Sunday, January 25, 2009

Celebrities and Presidents...

I was sitting here this morning looking through celebrity pictures at the Inauguration and many of the Inaugural Balls. I really have a weakness for celebrity photos, I don't know why, but I could spend hours clicking through things like this. Hmm, maybe I should work on that. A few funny things struck me though.

1) Did this many celebrities show up to any of the Inaugural happenings for either of Bush's parties? I am very curious now and will have to do some research, which will inevitably leave me clicking through many more celebrity photos....or just the 3 Republican celebrities alive....not sure which it will be yet. Which brings me to my second point...

2) Why are a VAST MAJORITY of Celebrities Democrats? It's odd isn't it. It doesn't even represent the mix of's like if Americans were split 1/2 and 1/2 (as it appears we are very very close to) then the celebrity vote would be 95% Democrat and 5% Republican. Doesn't that seem strange to you?

But you know a majority of celebrities do live in big cities which I have a working theory about smog and polluted city water and air affecting citizen's brains and causing irrational thought and in exchange....the Democratic party....rofl..okay, my Mom will kill me for that one. :) I'm kidding. But moving along..

3) Why do celebrities feel a huge need to tell us what their political affiliation's not a big deal. The moment I start looking for political advice from an actor, a singer, a rapper, a the day I need to not be allowed to vote anymore! The only positive thing I can even get out of it is that MAYBE they can get the younger generation to start voting, which is very important. At least do your part.

You cannot complain about anything political if you do not do your part to fix it.

But now I'm rambling. I just was curious of those things. I know it's not a new thing because, while I wasn't around then, I have seen footage of musicians protesting wars of the past and throwing their political advice into their songs.
(which would start me on the reason I hate System of a Down....well, the 2nd reason, the first is that I just don't like the guys singing style; But I used to like the "Grandma wont you put on a little makeup" song; before he started getting all political) If I want to hear politics I will turn to reliable sources, not my rock or pop music, thank you very much!

I think I'm finished now...did I mention this is a 6a.m. ramble? :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


A few months ago I bought the Pedi Paw from television. It was the cheaper of the two versions (or the Peti-cure) but thought I'd give it a shot. Before I actually got the package in the mail I got a phone call from the company. I answered thinking it might be a problem with my order, maybe it was back ordered, etc....

They wanted to sign me up in some jewelry of the month club...what? No thank you! The woman totally pitched me like a telemarketer. No thank you, just send my pedi paw.

I got my product and I love it, haven't had any problems. My only problem is that my dog's front paws are ticklish so she won't let me hold them long to work....and she's a 70lb dog, so it takes a while to file them down. But overall, no problems or complaints regarding the product.

About a week or two ago I got a check in the mail from Pedi Paw. It was for $8, I thought that maybe somehow they were giving discounts to customers for replacement bands, or maybe they had just overcharged me (yes wishful thinking, lol). But I am no dummy (most of the time....or some of the time anyway) so I inspected the check and found fine print stating that "Cashing this check means that you are enrolling in" some sort of safety program.

WHAT? This is total shenanigans! I have seen these checks from complete rip off companies before but DID NOT think that I would see it come from the Pedi Paw!!! What in the world are they doing? Are they not making enough money off of this product that they have to scam people (as I'm sure there are many people who do not read the fine print and cash this thing, then have to get into the lengthy process of trying to cancel the program BEFORE it racks up money)!

I've bought items from t.v. before without problems. I am the magic bullets biggest fan. No it doesn't do everything like it says (turned my peppers into soup....not neatly chopped like they show) But that is my only complaint. Having it for 5 years now, it's still going strong. It stopped on me for a minute the other day after grinding through frozen strawberries and ice chunks, I almost cried thinking it was dead, but yesterday it started right back up.

Now I'm rambling, but my point is that they never did any of this junk! I would not mind if a company tried to up sell me (do you want to throw in some extra bands for $2? How about this replacement battery set for $8).

My final thought...I wish I would have spent more money and went with the peti-cure. It looks like a sturdier product and I read reviews from people saying that it worked better on bigger dogs. And I bet they wouldn't try to send me phony checks!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Curriculum!

Okay, someone recommended some new curriculum to me after hearing that we spend over 6 hours per day. I checked out the Five In A Row (FIAR) homepage and was impressed. I had glanced at it before but for some reason it wasn't what I was looking for at the time. But I like the way it is related to books (you know, I am very fond of literature!) and it's learning based on classic books. So I bought it just now and can't wait to get it in and give it a try.

I was a little afraid that the library wouldn't have the books that go along with it, but I did a quick search on a few titles and they did, so that will not be a road block.

Maybe it will have good effects on the kids too, put a little bit more enjoyment into school. :) If it works out, I will sell our other curriculum or put it back for later (since a lot of what we use isn't really grade specific).

I'll keep you posted on how it goes....I wish they had speedy shipping! :D

ps....about our day: we had p.e. group and chess club today. It still baffles me that the kids can just jump in like they've known these people their whole lives. I am so shy and such a complete opposite of that. That's why so many people have told me later they thought I was stuck up, but I was really just too shy to talk. I try to make myself talk a little more now. :) But I love these groups! There are so many nice homeschool families! It's our 2 year anniversary and I'm so happy to have FINALLY met people who do what we do. It's good to finally feel connected to a community.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration day...

We had a snow day today, but I counted it as a make up day for us. We spent time doing different school things but only lightly.

Instead, we have watched the Inaugural info all day. I have to say that watching all of the former presidents from my lifetime (with the exception of our dear Reagan) together at one place was so exciting.

My favorite part was when Obama kind of messed up his swearing in. He didn't really mess it up, but he paused because he forgot what he was supposed to repeat. I enjoyed it not because it was a mistake but because it was probably the first glimpse of humility of Obama for me. It was the first time I could look at him and see that he was in fact just like the rest of us. He was nervous and I liked seeing that.

I pointed out the history of the day to the kids. I hope that when they are old with their own grandkids they can say "yeah, I watched the Inauguration of the first African American president".

Now, lets all sit back and just see what happens. I'm totally willing to give Obama a chance and keep my fingers crossed as well!

**Added note**
I read a report just now that said that Obama was pausing so that the man giving the Oath could word it properly, but that isn't he look that I saw on his face. It was more the look of a man saying "what exactly was it again" because he didn't want to mess it up. Also because he jumped in on the name part before he had finished...and especially because Obama repeated it exactly as he had said.

I stick by my initial feelings. I saw a man who was nervous, just as any man would be, to be doing something so important in front of so many people. It still touched me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Diet change update...

I don't like the word diet because it makes people think of those crazy schemes that people (and yes, myself included) go on to try to quickly drop pounds but never end up working.

When I refer to diet, I mean the way that we eat. So when I'm speaking about changing our diet, I am talking about changing actual eating habits in our family.

We're changing to whole wheat bread products and so far that's going over very well. We even made our first ww homemade bread. It turned out perfectly, yay. :) And it was so much fun to make it!

Our first week of dietary change was to fix our breakfasts. It's really been pretty fun and it's tackled a problem i had before of trying to make breakfast more diverse (I hate hearing "I want a pop tart" or "I want cereal" each morning) and I wanted to move towards more hot and homemade breakfasts.... Very good so far!

This week we're working on changing lunch. I'll tell you later how that goes. I think they will probably be the two easiest changes to the diet.

It's funny but just changing to eating breakfast is making me want to eat less. My hubby and I had a bad habit of eating a big thing after dinner, either a huge dessert or another huge helping of dinner or a different thing that would equal dinner portions. I think it was because our body was thinking of dinner as lunch since it was it's 2nd meal and wanted a 3rd meal. But I'm wanting less after dinner. :) I'm feeling fuller.

On vacation....okay, not really but almost!

Do you know how long it's been since I went on vacation? Okay, neither do I but I'm sure it's been a while. With my own college work, it made it impossible because I was always doing some work even on "off" times. With my own school being on hold for a while, I have some free time on my hands. I've been using that free time to get back to what I love...home type stuff such as baking bread with the kids. They are such good little chefs. :)

We've been on 'vacation' since Wednesday of last week. It's not really been a vacation but very close. A combination of an iffy heater and temps that were in the single digits led us to stay at my Father in Law's house this past week since he's been out of town. It's been heaven. It's like being in one of those cabin rentals. The only difference is that it's full of papaw's stuff already and we're within short walking distance to get something from our house that we may have forgotten.

For school the kids did computer game work instead. It's still school work but it's a lighter version. This week though we're getting back to our books. Today we are 'snowed out'. School has been officially canceled so I am thinking about doing a light day; just math, reading and computer games to consider it a 'make up day' for the ones that we've got to catch up on.

I'm just really enjoying this little 'vacation' because we've got room to spread out and it's been somewhat relaxing. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Best week EVER!

Well, It finally happened, I have officially had the best week ever since we started homeschooling nearly 2 years ago.

Our schedule went almost perfectly for Monday through Wednesday. I threw out some things to try to clear the schedule a bit. Then Thursday was perfect. P.E. group was back and the kids fell right in just like they were old friends. Afterwards we went to our first Chess Club meeting. All went pretty good there (except my son was so hungry he was more focused on the popcorn than the games, remedy this, I believe I'll start giving him a snack between the p.e. and chess times). The kids loved it though. The people were wonderful and the kids have asked to play chess ever since we've been back.

To finish up my wonderful week we had a wonderful Friday. It had school as usual, a little late, but not bad. to finish it up though, we made homemade bread and ham soup. It was so wonderful and everyone loved the bread. It just ended so nicely. A perfect week ended by a nice home ec lesson. :)

We've started yesterday with our Change One diet, fixing our breakfasts and I went ahead and made a switch to wheat bread. No complaints so far. :) Everyone is enjoying everything. I like the subtlety of the Change One diet, since we're only changing breakfasts this week, its much easier to follow.

I am just so excited. It's only 1 and we're on lunch break (about to end) and we've only got quiet reading time and history left. So we should be completely finished by 2 at the latest. We also made up a chore list and yesterday we drew cards until we each had equal amounts. Then we completed the chores. It took all evening just because I had to stop my chore to show my son how to do this while my daughter waited to learn how to do that....once they get the hang of what they're supposed to be doing, it'll go easier.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Delegation and Snow!

It started snowing last night and we woke up to a light covering all over. We might have an inch. Funny though, our school district didn't call off school or even put up a 2 hour delay. What I do on snow days is use them as make up days for those we've taken off. So I am somewhat disappointed that the school district didn't take this one! grrr. lol

I keep forgetting about delegation. I struggle to finish my housework on time. Duh, the kids are 7 and 5, I think they can help and THEY ENJOY IT! Why do I keep forgetting this point!?!? Last night I was trying to rush to get dinner done. I was doing this and doing that and my son says "What can I do mommy" I was about to say the usual "I've got it honey" but instead, I had him wash up, put him at the table and he cut my cooked chicken into bite size pieces.

The kids are able to do so much more and at this age, they want to and it would be a good time to get used to doing it.

When we move, and I plant the spring garden (crossing fingers), I will have to remember this too. The last few years I didn't let them help as much as they were small and not careful and would step all over what we just planted. I was also afraid that they'd "weed" out the veggies instead of the actual weeds. But this year I think they are going to be able to do much more.

I got an idea about a chore chart where instead of having a set designation of who does what, we'll draw out cards telling us which chore to do. If I do this one, I'll post pics after it's completed.


We painted birdhouses on Monday. I wonder if I need to spray it with sealant because while I would like to keep them as decorations, the kids are now determined to feed actual birds outside....there has even been talk of catching a bird and keeping it in the house. I had to explain how you can have domesticated birds in actual cages as pets, not wild birds. (I'll post the pictures of the birdhouses soon)

This first week back has really been good. We're getting started at a good time in the morning and we seem to be close to our normal schedule. So I'm happy. School work is wonderful. I added a new writing program, for creative writing. I was worried about adding it. It is a foreign concept to them so far but I'm sure they will get it soon. If not, I'll put it on hold until next Fall.

Time wise we're doing good as well. I streamlined out classes. Things that I had hopes to use before, I got rid of. The Weekly readers are great but I don't have time for it in our schedule. The Click n Kids reading program is really good also. The kids don't like it anymore. I was surprised by this. I figured it is because it's a phonics program and they have been through a similar phonics program before. That's the only thing I can figure.

Oh...a break through! My son is READING on his own....I got the book "5 little monkeys jumping on the bed" from the library and he loves it. He has chosen to read it to his sister for quiet reading time. Then today, had to tell them to quiet down and found him sitting there reading to her, apparently with much enthusiasm! Yay! :)

But that's all for tonight. Pics coming soon, I promise! :P

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First day back

Yesterday we started back for our 2nd half of the year. It was actually pretty cool. There was a renewed spirit there that made the day fresh and new again. It was great. The feelings of being run down from before the Christmas holiday seems to be gone.

At the end of our day the kids painted bird houses for art class. They had gotten them for Christmas and had been asking each day "Can we paint them now?" I'll post some pics of them soon. I think they are cool, almost abstractish. Let's hope today's class work goes as good as yesterdays.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Well, technically I missed yesterday but anyway...

Tomorrow school is starting back. I spent about 4 hours or more yesterday straightening and organizing our hs corner here in the kitchen. I really have NO EXTRA ROOM for it so I kind of count that corner of the kitchen as my hs section.

If anyone were to see it, they'd probably think it was just a messed up heap of numerous books, textbooks, teachers manuals, library books. There are huge tubs of crayons and markers and play doh forms. There is the large tote of math manipulatives. It may look like a mess but I know exactly where it all is. My kitchen walls no longer have pretty paintings and sconces but lots of papers (poems we're memorizing, reading awards, number chart, etc.) and a huge dry erase board.

I am hoping when we move that we will at least have an extra space like a dining room that we can convert into our school room. Or at least a little nook that I can put all of this stuff next to where we'll do the work. That would be really nice.

Oh and I need bookshelves....many many bookshelves! I have on now and there's a built in one in the kids room but OBVIOUSLY that wont be coming with us. So I'm thinking about 3-4 more bookshelves. If we get that extra space that I mention in the dining room or a bedroom then I would like to either line the walls with the bookshelves or in a corner, place them back to back like they would in a library.

OOOOOH, and I can't wait to place those 2 huge maps on the wall in our new place! Now....just to find this new place!

But I starts tomorrow and I'm excited to be starting back, sis seems like she is also....but my son in typical boy fashion says no, lol.

Now, I'm off to take a look at our schedule.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 2....Goodbye Tree

We finally put our tree and Christmas decorations away today. It was also the first day I went without a patch. I have been smoke free for nearly 2 full months now (the 6th).

I'm trying to give thought about the kid's schedule. That seems to be a big topic of mine. I am always trying to find a way to stream line it. I think it's more difficult since last year we only worked for 4 hours total. But this year we have so much more that we're doing, including a spelling program, handwriting, cursive, etc.

But not to make an entire post on that again (I think I've fussed about schedules many times before).... Last night I had an epiphany. I always focus so hard on one thing or another for a very short amount of time (like a month or so) then change interests. Like I love the idea of being a self-sufficient farmer....but I've tried some things and know what works for me and what doesn't. I have delved full time hard core into my writing, but I burn out too fast or shift my focus to another area.

In this I have found 2 things....the first is that I do not need to force myself into a group or classification....I love to homestead, but do not think I'd ever give up buying clothes, etc. I love my nail and hair done, but don't think I'd ever go crazy with the fashion stuff. I love making things from scratch but don't know if I'd ever go 100% to homemade.

Well, I am rambling, but the point, is I can be myself and don't have to fit 100% into any specific group or category.

The second thing is that I need to figure out how to use my ever shifting interest for my business. I would hate to start up my business soon and it end up being another thing I soon move away from. I am just wondering how God intends for me to use it. What good would a short but intense focus time be to a writer? I'm still thinking on that one.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day 1 of the month blog...and New fitness plan!

It's officially the first of 2009 (well, 5 minutes past, making it the second...but I almost forgot). I thought I'd keep my first post short and simple.

I am so excited about our new fitness plan. Nana got the kids a wii fit and we love it! It has daily goal trackers and it has yoga and strength training as well as aerobics and balance exercises. I thought it would go great as an indoor/daily plan for school. The kids were getting kind of sick of the same ole tape that we'd been doing.

I typically would let them play outside, but December has been both cold and very wet so it's been way too muddy to play outside much. The fit will be great for those ultra cold days or rainy days. I figure that we'll do it every day and then after school if/when the weather is good we'll go outside also.

I'm also looking forward to it, and have my own weight loss goals and daily work outs on it. It's so cool (even if it did weigh me and make the mii I had created overweight! hey!).