Saturday, July 31, 2010

Around Town

Day 13 of 31dbbb was to go to the mall to observe and get ideas. Considering where I live, a 3 hour tour was not in the cards. So instead I took some pictures around our "town" to give you an impression of a town where time has passed it by.

Real Conversations With A Brick Wall

We have all had those moments when we feel like we are talking to a brick wall (and wanting to beat our heads into one) and nothing we are saying is being heard.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Brick Wall and talk about some of the conversations he has participated in.

Here are the top 10 conversations with Mr. Brick Wall.

  1. Would you turn that TV off and pick up your toys, socks, etc. up off the floor.
  2. But green beans are good for you.
  3. No honey, I don't think a 87 inch TV will benefit the household.
  4. Please don't throw a fit in the middle of the store because you are tired or want a cookie.
  5. Quit touching, kicking, biting, spitting, etc. on your sibling.
  6. Does this dress make my butt look big?
  7. I don't care if everyone else has a Mohawk, tattoo and nose piercing. You are in Kindergarten.
  8. Try telling me at least a week before you needs a project finished for school next time.
  9. But you said if I let you have a dog that YOU would feed, water, walk and clean up after it.
  10. Give me 5 minutes alone to go to the bathroom, make a phone call, etc.
What conversations would your brick wall tell you about?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cross Another One Off

So the old bucket list...are you actively trying to get things crossed off that you really want to do? I just did a major one for me. I published a book. Seriously...I did. Well, an e-book. I dusted off one of the old manuscripts that I loved and never had the guts to send in and submitted it in. You'll have to go to my giveaway page to see an excerpt of the book and purchase it, but I am giving half of the proceeds to the St. Jude's Children Hospital and Research. So your purchase is really going for a good cause.

I have to admit that I had the file downloaded, cover created and everything; then stage fright kicked in and I hovered over the "Finish & Complete" button for about 2.5 hours.

So if one copy gets sold (Mom, Dad and Sis...ya'll don't count!) then I can officially cross another item off my bucket list.

Next up on the list: Old fashioned cattle drive

Mind Mapping - 31dbbb

Today's challenge was making a mind map for blog posts and ideas. It's pretty scary the directions my mind goes, but I have learned to just go with it.
For your pleasure I have scanned in my mind map. This is not for use in analyzing me, thankyouverymuch

Real Moms Of Genius

Today we salute you self-educated, first time, young mother
(Self-educated, first time, young mother)
You tirelessly poured over your "What To Expect" book,
until you knew just what to expect.
(My kids are going to be perfect!)
You fascinated your friends and family with everything you were going to do right.
Knowing that you would breastfeed and train the 1 month old to sleep through the night.
(Why is that kid still screaming!!)
So raise your coffee cup, self-educated, first time young mother who has not slept through the night in two years.
Know that moms everywhere have figured out just like you that there is no perfect way.
(Self-educated, first time, young mother)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Leopard In Plaid

We have all heard the saying that "a leopard can't change its spots" No matter how hard you try you can't change what makes you who you are. This is especially true in what makes us the mothers that we are. If you are reading this blog; I know you are reading others and we have all found those "mom bloggers" who have it all together, wonderful routines and perfect kids.

First let me say that I believe those to be works of an overactive imagination, good storytelling and the sign of a mother who has nothing together and whose kids are the ones that wipe boogers on the walls, dump over can displays in the store and scream through a whole 30 min trip in the grocery store.

You know...moms like us!

While it is wonderful to aspire to be a better mom and implement some of these wonderful tactics that we read about; we have to remember that the perfect mom only exists among unicorns, leprechauns and laundry detergent that removes all stains the first time.

Just as a leopard can't change its spots into plaid, neither can we change ourselves into being the perfect mom that has it all together. The leopard needs to embrace his spots because it is what makes him a leopard. Well technically his DNA makes him a leopard, but lets not get too technical, ok? Likewise, we need to embrace the kind of mothers that our personalities deem us to be.

Really laid back? So you are probably the mom who lets the dishes pile up, laundry grow into scary heaps and forgets to feed the goldfish. That's OK, you are fine just the way you are. Try to make a schedule to get these things done in a timely manner, but embrace the fact that you don't let the little stuff sweat you. What a great lesson you can teach your kids about learning to schedule things that need to be done, but enjoying the here and now.

Are you scary organized to the point your children shiver when you get out the label gun? You are perfect the way you are too. Try to schedule in some time for fun (you may need to label it as fun) but embrace the fact that you are teaching your children about order and the importance of a well laid out plan.

There are tons more of examples I could go into, but the premise of this post is that there are a ton of different moms out there and each one has something unique to offer to the field of parenting. Don't stress that you are not the perfect mom you are reading about. You are perfectly YOU and you have so much to give to your children just the way you are. Sit down and find your strengths and make a list of them. Next write down beside each strength what lessons you can teach your children through that. Also write down your weaknesses. Find ways that you can improve in those areas that will make you happy. Most importantly, don't do it for anyone but yourself.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I like these blogs...

(Although I will never publicly admit to knowing this song...I have heard it several times. I will not write the name of the song, because I would hate for it to come up in some search I hope you know the tune to "I like big..." cause you are going to need it here)

I like these blogs and I can not lie,
You readers want to know why?
Cause when a mom writes about her CHD kid,
and another fights helping others to live.
I get hooked, gotta read some more,
Hookin your treehouse up with a floor.
There are cookies and baking niches
Heavens, look at her pictures...

This is where the song falls apart, because I lack the ability to rap. But you get the idea...right? Maybe we should tone it down a bit.

What a wonderful blog
(tune of What a wonderful world)

I see blogs galore,
A bunch I adore.
Blogs about life and being a wife,
and I think to myself...
What a wonderful blog.

The writings of a mother
so pretty in its prose.
A picture of a dog
Another of a rose.
I see moms having fun
A giveaway I won
and I think to myself...
What a wonderful blog. there are about 54,345,270 more blogs on my blog roll and I couldn't name them all...but thanks for "putting it out there" alongside me!

Two Queens Make A Full House

When a woman sets up house and takes on the roll of "homemaker", there is a certain amount of pride in being the "Queen of her castle" What happens though when you begin to take on the roll of caregiver to either your parents, inlaws or another family member that contains another female member?

Two Queens make a full house.While being the caregiver to my in-laws, I have learned that two queens in the castle makes for a difficult adjustment for all that are involved. The older Queen and the younger queen have to make allowances for each other and boundaries must be set. While it is frustrating for the younger Queen to have to accept another Queen in what used to be only her castle, the older Queen is mourning the loss of the freedoms that her older castle used to offer. The older Queen has to put aside everything that she worked so hard for and conform to the younger Queen's rules of the kingdom.

All the royalty talk is rough to blend the homes and everyone to be happy. I think that is where I have struggled the most is a longing for how things used to be and feeling like my kingdom was not mine anymore. I am really working on trying to discover a new kind of normal and to have reasonable expectations for our future. I want my mother-in-law to feel comfortable, happy and safe with us, but at the same time having to establish boundaries while saving feelings.

In many areas I have been trying to learn to just back off and let the small battles fall to the wayside. If she has made a certain dish a certain way for the past 50 years and wants to correct me (even though mine is perfect) I need to step aside and let her correct me. This gives her a great deal of respect and encourages her to continue to be useful. At the same time, just because she disciplined her children a certain way, she is not allowed to discipline mine or contradict anything I have said.

So we have two Queens in our castle now and I am learning that it doesn't have to be a full house, nor a loss of a kingdom. I am learning to share and appreciate the wisdom that she has to offer. I am learning to pick my battles because all that really matters is that there is love in the home (no matter how much garlic is supposed to go into pizza sauce)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blogological Dig

Today for the 31dbbb challenge I am unearthing an old post that a lot of you may not have seen. We are getting our tools and stylish khaki rugged wear and going on a Blogological dig.

Someone Tried To Poison My Kids - Kinda

We have all heard the rumors about Halloween candy being passed out with razor blades in it. You never really think that something like that might happen, but it is always in the back of your mind.

Halloween for us started off busy. Trying to do a little packing, some painting, The Man had to go buy a new car and getting ready to Trick or Treat. So as I scurried around trying to get things done, I got a little sloppy and spilled paint on my kitchen cabinets. Not having time to go to the store and pick up some Goo Gone, I called family. My mom ended up having some and told me that she would pour me some in a bottle and give it to me that night when we saw her.

Hours passed and it was finally time to go. I dropped The Man off at the car lot and proceeded to go to my sister's house for the Trick or Treating. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten the kids' pumpkins for their loot. I tried to go back home, but realized that I had given The Man the garage door opener and therefore, couldn't get in the house. I called my sister and she had a couple of extras so we just went on.

My brain was fried by this time, retaining no knowledge of any previous conversations.

Got to my sister's and visited for a little bit before we went to gather loads of candy. My mother had brought a bag for me with coupons and such in it. I didn't look in it at the time. After the candy gathering, I gave my sister her bags back and dumped all the kids' candy in the bag my mother had brought for me.

Do you remember that my mom was bringing me Goo Gone? I didn't.

Fast forward until today. I finally got out a big glass bowl to dump all the candy in. In dumping the candy, I noticed this bottle with something in it...I thought at first it was bubbles or something, but the color was wrong. My heart began to pound as I opened the top and sniffed it. Definitely a chemical of some kind. My mind flashed to the razor blade scenario. Would it be inconceivable for someone sick and twisted to put a liquid in a candy bag for a child to drink? Nope, not in my mind.

I screamed to my husband to come look at it. I then launched into my plan. I would put it in a plastic bag to preserve whatever fingerprints may be on it. I would then go look at the map and have all the street names of where we had visited that night. Then I would call the police to alert them to the situation and take my bag in to be analyzed. A news reporter would come to my house and interview me, praising me for my keen observation of this liquid. I would save countless other children who may have received this poison. The city would recognize me as a hero, I would never pay taxes again....

OK, well actually we can stop at the call police department part. I had the phone in my hand to make the call. I was sweating, crying and worrying myself sick...

...then The Man asks me if my mother ever gave me that bottle of Goo Gone.


If you think that sounds like a crazy day try this POST where I talk about being the mayor of Crazy Town.

Or maybe you would like this POST where I state there would be no more B.S. in my house.

Finally I introduce you to this POST where things just go wrong and it figures!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Precription Pamphlet for Parenting

Parenting is a powerful mind and mood altering drug that is a time released formula and is not recommended for all adults and should be used with caution.

Active Ingredients: love, patience, faith, hope, tenderness, selflessness, self-control

Reported Side Effects %of those affected
sleeplessness 98%
facial tics 60%
inability to complete a bath 99%
inability to eat a hot meal 99%
strange baby babble speech 75%
minivan purchase 45%
stained clothing 99%
stained carpet 50%
crayon on the wall 80%
abundance of legos and small toys 90%
spontaneous singing of “ABCs” 70%
blind and crippling love 100%

In addition to the relatively common (ie, greater than 1%) untoward events enumerated in the table above, the following events have been reported in association with parenting: standing in the checkout line and slowly swaying back and forth mimicking rocking a baby, making a meal out of left over baby food and cheetos, concentration difficulties, memory impairment, loss of coordination, fatigue, changes in libido, changes in sleeping patterns, bladder weakness, impaired judgment when trying to catch vomit or poop in hands.

For those experiencing multiple doses of parenting it has been reported in laboratory testing that confusion of names is possible, the time to leave the house is tripled; but the amount of love is consistent with single doses of parenting.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reader Suggestion

Thanks for the suggestion of shooting crayons!! (Don't know why I didn't think of it before - duh!)

Tasteful Selections - Potato Recipe Contest

Tasteful Selections contacted me about a contest about a potato recipe. When I found out about the prizes, I ran (not walked) to hurry and email them letting them know I was IN! In just a few days a had my packages of potatoes delivered. They were the cutest potatoes ever and when I went to sleep that night...visions of purple potatoes danced in my head.

I decided to go with a wonderfully tangy green bean and potato salad because these potatoes were the perfect size and I thought their colors would look wonderful in the cold summery salad.

Let me introduced you to Southern Green Bean and Potato Salad (Ya'll are going to be good friends!)


2lbs of fresh green beans, trimmed and cut (in pretty little angles)
1 bag of Tasteful Selections Purple Passion Potatoes (quartered)
1 bag of Tasteful Selections Sunrise Medley Potatoes (cut in half)
5-6 green onions (sliced)
4-5 slices of cooked and diced bacon
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of garlic red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
2 tsp of garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of black pepper

After you have washed and cut your green beans, boil for 7 minutes or until crisp tender. (Eat a couple because they are so good when they are fresh and not from a can)

Wash potatoes and boil them for around 7 minutes or until slightly soft. (Pop one of these suckers in your mouth because it is killing you to know what a purple potato tastes like. Eat another one because they were really good!!)

After your green beans and potatoes have boiled, give them a nice ice bath to stop the cooking process. (Check temp outside and decide to take an ice bath yourself!)

Take your green onions and cut them all the way up in thin slices.

This is why it is Southern Potato and Green Bean Salad. You must add bacon for it to be Southern. Likewise, you must add bacon for it to be good. Bacon is always the secret ingredient. Cut your bacon into tiny pieces.

Saute green onions and bacon together in a small skillet until browned. Set aside.

Now that your potatoes and green beans have had a nice refreshing ice bath, cut potatoes into bite sized pieces and combine green beans, potatoes, green onions and bacon into a large mixing bowl.

Combine garlic red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, sugar and garlic powder and whisk together in a small mixing bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, pour over the top of the veggies.
Cover the mixing bowl with Saran Wrap and toss gently.

Refrigerate for 3 hours and toss gently occasionally to mix. Serve chilled.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Macro Friday

The whole point of Macro shooting to me is to zoom in on a singular subject, get as close to it as possible and make it the focus of the picture. (I have totally bumped my 5QF Vlog so scroll down to see that!)

Today's submission is....

This is a page out of my bible, but I was focusing on how the verse talks about not worrying about your life because if God takes care of the birds; how much more important are you?

I thought this was a perfect example of not macro shooting with my camera, but how we need to apply some macro viewing in our own lives. So often we get caught up in watching the news, worrying about finances, worrying about what others think, etc. that we lose our focus by trying to see the big picture. If we could look through a macro lens at our life and focus singularly on the fact that God loves us so much and will provide for us more than the birds, the rest of all those worries get kind of blurry.

5QF and a little rant

Five Question Friday with Mama M.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's The Password?

Yesterday while shopping at Kohl's I ended up having to make a bathroom run with the older two Scribblers. You know what I am talking about. Being all the way at the front of the store with your purchases, standing in line and about to check out; when someone starts the pee-pee dance and the "chant". So we race the seemingly 5 mile sprint to the back of the store in the far corner to the bathroom.

After finishing our business of examining each stall, trying out every sink and joyfully playing with the automatic towel dispenser (Who thought of these things and why do they only work if I flay my hands around like a cheap magician trying to impress you with a trick?) we exited the bathroom to be met by a frantic looking man who asked "Was there a little girl in there?" I didn't see one, but I went back to check. Nope, nobody was in the bathroom at all. I went back to the man and told him it was empty and asked how old was she and did he not see her come out?

She's 4 and I told her to come find me in the men's department when she was done.

This is a depiction of me losing my mind at that statement thanks to google images.

I told him to hurry and tell a store clerk to lock down and store and I would help him look. He replies, "Why would I want them to lock down the store?"

Um...because your kid might be on the back of a milk carton if you don't. How about that for a reason?

He ran off to alert the clerk and I went the opposite direction with instructions the the Scribblers that we were looking for a little girl named Emily and to help me call her. We found her sitting quietly by the kids jewelry and hair bows and I told her that her Dad was looking for her and to come with me.

She asked no questions and willingly took my hand. I cringed!!!

After returning her back to her grateful and meek father, I proceeded to have him for lunch concerning child safety. There are a few things that I suggested to him, that I want to pass along to you.

  1. Never, ever, ever, ever, amen...send a young child into a bathroom by themselves and then LEAVE the door. If your child is the opposite sex than you, grab a store clerk that is filing their nails or typing on their cell phone and ask for them to accompany your child into the restroom. Always stand guard outside the bathroom door and do not leave your post for any reason. Your child trusts that you will only allow them to go somewhere that they will be safe. It's not just a "stranger-danger" taking your child from the bathroom, but what could happen if they are unattended inside the restroom.
  2. Always know what color clothes your child is wearing. If they do disappear, wander off, able to tell someone their hair color, height, color of shirt.
  3. Teach your child a password. Something easy to remember that if someone was to approach them and tell them "Your mommy/daddy told you to come with me" they will request the password and not leave with anyone who does not know it, but leave the area, screaming and search out a store clerk.
  4. If you child becomes separated from you and can't find you, they should immediately go to a store clerk or a mom with children and tell them that they have lost their parent.
By following just one of the rules, yesterday could have been prevented for this little girl.

What safety rules do your children follow in public?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rained Out Picnik

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Social Media And The Mom - 5 Ways Moms Use Social Media

Yesterday I went to a SEO and Social Media conference that was led by Bill Seaver and John Ellis. I have a huge notebook full of chicken scratch where I noted all the important things that they were saying about SEO and Social Media. The majority of the conference was geared towards more of the corporate thought process, but there was plenty for the "mommy blogger" to glean and apply;

I am going to give you a list about how the average mom can use social media, but the first thing to understand is...

What IS Social Media?

Guess what?!?! If you are reading this blog right now, you are using social media. If you found this post through my FaceBook page or because of a Twitter message I sent out, you are using social media! Congratulations! You are now using and understanding social media!! wasn't rocket science.

5 Ways The Average Mom Uses Social Media

  1. Blogs - This is a huge form of social media for a mom that is growing so big daily that they no longer can easily keep track of the numbers of blogs. The average mom doesn't need to be a techno-guru-geek to create her own blog in minutes where she can share a journal of her life, kids, pictures, recipes, introspective moments, news, politics or entertainment. Blogs are also becoming more interactive as the author responds to her readers and dialogue is begun.
  2. Social Networking - Sites like FaceBook, Cyworld and MySpace are available to join, create a profile and in minutes be networking with not only friends and family, but also used to connect with people with similar interests or demographics.
  3. Microblogging - Twitter, Tumblr or Foursquare are some of these sites. Twitter appears to be the most frequently used and it goes beyond the social networking connection. Many companies have jumped into Twitter (and FaceBook) and are now using it as a resource to connect with their customers. Moms are starting to pick up on this and in no time are talking back and forth with the brands that they use most; getting questioned answered, customer service issues handled or just being able to rave about what they love most.
  4. Multimedia - Services like Photobucket, Flickr, Skype, YouTube, Stickam, etc. are available for moms to use to upload photos or videos to share, store or use to create slideshows or mash-ups, talk to family/friends face to face through the use of a webcam or create your own video to put on YouTube to show the world how to make homemade butter.
  5. Reviews and Opinions - More than ever businesses are wanting to get your opinions and the explosion of social media has made it easier than ever to get your opinions on their products or services. Since way back when, moms have shared with each other their thoughts on products and services and used that information to affect sales of products/services. Thanks to sites like epinions, and Wikianswers moms can still sound off about their views, but businesses can monitor these sites and see what is being said.
So in what ways are you using social media?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Five Question Friday

Five Question Friday with Mama M

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Macro Friday

I adore Macro Friday with Blogging in Bolivia! If you want to see the other submissions and/or play the button above.

This week's submission is...

Ain't Easy Being Green

Green with jealousy.

That little feeling in the pit of your stomach that feels like a bad plate of Kung Pow chicken.

The feeling of "Why not me? Why them?"

We all get it and I bet every single one of you (Don't you dare shake your head "No"! You've been there too) have had one than one night where you have measured yourself against someone's successes and said "That's not fair!" You have grumbled, griped, called your mom, called your best friend and told yourself in the mirror, "that should be me. *I* deserve it more" Whether if its because of someone's weight loss, job promotion, status in the community, relationships or__insert your reason here___.

Here is the secret. Stop talking to yourself in the mirror and LOOK at yourself in the mirror. There is a slim possiblity that the person you are jealous of got smacked with a wand containing good fortune fairy dust, but more than likely it was because of the choices made by that person. Choices that you haven't made because of lack of opportunity or lack of incentive.

Sometimes we don't have the opportunities that others have had awarded them. Not all of us where awarded the last name Rockefeller or Hilton. Sometimes we haven't noticed the opportunity when it was presented to us and known what to do with it. Opportunities are a funny little business. A lot of times opportunity is quietly knocking on the door waiting for you to answer it and other times you have to hunt it down, tackle it and drag it home. The most important thing to do is when opportunity does come, you have to seize it and make the most of it.
For a lot of us out there (myself included) its a lack of incentive. You may have the opportunity sitting in your lap like a kitten, purring and just waiting for your attention; but you lack the motivation or fore-sight to see what is waiting for you if you just jump. I am someone who likes instant results on my endeavors (pregnancy was rough...that whole 9 months of baking is far from instant results) I want to see an immediate upswing in order to keep pressing on. A lot of times you can have what the other person has if you are willing to take the 3 mile journey that they did. The secret to that is to go ahead and look 3 miles down the road at your destination and not at every agonizing little step along the way (do stop and smell the flowers though!)

So that whole jealousy bit? You might can avoid the whole shade of green if you take a minute to examine what is so different between you and that person you are jealous of. It's possible that with taking the same determined and focused steps, you can have exactly what you are jealous of?

7 Link Challenge

Thanks to my new best friend (He doesn't really know it yet, but that's OK) I am taking the 7 link challenge. Here is his challenge...

The idea is to publish a post that is a list of 7 links to posts that you and others have written that respond to the following 7 categories. Your links should be to:

  • Your first post
  • A post you enjoyed writing the most
  • A post which had a great discussion
  • A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written
  • Your most helpful post
  • A post with a title that you are proud of
  • A post that you wish more people had read
  1. My first published post is HERE. I had been doing an online journal since August of 2005 but a dear friend led me into the world of blogging. Yes, it is on a WP platform and I have been weighing back and forth of going back to that.
  2. The post is enjoyed writing the most is HERE. I did a parody song of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" and had a lot of fun doing it.
  3. A post that had a great discussion is HERE. I laughed so hard at some of the entries; I ended up doing several posts featuring the comments because they were THAT good!
  4. The post that someone else wrote that I love is right HERE. Yup, you caught me...that's not a real link. The truth is I read so many good posts that I wish I had written that I could not possibly pick one!
  5. My most helpful post is right HERE. I didn't offer a wealth of information, but the email response I got plus the comments let me know that I was helping by sharing my story.
  6. My post with a title that I am proud of is right HERE. It is the only time that using the word "Fart" in a title seemed acceptable (The post is pretty good too!)
  7. The post I wish more people had read is right HERE. Mainly because I think we all need to know that we have a "starting point" every day that is new.
Thanks my dear best friend, ProBlogger (although you don't know you are my best friend yet) for a great challenge!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Home Instead Senior Care/ BlogHer Share Your Story

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Home Instead Senior Care.

For more stories on Caregiving and what it means, please click HERE. There is also a place to nominate your "caregiver hero" to win a cruise HERE!!

For more information on "Home Instead Senior Care" click HERE.

Care giving for elderly is becoming more prevalent in America today. Whether because of rising health care rates or the desire of the family to do "Home Instead" care, care giving is becoming the norm. Care giving is basically where you take an adult who is beginning to have the needs of a child and continue to treat them like an adult with love and respect. It is demanding on the family as a whole, but can be a blessing for all who are involved.

I watched the later years of my own grandmother as my sister and mother took over as her caregivers. Continually shuttling her to doctor's appointments, monitoring medications and tending to her fragile, childlike emotions as Alzheimer's began to overtake her mind. Even after she had to live in an Alzheimer's care facility, my mother was still a caregiver. Making sure she had the clothes she needed, checking with her nurses concerning her care, taking her to her doctor's appointments and being there when sometimes only a familiar face was needed. The only way to reasonable success was a strong family support system for the caregivers. Watching the deterioration of a loved one's mind and body can be shattering to the family. The demands of taking care of an elderly person are similar to that of a small child with the constant attention and supervision.

When it became time for my husband and I to assume a caregiver role with his parents, we did not go into it with blind optimism. We knew from my family the demands that we would have to rise to. In less than a year, my father-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law was diagnosed with heart disease, eye problems and lung problems. Both were affected to the point that they had to reach out for outside help and we were the only ones in the extended family that had the ability to provide what they needed without having to enter Assisted Living.

When we began, I reached out to my family and to forums to begin a support system. I knew that having a support system was vital for our family to be healthy enough to provide for them. I described above what care giving meant to me, about an adult needing child-like supervision. It's a huge change for everyone in the house and it can be frustrating for all parties. Your elderly loved one is frustrated at not being able to do the things that they once did and can become "shut-ins" within their own mind and within their house. Your family becomes frustrated at the new demands of another family member that needs constant attention.

Although your relationship has been changed with your elderly loved one as you assume the role of caregiver, there are still way to connect in familiar ways. For instance, before my grandmother's health and mind began to deteriorate she loved playing cards with the family and won most of the time. Even in her last months of life, when her mind was feeble and incapable of remembering where to go to eat dinner; cards were still a constant and she still won sometimes. Playing cards helped to keep her mind active and enabled the family to feel the relationship was still familiar. My grandmother also loved dogs and kept one until her mental health could no longer keep up with the demands. She frequently asked about her dog and missed him. Just days before her death, my sister found some puppies and took one to my grandmother to hold for a while. The peace on her face as she held that puppy for hours was indescribable according to my sister. It was providing her with something familiar that she loved. In our current situation, My Father-in-Law loves word puzzles and can do them all day long. Even though he is unable to do a lot of things he once loved, he is able to continue doing the puzzles. I believe that finding something that is familiar and reminds you and your loved one of who they "used to be" is vital for everyone's emotions.

Care giving can be such a blessing though and through all that I have said, should not be interpreted as negative. Your family is drawn closer together in this time of crisis and your elderly loved one is secure in the fact that their needs and best interests are being taken care of by someone that they trust and love. This type of care and trust is just not possible through Assisted Living where they become just one of many and often times are overlooked unless the need is extreme. If you begin care giving when you have young children in the house, they learn the importance of family, loyalty and commitment. As my own family begins its care giving journey, we walk to it knowing that we are providing for those that provided for us and feel like its the least we can do to show our love and appreciation.

I Can't Decide Or Can I...I Don't Know

I have an affliction. Maybe it is more of a hiccup in my personality. Actually, I don't know what to call it and that is where the problem begins. I am painfully indecisive when it comes to a matter that concerns only me.

Image courtesy of Google images

I was recently given some gift certificates for my birthday and I have been AGONIZING over how to spend them. Sure there is stuff I need and there is even stuff that I want, but I hate that commitment and finality to my decision when I hit the "Checkout Now" button.

  • what if I chose wrong
  • what if I realize once it is delivered that I really needed the measuring spoon set and not the hand towel set for the bathroom
  • should I phone a friend? (wait...I already did that and they suggested the peasant top. ARGH...another choice!)
I hate this about me and it's not just limited to mail order. My hair is in desperate need of a cut and style, but when I go in the stylist will inevitably ask me what I want. (It's kind of their job) I don't know what I want. I am not sure what will look good. All I can tell you is I don't want a purple mohawk or a bowl cut. After all, there is nothing worse in this world than a bad haircut. I can't afford the emotional cost of a bad hair decision. Making a cake? I spend more time trying to decide between white cake or yellow cake than the whole cake process. Ordering at the drive-thru? Same thing. I usually get "Item A" but what if "Item B" tastes better and is a better value for my money...

So where does all this put me? My indecisiveness has cause immobility. Total standstill. My laptop contains all the open windows to the places I have gift certificates for and I pass by it and scroll through a few pages, even more confused than before. I am sure there is some therapist out there that would tell me that I have a "fear of failure" or that I feel that I will be judged somehow by making an unwise choice. Whatever...just analyze me and then tell me whether to buy the bath towel warmer or the wireless rain gauge.

The odd thing is that I don't have this "hiccup" when it comes to making life choices, business decisions or buying something for someone else. I know what I want in life or business and plunge aggressively and headlong into situations. If I am buying for someone else, it's no problem. I have gotten to know them and found out their likes/dislikes and have no moment of hesitation at the "Checkout Now" button.

But Me...I don't know...I am just not sure...maybe...perhaps not...SOMEONE ELSE JUST DO THIS FOR ME!!!

Do you ever have a moment of indecisiveness that has cause immobility? Do you find yourself at a standstill because of uncertainty? Maybe its not a hairstyle, but something of great importance (well...OK, a hairstyle is of great importance; but I am talking life choice) How do you get through it and make a choice that you are comfortable with?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bitsy - 6 months

Monday, July 12, 2010

Let's Talk About Men

They say "Men are from Mars and women are from Venus". Well, if that is the case then Martians must carry around a Super Duper Photon Blaster 3000 for all their problems.

Example: The Head Crayon was doing yard work today and our old weed eater would just not stay started. This is an ongoing issue with this piece of equipment. As a side note, I must add that he was also doing some target practice off and on today. The reason this is significant is that when he had enough of the weedeaters troublesome ways, he blasted it. Seriously...he shot the thing out of its misery. Three perfectly placed holes in the engine compartment thingie.

I was at the stove cooking (like a good little wifey) and he came in the backdoor. I saw him carrying the gun and he simply said, "I have to go buy a new weedeater." Knowing him like I do, I knew what he had done. Considering the weedeater's demise, I did not stop working to go confirm it. As soon as dinner was done, I found the poor weedeater laying in the yard where it apparently had been thrown and shot. Poor weedeater.

I started thinking about his solution to the problem and it made me realize the difference in the way a man and a woman handle a problem.

A woman would have:
  • taken it apart to see what really made it tick
  • call 5 friends and see if they had the problem and what did they do about it
  • call a repair man and get an estimate
  • go shopping for a new weedeater and some shoes
  • proudly bring the new weedeater home and call those 5 friends to tell them of her great success
  • get together with those 5 friends for a cookie dough and Beaches kind of night
A man would have:
  • determined it didn't work
  • move on
See the differences here? How can we possibly expect a man to face a problem the same way that we do? Is it really fair to assume that our way is best?

Men and women are wired so differently, yet when conflict comes up; each party wants the other to handle it the way that they do. We want our men to sit and talk about the problem, eat cookie dough and watch a good tear-jerker movie. Men want to fix it once and for all. When they won't share our cookie dough spoon, we get our feelings hurt and feel as if our perception of the problem is just not important and our solution to the problem is not validated. Men think we are just nagging them when we feel the need to talk about it, because they just want it fixed and over.

Although men and women were made for each other and can function beautifully to complete a relationship; it's important to remember that its our differences that is what makes it complete. Each sex brings something to the table that is important for the healthy survival of the relationship. Also remember that not one person's offering is more important than the other. Embrace your differences and strengths. Consider each others weaknesses and lift them up. Just as the woman has the strengths to be a nurturer and teacher to the family; the man's "Get 'er done" attitude is what often times can propel the family through a moment of crisis and towards healing.

Do you encourage your husband to excel in his emotional leadership role? Does he encourage you to embrace the tender spirit you were given?

A Review

Why am I doing a review on my main page? Isn't there a special tab for that? Why yes...thanks for asking. I am doing a review on the age 33. I am now safely past 33 and feel qualified to review it.

Disclaimer: All opinions on the Year 33 are my own and I have been in no way compensated for my views by Mother Nature.
The Year 33 was delivered with little fanfare. Sure, we celebrated its arrival in the usual fashion. Cake, presents crying, gnashing of teeth and even hid in the closet and time with family and friends, but its initial arrival would have been largely unnoticed if not for the production of celebration.

Much like the saying that good things come in small packages, Year 33 proved to really deliver on the life changes to start off so unassumingly.

Shortly after the Year 33 arrived we were inspired by the housing market, impending birth of our 3rd daughter and basic insanity; to put our house on the market and move to the country. It was a nail biting experience that took 9 months to complete and not only did we manage to go more rural, but we pulled off buying our country dream home; "The Crayon Ranch". What a crazy turn of events to go ahead and be able to live in the place where you only dreamed about retiring at.
As I mentioned before we had an upcoming arrival of another daughter in the Year 33. Our tiny Bitsy was born late December. Year 33 was apparently a good breeding year, because she came just as perfect and beautiful as any blessing straight from God could. By the way... have I mentioned that she is sitting on her own now.
See I told you. Even she is sticking her tongue out at you for your disbelief!

The Year 33 also provided us with the opportunity to become caretakers for my in-laws. This has by far been the most difficult part of the year as we faced mother-in-laws heart problems and impending bypasses and father-in-laws rapid onset of Alzheimer's. We are still currently in the transition period where we have to let things "fall into place" before permanent 24/7/365 type of care.

The Year 33 packed quite a punch and I believe has been the Year with the most life changes in it. I know that if I chose to look back, I would see other things that irritated me, upset me and made me feel as though life couldn't go on. Really....all years are like that. I chose not to look back though. It obviously wasn't the big deal I thought it was, if I can't recall it right now. God was loving, just and didn't give us more than we could handle and helped carry us through the more stressful times. I know this will be His promise for Year 34 as well (cause He is nice like that!)

In review, I would have to recommend the Year 33 to anyone! I anxiously await to see what Year 34 is going to bring us!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Follow: Building Friendship One Blog Hop at a Time – July 9th


Welcome to the 7th Friday Follow hosted by our awesome hostesses, Crayon Wrangler from Coloring Outside the Lines, Christy from Aunt Crazy’s Here Y’ALL, and Danielle from A Peek Inside. Thank you ladies for being willing to host! Please stop by and see these awesome ladies.

We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to find many interesting blogs that you like. This is all about sharing and having fun.

We expect you to be on your honor and to have fun. These are only guidelines to make it more enjoyable for you. Here’s how YOU can join the Friday Follow celebration:

  • Link up your blog below.. One Link per blog

  • Grab our Friday Follow button include on your side bar, or post.. grab the linky information if you want it

  • Follow the Friday-Follow blog and the hostesses in slots 1, 2 & 3 that have volunteered today to host

  • Follow the blogs you want, leave comment saying you are from Friday Follow – use common courtesy

  • No spammers, or xxrated blogs - family friendly

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This list is new each week and closes on Saturday at 11:59pm EST. The links do not carry over. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed.

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Each week we will randomly draw from three (3) blogs from the links for the next week’s Friday Follow, and each blog chosen will be placed in the highly coveted number #7, #8, and #9 position on the blog hop. The first blog chosen will also be given the option of doing an interview which will post on on Thursday the next week. We love your participation and want to give back to you! You could be next!

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Fashion in the ForestToday's sponsor is Tiffany from Fashion in the Forest. She is offering a Zombie Candle from her Etsy shop- at

It's an 8 oz. banana bread scented candle. All Zombee Candles are made with 100% soy wax - no paraffin! Cotton, no-lead wicks and non-diluted fragrance oils make burning our candles a clean and wonderful experience!

Pain de Banane (8oz)

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Making Homemade Bread - Vlog

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


* 3 cups warm water
* 3 tablespoons active dry yeast
* 3 teaspoons salt
* 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 8 cups bread flour


1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, salt, oil, sugar, and 4 cups flour. Mix thoroughly, and let sponge rise until doubled in size.
2. Gradually add about 4 cups flour, kneading until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn several times to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled.
3. Punch down the dough, let it rest a few minutes. Divide dough into three equal parts. Shape into loaves, and place in three 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch greased bread pans. Let rise until almost doubled.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes. The loaves may need to be covered for the last few minutes with foil to prevent excess browning.

5QF - July 9, 2010

Visit Mama M at My Little Life for more 5QF fun!

Something is growing in my kitchen


and it's growing in my kitchen
and I am OK with that.

I recently learned to make homemade bread (recipe posted below) and although it turned out gloriously wonderful (like even better than sliced bread - to use a common phrase) I love sourdough bread more than anything (well, except chocolate, but I don't see the growing and processing of cocoa beans in my immediate future) So I searched out how to make sourdough bread. In my search I came across "Sweetbread" and got excited at the prospect of a homemade bread that had a slightly sweeter taste. Then I learned that "Sweetbread" is not bread at all. Disappointment and disgust is all I feel at this point.

Moving on...

Sourdough bread requires the use of a starter. You can cheat and get a starter from an outside source or you can be a pioneer (like me, but not to be misconstrued with me being The Pioneer Woman) and make your own.

From what I found, it's pretty easy. Flour, water, sugar and stuff mixed and stored at 70-80 degrees until it begins to grow or become alive. Every 24 hours you have to feed your creation, but sometime within a week I should have my sourdough starter. Until then I am dealing with the emotions that only a housewife feels from growing something in her kitchen.

Here is the bread recipe for just plain ole' white bread (You are going to love me for it and sending "Thank You" notes is totally acceptable and expected!)

Old Fashioned Bread (this means it didn't come from the store with a twist tie)

Original Recipe Yield 3 - 1 1/2 pound loaves


  • * 3 cups warm water
  • * 3 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • * 3 teaspoons salt
  • * 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • * 1/2 cup white sugar
  • * 8 cups bread flour


1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, salt, oil, sugar, and 4 cups flour. Mix thoroughly, and let sponge rise until doubled in size.
2. Gradually add about 4 cups flour, kneading until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn several times to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled.
3. Punch down the dough, let it rest a few minutes. Divide dough into three equal parts. Shape into loaves, and place in three 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch greased bread pans. Let rise until almost doubled.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes. The loaves may need to be covered for the last few minutes with foil to prevent excess browning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

I am joining in with "A Long Road To China" in her Black & White Wednesday and joining their family with the anticipation of AWESOME news!!!

I just love this shot. The texture of the wood, the chain...everything about it. It was an impromptu shot that I was taking working with trying to get Macro shots out of my non-macro camera and I am pleased as peas with how it turned out. Got a B&W shot that you want to share? Click the link above and join in!

A View From Under A Rock

I have been a little out of touch the past week, so I wanted to let you know what the view from under my rock has looked like the past week.

All 3 Scribblers have been battling being ill and fevers were getting high, coughs getting deep, so we went to the doctor. The older 2 had bronchitis and all 3 have sinus infections. The middle Scribbler also had an ear infection. The view for those days looked like a calf round-up. I was chasing down these "weakened" kids to give them antibiotics and cough medicine. We had a tent city going in the living room, where the Scribblers were on bed rest. Lots of Dora got viewed (way too much Dora for mommy) Sprite was dispensed and Kleenex was bought by the case. I am still trying to contact the prescription companies about an antibiotic in blow dart form or a patch that can be applied to the middle of their back. I believe my invention will allow me to retire a millionaire if moms no longer have to try to force oral antibiotics down their screaming toddler's throat. There will probably be a statue erected in my honor.

For the 4th of July, my family came to Crayon Ranch and the hot dogs, hamburgers and fireworks were in great abundance. I attempted to make a cake from scratch that had a July 4th flair to it.I have now learned that if you make a yellow cake, blue food coloring will turn green. Hello art student fail. The taste was wonderful with a cream cheese frosting...but the Patriotic colors...well, as you can see it looked more like a watermelon cake than a Red, White and Blue cake. (Thank you Mom for providing me with a picture and thank you to the rest of the family who laughed at... with me)

Next up, we all went outside and proceeded to finish the game of take down the post. The Head Crayon and I had been trying for weeks to take down a huge cedar post that had been put up in the backyard. Instead of using a conventional method, like an ax or chainsaw; we had been pulling out the guns and blowing the tarnation out of it to get it to fall. I am proud to say that my brother-in-law shot the fatal blow. (Dear BIL...would you like your post mounted on a plaque for posterity?)Yeah, see those crazy girls of mine (the lizard on my head is not my spawn, but for some reason was included in the family shot) As if those 3 weren't enough, I insisted on keeping my sister's kiddos. We had a bigger blast than the 100 shot missile cannon that costs $16.95 and is over in .8 seconds (Yes...I would know) I love keeping her kids!

So its been pretty busy here under my rock, but I am back! If you haven't checked it out yet, you NEED to go to my Giveaway page. There are some awesome giveaways going on. I KNOW you took pictures for the 4th of July. Go upload one to for free, add some effects to it, stick a frame on it and enter the link to your picture on your blog to the giveaway for a super cool prize. You already know I love and I want you to see why! There are several gift certificates to random places and a Patriotic friend to win! I am going to extend the dates since I have been under a rock the past few days!

It was GREAT to see you again and I want to know...
What did you do this holiday weekend?


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