Thursday, November 29, 2007

Help Me, Please....

After my last hair cut/color catastrophy, I have stayed far, far, away from any scissors and highlight solution wielding people. I was so spoiled when I had a friend who did amazing hair at even more amazing prices! Alas, she no longer can do hair, and so I must save up for a very long time to partake of such services. Therefore, I decided that I needed to have some sort of amunition with me the next time I put myself at the mercy of anyone with scissors in their hands! So, I logged on to a virtual makeover site and tried out different hair styles on a really bad picture of myself, to help me choose what would look best and then take the picture with me to the scissor-happy stylist.

After showing a number of pictures to my immediate family, these two are the final choices. One of the two actually happens to be the exact style I wore 15 years ago...I'm not exactly sure what that implies, but there it is.

ANYHOO! I thought I'd take advantage of the two of you reading this thing, and ask for opinions. Which do you like best? Any better ideas? Help me, PLEASE???

I Did It!

I actually cleared my Bloglines without hitting "all read". I did skim a few posts, well, a lot of posts, BUT I did catch up with everyone that I love, and left comments here and there....

Oh wait, was I supposed to make breakfast? Or lunch? Gee, and here it is dinnertime! I did manage to get Benji in to the dentist to get his tooth that we can have a decent Christmas picture, and I did a marathon trip ($289.00 worth) at Sam's, so really, it hasn't been a totally non-productive day! Besides, after reading through the 12 or so posts I was behind on here I've been totally motivated to get up off of this couch and clean something! And after catching up with Lisa and seeing her pictures here I'm a bit more excited about the whole bathroom tile extravanza going on over here. In fact, I'm so excited, I'm going to go take a picture for you...not a "before" picture exactly, but more of an "up to our eyeballs in demolition" kind of picture. Actually, the shower has been fixed, and is no longer pouring out water by the gallon, but the new tile, fixtures, and window have yet to be purchased or installed...sigh. Hopefully, the man will get some time this weekend to do some work on it.

In the meantime, I've got to go start some laundry, unload and reload my dishwasher, and fix the monsters children something to eat before they completely fill up on Snickers, Ice Cream, and raisins...which seem to be their food choices de jour!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vicki said to....

Okay, so I was catching up with Vicki Courtney's blog this morning, and she did this quiz and told all of us to go and do it too, so I did, and here you go!

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.
Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

Now it's your turn! Go do the quiz and then leave me a comment with your results!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Man, oh man! I have been trying to get on this thing and update since Thanksgiving, but it's just one thing after another around here! So, a quick catch-up...I baked a turkey and some squash casserole, made a salad, and headed to Ben's brother's house for a day of eating too much food and watching football In short, my favorite kind of day!

And although I didn't enter our local Turkey Trot, I did manage to get out there and run 3 miles in the morning. And I managed to shave 3 minutes off of my previous best time for that distance. That's right folks, I ran a whopping 14 minute mile! I know, I know, not too impressive, but it sure made me feel better as I was eating all that pie later in the day!

Since Thanksgiving, we've ripped out the tile in the kids' bathroom and repaired the shower in there that has been constantly flowing for about 4 days straight (not dripping, flowing) and by "we", I of course mean "Ben". I don't do home repair.

We've decorated for Christmas inside and out and this time the "we" would be "the kids and me" because Ben was busy ripping out tile etc. in the bathroom! And if I hadn't already spoken to her on the phone yesterday, and told her all of this, you would have just heard a soft thud as my mother fell out of her chair reading this. We don't normally go out on the day after Thanksgiving and buy our tree. We are usually out a week or so before Christmas picking through all the leftovers and then scrambling to get it up before Christmas Eve. In fact I don't even think the outside decorations made it up last year at all! So, to have bought the tree, put it up, and done all the decorating was quite a feat for us...

And on THAT note, I absolutely HAVE to tell you about the new CD I received in the mail thanks to a head's up from BooMama. 150 copies of this Christmas CD by Michael W. Smith were sent out to lucky bloggers everywhere and I was one of them! I put it on and listened to it over and over while we put the decorations on the tree. I tell you, it was like coming home! Michael W. Smith was only the second Christian artist whose album I bought....well, it was a cassette tape, but until I purchased MWS's "Project", Amy Grant was the only Christian artist I ever listened to.

I saw him in concert at "Night of Joy" at Disney World in Florida when I was a freshman in college, and I just fell in love with his voice and his music! Playing this album felt like that first time I heard him in concert, and I fell in love all over again. The instrumentals are moving and beautiful, and the vocal pieces just seemed so familiar that I found myself singing along to songs I'd never heard before! There is just something about them that feels so familiar and comfortable. Even the kids didn't mind that I played it over and over and over!

So, you can go here to listen to the songs for yourself, and then you can just run on out and buy your own copy! Believe me, you are gonna want your own copy!

mws banner

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just a Little Cookie Fix for You...

I know, I know, I've not been living up to the title of this blog in quite some time. I know there are many of you who started coming by here just for the cakes and cookies, and there just haven't been many lately. I hope to remedy that problem soon, but I do have a quickie fix for your bloggy sweet tooth.

This past Sunday was our annual Thanksgiving feast at church. The lady who coordinated the feast this year, had an idea to set up 4 tables just for the kids and she wanted to know if I could make a cookie bouquet for each of the tables and one for the main dessert table to make it special for the kids and then they could each have a cookie after their meal. I thought it was a great idea, and so I made 4 of these for the children's tables...

and this for the main dessert table...

Yes, it was a lot of work, but the kids loved it so much that it was totally worth it! And C, I know what you're thinking...yours are cut out and baked, I've just got to do all the decorating! :)

And now, I'm off to's been a l-o-n-g day around here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Tell Them He's Homeschooled....

At one of the final games of the football season, Jonathan was blindsided by a blocker from the other team while he was on his way to sack the quarterback. He never made it to the quarterback. As he lay there on the field trying to figure out who had hit him, the team trainer came over to check him out...

Before I continue with this story, you need to know two things about Jonathan. First, he doesn't feel that it is important to memorize dates and things at this stage in his life. He figures if he needs to know when something is, he can just ask someone else. Secondly, he doesn't keep track of what day it is. Again, he doesn't feel the need to know anything beyond whether it's a "school day" or a "no school day"...

With that in mind, here is the conversation that took place between Jonathan and the team trainer that day as he lay out on the field.

Trainer: "Do you know your name?"
Jon: "Jonathan"
Trainer: "Do you know what day it is?"
Jon: "No"
Trainer: "Do you know when your birthday is?"
Jon: "No"

I feel so sorry for that trainer. I'm sure he was ready to call the ambulance right then and there and have Jon taken immediately to the hospital!

We have a little joke in our family, whenever one of the kids makes some glaring grammatical error, or says something stupid, we simply call them "Homeschool Bob", or "Homeschool Mary" as the case may be. Apparently, this quick-witted sarcasm comes from my mother, because when relating this story to her over the phone, her comment was a very appropriate, "Just tell them he's homeschooled!"

(And just for the record, this picture is not of Jon getting tackled, but of him making a tackle. I just thought this post needed a good football picture to go with it!)

Friday, November 9, 2007

She Really Should Have Warned Me...

My mother, that is. She knows me. Well. She knows that I am not allowed to start a Karen Kingsbury book when I have deadlines to meet, as when I start reading a Karen Kingsbury book, I tend to set everything else aside until said book is finished. She knows that I skipped a class or two in college one morning to finish a Bodie Thoene book. (At least, I think she knows about that...if she didn't, she does now!) She and I share quite a few books, and she has handed me several while at the same time warning me to finish anything that I needed to finish before I started to read it.

So you can see why I feel completely defensive about the fact that I am behind in several tasks this week because I absolutely, positively, HAD to finish the Nicholas Sparks book that she gave to me last weekend. Now, I've never read a Nicholas Sparks book before. I've seen the movie versions of "A Walk to Remember" and "The Notebook", but that's it. So I had no previous experience to fall back on this time. I didn't know that I needed to finish up an entire week's worth of projects and chores before I opened the book. And now, not only am I completely behind, but I keep wanting to head to the library and get more Nicholas Sparks books!!! Wednesday was our normal library day, but I managed to stay away. Because now, you see, I KNOW that I really must get my work done before I pick up another one of his books to read!

Which is what I intend to do, right now. So, I'll end this rambling for now and go get to work, so that perhaps this weekend I will be able to head to the library for another Nicholas fix! And just in case you are wondering which of his books I had trouble putting was "Dear John". It was just so compelling, and I just HAD to find out how the story ended...I just HAD to! Anybody else out there get this way with a good book or a certain author? Chime in with a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's A Blast From the Past...

This is big internets! 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away a Pedal Car! No, I was NOT a child of the 50’s, but I do remember riding around in a Pedal Car as a kid. I think it was a Fire Engine. I’m not sure who it belonged to, but I did ride in one, and I always imagined my kids would have one one day. Who knew that pedal cars would be replaced by Powerwheels, way back then? Thankfully, Susan and Janice have a Retro-type store and they sell all those fun toys from days gone by so that we can share them with our little angels here in the days of video games, and computers you can hold in your hand!

You can go here to read all about the giveaway. You don’t have to choose the Pedal Car by the way, you can take the equivalent cost of the Pedal Car, $179.00, and use it toward the purchase of any of the fun, retro-style items in their store. You can go here to see all the different pedal cars and other fun retro toys that are available for sale…here in the 21st Century! They have tons of different models and they even have some Pedal Cars in an adorable PINK! So, go check it out, but just be prepared to purchase your toys because I will be winning this giveaway! LOL!

**And by the way, if you were expecting to find my "Bloggity Bookclub" post on Peace Like a River today, I apologize. The date for posting on this book has been pushed back, and hasn't been decided on as of yet. Yes, I have finished the book, and yes I enjoyed it, but the official post will have to wait until BooMama and Robin decide on a date. So, if you haven't read the book yet, and wanted to participate in the "Bloggity Bookclub", you still have time! I got mine at my library, so go ahead and check it out!**

Monday, November 5, 2007

"Race" Isn't Exactly Accurate...

The 2007 Race for the Cure was yesterday, and believe it or not, I did finish without having to walk! I don't think you really could call it racing though, LOL. As usual, the first mile was the toughest and I wasn't sure I would be able to complete the entire race without having to walk. We were running jogging slightly uphill for the first part of the race without really realizing it, but just before the half-way mark there was a monster hill that just about did me in. I was afraid that if I stopped, I'd never get started again, so I just slugged up it and rejoiced greatly that the remainder of the race was down hill!!!

This was a really fun race to run as there were tons of people all along the course cheering us on. There were Girl Scout troops, and high school cheerleaders that had learned special cheers just for the occasion. There was even one group of guys that would make a tunnel for us to run through like our kids do at the end of their games. It was so much fun!

The best part, however, was that my friend, Denise and her husband, came to run as well! Of course, Jon ran far, far, ahead and finished 20+ minutes ahead of us, but we didn't mind. This was Denise's first race, and she hasn't been training long, so she was still in the "run awhile/walk awhile" stage of training. I had originally planned to just follow her lead and stick with her, but she runs faster than I do. So, she immediately took off and I told her just to go ahead, I'd catch up on her walking phase. So we did the back and forth thing for the first mile, with her being up front for awhile, then I'd pass her while she was walking, then she'd run past me again. Then for the second mile (which was the uphill part) I think I stayed about a block ahead. When I got to the downhill portion, I jogged in place to catch my breath let her catch up and then we pretty much ran it out together. We did get separated in the crowd for awhile, but we crossed the finish line together, so hopefully, when the pictures are ready, I'll be able to post one of the two of us finishing the race.

What's interesting is that Denise and I have tried to run together in the past. Back when I only had one kid and she wasn't even married yet, she and I would go to a local 1/8 mile track. Our original plan was to run a lap, then walk a lap, and continue the pattern. Our thinking was that as we built up our endurance, we would run more and walk less until we could eventually participate in a 5K race without completely embarrassing ourselves...we failed miserably. I don't think we could even run around that track one time! We gave up the whole running idea and ordered the "Praise Walk" tapes that would pace us and help us get into shape by walking.

Yesterday, she reminded me of the giant boombox we put in the basket of Benji's stroller so we could both listen to the tapes while we walked! We were so hip! We laughed at this while I was putting my armband MP3 player on my arm, and setting my MIO watch to keep track of my heart rate and calories, while Denise was syncing her IPod Nano to some little device on her shoe that kept track of her time and calories burned. We've come a long way, haven't we? Eleven years after our first attempt to train for it, and with 7 kids between us, we finally ran our first 5K together!

In a couple of weeks, there is a 10 mile WALK that Denise has signed up for and wants me to do with her. Apparently all the participants get a free meal at Serrano's Mexican Cafe, so you KNOW I'm totally in for this one!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway is Here!

The deadline for entering this giveaway is midnight tonight, November 3rd. I will use a random number generator to select a winner. I will announce the winner tomorrow, November 4! Thanks to everyone who entered, I wish I had 124 of these to give away so you could each have one!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Well, it's time for the "Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway" hosted by Rocks in My Dryer and I'm throwing my hat in the ring! I've been holding on to this one for awhile, and now it's finally time to "share the wealth" as it were. Hee-hee-hee! Back in August, when I was at the THSC Homeschool Convention, I was in a seminar taught by someone from the Financial Peace University and although I've tried to follow Larry Burkett's program for years, this program seemed to perhaps be a better fit for our situation and lifestyle. So, at the convention I purchased a copy of Dave Ramsey's latest book, as well as the audio version on CD with the intent to use one myself and give one away on this blog. And NOW the time has come. I am giving away the Audiobook set of CD's to one lucky winner! Just leave me a comment and let me know you are interested, and I'll enter you in the drawing!

Below is a synopsis of the audiobook in case you've not heard of Dave Ramsey or Financial Peace University. And in case you are wondering, no we're not "flush with cash" just yet, but we are trying to follow Dave's plan and feel that we are on the right track!

(Be sure to click on the "Fall Ya'll" button above to see all the other giveaways at all the other blogs!)

Build up your money muscles with America's favorite finance coach, Dave Ramsey. The Total Money Makeover will help you whip those out-of-control finances into shape. This is NOT a get rich quick scheme. It's a solid and straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. You'll learn how to pay off all your debt, recognize dangerous money myths, and secure a nest egg for emergencies and retirement. This revised and updated version also includes personal testimonies from men and women who have put these strategies into practice and succeeded. Abridged. Read by the author. 220 Minutes. 3 CDs.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Real Men Eat Bugs!

Yesterday was the "Hairyween" youth group celebration at our church. The theme this year was "Mullets and Mustaches" and the idea was to wear some sort of artificial hair. It was a virtual "Joe Dirt" meets "Billy Ray Cyrus" event! Hair, however was not the only attraction at this celebration...oh no, it was not.

Apparently the kids were all grouped into teams and sent to various stations where they were asked to do various and sundry things that ranged from the merely silly to the all out gross!

There was a station where you got points for your team if you agreed to shave your legs. (I know of at least one football player who left with striped legs because he wasn't finished before the time ran out...I assume he will finish the job when he gets home!)

There was another station where you "Bobbed for Stuff". The "stuff" included the classic, apples. BUT it also included things like; marshmallows, Spam, and ... PIGS FEET! Apparently, the number of points you earned went up with the level of grossness. I do believe that the pig's feet would earn the most points for your they should.

Then there was a station in which you were asked to eat a cricket for your team. Apparently, some girl on Benji's team asked him if he'd eat a cricket if she did, so he agreed. MY BOY ATE A CRICKET!!! He refuses to even put cheese in his mouth, he turns his nose up at hotdogs, and he isn't a big fan of cake...but a cricket? sure, no problem!! EEWWWW!!!

The final, and I believe the grossest by far was the worm station. I really would have thought the crickets would be harder to swallow than the worms, but apparently I would have thought wrong. I did hear things like, "the worms taste like garlic", and "the dirt is the worst part, if you can get past the dirt, the worm isn't that bad." Apparently, a LOT of kids couldn't "get past the dirt". My son included. When I was told that my son wouldn't eat a worm, I was never so proud. While I was proud of him for being willing to do something disgusting to help out his team (eating the cricket), I wouldn't want him just following the crowd all willy-nilly! As it turns out, he made a good choice because his team won the competition with the most total points, so he would have eaten the worm for nothing as they didn't need the points. I call that the wisdom of God speaking to my child!!

And no, he didn't get sick or anything afterwards...he is a REAL man!

Below is a picture of Benji with his mustache. He was going to go with a mullet, but could only find a blonde one, and he didn't want to have blonde hair (the goofy hairstyle didn't bother him, only the color!) I think after seeing all the crazy costumes the other kids wore, I think he may get more into it next year.

And here is a picture of Little Dave wearing the mustache...they all look just like Daddy! I wish I had thought to get them all mustaches and had them pose for a picture with Ben...too funny!

And now, if you stuck with me through this entire disgusting post, I'd like to remind you once again that this Sunday is the "Race for the Cure" here, and I am still planning to run. I am $35.00 short of my goal to raise $200.00, so if any of you wanted to make a donation, now would be a great time to do that! You can click here and make an online donation. Aside from that what I really need is prayers for the race. I'm running in the names of two of my friends who are losing their battles with breast cancer. Both of which have small children at home. I will be praying for a miraculous healing for them while I run and would love it if you would pray too! Also, I've been sick off and on for about a month and right now it's ON! I've requested to switch from the "Competitive Run" to the "Non-Competitive Run" in case I can't handle it and have to stop and walk awhile. I have only been out running once since that 5 Mile race in October, and I'm not sure I can make the whole 3.1 miles without a break. I am hoping to be able to get out at least once or twice before Sunday just to "test my legs"'s been too dark in the morning these days to go out at my usual 5:30am time, and Ben hasn't been home before dark in forever, but I am hoping to get out even if it means taking all the kids and pushing Dave in the stoller! Ugh, just the thought makes me tired! I think I'll go take a nap now...

And FINALLY...are you still with me...I know a lot of you have been missing the cakes. I'll have a post all about that soon, but for now I have a little something to tide you over. Last week my husband celebrated his 40th birthday! (Yes, he's younger than me, thanks for noticing...) ANYWAY, I used a picture of him as a 2 year old for his cake. Wasn't he adorable?!?! If it's hard to see, just click on the picture to make it bigger.

And if you haven't already, don't forget to stop by Shannon's Place for the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway. There are some fantastic giveaways going on right now. I've entered several, but am hoping for a blog makeover! WOO-HOO!!