March 31, 2010

When the USPS calls your home...

It all started with a phone call this morning.
"Ma'am, your package is here."
THE package. The package that my husband claimed would be a good science lesson in conservation.
Wait a minute, I thought conservation was about planting new trees 'n stuff.

Seriously, ya'll.
I have no words.

Okay, you know me better than that. I do have words. Two of them:
I lost.

I really thought that last year's duck-capade was a one time deal. I was sure I had sealed the deal with the whole bunny thing.
Silly me.
Last year was just the beginning. Apparently.

Did you know you could order ducks through the mail? Evidently there is a whole catalog of fowl that can be dropped at your doorstep. We now own that catalog.

The speckled ones are flying Mallards whatever that means, and supposedly they will fly away when they mature. Supposedly. The fawn-colored ones (Blue Runners) are not ours. We are babysitting for some friends who split an order like french fries with us.

Don't get me wrong, they're adorable and sweet as they can be. I'm just adjusting to being a new mama again. I think I know a smidgen of how CPQ felt when she found out she was having triplets. Just a smidgen.
How are the other animals on the NEM farm?
Luna's growing by leaps and bounds.
I mean, she has the penthouse suite.
Hope she's not jealous of the 13 little feathered friends that just joined her in the garage.
Oh did I say 13? Why yes, yes I did. The catalog people sent us an extra bird by mistake (either that or for insurance that we would receive 12 live birds). Is the extra guy one of the ones we are babysitting? Of course not.
We haven't decided on names yet. We each get to choose one name. I threatened to name mine Isaidno, but then my hubby would have to name his Iwon.

Have any good name suggestions?

March 29, 2010

Just Strapping!

When I visit Etsy, I can't bring myself to purchase much when I know I could make it myself. Call me cheap. The problem is that I don't usually get around to following through. This time I did and I'm tickled pink! I chose two coordinating fabrics: a wonderful excuse to go to the fabric store.
This project only uses about 1/8 yard, so I could choose the non-clearance fabric.
It was a very simple venture, requiring no pattern ... I don't do difficult sewing. The most time-consuming part was the ironing. When I pulled out the iron my daughter said, "wow mom, you never use the iron!"
I cut apart the strap from my old 35mm camera to use the hardware, cringe, lined the inside of the fabric with fleece for comfort. My favorite feature is that I made it hip length. My other strap was a neck strap, which was too short to sling across my shoulder/chest. Now I can use it without taking it off.

I'm joining the linky party at Girl Creative:

The Girl Creative

March 28, 2010

Sunday Rest

I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
Isaiah 48:17

March 26, 2010

This -n- That

1. I've had my Easter mantle up for a couple of weeks. This year I decided to make light blue my accent color. All of the candlesticks are goodwill, yardsale, or clearance items that were UGLY. Another reason to love spray paint!

2. It has been triple coupon week in NC and I've already been twice. My 1st visit brought my bill from $70 to $20; and $78 to $36 for my second visit. Holla!

3. We have neighborhood dogs that just about turned this quiet homemaker into Annie Oakley a few nights ago. This momma needs her sleep.

4. When said dogs barked from 3:00am until I couldn't stand it any more, I gave up and got up at 5:20, headed to the local bar (ista) for a drink (peppermint mocha), and took my frustration out on the grocery cart. 6a.m. is a great time to shop. The only other people in the store were 2 other crazy couponers and the stockboys. And from their over-friendly smiles, they don't get much business that hour of the day.

5. Springtime in NC is gorgeous, but we only have about a two week window between when the temperatures are perfect and the bane of every allergy-prone person shows up: pine pollen. We have enjoyed weather utopia here this week. 73 degrees in the day and 53 temps at night. Perfect for sleeping with the windows open. Except for obnoxious canines ruining the euphoria.

6. Last week the teacher (moi) hit a wall when it came to enthusiasm for lessons. I think spring fever might have been the culprit. This week we've taken the classroom outdoors several days and I overcame the wall.
7. The Lord must have known I needed a little boost, because He blessed me twice this week as a teacher/mom. 1.)My youngest picked up a book and read it to me on his own. I think I heard angels singing. 2.) My middle child chose to read her chapter book rather than play with her siblings. No assignment. No request from mom. She just read! Some of you might have children that constantly have their nose in a book, and I'm trying not to be jealous. I LOVE to read, so it has been a slight irritation that my children haven't followed suit. This week was a little light in the dark, a glimpse of what might be. I'm hoping...

8. I killed 2 animals yesterday. Notice how I just kinda slipped that in like it is a normal everyday activity? We have kamikaze squirrels around here, and one decided that my car looked like the perfect target. I won.
The other was a ginormous black snake. I know they are supposed to be harmless, but it was scaly and I was skeerd. My car was bigger, so I won. again.
Did I mention we killed a copperhead in our backyard last week? Umm... it's only March. I'm already afraid of what summer will bring to the NEM plantation.

9. I hate basketball. I might have mentioned this before, but since we're in the middle of March Madness, I'll reiterate.

10. I made a hair appointment (cue the choir sining). For most of you this is a normal activity, but this was a BIG deal for me for a couple of reasons. One, I may have had a bad breakup with my former stylist. I was being very generous in our relationship. I mean, I got over his infatuation with Elvis, dealt with his alternative lifestyle, and showed grace when he botched my do. By the third botch, I decided I could no longer give him money to wash my hair and cut it in a way that I would go home and immediately re-cut it. I do have standards.
The second reason a haircut appointment is such a big deal is that I haven't had a haircut since last March. I've been growing my hair out (the victim of the breakup) for a year. I've given myself some trims, but I am beyond excited about getting some hairapy.

Enjoy the weekend, friends!!!

March 23, 2010

We Met HER

Last fall we heard that the new Broadway musical "Little House on the Prairie" was coming to our state. I knew my girls would be thrilled about it. Then I heard who was going to be in it:
Melissa Gilbert, as in the cute little freckle-faced girl who played alongside the late Michael Landon in my FAVORITE tv series of all time.

"Mimi" was so generous to order us tickets, knowing how her grands play L.H.P. constantly.
What she didn't tell us was that the tickets were on the 3rd row, front and center!!!

I'll go ahead and confess that when "Ma" walked across the stage, I shed a tear or two. This was someone I've watched/admired since I was a little girl and there she was in person! The show was fabulous. A few of the songs were a little I-have-lines-but-we'll-put-them-to-music, but overall, it was superb: clean, funny, historical.

As we were standing to leave, a little boy approached my mother and asked her if my children were homeschoolers. I was a little paranoid at first, wondering if we were starting to "look" like homeschoolers. :) But this was a time I would have donned a jumper and birthed a few more offspring right there in the auditorium when he said "they are having a Q&A time with the cast for homeschoolers." Expecting it to be supporting cast, I was blown away when SHE stepped on stage:
Hello Melissa (we're on a 1st name basis, ya know), how's Bruce? She's married to Bruce Boxlitner from the 80's Friday evening hit Scarcrow and Mrs. King, fyi. Her 4th/youngest son plays the role of "Willie" and they were adorable sitting together. All touchy-feely and laughing. I expected her to be a little Hollywood-aloof, but she totally proved me wrong. She was very warm, kind, and approachable.
I just couldn't get past her hair. It was GORGEOUS. Now I know why the makers of Wen hair products asked her to be their infomercial spokesperson. Beautiful tresses!

One thing that did surprise me was the combination of Uggs and capris. I thought that was a fashion no-no. But what do I know? I've got stars in my eyes.

March 22, 2010

The Perfect Cookie


1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

4 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer, and stir in remaining flour.
*Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Or place in freezer (in metal bowl) for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375.
Combine the 4 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
Place balls of dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are beautifully golden.
They come out in perfect, beautiful circles!

March 18, 2010

Master Bedroom:: Before/After

When we built our home 8 years ago I made a paint mistake. Unfortunately, it was in our master bedroom. I should have known it might be the wrong color when my husband called me and said, "You do realize that our bedroom is the color of Mt. Dew, right?" Oops. By the time I could drive out to check on the painters, it was too late. For several years I tried to work with it, using various bedding/curtains. There was no getting around the fact that the paint GLOWED.
We tried to tame it down with browns, lighten it up with blues, but nothing worked.
I snapped these "before" pictures right before we moved everything to the center of the room to paint. I know it looks more minty green, but trust me it was green on caffeine.

I wanted something serene, light, airy, and CALM.
We chose Urban Mist by Behr (Home Depot):
It looked really light on the card, but as you can see, it definitely has a soft blue/gray undertone. Read about the headboard here. As for the bedding, I was always afraid of white with kids-n-such, but I've come to LOVE white because bleach is my new best friend. It always looks crisp and clean. When I was in Europe, I fell in love with their bedding ideas. On a king size bed, we use 2 twin down-alternative comforters.
Even though we have a slight obsession with moving furniture, we had never moved the furniture in our room. Change is good. I feel like we have a whole new room ... a haven. Which is why there isn't much on the walls. After so much (color) chaos, I wanted to keep it simple.
You know I love to be frugal, here are some ways we saved $$.
Used the same furniture.
Built our own headboard.
Used the same lamps. (Spray painted and added fringe on the one above)
Used items from around the house. (above)
Printed the picture (below) from the internet and put it in a frame.
Some of you asked in this post about pictures. Yes, we do have pictures of our kids in our room. While I like the idea of only having photos of you and your spouse ... I mean me and my spouse... in the master bedroom, I just haven't taken the time to find that many photos of just us.

March 17, 2010


I have a dear friend who owns the word SPONTANEOUS. I love her for that. She called me on Monday and asked if I wanted to take a day trip on Tuesday. I loved her even more because she told me we could make it educational and my kids have been asking for a field trip.

Doncha think the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola is educational???
I've been off caffeine for almost a whole year (except for the peppermint mocha that was an oops I forgot to say decaf that rendered me hyper until 2 a.m. the night before our road trip), and I rarely drink carbonated drinks, but when in Rome... er, New Bern,NC...
It was the best Pepsi I've ever put to my lips.
We almost got thrown out when someone, who shall remain nameless, ordered a Diet Coke.
The kids thought it was pretty cool to sit at the counter and order Pepsi.

CPQ is the queen of finding good cuisine, so I knew the trip would be filled with local gems.
Although, I had my doubts when she suggested lunch at the Cow Cafe. I was happy to see that the theme of the restaurant was all things bovine, and not a suggestion of the size of the patrons. ;)
We toured the palace of the first governor of NC, which was rich with history (and lots of breakables and antiques.)
When the cute little ladies dressed in time period clothing looked out the veranda and spotted this on the front lawn, I believe they locked up the silver:
Not only is she good at being spontaneous and choosing good food, CPQ can whip up a game called Can You Beat Your Momma to get the wiggles out before entering a 300 year old home.

March 16, 2010

Marriage: Celebrating the Differences

He's tall, I'm short.
He loves Mt. Dew, I hate it.
I love coffee, he can't stand the smell.
He loves all things rugged.
I love all things domestic.

It's humorous. Most days.
I haven't always found the humor in our differences. I used to harbor it against him. I used to want him to change. Then I realized that my desire for him to change assumed that I was right and he was wrong. Oh, that stubborn pride.

Has anything changed to make it better?
Yes. My attitude.
I still don't understand the glory of camouflage, but I'm learning to appreciate his taste... because it is HIS taste.
Why would I make a battle over something that could be celebrated?
Make a game of it.
Not too long ago I kept finding Mt. Dew bottle caps in my glass jar. My glass jar. Doesn't he know that glass jars for for pretty things like eggs, shells, and fall foliage? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Rather than making it an issue, we chose to make a game of it. We started hiding the bottle caps in various places for the other to discover: in my toothbrush drawer, in his shoe (that might have been a little painful), on my dashboard, in his sock bin, on the bathroom ceiling (I told him that wasn't fair because I can't reach that high.) It was a silly game, but it was better than getting annoyed.

My husband recently got a new phone and I lovingly set his wallpaper for him: a picture of my Starbucks cup. Needless to say, it didn't stay on his phone for very long, but we both got a chuckle over it.

I've learned to lighten up, and enjoy him for who he is (and all of his cute little quirks).
I'm choosing to celebrate our differences, rather than allow them to become lines drawn in the sand of a battle field.

What are some differences between you and your spouse that are humorous?
Do you have a fun "I love you" game that you share?
Do tell!

March 14, 2010

Sunday Rest

He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress,

And for his children it will be a refuge.

Proverbs 14:26

March 12, 2010

Marriage: The Bedroom

I held my breath when I published my last post. You never know how people are going to respond when you throw a topic like SEX into the mix. You came through and were amazingly gracious in your comments. Assuming you don't have free reign of the entire house (due to children, etc...) let's talk about the place in your home where the previous topic takes place.
Your inner sanctum, private retreat, place of escape: the Master Bedroom

Have you ever thought about the captain's quarters of a ship? In days of old, it was the best spot on the ship. Why? It was a place for him to step away from the crew, refresh, rest, and renew. He needed a place to get away so that he could be a great leader. It was also a perk of the job.
Do you have a place like that?

Many of us fall into the trap of using our master bedroom as a dumping ground. Laundry is usually the main culprit. Chaos leads to more chaos and before we know it, the master suite is the master pit.

Most of us would not allow the public rooms of our home to be the collect-all. Why would we allow the room that celebrates the very core of the family to become a heap?

Do the words haven, sanctuary, or retreat describe the condition of your master bedroom?
They should. Your marriage should be the number one priority of your home. The marriage room should reflect it.

Here is the challenge for the weekend:
Take time to clean out your bedroom.
Even if you have to pile it all in the family room, do it.
I bet the heap won't last long when your family has no where to sit to watch tv!
Get ALL of the clutter out. Your bedroom should say, "honey, you are the most important thing in this room, and our marriage deserves the choicest room of the house."

You may want to take it a step further. We did. After we de-cluttered, we decided to paint and get new bedding. I wanted our room to feel like a retreat. It has been well worth the investment. (I'll post before and after photos next week).
The clutter is gone, and every time I step into our room I give a contented sigh.

Yes, haven, retreat, and sanctuary are good words.

March 10, 2010

Marriage: Satisfied?

Warning: This post is rated LO (ladies only)
A few weeks ago I placed a little survey on my blog about marriage.The question posed was which do you struggle with the most 1) communication 2) intimacy 3) conflict over parenting styles. Each scored several points, but the winner of my unofficial survey was intimacy. This came as no surprise. Unfortunately, my husband and I have recently discovered the alarming number of marriages that are suffering greatly in the area of intimacy.
Ladies, I'm going to be very frank. Your man NEEDS to have sex. Hello, nothing like starting the day with a cup of coffee and a sentence like that! It is a physical/physiological need. God created him that way. Kind of like he created me with a need for chocolate. --Kidding! (Sort of)
Just like the body needs water to live, a marriage needs intimacy. Some days I don't drink enough water. Am I dying? No, but my lips are dry, my skin is rough and things don't ahem flow like they should. If I deprive myself of water for too long, then yes, I put myself in danger. Marriage without intimacy is the same way. If a man and woman are not sharing physical intimacy, then companionship is diminished and the protection against temptation is impaired. If the lack of intimacy continues, then it leaves an opening for something (or someone) to fill the void.
I love how Martha Peace puts it in her book The Excellent Wife:
"The word "satisfy" means to be satiated. In other words, the husband is so satiated with her love that no one else would even get a second glance. It would be like eating and eating until you were stuffed. If someone then offered you your favorite dessert, you would not even be tempted. Likewise, the husband is to be "satiated" with his wife's love."
The first time I read that passage, I was 9 months pregnant and remembered thinking, "I don't think my husband is satiated right now." :)

As with most things in marriage, we must be willing to put our spouse first and self second (within a context of healthy boundaries). Sure, there are many times when I don't feel like it, have the energy, much less the desire for physical intimacy. That's when I need to remember how important it is for my marriage.
Every couple is different when it comes to frequency. I once had a friend ask me how often they should be having sex. The mere fact that she was asking, was an indication that they 1) need to sit down and talk about it, during daylight hours 2) increase the frequency.

Are you withholding yourself from your husband?
Are you using physical intimacy as a "trump card"?

Think of intimacy as the best gift you can give him. Don't use it as a weapon. Ask God to help you see it as a gift rather than domestic drudgery.
Be creative.
Keep it frequent.

March 8, 2010

Marriage: Baby Steps

I warned you last week during my bloggers block that this week would be a time of conversation. So get ready to leave a comment. :)

My sweet man and I are getting ready to celebrate 15 years of marriage in a few months. Yes, we were mere babes with barely a life lesson learned when we walked the aisle. Fortunately, we both said our vows with the intention of not only keeping them, but creating a marriage full of life and love. We didn't want a lukewarm marriage. We wanted one that was vibrant. Vitality requires work, but the benefits are worth it. Grant it, some years it took a lot more work than others.
There were times in our life (and I'm sure there are more to come) that we were just plain exhausted. Having 3 children 5 and under is enough to make anyone tired. Add a 4 month period of a bedridden husband and it's a recipe for disaster. Those are the moments that you just hang on. The decision we had to make before the storm came was whether we would cling to each other or allow the circumstances to sweep us away. We all have those times in our lives, and fortunately, they are the exception to the rule.

It's the daily living that really determines our marital character.
How are you doing on a daily basis? Are you making your marriage a priority? Are you a cheerful spouse or a complaining companion? Do you encourage more than you discourage?
I definitely have to give myself a check-up on these questions. I can fall into the trap of looking for the little nuances rather than celebrating the gift of life.

One of the greatest needs a man has is his need for respect. The way I speak to my husband, even when I disagree with him, must be respectful. It is not something that he must earn. I must choose to give it as a gift, expecting nothing in return. Hormones, frustration, and exhaustion are not justification to show disrespect. They are simply excuses to not show my love for him.
Have you ever been around someone who constantly berates her husband? Can you say awkward?! An interesting thing happens when this occurs. Her goal is to make him look bad, and in turn make herself look better, smarter, funnier, etc... When in fact, the opposite occurs. She is the one who looks the fool. I know 2 women who constantly belittle their husbands. Sometimes I just want to shout, "he's a good guy! Give him a break and ENJOY what you have!"

Before we go any further, I want to be clear about one thing. I know that many marriages come with a lot of baggage. I know that there can be years of pain and deep wounds that need to be healed. I'm not a marriage counselor, but I suggest you visit one. It's not something to be embarrassed about. If you are sick, you go see a doctor. The same principle applies. Get help.
My little blog entries about marriage are for the daily, baby steps it takes to reach the summit of a great marriage. I know it takes two to tango. You might be giving it all you've got, but you are feeling alone. That is valid, but you are not completely alone. The great Healer can mend even the broken hearted.

I want to encourage you today. Ask yourself this:
  • Am I being the best spouse I can be?
  • Am I making my marriage a priority?
  • Am I respectful, loving and fun?
  • What baby step can I take to get to the summit with a beautiful view?

Here is the question of the day (to answer in the comments):
What creative idea do you have that can be a baby step toward a vibrant, fun, fulfilling marriage? Just a baby step, we don't want a 12 step program. ;)

March 5, 2010

Stay with Me

I've been in a writer's funk, so this is my last ditch effort to keep things interesting for the week.
Apparently this blogger's block is sweeping the nation, from Arkansas, to Colorado, to the southeast.
Hang in there, I'm coming back with my game face on next week. Get ready for some good conversation. My friend Amber shared this meme so I'm going to take it, tweak it, and call it a day.
1. What is your name spelled backwards? gninrom yreve wen
What did you do last night? Had dinner with 9 other women at a friend's home. She cooked dinner for all of us, served us on her fine china, and gave us a space to step out of our mom roles and just be women for the night. {contented sigh}
What was the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? a pdf file of the latest remodeling project I am working on
4. Have you ever licked a 9 volt battery? What are we, 12?
When was the last time you swam in a pool? Last summer.
What are you wearing? My favorite Wilson sweatshirt and pink pajama pants
How many cars have you owned? Do you know my dad? Then you know I cannot help myself. 9 ~not including my husband's. It genetic.
8. What is the type of music you dislike most? It's a tie between gangsta rap and vibrato hymns. I am a dichotomy that I cannot explain.
Are you registered to vote? Um, yes. I also own guns and pay my taxes. God bless America
10. Do you have cable? No, satellite.
What kind of computer do you use? MacBook
Have you ever made a prank phone call? Hello? Is dis mista wing? Oh I musta wang the wong numba
Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? ABSOLUTELY
What is the furthest place you ever traveled? Austria or Italy, whichever is further
15. What's your favorite comic strip? The one that comes in the Sunday paper wrapped around my precious coupons.
Do you know all of the words to the national anthem? Yes, I got a refresher during the Olympics (woot, woot).
Do you shower in the morning or at night? In the morning, assuming that I am getting dressed that day
What is your favorite pizza topping? Goat cheese and basil
19. Chips or popcorn? Kettle corn
20. What cell phone provider do you use? Verizon. And still waiting for Apple and AT&T to break up so I can keep up my love affair with Apple
21. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? Hunh? I've never smoked anything except sausage.
22. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? Seriously? People think this is a point of virtue? Um, no.
23. Orange juice or apple juice? Cranberry, thankuverymuch
Who were the last people you sat at lunch with? Oh, you're supposed to SIT at lunch? I thought that's the time to run around the kitchen, check emails and do lesson plans for the afternoon.
25. Favorite chocolate bar? Dark chocolate with cranberries (on special occasions);
Take 5, Twix, or Dark Reeses any day ending in y.
Who is your oldest friend and how long have you known each other? I have remained pen pals (which has now evolved into facebook pals) with my friend Tammy from the time we were 4 years old. We haven't seen each other since 1st grade except for 1 visit when I was 13, but we still keep up and send Christmas cards.
Hugs, Tammy!!!
27. When was the last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Last summer...from my FIL's garden
Have you ever won a trophy? Didn't you hear? I won the Mother of the year trophy for missing all three of my children's yearly check-ups.
29. Favorite arcade game? Arcade? Hello 2010. How about favorite Wii game, or computer game? Webkinz Cash Cow. Hmm... maybe I should have answered the arcade question. The fact that I just confessed to playing a Webkinz game is so lame.
Ever ordered from an infomercial? Twice. Scrapbooking thingymajig, and a Pilates dvd set. Both are collecting dust, but I'm sure they changed my life somehow. :)
31. Sprite or 7-UP? Neither. Give me a peppermint mocha latte.
Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work? Yes, to teach preschool. Hated the shirts, but loved the elimination of "what shall I wear today."
33. Last thing you bought at Walgreens? Milk and cold medication. I'm wild.
Ever thrown up in public? Does 342 front yards scattered throughout my city count? Pregnancy wasn't pretty.
Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love? I've found true love, which is priceless, but some $$$ wouldn't hurt right now.
Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes. Have you seen this or this?
Spongebob or Jimmy Neutron? Neither. How about Laura or Mary? Hans or Chewy? Shawn or Gus?
Did you have long hair as a young kid? Yes, until I got the Dorothy Hammil cut. Then back to long tresses.
What message is on your voicemail? I have a message that my son left me last summer while I was out of town. Something about his little voice telling me that he loves me... just can't erase it.
Where would you like to go right now? Cayman Island with a good book.
What's the name of your pet? Rocko the dog, Doodle the duck, and Luna the bunny. Not to be confused with Lassie, Donald and Bugs.
What kind of back pack do you have, and what's in it? Um, we homeschool?? But if I were back on the college campus, I think those messenger bags are sa-weet.
What kind of tennis shoes do you have? North Face... perfect arch support
Did you recently go to Ikea, Hobby Lobby and the library by yourself? Why, yes, yes I did.

March 3, 2010

May I Suggest...

Every parent should have a copy of this book, regardless of your venue of education. It is such a wealth of knowledge, specific to grade level. I wish that I had owned it when my oldest started kindergarten. It is easy to read and full of practical ideas, resources, and milestone markers. If anything, I encourage you to check it out at your local library. It is thick, but don't let that scare you off. It is broken down by age level.

Is your child learning to read? This book is a gem, especially if you are willing to cut it up. Yes, with scissors. Or you can spend $$ to make lots of copies. It's full of activities to strengthen foundational skills. I found mine at a book thrift store for $5, so I don't mind hacking it up. I highly recommend it for parents (even if you don't homeschool) of children between the ages 4-6. If you do homeschool, it fits nicely with Explode the Code and Bob books.

Enough educational stuff for today... lets have girl talk.

L'Oreal Extra Volume Hydra Collagen Plumping Mascara
Big name, big lashes, no flaking, washes easily. Love it.

I was in the grocery store not too long ago and I happened upon these bags:
They were in the "clearance" cart at the front of the store. Who knew you could find home decorating in the grocery store? These bags were huge, and I couldn't resist this price:
$3.75 for the entire bag. I've seen single decorative balls for that price, but I got 14! Woot, woot! It was like a little present waiting for me among the Metamucil and Dentyne.

What's the strangest thing you've ever bought at the grocery store? (Super Target and Walmart don't count)

**Stomach bug is still hanging out around here... maybe that's why I don't have any foodies on my list today. ;)

March 1, 2010


I try to keep NEM upbeat and positive, but I also want to be transparent and real.
So.............. bleh.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm still here, but my life has been consumed with homeschool, couponing, travel, bunnies, major renovation projects, parenting highs and lows, meetings, and last but not least, a child with the stomach bug. Sigh.

Just wanted to give you a shout out and let you know that you're on my mind and I'm praying for you today.