Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday Feast

Feast One Hundred & Thirteen
What is your favorite herb or spice?

I guess cinnamon? I don't think garlic is an herb or a spice - that is my favorite flavor adding thing.

Name a song you like but haven't heard in a long time.

It is much easier to think of songs you just heard. I was just thinking of the song by Chicago - Saturday in the Park. It reminds me of when I was a kid. I remember my dad playing it loud on the radio when we were driving around on Mother's Day. I am not sure why it has been on my mind, maybe because the weather is getting cooler here. Mother's Day in Illinois probably had that cooler weather and we probably had the windows open with the radio playing loud.

Saturday in the park
I think it was the fourth of july
Saturday in the park
I think it was the fourth of july
People dancing, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing italian songs
(fake italian lyric)
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And Ive been waiting such a long time
For saturday

If you were to take just one minute to write down as many things as you can think of that you need (not want) to do, approximately how many things would there be?
Maybe 5? Now that the week is over and it is Friday. If you had asked on Monday, the list probably would have been like 20 things. Let's see... I am down to the following:

1. Wrap Sebastian's birthday present for his birthday tomorrow and wrap Savannah's birthday present for Monday.
2. Make and decorate Sebastian's cake.
3. Go to store and buy ice cream for his birthday party.
4. Finish this week's Winter Promise with Savannah.
5. Check our banking to see where we are on cash for the week.

Those are the only things I think I have to do this weekend. Of course then there are the things I want to do. That is a much longer list.

Main Course
Tell something interesting about one of your family members (nothing scandalous, please, just something unique).

I don't know if this is unique or not, but it has been on my mind. My oldest son, Tim, is 17. My youngest son, Sebastian, will be 2 tomorrow. They are nearly 16 years apart. I find it interesting how much Tim II loves his little brother. He comes home on his break from work and always hugs Sebastian and talks to him. Sebastian wants to wear his hat and hold his car keys. Sebastian watches Tim II check his email and his My Space. Just yesterday, when Tim II left to go back to work, he asked Sebastian if he could say "bye, bye". Sebastian looked up at him and gave him a big smile and said "bye, bye". Then Tim II asked if he could have a hug. Sebastian jumped down off the couch and ran over to give him a hug. Tim II told him "I love you" and Sebastian gave him a big sloppy kiss. I just stood there and watched what is pretty typical for the two of them and realized that God did have a plan when all my kids were born so far apart. So, my oldest son is unique and interesting because he loves his brother (and his sister) so much and shows it every day.

What's the latest you've ever stayed awake?
I think without falling asleep for at least a little bit would be around 5am. When Tim and I were teenagers we used to go to the all night skates at Funway. I think I always ended up sleeping on the floor by 5am or so.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Concord Grapes and stuff...

Today we went to the fruit stand. It was a pretty sad selection, but they did have Concord Grapes. I love these grapes. You either love them or hate them... there is no in between. This brought back memories. I grew up in Illinois and Concord Grapes can grow wild there. I lived next door to my best friend, Tricia (Patty, as I called her when we were little). Her house had a big backyard that connected to the Smith's big backyard. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, because, Patty and I would sneak back to the way back of her backyard and then over into the Smith's backyard. We didn't have privacy fences the way most people do now. Then we would pick the Concord Grapes. Yes, I realize this is stealing and that would make it bad. We looked at it as they were never going to pick all those grapes and we might as well enjoy them. Yes, I would most likely tell my kids they shouldn't do that today, but back then if just seemed okay. I remember we would take our fake toy corningware dishes over and fill them up. Then we would run as fast as we could back to the shed. Patty's dad had built a really nice wood shed to store his motorcycle in. We took it over and made it a playhouse. We had a kitchen and a kid sized folding card table with harvest gold mushrooms on top. We would set the Concord Grapes out on our play dishes and enjoy. When we got too old to do this we found that our friend, Angie, had these grapes in her yard. A ton of them! We got our fix from her yard for awhile. Ya know... I am positive if we had asked our moms, they would have bought these grapes from the store, but somehow they just tasted better if we got them from somebody's backyard. One final note on Concord Grapes. Tonight, I had the package draining in the sink after I rinsed them off. Sebastian was on the footstool and kept asking me "pease". I didn't want to give it to him because of the seeds. Then it occurred to me that he wouldn't eat them anyway because he doesn't EAT ANYTHING! I figured let him try it and he will surely spit it out. Nope! He ate it with seeds and all. Then he started frantically popping them in his mouth one after another. Do I have to worry he is going to grow a Concord Grape Vine inside his tummy? Only Sebastian!

Monday, September 25, 2006

A date night and floor sealing...

Tim and I went out on Saturday night. Sebastian has been a little whiney and my life-saving mom called me on Saturday morning and asked me if I wanted her to watch the kids so we could go out for awhile. You know I hadn't even thought of going out. I was just about braindead from Sebastian screaming most of Saturday morning. When my mom asked me, it was like I heard angels in heaven! LOL! Okay, not really angels, but you get the idea. We went to our favorite boring place to eat - Farmer's Kitchen. Doesn't that sound boring? Seriously, we are usually the only 30 something people in there, but they have good food. You can't pass up good food. Then we went to return some stuff at Home Depot. We then bought some tile/floor sealer at Home Depot and made our way across the street to Lowes. Doesn't this sound like an exciting date? I know, but really this is what we enjoy doing. We returned some stuff to Lowes. Tim is always buying too much of whatever he is needing for a project - so we usually have a return spree at some point. Tim went to leave the store immediately after the return! What? No shopping, no browsing? How can that be? Aha! He admitted he was avoiding being sucked into yet another house project! I quietly said I just needed him to help me pick paint colors for the living room/dining room/kitchen - but he in no way had to paint if he didn't want to. He gave in and went and picked paint colors. He even picked colors I really like. We didn't buy paint. We aren't ready for that yet. Read on... Finally we went over to Borders. I really prefer Barnes and Nobles, but Borders is in the same mall. We didn't have a whole lot of time left, so we went with the closer one. I looked at all the scrapbook magazines I could find and he looked at fish books. Typical for us. Usually, we get dessert, but I am trying so hard to stay on task with Sparkpeople. I opted for a little single truffle for the road. It was a nice date night and I even got floor sealer to boot! Next... Well the next day I started scrubbing our tile like crazy - oh - we have UNGLAZED ceramic tile. I don't know if you all know anything about UNGLAZED ceramic tile. I will give you the quick lesson. Unglazed tile soaks in dirt into all the grooves. It is unbearable to keep clean. I have a floormate, I have a mop, I have a me on my hands and knees scrubbing and poof it is still dirty 10 minutes after you clean it. I, recently, by chance found that of all things, softscrub works wonders on it. I cleaned one day, every stinking square and my floor looked so great. Then, POOF, it was dirty the next day. I wanted to cry! Tim had talked about sealing it before, but now I felt like I might lose my mind if we didn't seal it now. I couldn't go back to the way is was before and I in no way had the time to clean every square with softscrub. Okay, I am scrubbing the tile to ready it for sealing. Tim had a long list of things he wanted to get done that day and none of them were my floor. I was fine with that. I figured I would do what I could, when I could and eventually the whole floor would get sealed. Then Tim came in and started scrubbing. He does so much better than I do and so much faster. Then Savannah came in and she started scrubbing. I know this doesn't sound like a perfect family moment, but it was. I was so happy to have them both helping me. Of course, I had to stop and take care of Sebastian here and there. Tim finished up the scrubbing and started sealing. He got the first coat on and then I did the second coat later on. After the kids went to bed, we did the third coat. So far it is only the kitchen and the dining room, but it looks so nice in there. I am so holding my breath that this is going to make me like my floor. Now you need the story about why we have been PUNISHED with this tile. For those of you who don't know, we bought this house from my mom. She had actually had this tile installed before we bought the house. She and I went shopping for tile all around. I don't remember why, but I remember I was tired of looking for tile. I was at the point where I just wanted her to pick something - anything. She showed me the tile we now have. I said something like that would be fine. Great, get it, etc. I don't remember. I know I didn't really think of it as someday I will be living with this tile for a very long time. On Tim's side of the punishment - my mom paid her neighbor to install the tile. Now Tim was very capable of doing this job for my mom, but he didn't really want to. As we were scrubbing like crazy, Tim and I started to joke about how "What Goes Around, Comes Around". If you ever have to help somebody pick out tile or if you have the skill to do the job for them, please, please take my advice and think of it as your own house! Otherwise, you too, may have to live with ugly tile for 7 years like I have had to live with. Oh and this probably won't be the last you hear of the tile saga. I plan to work through the rest of the tile area over the next week or two. Tim told me he would help me with the whole living room, but I am going to do the entryway, hallway, etc. You will be so sick of my tile stories... but, don't lose hope because hopefully my tile stories will then turn to painting stories.

Once Upon A Child

I have been busy. I keep thinking of things I want/need to blog about. One is the rest of my trip report and I will get there... maybe by Wednesday or maybe not. The other things I have been thinking about blogging about are more the day to day stuff. I also have some work to get done for my money making job and I will do it, but I am going to blog for the moment. Last week I went to one of my favorite stores - Once Upon A Child. For those that don't know what this store is - it is a children's consignment shop. I started going there when I was pregnant with Savannah and it sorta hit me that means I have been going there for nearly 9 years. The fact that they were giving out 10 year anniversary key chains helped me to think of that too. Anyway, I am frugal (read cheap). I don't like to spend money on things I don't want to spend money on. I will absolutely try to find the best deal possible or die trying. All of my family members know this about me. In fact, they think I have some odd super power for finding the best price for most things somehow by looking all over the internet, etc. I don't really have a super power. I just hate to pay full price for anything. Having said that, I am picky about what my kids can wear. Not all consignment shops have nice things, but Once Upon A Child does have nice things. I suppose that not all in the chain are wonderful, but ours is really great. I went in to look for one thing and came out with a ton of things. For the bargain price of $60, I got Savannah a Gap Kids winter coat, 2 pairs of jeans (one with a monkey on the pocket), 3 tops(one being a really cute Tink blouse from the Disney store), and a pair of dress shoes. I got Sebastian a brand new with tags Halloween costume, Carter's sleeper, and 2 shirts. You cannot beat this price. I was really happy and best of all Sebastian was so good while I shopped. That was my first bit of info floating around in my head needing to be blogged about.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Feast

Feast One Hundred & Twelve
Measured in minutes or hours, how much exercise have you had in the last week?

Since I am doing Sparkpeople, I have been entering my exercise and know this answer quickly! I have done 2 hours and 20 minutes of cardio this week and 30 minutes (2 fifteen minute sessions) of strength training. Still have one more strength traing session to get in by tomorrow.

If you had to change your blog title to something else, what would it be?

This is hard. I like my title. I asked my husband... he didn't help. He said he liked my title. I looked up things on the thesaurus... I came with Thankful for Everyday. I don't like that nearly as much, but it is getting late, so that is the best I can do!

Name one television show you watched when you were 9-12 years old.

Facts of Life - now Blaire (Lisa Whelchel) is a homeschool mom with a website. You know the song... You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life. Yes, it has been 20 years and I can still sing the whole thing! Do I have talent or what?

Main Course
If someone gave you $50 to spend with the one condition that it had to be educational, what would you purchase?

Probably some type of curriculum even though I can't think of anything we need right now. If not curriculum, arts and craft supplies or a hobby project.

Do you tend to prefer dark colors, neutral shades, or lighter/pastel hues?

I like warm fall colors. Deeper reds, blues, greens, etc.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A colonial dress for Savannah...

As I have written before, I am taking Savannah to Williamsburg in October. I read on the Official Williamsburg Website that you could rent kid costumes to wear while visiting Williamsburg. I thought that was really cool. That got me thinking that it would be really cool to get her a dress of her very own to keep. I gave it a little thought and asked a few of my friends that have moms who sew. I tried making Christmas dresses when Savannah was 3. My sister-in-law, Debi, pulled me along with her because she made her girls matching dresses and one for herself. As always, I had to join in the "fun". It was anything but fun! I love crafts. I love sewing crafts, but I am not good at sewing clothes. Someday when I am not as busy as I am today (when will that be?) I would love to learn to sew and quilt. Unfortunately, that day is not today. That is why I asked around for somebody to sew a dress for Savannah. My awesome friend, Vickie, said she would see if her mom could do it. Meanwhile, I am reading The Well Trained Mind Message Board and somebody is asking if anyone makes American Girl dresses for actual little girls and matching ones for the doll. I didn't know the answer, but somebody did! This person responded that a very nice lady named Cherie made dresses and sold them on the Vegsource Homeschool Board. Her little business is named Ashley's Playmates. She makes all sort of dresses and nightgowns for real little girls and then she also makes American Girl dress for dolls. I clicked on over to her post on Vegsource and sent her an email. She sent me back a gallery of her dresses. I read fantastic reviews about her work on the Vegsource board and was sold. I saw the dress I wanted right away. It was RED and Savannah loves RED. Okay, I found the dress I wanted, next there is price, right? Her prices are wonderful! Back to my great friend, Vickie, - her mom and her had gone out to look at patterns and fabric and told me that it would be pretty costly to make a dress like that. I hadn't had a chance to tell Vickie that I had decided to go with Ashley's Playmates. I was so grateful that Vickie and her mom went to that trouble for me. I have good friends. I emailed Ashley's Playmates back with my dress order for a colonial dress and a matching doll dress. Of course, I ordered some more American Girl doll dresses for Christmas presents. (Shhhh... don't tell Savannah.) On Tuesday our package arrived in the mail. I was going to give Savannah this dress for her birthday, but I couldn't wait. I had to see it on her right away. I gave it to her and she absolutely loved it. She wore it right up till bedtime and then this morning she wanted to put it on as soon as she got up. She took her knock-off American Girl doll (too cheap to buy the real thing) with her to her science class because she had to show off the dress. I am so happy she loved this dress. I got the response I was really hoping for! Ahhh... it is so much fun doing this American history with her right now. I can't wait till we get to go to Williamsburg and see all the sites. Finally, in case you didn't get it in my post, if you want to buy doll dresses or little girl dresses... please, please check Ashley's Playmates out. Click here for her Ashley's Playmates Email. She really is wonderful to work with. Let her know I sent you! Thanks.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Winter Promise American Story Week 7

This week we continued with our colonial studies. We made a horse drawn carriage and learned about the first postal service. We made a candlemaker and different kinds of candle holders. We learned about pirates - which was interesting because Savannah had just asked me the week before if there were real pirates. We made a map showing how the pirates operated. Her Make Your Own History Book page was about colonial businesses. She chose to be a fur trader. I have to admit, I thought she would say dress maker or candle maker - not a fur trader. We have been reading Sign of the Beaver and enjoying it. We also nearly finished the Welcome to Felicity's World book. So here is my funny for the week. Daddy got an unexpected half day on Thursday afternoon. He called to see if I wanted to take the kids to Burger King for lunch and then stop at the pet store. I have to admit that I thought about saying no because I wanted to get the history done for the day. Then I realized an unexpected lunch with daddy was much more important. We did go and had a great time. So, go forward to the weekend. We don't usually have much planned on the weekend. As we were just sitting around doing nothing, I realized we could put the coach paper project together on the WEEKEND! We were actually allowed to do that! I know... I know... seems like a simple concept, huh? It is hard for me to realize that we can do some of the projects on the weekend and it is actually better because we don't have any other things to do like my employer work, brownies, AWANA, science co-op, fun co-op, etc. I guess I had a break-through!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Trip Report Day 3...

On Sunday morning we decided to head to Miss Lucy's Brunch. This is over in Coral Bay. I had heard really good things about it and wanted to give it a try. We took our time getting over there. We stopped by the water and just walked around. We got there and were met by a very friendly staff. They had live jazz duo playing and it was really nice. You sit outside right by the water. Ummm... I am a pretty boring food person. I don't like different things, so I didn't love the food. This isn't to say it wasn't good. It was... I just am picky. I did love the homefries and fruit. Tim loved the poached eggs, so we just sorta swapped what each of us liked. I am glad I went, but I probably wouldn't do it again. Next we took the "Road to Lamesur". We did not do this last year because we had a much nicer jeep and I was afraid that we might damage it. This time we had a jalopy. I knew there was no way we could put anymore scratches on this than it already had. We put it in 4wd and headed out. It was quite a ride! We both had a lot of fun driving this. We pulled up to the Lamesur ruins and walked around for a bit. I took some pictures looking out from the ruins. We went down to the beach below and snorkeled around a bit. Then we left and headed to Salt Pond. Here we saw a HUGE parrot fish and a spotted ray. I was really hoping to see a turtle because we had seen one here the year before. I was swimming around the grassy area and had given up hope, so I was swimming back to the shore. I was nearly out of the water and I spotted a turtle! I was happy. I love seeing the turtles. We decided it was time to head back and had a lazy evening at the condo. Tomorrow brings rain, shopping and Ronnie's Pizza.

The much promised, way overdue trip report - days 1 and 2...

Well, it has been over two months since Tim and I went to St. John. I promised a trip report and well... I had good intentions. I just never really got to it. I am posting a link to this on the St. John message board - so that is why I have added some extra details that you may wonder why... the folks over there like to read trip reports to get an idea of what they might expect when they take their trip. Okay, we left on Friday July 7th from Tampa to Fort Lauterdale then on to St. Thomas. When we got to St. Thomas we grabbed our free rum punch and grabbed a van over to Red Hook. While I was in line buying our ferry tickets, Tim bought a strawberry smoothie from the smoothie stand. This was a key part of our trip! We did not have any smoothies our our first trip to St. John, but this second trip could possibly be named the "Smoothie trip". We we were on a continual smoothie drip for our entire stay. We took the ferry over and met our jeep rental company. We rented from C&C jeep rental. They were okay - not wonderful, but they were fine. We rented a condo from Serendip and we got an extra 10% off from C&C. Our Vitara was around $300 for the week and that was about $100 savings over renting from Conrad Sutton as we did last year. Oh, I should back up... we did a more expensive trip last year for our 15 year anniversary. This year's challenge was to get back to St. John, but do it for half the cost. Thus... a condo at Serendip instead of a villa and a smaller Vitara at C&C instead of a bigger jeep at Conrad Sutton. Not to mention we were able to get our airfare for half the price through Spirit Air. Okay, we got our jeep and headed to Serendip. We rented one of the two studios they have - the Juliette. It was nice, very clean, equipped and just fine for what we needed. It was not the villa we had last year, but the price was right and I would absolutely stay there again. We settled in and headed into town for Uncle Joe's BBQ. I had been waiting a whole year to get that fantastic sauce again and it was that good. We got it for take out and came back to eat on the patio. Saturday we decided to go in to Cruz Bay to see the Carnival vendors since it was their last day. They have some local artists there and I love that type of shopping. Actually, we had to head back to the condo twice, once for clothes since we thought we were going to the beach originally and the second time for cash - the craft tents usually only take cash. I did find my mom a Christmas present, but I can't say what it is since she will read this. I will just say we knew it was right for her the minute we saw it. We also went in search of smoothies. I can't remember the name of the place, but it is a little open air place that has fruit, veggies, and a small amount of groceries. They sell large smoothies for like $5 or $6 - a great deal and very good smoothies. With that we headed out to Caneel Bay. We walked around the ruins and took some pictures. This was our first time at Caneel Bay. We had seen the ruins from the road on our last visit and I decided I wanted to see them up close this time. Then we headed out to snorkel. We really didn't see anything that exciting under the water here. The grounds are pretty and the beach is nice, but the snorkeling was not my favorite. While I was sitting on the beach, Tim went in search of... you guessed it... a smoothie. This was by far our most expensive smoothie - a whopping $9 and it wasn't all that large. We actually took the cup home as a souvenir for Savannah. She loves to tell the story of the $9 smoothie. We headed back to the condo and just had a relaxing evening. The picture looking out through the flowers was our view. Tomorrow brings Miss Lucy's Brunch, Lamasure Ruins, Salt Pond Bay.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday Feast

Feast One Hundred & Eleven

What was the very last song you listened to?

Angel Eyes - it was on in the kids' room while I was putting them in bed.

What is one company/store/corporation you would recommend that people stay away from?

Kmart Sucks! (at least that is how they say it in Rainman and I agree.)

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy having your picture made?

Right now... probably a 2 - If I were happy with my weight, it would be different. I always want my picture because I want my kids to have pictures of their mom at different ages, but then I look and cringe!

Main Course
Besides a bookmark, what is something you've used to keep your place in a book?

Gum wrapper, paperclip, envelope

Name a food that you like that most people don't.

This is easy - mushrooms. I am amazed at how many people I know don't like mushrooms and I love them. I am afraid to confess that one of my favorite places to eat in Disney World is Pecos Bill's. Why? Because they have a burger toppings bar and the BEST sauteed mushrooms. I am sick... I will fill my plate with mushrooms and could care less about my burger! I know, odd! If you time it right, you can grab your fast pass at Splash Mountain, wander over to Pecos Bill's, eat and return to Splash Mountain just in time to use the fast pass. Not that I ride Splash Mountain, but my kids do.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I am lacking in the creative blogging department today, so I thought I would just post some pictures of Savannah. We went to meet my friend from childhood (and on) at Downtown Disney a few days ago. Jorgena (hi George!) visits her inlaws in Florida a few times a year. We usually get to spend a day shopping and talking. This time we met up at Downtown Disney, but quickly left and hit the outlet mall. We only did a few stores at the outlet before we headed over to the Florida Mall. This is your typical mall. It has all the typical mall stores. I was hoping to find Savannah some fall clothes, but I didn't have any luck. We did, however, hit a HUGE M&M store. Savannah was very excited about this. She saw a sign about it on the way over and when we got there she kept asking when we could go to the M&M store. I was figuring out it being a little store with make your own bag of M&M's type thing. WRONG! It was absolutely huge. It have every M&M thing imaginable even a NASCAR race car inside. I have to admit we didn't buy a thing, but it was fun walking through there. We shopped there for quite awhile and I came out with NOTHING! Then we headed back to drop Jorgena off at her hotel. Savannah and I couldn't resist heading back to Downtown Disney for Ghiardelli's ice cream. We had tried to go there when we were at the homeschool convention in May, but we literally could not find a parking place. So, we were very sad we didn't get ice cream then, but there was a zillion open parking places on this day... so nothing was keeping us from ice cream and Ghiardelli's. Oh and on our way out of DTD, we notice they had Pirates of the Caribbean displays in the big World of Disney store. We had to take a peak and I took some pictures. It was a fun day. I am glad my friend has inlaws in Florida. I have gotten to see her so much more over the years because of her visits with them.

Monday, September 11, 2006

My current favorite song and a remembrance of 9/11...

Last night, I was looking for this song on You Tube. It is called "Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns. I wasn't looking for a 9/11 video, just looking to see if there was a video for this song. I found several, but this one for 9/11 stuck out. If you haven't heard this song before, give it a listen. It is so good! One thing I am sure of is that we all have "storms". Sometimes it may be a sprinkle and sometimes it is a all out hurricane, but I do know we will all have "storms". My favorite part of this song is this -

I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
Psalms 121

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cutting the grass and Sparkpeople...

Today is the second Sunday that I have gone out to cut the grass. About 4 years ago, I used to cut the grass, but then I got pregnant with Sebastian. At that time, cutting the grass was supposed to be Tim II's job. He whined about it all the time and each weekend I dreaded reminding him to cut the grass. One day I decided I would just do it and have him fold all of the laundry instead. The funny thing is that he preferred folding the laundry and I actually liked cutting the grass. I should mention he didn't mind folding the laundry because he would turn on the gaming channel and fold away. I liked cutting the grass because it was "quiet". Yes, I know the lawn mower is loud, but somehow it is quiet. Nobody is talking to me or asking me to do something. Like I said... I only quit because I got pregnant. I didn't start back up after I had Sebastian because Sebastian is pretty much attatched to me most of the time. Are you saying, get to the point... what are Sparkpeople? Sparkpeople is a website dedicated to losing weight the healthy way. I have never done Weight Watchers, but it sort of reminds me of it. You don't count points like Weight Watchers - instead you count actual calories, fat, carbs and protein. They have tons of foods already in the menu, but you can easily add what you don't find. They also have sample menus. It also has a nifty little glass of water that you fill up as you drink your 8 glasses a day. That is the nutrition tab part. Next there is a fitness tab. That has strength training and cardio exercise parts. You get to choose how much or how little you would like to work out. The program takes your weight, height, weight loss goal and exercise commitment and figure out what range of calories, fat, carbs, and protein you should intake in a day. I hope I am writing this right. I only started on this 12 days ago and I really have no idea how well it will work. I think I have lost 2lbs so far, but I have not been weighing because I don't think that is the best thing for me. Okay, what does this have to do with cutting the grass? One of the cardio activities they have on there is cutting the grass. It takes me 35 minutes to cut the grass and according to this it says I have burned 189 calories. I decided this was something I could count on doing each week and I like it better than a work out video. Oh and I saw my neighbor lady cutting her grass today and I had to wonder if she had found Sparkpeople too! One last thing... this is a FREE SITE - if you join - use Claytontk as your referral. I get sparkpoints - they don't really count as anything - just a online contest to keep you motivated.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A glimpse of schooling with a toddler running around...

One morning this week, we were busy doing school in the morning. Usually, if we can, we wait till Sebastian naps. I can work and she can do her independent work along side me. There are days when she has to get it done in the morning - like Wednesday because she goes to a science class in the afternoon. There have been websites dedicated to keeping your toddler busy while you do school. I have read them and a lot of the ideas are really, really helpful. This particular morning, I decided to be brave and give him a glue stick and let him glue away. He loved it! He also loves peeling the pieces off when they dry. That is fine if it isn't one of his sister's masterpieces that she spent "forever" planning. Do you need to ask me how I know this? Trust me... it wasn't pleasant. That inspired me to let him make his own masterpiece to keep or destroy for his own. Savannah was reading the last story in this particular Pathway Reader and was super excited she was moving onto the next one. When the novelty of glue stick wore off, we moved onto my next controlling toddler tactic... smarties! This boy loves smarties. He will do just about anything for a package. I really ticked him off trying to take a picture of me handing the smarties to him because I wasn't actually letting go of the package, but posing to get the picture. The things I do for the sake of blogging! I did finally give him the candy. He even has a special tongue smacking sound he makes that means he would like some smarties. He says some form of candy too. He gladly got the foot stool and sat down in front of NOGGIN to eat his smarties. Hey, I have to do what I have to do to get school done, right? I don't have pictures of my next keep him busy plan, so I will just describe it. I ordered from Amazon awhile back and got those huge bubble wraps things. Being the cool mom that I am... I kept them all in a box in my bedroom for playtime. Sebastian grabbed one and brought it out to the living room. As Savannah filled in her Explode the Code workbook, I hopped on the bubbles and amazed Sebastian. About this time, Tim called on his lunch hour. He asked what I was up to and I replied, "not anything important... just jumping on bubbles to keep Sebastian happy while Savannah does school." My wonderful husband said that he thought that was "about the most important thing I could be doing!" Awwww... wasn't that sweet?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Feast

Feast One Hundred & Ten
Name 3 things that you are wearing today.
Pinkish/reddish top, jeans, black earthshoe sandals

Who was the last person you hugged?
Sebastian - he was trying to avoid going to bed, so he gave me a really sweet hug!

What do you like to order from your favorite fast food place?
Hmmm... I am not sure which one is my favorite. Depends on my mood.
Arbies - regular roast beef and curley fries
Wendy's - those awesome dollar menu chicken nuggets
Long John Silver's - Chicken dinner with extra "crunchies" no slaw
Taco Bell - 2 tacos and a plain nacho
Okay... this is making me hungry and I am trying so very hard to be good.

Main Course
What time of day do you usually feel most energized?
After 10pm

Using the letters in your first name, write a sentence. (Example: Sweet unusual spaniels are nice.) Kari Analyzes Random Ideas.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Momma, momma, momma, momma, sissy, sissy, sissy, sissy... somebody is TALKING...

I sure wish I could upload recordings to my blog without having to pay for a service. I would so like to record what Sebastian sounds like these days. Something clicked in his baby brain this last month. He had been saying momma, dadda and a few other things before then, but now he will repeat just about anything. Truthfully, a more accurate picture of what he used to say before was MOM and DAD!!! Tim even had a little tutorial for him one day when he kept saying MOM... MOM... MOM... Tim said MOM like Sebastian did and then he told him to say momma... momma... momma... It worked, well for a moment at least. I am sure it happened with my other kids, but I don't remember it happening this way. Sebastian woke up a few weeks ago and could just repeat all the simple words. He says okay?, bye, bye (American Online says GOODBYE and he says bye, bye), dog, car, vroom, gama (grandma), TIM (his brother), eat, out, and the list goes on and on. He is a parrot. He also has one phrase I am not crazy about and trying desperately to break - "Oh God!". Unfortunately that one is probably my fault to begin with. He had a really, really bad rash about a month ago. His bottom literally was starting to bleed. I was trying everything and in my normal way of panic - I kept saying, "Oh, God... Oh, God... his poor little bottom!" I obviously had an impact on him and this is the result. So, I am trying to get him to say Gosh, but it doesn't seem to be working. Back to this morning, Savannah is sitting at the dining table trying to do her school work and I am in the kitchen... Parrot Boy is saying momma, momma, momma, momma, momma, momma, momma, momma, and on and on and on... ONLY to change to saying sissy, sissy, sissy, sissy, sissy, sissy, sissy...
Like my mom said, yesterday, you want them to talk and walk only so you can tell them to sit down and shut up! Ain't that the truth!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Winter Promise American Story Week 6

Well, this week of school just zoomed right on by! I could hardly believe we had finished another week and it all went pretty well. I think Savannah's favorite part of this week was starting the Welcome to Felicity's World book. This is an American Girl book that shows you what happened in the time Felicity lived. She would have gladly had me read the whole book in one day, but I told her we had to stay on track with the others. We did finish up Pedro's Journal too. There were lots of projects this week and all were pretty good. The only one that was a little much was the Sea Port Diarama. It just had a few too many pieces for my liking. The 3d map of the Mayflower Voyage was really cool and I think we both learned alot by doing it. She also ate an authentic meal from the Mayflower - beef jerky, crackers, cheese and water. Actually, that was on last week's schedule, but we didn't do it till this week. She also made a Dutch Windmill and house when she learned that New York used to be New Amsterdam - settled by the Dutch. Below are the pictures of the week in review. The first is a picture of her Mayflower "meal", then the windmill, mini book about the pilgrims and finally her map of the Mayflower voyage. We are taking a week off of Winter Promise do to a demanding schedule, so we will be away from any hands on projects until next week.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Houston... we have BANGS!

After my last post about should Savannah keep her bangs grown out or should she get them cut, we talked and talked and talked some more over what to do. Of course, once I told her she could get them cut if she wanted to... she didn't want to anymore. Then, of course, I was excited that they were going to be cut short again. I am seeing a glimpse into what life could be like when she is a teenager and frankly, I am quite scared. Finally, one night over dinner, we told her we could cut them and then IF I HAD TO - I would let her grow them out again if she wanted. She agreed and daddy took her outside to cut those bangs right off! Personally, I love her hair this way. My mom loves it this way and Tim likes it pretty much too. She immediately said she hated her hair this way and was growing the out again. I told her that was fine, but she had to wait till I did her annual pictures because I wanted them to look right. We shall see what happens. I think I am going to be thankful God gave me two boys and only one girl.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

50 things (actually 49 because there is no 17)

1. My roommate and I once: Does Tim count as my roommate? Once we went camping in Chiefland Florida. There was NOTHING to do there, so we sat on the floor of the SuperWalmart and played with the Leapfrog Explorer toys. It was so hot and Walmart had ac.

2.Never in my life have I: wanted to go skydiving, bungie jumping, or anything that requires jumping out of something way high up.

3. The one person who can drive me nuts, but then can always manage to make me smile is: Sebastian

4. High school was: mostly wonderful - I met Tim and had great friends

5. When I'm nervous: I pull my hair by my nose... goes back to when I was a kid and sucked my thumb with my hair by my nose.

6. The last time I cried was: This is hard. I get teary eyed all the time - could be a news story or a message board post or I am missing Debi. The last real all out cry was after reading a poem my niece wrote a few weeks ago.

7. If I were to get married right now, my bridesmaids would be: I think the same as when I got married the first time, only now my kids would be in the wedding. The first time my maid of honor was Tricia (Patty), Jorgena, and my sister Michelle.

8. Would you rather run naked through a crowded place or have someone e-mail your deepest secret to all your friends? If I could remember my deepest secret, then I guess it would be easier to decide if I really would die if anyone found out. But, I can't seem to remember what my deepest secret is... so I guess I would choose to have that emailed.

9. My hair: is long and stringy and in desperate need of a perm.

10. When I was 5: My best friend was Tricia (Patty) and we played in their shed all the time. It was our very special playhouse with lots of odds and ends from garage sales. We had a play kitchen and a seventies looking fold up table with mushrooms on it. I loved my life when I was five.

11. Last Christmas: we decorated the tree with Happy Meal toys and Beanie Babies because Sebastian would have destroyed real ornaments.

12. When I turn my head left: I see the tv flickering on my couch.

13. I should be: doing exactly what I am doing... relaxing since the kids are finally asleep... I think...

14. When I look down I see: my laptop

15. The craziest recent event was: Where do I start? Let's keep this a happy place!

16. If I were a character on "Friends": I'd be Monica. I am a control freak. I like things to be my way and I like things to have a plan, but I do have a good heart (most of the time).

18. My favorite aunt is: Tusie Karen (We call our aunts Tusie - means aunt in Romanian)

19. I have a hard time understanding: Sebastian's eating habits or should I say LACK of Eating habits

20. One time at a family gathering: My dad threw up in his plate during a family dinner at Denny's. I thought Tim was going to pass out and my mom just casually placed a napkin over the plate and took it to the kitchen. It was hysterical!

21. You know I like you if: I make my famous Hershey's brownies for you. P.S. you can get the huge box of mix from Sam's Club.

22. If I won an award, the first person I'd thank: Probably my husband, Tim.

23. Take my advice: Life is short, look for the blessings in everyday, do the things you want now and don't take it for granted.

24. My ideal breakfast is: I don't really eat breakfast, but when I do - I like the Denny's Original Grand Slam - pancakes, over easy eggs, homefries, and bacon.

25. If you visit my home town: you will find it to be a really boring and depressing place.

26. Sometime soon I plan to visit: Williamsburg

27. If you spend the night at my house: you will notice that we are all nightowls and as my mom says - the house comes alive after 11pm.

28. I'd stop my wedding if: I didn't love my groom? I don't know, that is an odd question.

29. The world could do without: Screaming Car Dealership Radio Ads

30. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: ever go on Splash Mountain again

31. The most recent thing I've bought myself is: OH... I know this one! A vellum adhesive thingy for scrapbooking. It goes on clear to attach vellum paper.

32. The most recent thing someone else bought for me is: I think it was the chocolate Tim bought me that was a subject of a recent blog post.

33. My favorite red head is: I believe the only redhead I know is my sister-in-law, Jennifer, but even if I knew somebody else, I would still say Jennifer is my favorite.

34. My favorite brunette is: I can't pick one... all of my kids and Tim are brunettes.

35. My car must have a sign on it that reads: Please slam your car door into mine and leave a ding... I think I have like 5 tiny dents!

36. The last time I was drunk: I was in St. John last year (not this trip)and had a great evening at home with my hubby!

37. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds: Somebody else said it, but I like it... Pigs - so I could really mean "WHEN PIGS FLY".

38. I shouldn't have been: speeding past Hardeeville SC. It was wrong and dangerous and that ticket has stuck with me for the last 7 years. I have learned to use cruise control and not speed like that.

39. I should have: told my Dad I loved him the last time I talked to him before he died and I should have homeschooled Timmy from the very beginning.

40. Last night I: stayed up too late like usual and I watched the season ending of Windfall on my dvr.

41. There's this girl I know who: just got engaged, bought the most beautiful wedding dress, and will be a gorgeous bride.

42: I don't know: what the future holds....but I know it will all work out the way God has planned....

43. A better name for me would be: MOM... it IS what I hear all day long afterall.

44. If I ever go back to school I'll: probably be crabby because I can't remember anything for more than 2 seconds.

45. How many days until my birthday? A lot? My birthday is April 14th... figure it out.

46. One dead celebrity I wish I'd met is: Elvis popped into my head. I don't think I really would want to meet him, but I would enjoy seeing him perform.

47. I've lived at my current address since: MY SON says I have to put it this way... I lived in THIS HOUSE from October 1990 until December 1996. Then we moved a few blocks away to our first official home. Then we bought this house from my parents in July 1999. My son says this is his one and only home.

48. I've been told I look like: My Tusie Karen.

49. If I could have any car, it would be: I don't know... I like my car. It isn't fancy, but I like it. It is a Hyundai Sonata with all the bells and whistles.

50. If I got a new cat tomorrow, I would name it: I WOULD NOT GET A CAT TOMORROW! Sorry, I am done with pets. We have a dog and she will stay, but then I think I am done with anything that sheds, pees, pukes or does anything else to my floor.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Feast

Feast One Hundred & Nine
Appetizer What are some lyrics you have misheard (such as, instead of "Gettin' Jiggy With It" you heard "Kick a chicken with it")?

About 11 years ago we were driving home from SC. We could only find country music stations. At the time, I didn't listen to country music. Now I listen all the time and love it. Anyway, George Straight was singing "Check Yes or No" -
Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend? And if you do, well then dont be afraid to take me by the handIf you want to.I think this is how love goes, check yes or no.
Well, I didn't hear it as CHECK YES OR NO... I kept singing CHECK GAS AND OIL until my music critic husband told me I was singing it wrong.
Soup What is the worst movie you have ever seen?

This one is really hard because you don't tend to remember the names of the bad ones. Heck, who am I kidding... I can hardly remember the names of the ones I liked. I don't know if this is the worst movie, but worst movie RECENTLY would be Syriana. It was so boring! I am sure if I spent time googling, I could find something worse, but this is the first one that pops into my head.

Salad Using the letters from your favorite number, write a sentence. Example: Tomorrow has really easy experiences.


Freak Out Under Really Tall, Endless, Evil Noodles.

Main Course What was the most interesting news story you have heard this week?

Where the Housing Boom Lives On - Business Week Online
It said that Tampa/Clearwater/St. Petersburg was Number 2 on the list of hottest markets that are not in a bursting house bubble. NO... this doesn't mean we are moving. It just means that our house may not lose all the wonderful value it has racked up during the last two years.

Dessert Which word(s) would you choose to describe your wardrobe?

SAD! SAD! SAD! Seriously, it is sad because I am not happy with my weight. Surprise, surprise. I have jean shorts and t-shirts, mostly. I do have lots of cute summer tops that I so hope to get back to one day.