Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's a love/hate thing lol

Can't all the kids like me at the same time?? Actually if that happened it would probably scare the youknowwhat out of me and I'd be in a straightjacket somewhere...I do really and truly love being a mom, with all my heart and soul, with all the UPS and downs, I wouldn't change a thing.

Monday, November 28, 2011

GREAT deal from Eversave today!

Okay no, this is not my official "writing" but WOW, Eversave has a fantastic deal right $10 for $20 to spend at  . I'm loving all these deals like this that keep turning up :)  Just click on this LINK FOR EVERSAVE to purchase your deal.
I couldn't think of a title for today's post. I'm drawing a complete blank. Give me a title--any title. I want to write today but am drawing a complete blank. I suppose that's a sad state of affairs when I can't even retrieve what it is my mind is trying to get out! I could sit here and torture myself, staring at the blank screen or I can ask for help. I'm a big proponent of asking for help ;)

Give me a topic--a good, clean, topic you crazy people (oh there I go talking to myself again)--and I'll write about one. The winning topic will get a prize! No kidding, I'm going to give a prize to the person that piques my creative juices the most. Nothing huge, just a little sumpin sumpin from Avon, of course lol.

Ready, set....let the party start!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

Thank you to Chris VanZant, of Thunder 106, for posting the Cameron quote in the title. I am thankful for this holiday; even with the overshadowing of the holidays preceding and proceeding this day, this day brings us to our core of humanity--to remember all the blessings in our lives and be thankful for those blessings. I am thankful for who I was, who I am now, and who I will be in the future. I am thankful for the trials and tribulations that have helped strengthen my fortitude. I am thankful for the friends that can't comprehend why I lacked confidence in the past, and thankful that I am beginning to feel what they saw all along.

I am thankful for my children. My incredible, funny, passionate children. Each of them consistently presenting new ideas, new challenges, and new joy. These creatures that are forced to ride along my crazy ride--they adapt and adjust and carry forward with me and there is no blessing greater than the love that not only they give me, but also the love I am blessed to feel for them.

My wish for you all is simply to be thankful. Even if you feel all despair is lost-be thankful you are able to have the feeling all is lost, because it means there is still something there to care about.


The real reason I had children: to have people to watch the Macy's parade with me, and if they get tired of my corny sappiness and make fun of me, I can threaten them with being grounded and then I still have people to watch the parade with. Amen. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SAVE BIG MONEY @ In the Hands Of A Child!

Black Friday-Small Business Saturday-Cyber Monday

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Start planning your purchases NOW and SAVE LOADS OF MONEY on Lapbooking units, Notebooking units, and so much more!

*Excludes custom Designed Project Packs, already discounted products, and Super Memberships.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We love Homeschooling!

Ah, the blissful sounds of children doing their schoolwork as mother prepares lunch. Youngest child espousing and demonstrating his newest international knowledge.

Yea, whatever. M wants to know what's the big deal if she only missed by "a hundred cents." D decides to make that second sandwich, after the first one made up of a pound of fabulously processed deli turkey didn't fill him up, rather than finish his math work. Z tells me all about the newest techniques he learned from Lego "Ninjago" tv episodes, then goes out to the living room (where studious D and M are sprawled out on furniture pretending to concentrate on math) to demonstrate. I look up in time to see what resembles the Tazmanian Devil tornado with Zachary sound effects spinning around the living room-then CRASH, THUNK, THUD, OUCH, BAM, CRASH, OUCH! Really, I did try not to laugh as I asked him if he was okay, I tried very very very hard. It is D and M's fault, they were laughing first, rotten kids. I got out to truly make sure that Z was alright, especially after noticing just how many things fell off the entertainment center--he replied "NO!" I asked him what hurts, he gave back a sarcastic "my BODY". Seriously Zach, you should've just added in the "DUH." So there I was, desparately trying to comfort the child but my body convulsions from laughing so hard just about knocked him back down. Dylan's description to Zach of what happened sent me over the edge into tear producing hysterics--especially because it was so accurate: "it all started with Zach going 'wooooooooo, NINJAGO, aaaaahhhhh'....he started spinning out of control, not watching where he was going, stepped on his lethal Ninjago Legos, fell over into the entertainment center, knocked over the sewing kit, fell onto the floor, there was a silent 3 seconds before he rolled over groaning, knocked into the entertainment center causing an avalanche of (you guessed it...) his stuff on the entertainment center that shouldn't be there like HIS Lego pen, HIS Lego army dude, and last but not least the candleholders...."

I went into the kitchen, after wiping away my tears, and finally started to stop laughing. Dylan asked me to make him a sandwich. I lamented that I don't understand why we can't be a "typical functioning homeschooling family." Dylan's reply was "Ms. Osmun--that's what I call the lunchlady--will you make me a sandwich?" Oh good LORD. No, I didn't make him one. Mallory kept shouting "BE QUIET I'M TRYING TO DO MY MATH!" (from the kid that wants the margin of error in math to be + or - 100....) Things settled down at that point-Dylan made his disgusting sandwich, Mallory stopped complaining, and Zachary was recouperating from the Lego induced injuries**(see Tim Hawkins link at bottom of this post!), so I sat at the computer to check my email. Well, you can not imagine the horror that came next: Z asked if he was good and ate all his lunch (a nutritionally microwaved piece of Ellio's pizza thankyouverymuch), could he do his math, too? I told him I thought that was very rude; unfortunately he took me seriously at first, nothing a smile and hug couldn't fix.

Our next lesson was about compassion and health. Dylan started talking about how sick he was, and vomit, and about how usually he's the last one sick and ends up having to take care of everyone else. Mallory complained about how lately she and Dylan are sick at the same time, and it's always a competition, and he always runs a bigger fever or throws up and it's not fair! Dylan kept talking about taking care of everyone, and talked about the time that Zach woke up in the middle of the night, and sat at the edge of the bathroom saying he was going to throw up. Dylan kept saying "come on Zach, come here Zach, come in the bathroom Zach, get to the toilet Zach...HURRY Zach..ZACH--ugh..." I don't think I should tell you what he got hit with from Zachary. Zach answered, "Dylan, I love you so much that when I start throwing up, I want you to be right there next to me."

Last statement to be quoted is Zach's absolutely perfect, sumsitallup words: "I love homeschooling at our house!"

**Tim Hawkins hilarious take on the dangers of Lego's

Monday, November 7, 2011

I fixed it I fixed it!

With a little help from my (internet) friends. Okay, a LOT of help from the internet lol. First up, replacing the power supply unit (PSU). I wish I had saved the site I found where one person gave some really great advice to buy an Antec PSU. The 350w would have been fine for my PC, but I ended up buying the 450d Green. I priced PSU's at my local Best Buy stores and the least expensive was a 350watt for $55.99. I bought the Antec PSU on Amazon for $44.99--and if I had remembered to use EBATES I could have ended up with a decent cash back award on top of a cheaper price. This could have been a much easier replacement if I had WRITTEN down exactly which wires I unplugged from which location when taking out the old PSU! I made mental notes of them but, well--it's pretty cobwebby up in that note-taking area and I should have known better, but I guess I forgot that I don't remember much.  ;-P

The Antec box gives you their website, and from there you can download the user guide. I have to admit that wasn't super helpful to me; eventually I realized I needed to see pictures of my actual computer and found that by Googling my exact PC model. There are plenty of youtube videos showing installation, however you really need to be watching something that is identical or close to identical of your own computer. The best advice I can give is write down exactly where the old wires were plugged into, how many prongs those plugs are, the color of the wires--basically as many details as possible. If you do that you will have NO PROBLEM putting in the new PSU.

Excited doesn't cover how I felt when I didn't get electrocuted upon plugging in the computer, or when the computer didn't blow up upon being connected and turned on. (not sure which would have been worse.....) That welcome screen came up and I was so cocky and doing the "I da man" cheering--until the message said "wrong password idiot, access DENIED". Okay it did not say that exactly but it may as well have. Apparently I had changed my password to something those kids would NOT figure out, for once and for all, and like the dunce I am clearly becoming--I made a mental note of that, too; I could not figure out the password. I clicked on the "reset password" link--guess what, if you don't yet know this, you have to set up a password reset disk (actually you have to use a flash drive to do it) in order to reset your password with Windows Vista. There is no other way to do it unless you have an additional administrator set on your computer. I googled like crazy, spent hours trying all different solutions, put out the "HELP" call on Facebook...but nothing was working.

Finally, FINALLY, I found something that worked: Offline Password and Registry Editor. This program actually deleted my password so I could finally get into my desktop. Thanks to this author  Tim Fisher and his fantastic writing, advice, included reviews, and screenshots, I was finally able to get into my computer. And now that I've blogged about it, I don't have to worry about only having mental notes! Yay me!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Never a dull moment!

overheard while Zachary and Mallory were playing Monopoly:
Mallory:"Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to jail"
Zachary:"We'll see what my lawyer has to say about that!"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thirteen Years Ago...

A beautiful, blazing light entered the world and, after 3 days with no name, came to be known as Mallory Faith. Ten pounds 3 ounces of energy, fun, mischief, determination, attitude, and love charged into our lives (once she finally decided she'd allow them to deliver her!). Vaseline head to toe and wall to wall, peanut butter and fluff body painting--jumbled in with one of the most loving and kind spirits I've ever known; suffice to say variety is the word with child #3.

This child epitomizes the season she was born into: like leaves giving oxygen, she gives as much as (and often more than) she receives; like the the temperatures, she is refreshing and crisp, with just a little nip now and then; like the color changes on leaves, she is full of a magnificent light and energy that she doesn't quite believe she has, yet everyone that knows her can see it blazing.

As she begins to step towards adulthood, I can't wait to see the great things she will do. Her spirit, filled with kindness, empathy, leadership, and love combined with the ball of energy, attitude, and self-motivation will take her far. I am so lucky to be able to watch and learn with her.

Happy Birthday to my baby girl!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A little nicey nice for you :-)

This is a new blog "game" I saw on Holly Bee's Blog and I like it! I hope those of you reading that are also bloggers play along, too. I especially like it cause I have a whole year to fulfill the pay-it-forward of the game. The procrastinator/perfectionist (yes I actually consider myself both, go figure) in my is already freaking out--only 365 days?? What if this happens or that happens or even-GASP-that happens?? But I am shushing her down and giving this a go.

For those of you that aren't bloggers-and bloggers too, what is your favorite way to "pay it forward" or random of kindness? The kids and I love love love to randomly pay the toll for the person behind us. As a matter of fact, Alexis is convinced the only reason Mallory was found quickly after getting lost in Disneyworld in 2002 is because we paid someone else's toll. Tell me what you do, what you've done, what you'd like to do, and any random act of kindness you've received. I'll never forget when TD's website crashed, right after they took over Commerce Bank (karma perhaps??), and my transaction came up declined at Walmart; the lady behind us paid it for us, no fuss, no thinking, she just paid it as if it was her own transaction.

So here's the game:
  1. I  will make a little something for the first 3 people who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and you will not know when it will arrive.

  2. I will have 365 days to get this surprise to you. The catch? To get a goodie from me you must play along too! Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goody to the first three people comment on your blog post.

  3. You must therefore have a blog!

  4. After commenting on my post, you have to go post this on your blog.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My youngest

This child of mine, this gift of pure joy has nothing that needs to be fixed. He is a work in progress, a light that shines into dark recesses that, without him, would have gone unnoticed. His world is simple and sensible and when it begins to get complicated, he finds his way to a soothing, simple, and sensible place. I am his rock, yet he is a rock for so many. Joy and laughter and love emanate as physical senses from his soul. This boy is special, aren’t they all? His needs are special like all children’s should be. He is as different as each being created is different. He is perfection in his simplicity of what is good, he is perfection in his capacity to love, he is perfection in his expressions of great thinking. This child of mine, this child of mine, this child of mine.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A new Challah recipe,

This came out so good! There really is bread-making-life after the bread machine.  ;-P  Heavy and cakey and stringy and sweet...with just enough bread texture to keep it out of official cake status. While you certainly don't have to use wheat flour (otherwise known as "that disgusting brown flour" by one 17 year old boy...), I have come to realize that using at least a 70/30 ratio of regular flour/wheat flour is what helps give Challah that desired density that is definitely a requirement for me. :)

Challah Recipe

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup warm water
1 package yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
4 cups white flour (you may need to add up to a cup or more to get a good consistency)
3 cups wheat flour

My first round of directions:
Place ingredients into the bread machine pan as directed by your machine manufacturer. Select "dough" option, push start, go to the store. Come home to find bread machine ON THE FLOOR, cracked, broken in pieces--fall to the floor, grow speechless, then mumble incoherently about how-what-who-why-whathappened-whodidit-why-how...***note: if you use your machine, do not go to the store with it on, with your brother and son (that was getting tired of all the wheat bread recipes....hmmmmmmmmmmm), both of them only saying that it EXPLODED, or fell, or both, and both of them trying to stifle laughs....

Okay, so the dough actually, thankfully, had at least been kneaded for about 10 minutes before the fall, so I could continue from there. Your dough should be smooth, somewhat elastic, not sticky at all, and if when pressed the indentation bounces back.

Put about 2 tbsp oil into a bowl, and place dough into the bowl. Turn the dough over in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl (with a damp towel, or with loosely placed oil coated plastic wrap) in a warm location. (a tip I read years ago-- when you start mixing the dough, set your oven to its lowest temperature, usually 175 degrees F, for about 5-10minutes, then turn off, creating a warm location if you don't have one) Let the dough rise to at double its size, about an hour depending on the type of yeast you used. Punch the dough down, then let it double again.

At this point, shape the Challah however you'd like. For this recipe I made a round (sort of lol) shape for Rosh Hashanah. Brush your loaf with yolk, then place in a preheated 350 degree F oven.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes--the Challah should sound hollow when "thumped". Most bread recipes say "when thumped on the bottom," honestly I almost always do the "thumping" on top, because really, it's kind of hard to check the bottom of a loaf of bread, especially when it is in a bread pan or some other kind of shaped pan. I'll leave your thumping to your own personal discretion.  ;)

While the picture doesn't show it well, this had a nice golden color. I did have to place a small piece of foil on the very top, about halfway through baking, to keep it from burning.

Later, I'll add the continuation--Challah French Toast we had this morning. Here's a picture to keep you going:
It was so dense, and sweet, and gooey-barely any syrup needed!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Glorious Fall has arrived!

Someone needs to tell Mother Nature it's time for her son Heat Miser to go down for his nap. Took a walk this morning and rather than crisp air and crunch leaves, and, although the sun was shining (yay! there's my positive attitude for the day), it was as soggy outside as a bowl of Cheerios prepared by Zach 2 hours before you wake up. Best of intentions but not so delicious in both situations.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's dawning on me I'm not a night owl...haha, get it?

I have without a doubt come to realize that my internal clock wakes me up at 5am. Obviously by stating that I believe there is such a thing as an "internal clock." A few years ago I'd have guffawed at anyone talking about it--okay, okay, I don't guffaw but it sure seemed like a good word to use; I'll use "scoffed" instead: a few years ago I'd have scoffed at anyone saying we have internal clocks.

Then came the time when I started needing to get up very early in the morning to do my college coursework in almost complete quiet. (almost because seriously, even when all the human creatures are still sleeping, the dog will start doing her "I'm so excited you're going to take me for a walk you are going take me for a walk I'm going to go out let's go come on let's go" dance) I tried 6am first but that didn't give me quite enough time before the usual 7am first riser, so I shifted it to 5, wondering just how long it would take me to drag my butt from bed to the computer, and if my eyes would be open even once at the computer.

Guess what? When my alarm went off at 5 I was wide awake!
So of course I hit the snooze button, because it was still very dark and it made no sense to me why I was wide awake and maybe I was still dreaming or something. At 5:15 when the snooze alarm went off,
I still felt wide awake.
Weird, strange, and since I am comfortable with weird and strange I got up and probably had one of the most productive days I had had in years.

Since then I have played around with the alarm clock time, but have come to realize that when I allow myself to sleep past 5:15, I go into another cycle of deep sleep and that is why it is so hard to then wake up. Then I am dragging myself around, trying to figure out how to wake all the way up and Thing One usually wakes up in that process which gives me a perfect excuse to plop on the couch with him, which then leads to tasks not done and frustration and inevitably a strong irresistible NEED to nap, which leads to tasks not done get the idea.

All these years have gone by with me believing I was a night owl. I was proud of it, I wore it as my badge: "I am a Night Owl but still get up early with my kids!" I had myself convinced that was just how it was. I had it all figured out: I didn't have deep sleep until after 7am, and that was why I always struggled getting up early.
I was--wait for it, wait for it.....--WRONG!

It was a second deep sleep that I would fall into when I didn't wake up when my own natural cycle was telling me to. After all this time, it turns out I am a morning person. I like it. I like how quiet it is. I like that the sky is just beginning to get that incredible bright twilight blue glow just before the sun appears. I like that I have time to watch the news, write, do schoolwork, and yes even do housework, though I do tread lightly in fear of waking anyone up too early to invade my quiet.

While I am not a sleep doctor nor an expert in any area of sleep study (that was my disclaimer in case you were wondering), I would still say to anyone still reading this that struggles with morning time, maybe you can try this, too. If you end up finding your circadian rhythm--you are very welcome, I will gladly take all the credit. If you end up cranky and cursing the person that suggested you try it, well--that's where my disclaimer comes in to play.

Linda is now going to fold clothes because it is dangerously close to first ariser's wake-up time...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

For Dylan

Seventeen years ago, I was just a few short hours from meeting you. Thirty hours had passed since I arrived at the hospital and still you weren't in my arms. As I look back on that time now, it dawns on me that those hours in labor were calm and steady, but oh so slow--yet strong forward progress all along.
You're arrival was easy: no surprises, no prolonged hard pushing, no pulling or prodding needed. You arrived quietly into our world, full of wonder and wide awake, crying just enough to let everyone know you were healthy (and maybe a little cold!) so we wouldn't worry about you. Finally you were placed in my arms. I marveled at the expression on your face-serene, thinking, observing. Your eyes slowly and steadily looked around the room, taking in the details, until we started talking to you. From that moment you didn't take your eyes off your parents; it was proof, for me, that babies really do hear while still in the womb, because it was undeniable that you were listening now to voices that were familiar to you--you knew us and only wanted to see and hear us. As you grew as a newborn, there were so many times I would know you were looking at me as I held you. I didn't have to look, I could feel your gaze studying me-patiently waiting until I would look down and begin giving you more knowledge about the world around you. I called you my "thinker," you always seemed to be waiting--no, needing more information and words.
At a few months old you were still such a quiet baby. Although you didn't sleep through the night, those late night feedings were precious to me because you were so attentive and I have no doubt you were truly listening to every word. During the day you still were undemanding, allowing Alexis the attention she still needed (training to be the typical first child spotlighter we all adore her for!). Occasionally when you finally just wanted someone to talk to you, we'd hear a "HEY" come from this little baby boy that barely babbled yet (this was around 4 months old), and I'd know it was time to sit and "talk" with you. It was comical hearing "HEY" from a baby, and no one believed me until they would also hear it.
Growing into a little boy, the focus and thinking remained. Hitting the little toy tee-ball took precision: you would place it on the tee just right and whack that little ball! Playing golf in the house required getting down on the floor so you could acquire the exact angle needed to hit the ball to the "hole." As you grew and began playing outside, every activity received your precision; always thinking and processing, then doing. Karate at 3 years old was serious business, as was soccer. When it came to sports you took them on as a pro. People couldn't get over your soccer tactics, how you would hang back initially, quickly surveying and observing what was happening on the field--and then in for the steal and/or the goal.
There was always incredible sensitivity obvious with you, too. Even as a baby, I can remember you seeming to notice if I was upset about something and you would snuggle into my arms. If Alexis was upset about anything you would be as upset, or more, and seemed to have to comfort her. How you adored your sister! I remember you went through a time of waking up very early in the morning (4:30 am!) for the day, and every half hour or so, you would go to the bottom of the steps asking "SSSSSS? SSSSSS?", and would point upstairs; I'd tell you that Alexis was still sleeping, and you'd toddle off and play some more until either you'd ask again or she would come down. The day Lexi went to kindergarten was traumatic for both of us! I held it together, didn't cry--until we got home and you started sobbing at the breakfast table, crying and saying how you missed Alexis. We found our comfort sitting on the floor in front of the fridge eating baby carrots. (hmm, I'll never quite figure out why it wasn't chocolate....)
Humor was definitely there with you early, as well. I will never forget the random moment at the dinner table, as you were given a bowl of ice cream, when you asked "can I put my face in this?" Or another dinner moment when you started doing what looked like a robot imitation, and, when asked what in the world you were doing, your reply of  "I Chuck E. Cheese!!" was random and hilarious! 
Soon school came for you, too, and you gave school the same attention and thought as everything else you did. The comments from your teachers were always the same--smart, friendly, and compassionate. You always helped any classmates that needed help, never waiting for a teacher to tell you to help. You were a gentleman always.

As I look back now, at who you were even before you were born, it all makes sense for who you are now. You are a young adult that perseveres; you keep moving forward and you keep making steady, strong progress. People may not always realize all that you are accomplishing until the end result is achieved--then there is recognition and praise, met by you with humility and quietness. Your calm demeanor disguises all that is going on in your mind. You are always thinking and processing, and you have so much emotion and feeling inside you that every once in a while they brew their way out--and now that you are older there is a bit of a deviance from that little baby shout of "HEY!", but I need to remind myself that that is all it is: you've hit a moment of needing some attention after allowing everyone else to have theirs. I don't know if I've ever known a teen boy--ugh, I'm sorry--teen guy so full of compassion and passion, so filled with a desire to do good and be good. Not easy traits to have in a world where blunt and rough are more socially accepted than kindness and generousness, yet I have no doubt that you will take those warm gifts inside you and do amazing things. I can't express the love I feel for you because words would not do justice to the powerful emotions I feel for you; I can simply say I love you Dylan. I love everything about you and want the world for you. I believe with all my heart you will do great things; you will be a man that is respected and loved.

Happy Birthday to you, Dylan. I love you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Delightful Weather!

I stepped outside this morning for my usual walk with my dog. The crispness in the air filled me with a wistfulness for...oh now seriously, come on--truth is, I got pulled outside by the dog and yanked along the walk, freezing my butt off telling her to hurry up and POOP, getting strange looks for having conversations with my dog, and couldn't get back home fast enough! I did notice the crispness in the air, and I do like it; it was just way too sudden for my current hormonal level. At my, um....matoority level...I need a gentle progression into the season changes please.