You rewind funny stuff on t.v. over and over and over...
7. And you laugh harder every time you replay it.
6. You are my hero (aka Cuh-Cuh Boy)
5. You genuinely like spending time with the kids.
4. You don't like leaving the kids behind when we go out for our anniversary...you think they should be included.
3. You cry at Maddie's dance recitals.
2. You cried at the birth of each one of our children.
1. You love me more than anything else in the whole world....and you make sure that I know that.

Happy Birthday Ben!

We love you very much!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

And So, I Run....

The truth is, I don't enjoy running. Not really. I mean...

I love the way I feel after a run...but I hate the way I feel when I'm actually running.

I've never yet achieved that "Runner's High" that I hear other runners talk about. When I run, my legs feel like they are made of lead. It is a constant struggle to decide to put one foot in front of the other....again, and again.

I enjoy walking. I could walk for miles with no problem. But to burn the same amount of calories by walking, I would need to walk 2 hours every day, and I don't have 2 free hours in a day. And so, I run...

I love knowing that I was able to complete my running goal that day...but while I'm running, I keep trying to talk myself out of achieving said goal.

There is a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in logging in my runs at the end of the day and seeing that I've run 70 miles in the past two months...70 miles! That makes me feel good about myself. But while I'm out there pounding the pavement, the following mantra keeps running through my head, "You are too old for this. You have osteoporosis and you are going to shatter your weak little bones. You have a kidney disease, and your body can't do this."

Except, I know people who are much older who run longer and faster than I do. And so, I run.

And exercise is good for osteoporosis. Anything that builds up muscle also helps to strengthen bones. And so, I run.

And kidney disease affects more than just the kidneys. It can affect blood pressure. It can cause swelling in your feet and legs. It can cause your body to be toxic. Exercise lowers blood pressure. Exercise helps relieve swelling. Sweating releases toxins from the body. And so, I run.

I'm a total clutz when it comes to athletic ability. I am an asset to the opposite team in a game of volleyball. I couldn't hit a softball out of the infield if my life depended on it. I'm too short for basketball, and to wimpy for football or soccer. And so, I run.

I am an organ donor. Although no one will ever receive my kidneys (unless they are being punished for some heinous crime), my other organs will all be up for grabs when I die. I really want those organs to be healthy and useful to whomever might use them after me. And so, I run.

Anyone can run. If you have use of your legs, you can run...even if it's just for a few steps. It has been said by some in the Running Community that anyone who runs is a runner...it doesn't matter if you run a 4 minute mile or a 24 minute mile, if you run, you are a runner. And so, I run.

It has also been said (by those who run a 4 minute mile, no doubt) that there are runners, and there are joggers (often referred to as "jolly-joggers" hmmff!) and they aren't really runners, they are just "in the way". And so, I jog.... :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

True Tales from the Post Office

I went to the Post Office today to mail some items I had promised to some people...awhile back........ahem.

I dropped the girl at Ballet/Tap class (she insists I always include the "Tap"...she doesn't like it when I just say "Ballet"...whatever!) and I decided to take that hour and a half to do some errand-running...because I didn't want to go home I like to be productive with my time. I stopped in at the Post Office intending to just purchase my postage at the automated machine and high-tail it over to the Wal-Mart(s) for a little brousing.

The problem was that one of my three packages had to go all the way to Canada, and Mr. A.P.C. (Automated Postal Center--I'm assuming) is not allowed to process international postage items....sigh.

So, I made my way to the...end...of...the...very....long...line, and patiently waited my turn. I was able to catch up on three pages of Twitters and I even Twittered a bit myself (one-handed, and with my left thumb, mind you....cause I was holding three packages in my right hand....that's why.)

When my turn finally came, I walked right up to the counter and announced that my packages were all ready to go. I just needed to puchase postage to Canada for this one item. 8-) "Actually", she tells me, "you paid too much for this one. This is a $9.00 flat rate box." (I paid $12.95....apparently the amount for a DIFFERENT flat rate box.) I smiled and said, "Oh, I just answered the questions on the screen and that is the postage it printed." She did not smile back.

She then gave me a form to fill out for my international package, and asked me to step aside while I filled in the address and signed my name...because she was sure it would take me awhile....I suppose. So, I finished my form before she finished printing the other lady's money order (I am lightning fast, people)...so I checked on my Twitters again...and waited.

When it was my turn...again, I presented the form. She stuck it on my package and rang up the postage. Then she starts to weigh my last package. I nicely reminded her that my other packagea were all ready to go, and I only needed for her to take care of the one to Canada. She then informed me that I must be an idiot (with her tone, not her words), because a mailing envelope made out of that bubble-wrap stuff is not considered an envelope, but a package! Duh, EVERYONE knows that...right? So, she charged me another 34¢ for my "package".

Do you see where I'm going with this? She did nothing to refund my $3.95 from the first package, but she charged me the extra 34¢ for the last one!!! Apparently, they are fine with you being an idiot as long as the $$$ are in their favor!

Hello, my name is Melody, and today I did my part to help the government recoup some of the money it has to pay to bail out the financial institutions. .....You're welcome. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request from Missionaries to India

I just got this from my church. It is from a couple that work with Youth with a Mission. This sounds like something right out of a LaHaye/Jenkins end times book! Will you pray?

Urgent prayer request from workers in India Please pray. We have never seen
anything like this. We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State
in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous
threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work. But none of our staff
imagined that they would see this kind of carnage....And it seems to be totally
under the radar of the Western Media ....Let me explain.... A militant Hindu
priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of
Orissa and 'reconverting' people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by
unknown assailants in Central Orissa last weekend. Immediately the Christians
were blamed. The cry rose up...'Kill the Christians!' And the horror began....

In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds of churches being blown
up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribes have been slaughtered. For
no other reason than they bear the name of Christ. Night and day I have been in
touch with our Good News India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in
Orissa... they are right in the middle of all this chaos. In Tihidi, just after
the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came
to kill our staff and destroy the home. They were not allowed to get in, but they
did a lot of damage to our Dream Center by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing
our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and 'finish the job.' Our kids and
staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for
the past 3 days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord
in prayer. More police have come to offer protection. In Kalahandi, the police and
some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids
about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even grab a change
of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to
kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there,but for
His grace. In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions.
The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were
no Christians in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened
in Balasore. All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff
huddled inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for
a chance to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage,
the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher
in house and burned them to death. Many believers have been killed and hacked
into pieces and left on the road.... even women and children. At another
orphanage run by another organization, when this began, the Director and his wife
jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff
behind. Every one of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: 'We stay with
our kids.... we live together or die together, but we will never abandon what God
has called us to do.' More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes
burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles and are living in great fear
waiting for the authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is
foreseen. This will continue for another 10 days.... supposedly the 14 day
mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and
their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down. The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask
for your prayers. Only the Hand of God can calm this storm. None of us know
the meaning of persecution. But now our kids and staff know what that means.
So many of our kids coming from Hindu backgrounds are confused and
totally bewildered at what is happening around them. So many of their guardians
have fled into the jungles and are unable to come and get them during these trying
times. Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our
goal: the transformation of a community by transforming its children. Orissa
will be saved... that is our heart's cry. If we can take these thousands
of throw-away children and help them to become disciples of Jesus, they
will transform an entire region. It is a long term goal, but it is
strategic thinking in terms of the Great Commission. What can you do? First,
please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second, pass this e-mail on to as
many friends as you can. We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for
this is spiritual warfare at its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting
the devil in order to live for His Kingdom. The next 10 days are crucial. We pray
for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa. Thank you for taking the time to
read this. Please pass it on and help us to get as many people to partner with us
on this cutting edge effort to fulfill His mandate: Go and make disciples of all
nations....Prayer works! Blessings,

Chip & Sandy Wanner Col 2:2 MBITeam
Facilitators to YWAM frontlines

Monday, October 13, 2008

Love Starts With Elle

Love Starts With Elle

Isn't that a great title for a book? So creative, Miss Rachel is. When I read Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck, I really enjoyed it. I found it light reading that was fun and entertaining, while still presenting the gospel message. It was a nice break for me from everyday life around here. :) But I confess that while I wanted to read the second book set in this small low country town, I didn't expect to like it as well. You see, I related to Caroline, NOT Elle, and knowing that Caroline would probably not be in this book much, I didn't think I'd relate as well to Elle.

I was so very, very wrong. In fact, I think I might like to be more like Elle...at least her new-found prayer life.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I was reading two books at the same time. One I was reading for my morning quiet time, and this book was my fiction book that I was reading just for fun. I wish I could review them together, because as I was reading them at the same time, they were working together on my heart. As Elle was going through men-issues and learning to sit quietly and hear God's voice all at the same time, I was learning the importance of daily conversations with God. I was learning both to pour out my heart to Him and to sit quietly and listen to His...sounds easy doesn't it? As Elle finds out, it's not that easy, but it is well worth the effort!

This book will not only entertain you (Elle's a very funny, girl!), but it will also challenge your day-to-day walk with God to be more intimate, and more focused. I love that about Christian fiction!

Below is a little video-trailer for the book that will give you an idea of the personality of Elle, and what to expect from this book. Enjoy!

Now, you can win your very own copy of this book by leaving a comment on Rachel's Blog Post! So head on over there and let her know that you want to win that book! And if you don't win it, just go here to buy your own copy! And if you haven't read "Sweet Caroline" order that one too. You really don't need to read them in order, they stand alone just fine, but they are both worth the read!

Finally, if you want to follow this tour, check out this link for all the stops on the tour. Who knows, some of them may be giving away more books themselves! (Mine has already been given away to the winner of my "Sweet Caroline" contest...sorry! I gave it away as a 2-fer. :))

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cakes, Cakes, and Cookie Cakes....

I really do have things to write about...I do, but unlike Barb I have not yet mastered the "Ten Minute Post". Seriously, she told me once it takes her about 10 minutes to write a post! It takes me that long to form a complete sentence! As usual, my To-Do List has 5 things on it, and so far, 1 of them is finished, another is started, and the other 3 are still waiting...impatiently....for my attention. So, I bring to you today, a few cakes and cookie cakes that I haven't been able to post because of a glitch in my Photoshop program. (It wouldn't unload the photos from my memory card....aargh!) For some strange reason, it decided to work the other day, so I decided to post the pics for your viewing pleasure. So, enjoy yourselves while I get back to my list!
This one was for a friend's son's birthday party. He asked for a Super Mario cake....just anything Super Mario. This is what he got--thanks to my kids who have played a lot of Mario at their grandma's house. (In fact, grandma likes Mario so much, they thought I should do a cake like this for her next birthday!)

This one was a challenge. The cake had to match a table already decorated for fall, but also go with the "Baby Shower" napkins that were all pastelly and cute... My mom has pictures of it on the actual table, and I'm hoping it looked better there than it does on my kitchen table with our school paraphernalia all around it!

This was one of my weekly cookie cakes for a Texas Longhorn Tailgate party. We were playing the Rice Owls, and this lady really likes the "Clashing Helmet" thing.

{By the way...UT 45 - OU 35....HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!!! :) :) :)}

This one was for one of two brothers who prefer cookie cakes to regular cakes. I do their cakes every year. Two of the most handsome boys I've ever seen! The youngest one looks like a carbon-copy of Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds). Drop dead gorgeous!!

And this is the little brother's cake. He prefers a plain sugar cookie to the chocolate chip....crazy kid!

And that's it for now folks. I've neglected my duties for far too long....and yes, this took more than 10 minutes! I've really gotta figure out how she does that! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Can't Believe I Almost Missed it AGAIN!

Last week, I was all prepared with my Works for Me Wednesday post, and I didn't get it posted before Mr. Linky was down. So, I've waited all week to bring this to you, and here it is dinner time already! I almost missed it again!

The funny thing about this product is that I never would have bought it in the first place if it weren't for this blog. I was in a different H.E.B. than I usually shop at, so I was doing a bit of wandering trying to find what I needed in this new store. I was in the egg and dairy section when I came across this...

My first thought was, "Wow, now THAT would make some good blog fodder!" So, I bought it! In case you can't tell, it is called "Batter Blaster", and it is Pancake Batter... in a CAN!

It looks exactly like a can of whipped cream. But it's pancake batter. And if you look closely, you will see that it is not just any pancake batter...it is ORGANIC pancake batter!

Can you believe that?

So, I brought it home and the kids were ecstatic! They couldn't wait to try it out. :) So for breakfast the next morning I heated up the electric frying pan and sprayed myself some organic pancakes!

And do you know what? They are really good! One can made 24 - 4 inch pancakes (which was just enough for the four kids and myself), and they were really very tasty! The kids had me add cinnamon sugar to the second batch, but they ate them without syrup...they are THAT good!

If you go to the Batter Blaster website, you will not only hear a nifty little jingle, but you can put in your zip code and they will tell you where you can buy some for yourself! Tasty AND convenient! We bout 3 more cans this week... :)

Now, head on over to Shannon's Place for more "Works for Me Wednesday" Tips!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Starbuck's Anyone?

Hey there! My bloggy-sister, Shalee is giving away a Starbuck's gift card over at the diner to someone who can guess what color she just painted her kitchen!

AND she's going to add $1 to the amount of the giftcard for each person who posts about the contest on their blog! Now, if you know Shalee, then you know that she is about to start a new job....so she will soon be flush with cash!!! :) So I say we all post about her little contest and add some serious 0's to that giftcard amount...what do you say? Are you with me?

So, first, go here and enter your guess. Then post and link to the contest on your own blog...and be sure she knows it, so she doesn't forget to add that extra dollar!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm a College Graduate for Pete's Sake

One of the first questions I always get when people find out that I homeschool the kids is "Are you going to homeschool them all the way through high school?" To which I on a good day usually reply, "Yes...at least that is the plan for now. :)" Then the standard reply is "I could never do that. I'd never be able to teach the math or the science!" A legitimate concern, certainly. But I always tend to reassure people that there is ample instruction in the curriculum for one to teach oneself before one must teach one's child. Well, this past week I had to put up or shut up in the Mathematics department.

My 7th grader (I shudder, just typing those words!) had to learn the base 5, base 2, and base 16 systems. I personally had never heard of such things although I was suspicious that the base 2 system was just another name for the binary system used in computer programing and the like. We conquered the base 5 without too much trouble, but when it came time to tackle base 2, he begged me to skip it. He kept saying, "You don't even know what it is! I'm NEVER gonna use this!" To which I replied, "Well, I think it's the binary system, and it is used by computer programmers. So you never know if you will need it or not." I also mentioned that I thought McGee and Abby on NCIS (my favorite TV program) had to use this system to do all their computer hacking crime solving. His reply? "All I care about on computers is playing games....I don't need to know how they work!" :)

I then explained to him the joys of being able to figure out something new and difficult, and tried to convince him how satisfying it would be to be able to figure it out and teach ourselves something new...he didn't buy it.

I did manage to figure it out, and explain it to him, and we had a lot of fun working out all the problems once we knew what we were doing....

....right up until they threw the base 16 system at us...UGH! It turns out that the base 16 system was developed because the binary (base 2) system was too tedious for many of the computer programmers out there (gee, ya think?), so they developed the base 16 system to make their lives easier. What is wrong with our standard base 10 system, I've not figured out yet!

The funny part was, that while watching NCIS this week, McGee did in fact have to use the binary system, and I think he even made mention of the use of letters to represent some of the numbers (which, by the way, is the base 16 system!). It was fun to be able to look at my kid and say, "See? We could totally do that! Although we both know that we totally couldn't!

So, one math obstacle down! Now the science this kid is supposed to learn learning???? YIKES!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's My Birthday...but You Get the Present!

Well, at least ONE of you will anyway!

We have a winner! No Random Number Generator necessary...Shalee is the new owner of a Chris Sligh CD! Congratulations Shalee, and Happy 39th Birthday BooMama!!!

[This is a sticky post and will remain at the top of my blog until the contest winner has been announced...for newer posts---assuming I'll actually be writing new posts :)---scroll down!]

I'm having a contest in honor of my 43rd birthday...which is coming up soon! Here's the gist of it...

It just so happens that I share my birthday with someone who is very famous. If you want to win this contest, you must correctly figure out who that person is! Simple, right? Yeah, I know! Each day up until my birthday, I will post a clue as to who this famous person is. You may make your guesses in the comments. I will take all of the correct guesses and either put them in a hat, or use the Random Number Generator to choose the winner! Oh, and if you post about this contest on your own blog, and link to this post, you can get your name in one extra time! (I'm starved for comments around here, so I'll take 'em where I can get 'em!)

What, you ask, is the prize? Good question!

The prize will be your very own copy of my current FAVORITE CD...

That's right, you all have a chance to win Chris Sligh's CD, right here on this very blog!!! If you want to hear a sample...visit Chris's MySpace Page and listen to your heart's content!

I absolutely LOVE this CD! When I first got it, Empty Me was my favorite song. Then, as I listened to it over and over in the car, I fell in love with Are You Pleased?. Then, I loaded the album on my iPod, and one day during my walk, I heard Vessel and I had a new favorite...there is just something about hearing a song clearly, through headphones, with everything else blocked out, that helps me really hear the song, and this one blew me away. It became my prayer every day during my quiet time for the next two weeks. THIS week, I was again listening in my van, (but for some strange reason, there were no kids in it), and I couldn't stop smiling when I heard I'm Clean. It was exactly what I needed to hear this week, and has been my anthem ever since.

So, you can see that this album is very special to me, and I am LOVING it! That is why I want to share it with my peeps!

So...are you ready for your clues?

The famous person with whom I share a birthday is..... female.

The famous person with whom I share a birthday is..... 4 years younger than I am.

The famous person with whom I share a birthday has..... 3 fewer children than I do.

The famous person with whom I share a birthday is.... a blogger with a profoundly large following...and her own podcast (that she shares with two other bloggers)!

Got it figured out yet? If so, put it in the comments...if not, come back tomorrow for your next clue!