Friday, February 27, 2009

Printable Calendars for Scheduling

I love calendars -- they keep me on my toes, help me remember birthdays, let me schedule my time without forgetting the important "stuff" and what's better than a place you can print out online calendars free! PDF Calendar is a fun little site where you can customize and print off blank calendars. :) I have found it's useful for me to see where our lessons are starting/ending and what days tests are on a month at a glance so that if we run fast or slow on a certain day... it will be much easier for me to schedule the FUN STUFF in there. So, I thought I'd share the site with you... so you could check it out too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sarcasm - live

We had a den meeting tonight at a local park since it was 85 outside today and too pretty to do anything indoors. I chose a local park because we had two items on our agenda --
  1. work on a song for the Blue & Gold Banquet on Saturday -- not for them to sing, just to lead the crowd; and
  2. work on our skit for the Blue & Gold.

Now, I don't have a group of true performers. Most don't speak loudly when you need them to and turn their backs to the audience. And while we won't have a microphone for them to help their boys project, I try to talk loudly so that they can emulate me... we'll see how it goes. We had a good run through... and the boy that WILL speak the loudest had football practice but because he would have a voice that truly wouldn't need a microphone I thought it really WAS appropriate for him to have a leading role. :) Well, that and if I gave it to Josh, I'd look like I was playing favorites... and I don't want that!

So, since the park is close to one of my all time favorite places to eat and Andy was watching Drew... I suggested everyone go eat at Spring Creek BBQ! I ran James (our Den Chief -- great kid) home and then Josh and I headed up to Spring Creek to meet Andy and Drew. We got our trays and found a booth. Josh and I on one side, Andy and Drew on the other. The booth behind me was vacant and the booth behind Andy and Drew had a family and 3 kids in it. One of the kids though the booth was for kicking and proceeded to continually kick the booth... and kick and kick and kick... it was about as annoying as it gets... Then Drew decides he's pretty much done with dinner and starts to stand on his head... using Andy's right hip as his pivot point and climb the wall upside down with his feet... So Andy, with a huge grin on his face said, "I'm so glad OUR kids are so well behaved." I swear I think I laughed SO HARD...

Josh, who normally isn't THAT quick, said, "that's sarcasm, live! Right?"

And, by George, he got that one right! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

After a pretty busy day at home and taking the two boys to gymnastics, we came home, got ready and headed up to church (the best church ever -- Irving Bible Church) for the Ash Wednesday service. I'd told Josh we were going to the Ash Wednesday services for the first day of Lent. He's full of questions right now and I LOVE IT! I hope that his hunger for knowledge -- ESPECIALLY about my Jesus never ceases! What I find odd is that... with other topics.. he'll continue to ask questions about things but when we talk about Jesus... he KNOWS that THE answer... is THE answer. If you find your answer in His Word -- that's the end all be all and that's the last word -- PERIOD! How refreshing to finally have someone that truly has the last word be My God! :) It almost makes this whole parenting thing seem easy - you need an answer, you seek it in the Word and that's that! (just kidding -- if it were ONLY that easy!)

ANY-WHO - I tangent. None of my explanations were sinking in so I handed him the February issue of Chatter so that he could read about it. There were several large words that were really discouraging him and since I didn't think riding down Highway 114 reading was the safest method, I just said, "Pay attention at the service and they'll tell you everything you need to know and then we can talk about it on the way home."

We met my friend Dee, and her son, Tyler (and daughter Trinity) there. I've known Dee ... pretty much since I started attending IBC when Josh was... wow... 2 years old! That's amost 8 years ago! We've led Sunday school classes together; we've subbed together; we've taught AWANA together. She's the coordinator for NICHE - North Irving Christian Home Educators. I'm going to join -- even though I'm not in North Irving... because it's Dee! :) So we sat with her and I watched Josh in the row before me intently listening... at the end, I really think he started to "get it."

He understands what the Lenten season is... how those 40 days are representative of lots of different circumstances where the 40 days comes into play. He understands that the mark of the ash on your forehead is a symbol of repentence and sorrow. He understands now that many people gave up things during Lent -- and they discussed those reasons behind that. He chose, on his own, to give up desserts. I said if he did that, then I would as well. I talked to him about how we all get so entangled up in our own lives... all the different sports, activities, rushing here and there and that sometimes God gets left out in all the "stuff"... when all the "stuff" we're doing should be go glorify His name. That by giving up something you desire daily... let it serve as a gentle reminder to you that... God is there daily... waiting for you to want him just as much as you want that dessert with your meal... to take that time to focus and remind yourself that prayer, and spending time with God is more important than ANY tangiable thing you could ever want.

It was such a refreshing conversation... And for him to think this Christianity thing is really "cool"... well... for this mom... I KNOW it is! :)

I love the English language

I know that it's one of the toughest to learn all the weird rules and such but I really, really enjoy it. I enjoy learning new words. I enjoy teaching it so that people understand it and want to speak like they have an IQ greater than their shoe size.

I find nuggets like this just fun and fascinating... it's from I was explaining to Josh how confusing English can be until you understand it and can think it through before you select words you want to use. ....

The word effect means- The aftermath, or something that inevitably follows an event.

The cause and effect of the event...

The word affect means- to impress the mind or to move the feelings of someone or something.

The music affected my feelings...

They are very similar. The heat made the wax melt. The wax was affected by the heat. The heat had an effect on the wax. Affect directly makes a difference, causes the change, and effect can bring about change. Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun and a verb. Also, you can have an affect on people or things, but you can only effect things.

Going back and forth....

I go back and forth on a weekly basis on this whole homeschooling thing. While, in the over-all picture, I really like it. I like the flexibility. I like that I can turn anything into a learning experience if I want to. I like that I have control over the content being poured into my childrens' minds. I like that I can make the Bible and God as important as, say, math or language arts and that I can choose a curriculum that has Bible verses and sayings written right there in the textbook.

I do, however, really miss my "me" time. I miss being able to clean my house without worrying about missing his lessons. I miss being able to meet my friends for lunch. I miss being able to take a nap if I'm tired. I miss the freedom to work on MY projects and work deadlines during the day instead of at night when I'd really love to read. I miss the flexibility of being able to go to the gym.

However, I, too, realize that these days are few and far between because they won't be this young forever and we're making memories and forming a bond that wasn't there before. I'm excited to find things that he's interested in and really run with it but it's also exhausting.

Considering a private school next year is something I am doing but at $1200 a month in tuition... it just seems really selfish on my part to send them there. Then, I start to think about all the things we'd miss and all the opportunities that we WON'T have because of that...and it really makes me sad. Hmm... what do to... what to do.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I got this in my in box and it's worthy of sharing...

With a speech to match the most eloquent of State of the Union Addresses, with strains of FDR and JFK and a touch of Winston Churchill thrown in, President Obama has clearly staked his presidency on the outcome of the economic crisis.

Whether or not you agree with his prescription for recovery (I don't), it's clear that he's not hedging his bets. If it works, his place in history is assured. If it fails, so is his early retirement.

The speech made it apparent that the Obama administration's response to this crisis will either go down in history as a success that Americans will admire for decades, or become a case study in economic failure that students and scholars will study and pick apart for generations.

The speech began where it needed to begin, with a bold affirmation of faith in the rebuilding and recovery of America. Then Obama listed some of the more popular parts of his spending-stimulus program.

The specific items he recalled from the package were attractive. But Americans know, by now, that much of the program (largely unmentioned last night) is a mountain of pork - money spent for the sake of spending it to spur recovery, not to achieve particularly important ends.

Obama did not seek to justify the spending for the specific purposes to which it is dedicated. Courageously, he said that he passed it because it will work. For his sake, it better. But I doubt it.

Then he spoke unconvincingly about his bank-rescue plan. Promising to punish and regulate bankers even as he stressed the need to restore their confidence, he reminded me of the facetious sign posted in a friend's workplace: "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

How he plans to restore the nerve and confidence of our bankers as he castigates them is unclear. But, then, so is his program for financial rescue. One suspects that he knows full well that he will nationalize the banks. But even that step assumes that politicians can do what bankers can't: Act quickly, ruthlessly and honestly - never a notable attribute of elected officials.

Halfway through the speech, the president got to the minefields of Social Security and health-care reform. He avoided any specifics, but it's clear that he plans to salvage the former with increases in the payroll tax and implement the latter by government rationing of health care. If you like your HMO, you'll love Obama's health plan.

And then Obama affirmed that he'll support big tax increases on the richest 2 percent of American families. Disregarding the fact that these households already pay upward of half of all income taxes, while earning only a quarter of the national income, he has singled out the entrepreneurs, professionals, innovators and businesspeople of America for taxation.

Oh, but he won't raise taxes until he's had a few years to stimulate the economy. How many in that 2 percent feel like one of those huge hogs in the Chicago stockyards, being fattened up to slaughter the next year?

Can all this work? Can Obama get banks to lend even as he terrorizes them? Can he get the engines of our economy back to work even as he announces that he'll be taking away more of their earnings? Can he persuade the American people to accept bureaucrats deciding their health-care choices? And can his economic stimulus survive a huge increase in the payroll tax on the most productive citizens?

Probably not; Obama likely won't succeed. This speech will be viewed as his high-water mark - the time before we came to realize how flawed is his understanding of economics and how supreme is his commitment to expanded spending. It will be seen as a sort of age of innocence before we realized what he had in mind.

But it sure was a great speech...while it lasted.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meal Plan Monday!!

Woo Hoo! It's that time again!

B: cold cereal
D: steak, loaded mashed potatoes, caesar salad, sourdough rolls

B: waffles, fruit
D: grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, crescent rolls, cucumber/tomato salad

B: breakfast casserole (sausage/crescent rolls/eggs/cheese)
D: manwich, mac n cheese

B: yogurt, fruit, granola
D: baked chicken, rice, green salad

B: pancakes with fruit
D: Mom's night off -- we're ordering Chinese take-out!

B: breakfast sandwiches (eggs, bacon, cheese on toast) with side of hashbrowns
D: We're eating dinner at the Blue & Gold Banquet (Cub Scouts) BBQ

B: cereal, juice, toast
D: ham, baked seasoned new potatoes, asparagus

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another "must see"

Seriously, check THIS GUY out! His statement is SO TRUE! Waiting on my TheraFlu. Yuck! It's the only thing helping right now, though.

Can you get too old for scary movies?

Josh was spending the night with a friend. Drew was crashed out in his bed. I am sick and had taken some Thera-Flu (barf) and was waiting for it to kick in. I let the dogs out and got into bed, turned my electric blanket up to 6 (did I mention that I was sick?) and started channel surfing. I wasn't in the mood to watch anything I'd Tivo'd (one OLD episode of Oprah, Dirty Jobs, various "Drew-ish" shows, one James Bond movie featuring Sean Connery) so I started flipping through the movie channels. Why pay for them if you don't use them right?

I went one at a time reading the information portions of the movies that had just begun or the ones that were going to begin in about 15 minutes... why? Because there are SO SO SO many movies that I haven't seen, but HAD seen the previews and made a mental note that I WANTED to see but then FORGOT to see and probably wouldn't remember the name now ... so I resorted to reading... and then I remembered when I saw the one... 30 Days of Night.

HOLY COW that was one suspenseful movie! I have ALWAYS loved horror flicks. Not necessarily the gory flicks but just the suspense kind that make you want to scream at the screen -- RUN THE OTHER WAY!!! I've always had a thing for vampires though. Interview With a Vampire (great flick). Another that is one of my all-time favorite movies, Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's a beautiful love story and the acting in it is phenomenal! BUT... this movie was supsenseful -- there were a few gory spots in it (vampires=blood so it's to be expected) but I was somewhat prepared for that just based on the fact that it WAS a vampire movie.

I tell you, though, I was so creeped out I could NOT GO TO SLEEP without seeing those faces or hearing those creepy screams and that wicked, evil sounding language that the head vamp talked to his fellow vamps in -- CREEPY!

Check it out...

Or here's the official site just click HERE

Monday, February 16, 2009

Random Stuff

  1. I love following THIS BLOG. She's just so creative! :) I'm thankful for people like her in the scrappy world! I love her pencil line sketch LO. Check it out!
  2. Baking divas beware -- THIS BLOG, Bakerella, is just to die for. If you put this site in the rain, it'd melt from all the sugar! And reading some of her posts... she always talks about eating the scraps. I'm convinced she must weigh about 500 pounds (give or take).
  3. Random conversation happened at 2:42 pm at my house...

"Mom, if someone climbed up on the roof and tooted in our air conditioner all our friends would see the stink and green and say, "Ewwwww, your house is weird!" Isn't that funny?"

Mom replies, "Yeah, that's pretty gross."

To which me makes his little open mouth, nasal-ish giggle and runs off with his bare feet slapping against the hardwoods to go tell Josh how he made me laugh.

Menu Plan Monday

A friend of mine at Southern Sassiness always posts a "Menu Plan Monday." I thought, what a neat idea so I'm tagging on with this idea!


You post your weekly menu -- helps if you lose your list a lot (like me). So, here goes nuttin'

Breakfast: Baked French Toast
Dinner: Chicken Spaghetti, garlic crescent rolls and a mixed veggie salad

Breakfast: Potato and egg or bacon and egg taquitos with cheese and salsa
Dinner: Hamburgers with whole wheat rolls and all the fixin's

Breakfast: You choose (cereal)
Quick Chicken Cordon Bleu, rice, steamed broccoli

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy
Dinner: Leftovers! (Gotta love Thursdays!)

Breakfast: Pancakes, bacon
Dinner: Spaghetti, caesar salad, hard rolls

Breakfast: Oatmeal, toast, fruit
Dinner: I HAD it was going to be tacos and/or taco salad but my dad is coming over for dinner now for his 62nd birthday and so I have to think of something fantastic to make! :) I will be making, by request, my deliciously, dense, moist and WONDERFUL carrot sheet cake with homemade cream cheese frosting. It's DELISH!

Breakfast: My trusty yummy standby Sausage casserole
Dinner: Potato Soup with crusty rolls and fresh veggies

Friday, February 13, 2009

Prison vs. Work

I got this on an e-mail and thought it was cute...

@ PRISON - You spend most of your time in a 10X10 cell
@ WORK - You spend most of your time in a 6X6 cubicle

@ PRISON - You get three fully paid for meals a day
@ WORK - You get a break for one meal, and you have to pay for it

@ PRISON - For good behavior, you get time off
@ WORK - For good behavior,you get more work

@ PRISON - The guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you
@ WORK - You must carry a security card and open all the doors yourself

@ PRISON - You can watch TV and play games
@ WORK - You could get fired for watching TV and playing games

@ PRISON - You get your own toilet
@ WORK - You have to share the toilet with people who pee on the seat

@ PRISON - They allow your family and friends to visit
@ WORK - You aren't even supposed to speak to your family

@ PRISON - All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required on your part
@ WORK - You must pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners

@ PRISON - You spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out
@ WORK - You spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars

@ PRISON - You must deal with sadistic wardens
@ WORK - They are called 'managers'

A must have

Technology at its best... hee hee... checkit out


Thursday, February 12, 2009

20 year old optimists...

I was sent this and actually think it's amazing and inspiring. I wish I had as much hope for our country but at this point, the only faith I put is in the Father that, in the end, He will be the answer to the prayers for our nation.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ireland... in photos

No one every told me homeschooling will suck away all my personal ME time. Dog-gonit! Dagnabbit! Dad-gummit!

But... we're still having fun. :)

And I finally got the Ireland book scanned in and ready to share! :) Feast your eyes on this monster creation! :)

Cover page

Back of cover page

Page 3 - the 5 W's page

Page 4 - Dedication Page

Page 5 - Irish Prayer

Page 6 - Torc Waterfall

Page 7 - Torc Waterfall 2

Page 8 - Molls Gap - this page has a transparency journaling overlay so she can still see the picture but write in notes with a fine tip sharpie. :)

Page 9 - Ring of Kerry - this tabbed mini book opens to reveal photos and journaling pages
Page 10a - mini book tied with twine featuring a pocket as the last page to hold two oversized journaling tags

Page 10b - this is just a shot of what it looks like when some of the pages are flipped over. there are a few inked tags separating the pages with some little mini Irish themed stickers... the nice little turquoise post it tags will be replaced with white journaling cards that have been stamped with lines. (I forgot to do that...oops)

Page 10c

Page 10d

Page 11 - Muckross House

Page 12 - Muckross House 2

Page 13 - Muckross House Grounds

Page 14 - More Muckross

Page 15 - Wood carvings on Muckross grounds

Page 16 - Bantry House... this features three photos joined by a jumpring on the upper left hand corner..I'm only showing the top one here

Page 17 - this page has three inked journaling tags hidden beneath the top focal photo held onto the side with a square clip

Page 18 - Blarney Castle

Page 19 - Blarney Castle - made a pocket to hold the map, ticket, etc.

Page 20 - I put "remember" here because I sure hope SHE remembers what this is because I didn't mark it! ha ha!

Page 22 - Mizenhead - more removable journaling tags

Page 23 - more Mizenhead - two removable journaling tags

Page 24 - More Mizenhead - this is a mini flip book. The first picture opens up like a book taking the spine with it. The second flips up (on a brad...the third does as well and the last one stays put). It's photo / journaling / photo / journaling

Page 25 - Beara Penn -- I've actually foofed this page up some with ribbon and texture since scanning it in...

Page 26 -

Page 29 - movable tag to see the entire photo

Page 30 - along Dingle way

Page 31a - Doonbeg Fort (closed)

Page 31b - Doonbeg Fort (open -- with the view from the fort looking down)

Page 32 - Cliffs of Moher - the three tags are more photos that come out for viewing

Page 33a - O'Brien's Tower with overlay

Page 33b - O'Brien's Tower without

Anyway...that's the jist of it... there are journaling pages and such in the book but who wants to see those? LOL... blank pages with none of her awesome photos on them. No thanks!

Hopefully this will give someone some inspiration about doing a travel book for someone (or themselves.)

Anywho- between scrapping and homeschooling... that's been my life lately. :) will catch up when I can.