CHEAP AND YUMMY BROWNIE RECIPE!
6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.

5/30/08

MARRIAGE: FALLING OUT OF LOVE

I will be married 18 years June 30th. People who know Brian and I, know we are happy. We've been told more than once, "I wish I had what you two have."

Brian and I smile because we know we are happy too but anyone who has been married for any substantial length of time knows that marriage is not all "love, roses and cuddling."

There are time in our marriage when we both can feel ourselves falling, even spiraling out of control. In those times, Brian and I take a ride in the van or go out for coffee to talk. It seems like such an easy thing to do but it's not easy to talk at times. Sometimes we don't even want to talk. In truth though, taking the time to touch and talk in a non sexual way is essential for a woman. Taking the time to touch and talk sexually is essential for a man.

THAT is the secret to a happy marriage. Men and women feel love differently. Women NEED to KNOW that our lover would love us even without sex and men need to know that their lover loves them...sexually. Can anyone say, "Catch 22?"

I come across blogs now and then that have such powerful content that I cannot stop reading.
Freaky Frugalite had just such a post today. This post has been prancing from blog to blog for some time now. Freaky got it from Pinay Wife...and so on and so forth.

You know it's worth the read if we are taking up space to print the entire thing.

If you are married, It's not too long to read.

-----------------------------------------------------

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her
hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate
quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let
her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic
calmly.
She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me
softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away
the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we
didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find
out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a
satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn’t love her
anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which
stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my
company.
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who
had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt
sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take
back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly. Finally she cried loudly
in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was
actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me
for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing
something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep
and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.
When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just
did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t
want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.
She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal
a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a
month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked
me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that everyday for the month’s duration I carry her
out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was
going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her
odd request.
I told Dew about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed
loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she
has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce
intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the
first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is
holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From
the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten
meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t
tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put
her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove
alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned
on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that
I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she
was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair
was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I
wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of
intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her
life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of
intimacy was growing again.. I didn’t tell Dew about this. It became
easier to carry her as the month slipped by.. Perhaps the everyday
workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a
few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my
dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so
thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness
in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry
mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an
essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer
and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I
might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms,
walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her
hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly;
it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I
held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to
school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life
lacked intimacy.
I drove to office… jumped out of the car swiftly without
locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…
I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I
do not want the divorce anymore.
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do
you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I
said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she
and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love
each other any more. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.
Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then
slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove
away.
At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers
for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled
and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a
relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the
bank, blah..blah.. blah. These create an environment conducive for
happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be
your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that
build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!
------------------

I cried too.





5/28/08

LAUNDRY IS A PAIN IN THE HINEY

I am not the best house keeper. Our home has a "lived in" yet it's clean...until the laundry begins to surface. The clean laundry arrives in our living room, the dirty laundry arrives in the laundry room.

Both rooms remind me that I have stuff to do. I don't like looking at either pile.

This cartoon reminds me of my Laundry Life. If they made paper clothes like they make paper cups and plates....I'd buy them! I don't know why but I just do not enjoy laundry...at all.



cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com
Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

5/27/08

WHO DIED ON MY BIRTHDAY?

Here's a little quiz to really pick you up. Find out who died on your birthday! Whoo hooo! ROFL!

I found out that John Deere died on my birthday in 1886. Huh. Who knew?!







130,698 People

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

You are totally singing, "Billy-Bob Loves Charlene" aren't you!! LOL

5/21/08

THE QUESTION OF SOCIALIZATION...


As funny as that cartoon is, I will say that I don't believe it is true. Most kids, homeschooled or otherwise, are on an even keel speaking with one another.

I think that people who ask me about socialization are really asking me how our children are going to experience the things we did in public school. They are voicing their knee jerk reaction that somehow, homeschooled kids will miss out on being a kid.

Some of our favorite memories took place while we were in school you know. That first peck on the cheek, the first playground friend, the first crush. For many, if not most people, all of that took place at school.

I understand the knee-jerk "socialization" question. What they really want to know is if our kids will be able to have the neat experiences we all had in school.

To that I say, Yes. Our children will have that first peck on the cheek. Some of my boys already have. Yes, they will have that first crush and make those close friends. BUT...they won't be in a classroom or attending school when it happens.

In reality, we all had those experiences as happenstance in a school setting. No matter if we are at home, on a field trip, at our neighbors home, at park day, at a sports outing or even at the mall...our homeschooled kids get to be children and experience all the ups and downs of friendships and crushes just like "schooled" children. They just do it elsewhere.

Don't fret. Our kids get to be kids too. :-)

5/18/08

I'M JUST A COUNTRY BOY...and...MY BIRTHDAY

My maternal family is from Kentucky and I spent my high school years living right there in the bluegrass state on the bank of the Mighty Ohio River. Yes indeed, that river was my back yard.

I graduated and moved out of that state but every now and then I get the urge to do a Google search about "Kentucky things."

A year or so ago, I did just that and lo and behold I found my most cherished Kentucky search find.

I found Ray Riddle. I know you are wondering who in the world he is.

He had a blog type website where he showcased his own songs. I was able to download a few onto my computer. I listen to them now and then but didn't give it a second thought over the years.

Well, yesterday was my birthday and I got a little clip on iPod. I love that gift. I'm a music lover my friends. I mean I love music...just all kinds of music.
I've got everything on my iPod...from Ray Riddle to Metallica to Classical to Sinatra to Baby Its Cold Outside. I just love music...all kinds...

but I digress...

I started loading music from my computer onto my iPod and I found Ray again. I've been listening to his songs all evening and all day today. It dawned on me, a moment ago, that he may have more songs on his blog so I googled his name.

Well...wow...It looks like he's really getting out there! The whole first page was filled with sites about him. I can't find the personal blog that I stumbled onto a year or so ago, but I found a lot of other sites about him.


Please know that I DO NOT know this person nor have I ever met him. I'm not getting paid to write about him...I'm just in love with his music. I am totally just giving him a shout out to you Country Music lovers...and those who are closet Country Music lovers. :-)

This man is the best I've heard in a very long time. His voice is "buuutahhh" as I like to say. "Smooooth and relaxing."

Take a listen to "I'm Just A Country Boy" ~ "There's No Flower" and "As Much As I Love You".

*sigh*

Let me know what you think.

5/17/08

HOMESCHOOL PROM...YEP, WE HAVE THEM TOO!

Kazz and a hand full of his homeschool friends went to the Homeschool Prom together last night.

It was held at an elite golf club, catered and had a DJ that they thought was great.

Kazz, Marissa, Jake and Eric are pictured. She was the lone girl in their crew, though she was actually escorted by her boyfriend Jake. (middle)

After the Prom the kids were laughing and talking and just very positive about the evening. Apparently ALL 4 of them danced with the
masses who attended. Even Marissa and Jake were switching dancing partners and having a great time.

I asked them how long it took for all the kids to get warmed up enough to actually get out there and dance to the music. They said, practically in unison...

"The first song came on and we all just went out and started
dancing."

I said,

"Oh you 4 started the thing off right then."

They said,

"No, everybody there got up and danced."


I LOVE it! I remember that our high school prom was a dud. It took forever for people to get out there and dance. The couples stuck together and the cliques were all...cliquey.

Not our homeschooling crew!
But you know, that's because they are so "unsocialized." tee hee

5/15/08

I KNOW I'M BEING RIPPED OFF!!

It's official! This sign may very well be the next step.

Please do not tell me that the price of gas is great here in America compared to other countries. No It Is NOT!

In Venezuela it's 12 cents a gallon! In Saudi Arabia it's 45 cents!! WHY are we paying so much!?!

Do we NOT buy more oil than most of those countries combined? We SHOULD have lower prices! Period!

My tipping point was seeing the OVER $4.00 per GALLON gas price on Gratiot avenue!!




I'm officially ticked!

I am not FOOLED!

I KNOW that gas should be around $1.99 and anything above that is a rip off.

The prices can be over that for many years to come and I WILL NOT become accustomed to it! I WILL NOT think $2.50 is cheap just because I've been crooked for so many years.

I WILL KNOW that I AM STILL being ripped off...

and I KNOW I am not the only one who is smart enough to figure this out!

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! $4.00!!

5/14/08

PARENTING TIP II: RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES

PARENTING TIP II: 
Learned from the book 

As you already know Brian and I were foster parents and adopted children during that time in our life. Because of this, we attended monthly parenting classes for years. The knowledge learned from those classes, and the many books we were required to read, came in quite handy.  The knowledge is still being used today in our home.

One of the interesting parenting tips we've kept in our parenting practice is our Rights and Privileges list.
I get quite a few comments about the list by parents and children alike, because we have it posted on our refrigerator. It can be seen at all times as it is not just held in place by a magnet, it is taped to the fridge. :-)

"THE LIST" came about when our children were whining about not having this and not being able to do that thing or this thing. Yadda yadda...


They were in a perpetual state of entitlement for a while and I was just plain fed up with it. 

I thank God that I was reading a book that answered my need for help. In the book I saw a list entitled

"RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES."

As I read it I realized that not only were my children over privileged, I too had become accustomed to overindulgence. I typed up a list of our own, taught a class to our children and the list became a permanent fixture in our home.
It goes like this...

~RIGHTS~

SHELTER
CLOTHING
FOOD

MEDICAL CARE
PRIVACY WHILE DRESSING, GOING POTTY AND BATHING

A SAFE AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT

AN EDUCATION


~PRIVILEGES~


COLOR AND DECOR OF BEDROOM
BRAND, STYLE COLOR OF CLOTHES
WHAT, WHEN AND WHERE YOU EAT
SEEING DOCTOR ALONE
BRACES OR CONTACTS

PRIVACY WHILE DOING ANYTHING OTHER THAN DRESSING OR BATHING

A PLACE TO BRING FRIENDS

YARD TO PLAY IN

USE OF BIKES
RIDING AROUND BLOCK

PLAYING OUTSIDE
AIR CONDITIONING OR FAN
TELEVISION

GAMES
TOYS
A JOB
TRANSPORTATION

TIME WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL

CHOICES (CHANNELS, COLORS, FOODS, CLOTHES)

KIND OF MUSIC

COMPUTER

Shocking? Does it make you think too? Yep, me too!

Some of the privileges took me by surprise in the book. I assumed that time with family members was a right but truly that is a privilege, as people do not HAVE to spend time with us whenever we want them to.


I was amazed at all the things I gave to our boys without them having to do chores or participate in our family in any real way. They had a sweet ride for a little while. 

They were shocked to learn that some children do not have a yard because some live in apartments or even huts with their family. When I told them that Brian and I could turn the backyard into a hot tub, hammock swinging oasis for ourselves their attitudes changed mighty fast about mowing the lawn and picking up toys. 

We talked about the fact that some children do not ever go to a movie theater or ride in a plane or boat.

Their eyes were actually watering as I showed them pictures of children in other countries and in our country standing by their homes. I told them about me;
 Growing up in a trailer for much of my life and that I never even realized I was poor because I had wonderful, loving parents. They perked up after that. :-)

Vinze: "You didn't have a real house!?"
 
Me: "The trailer was my house." 

Vinze: "That's not a house!"


I had to crack up. He looked at me like I was from Mars. 
 

That was a class worth having and the list is a daily reminder of how much we all have. It did work wonders with their attitude and the way they think about other children; Although, I think it may be time for a refresher as they've again let the yard go to toys but at least I know where to turn in order to curb the situation.


We all just plain and simply have enough. 

5/13/08

THIS WEEKS FAST & FRUGAL DINNER

TODAY'S FAST AND FRUGAL DINNER IS...
VINNIE'S EGG NOODLE STEW!

(Note: this is how WE make it for our family of 7 hungry people... 6 eaters are male! You may want to half it as we ALWAYS have leftovers!)

1 Package Egg Noodles

2 Large Cans Beef Stew

1 can peas
drained
1 can corn
drained

~ Boil noodles per package instructions and drain
~ put noodles back in pan
~ Add beef stew, corn and peas

~ stir under low heat until desired temperature


DONE!

Story behind recipe: Our 8 year old son came into the kitchen carrying items from the pantry that he thought sounded good to eat on his dinner night. I spotted that they were all good choices so we decided to mix them all together...Voila! Great Family Meal! :-)

Yes, it looks "interesting" but it tastes and smells so good!
HAPPY FAST & FRUGAL EATING!

CHOCOLATE FROSTING ( ICING ACTUALLY)

Here's a recipe I'm trying right after I type this.
It looks so good!
I'll come back and update this post with my and
my family's reaction.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Mix together. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add vanilla. Cool partially, then beat with a mixer for 3 minutes or until spreadable consistency.

Update: Yum! You have to let it cool, mix it to death, then let it cool again. It is more of a creamy icing than a thick frosting.


MOTHERS OF HANDICAPPED CHILDREN

I found this poem on a fellow bloggers site. It was posted there because she is a mother who knows the pain. I hope it touches you as it touched me.

---------------------------------------


The Special Mother

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice,

a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.


This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.
Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.

As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew."


"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia."


"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard.
He's used to profanity."

Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles.


"Give her a handicapped child."


The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."


"Exactly," smiles God.

"Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."


"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.


"I don't want her to have too much patience,
or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off she'll handle it."

"I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence
so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of it's own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles.

"No matter, I can fix that.
This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods.

"If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally,
she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see--ignorance, cruelty, prejudice--and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles.

"A mirror will suffice."

5/12/08

TAKE A PEEK AT A TEXAN'S VIEW OF DETROIT

Today I had the unique pleasure of reading what "outsiders" think about Detroit. I read a review of a Texan's quick jolt through our city over at Sprittibee's place.

She gave an honest yet, I do believe, slightly polished view of her ventures here.
I appreciate the candor as well as her generosity of tact. I do find her blog to be fun and upbeat but more than that, honest.


It's not often that we get to hear such candor about our city. She even brought up the ever so interesting question as to what "we" are called. Are we Michiganians, Michiganites, or Michiganders?

Native born Michigan folk are Michiganders even though our governor calls us Michiganians. I have only recently heard the term Michiganites and think it to be...ridiculous. Whatever we are called, the more pertinent term would be, Loyal. You see, our Sprittibee friend, Detroit is Artistic, Inspired, Magical...Beautiful!
I wish our Texan friend would have braved her fears and visited the Hard Rock Cafe in the beautiful Art Filled Compuware building. The Hard Rock Cafe - Detroit is located in the footprint of several of Detroit's finest attractions including the fabulous Joe Louis Arena, Comerica Park and Ford Field.
Had they ventured into the finest of Downtown Detroit, the vibrant Texan homeschooling family could have experienced a HUGE and expressive art and Architecture lesson while touring the Compuware Building. They would have been able to end their lesson at the top of the building with a fun ride around the city on the People Mover. (sky rail)



We did that very thing, back in 2006. But, then again, we are not afraid of Detroit because we know the truth about Detroit. Our views are not distorted by blown out of proportion movies or outsiders fears. We KNOW Detroit and are proud of our city . We are part of the thousands who are impressed, excited and honored to be able to call Detroit home. Our family heads out to the city quite often to attend the Opera. The Fox Theater is a national GEM that takes our breath away every time we enter!

There are indeed parts of our city that need repair and the cold weather and snow does a doozy on the roads. I do understand her reservations about getting out of her car if she zigged when she should have zagged in Detroit, however it is my belief that our Nations Capital is far worse in
regard to "bad parts" of town yet families visit there on their vacations every year. They do not give it a second thought. Maybe that is because the idea of Washington D.C. is of the majestic beauty of the White House. It is not often that the back streets of D.C. are highlighted in the news or that D.C's crime is mentioned nationwide. D.C. has that advantage.
Detroit doesn't have that luxury. We do get a bad rap in the press AND in movies. That stigma carries over to the psyche of our nation's parents. It Is a real possibility that parent's feel afraid to drive near our city let alone bring their family to experience it. That, is a sad, sad idea to have of our wonderful city.

Detroit is safe my good friends! Yes, you need to navigate well, just as you would in Washington D.C. or any other large city and recently our mayor has had his issues, but Detroit is a safe and fun place to visit for your whole family.
I urge you not to let the movie "8 mile" scare you away from what could be a beautiful and pleasant family vacation. I can tell you from experience, living only one mile from "8 mile" that this city has never hurt us one bit! We have been enriched, entertained, enlightened and entranced by Detroit!
I hope to hear from families who came to enjoy our city and learned that their fears were NOT realized. I hope that there are many, many families out there who have experienced the view from the People Mover and were able to attend a Tiger Game or view an Opera at The Majestic FOX Theater. I hope to hear from those who have visited The Charles H. Wright Museum of African History, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Detroit Zoo and The New Detroit Science Center.

I expect...NO...I KNOW you were not disappointed! :-)

I
Hope you come back Sprittibee and give us more than a look-see point of view. Detroit cannot be sampled, Detroit is Experienced!

I hope you come back with a new vision and hope. I would love to give you and your family the grand tour of Detroit from a native Michiganders point of view. I think you'll like what you experience. :-)

THE PERFECT LITTLE GIRL'S NAME...FOUND!

UPDATE: This post began as a nod to my favorite little girl's name. The post, however has morphed into something more fun..for me especially! I've gotten requests in the comments and by e-mail to name babies yet to be born. :-)

The Answer is YES...I will name YOUR baby!! Just ask!

If you give me your first name, your significant other's first name and how many syllables will be in the little ones last name...I will have a name just pop out of me. I'll let you know what it is! :-) Go ahead...

Comment in the comment section or email me at: mom_with_brownies@wowway.com for a more discreet naming. Of course if you use the name I HAVE to see pictures please! :-) and if you don't...I STILL want to see pictures! I'll post them and the name chosen if you give permission!

----------------------------------------
(original post)

Anyone who's known me 5 minutes, or who has read the names of my children, knows that I'm a name FREAK!

I love to think about them, I love to fiddle with making them up, I love to just...any name that can be fiddled with I will fiddle with it. There..now you know.

If you are having a baby, I WILL think of a baby name for your child. It's just what I do...I don't know why...I know it is YOUR baby but I will name that child. (Kara is Raven and Louis you are Brahm)

It is a gift and a curse. I just have this obsession. There now you know my ONE fault. (snicker)

Today I found THE perfect little girl's name.
Now let me tell you this...coming from ME...THAT is saying something.

I have 5 sons and names on the back burner for more.. I have NO daughters but have names ready in wait for them to arrive.

I have names...IN A FILE...on my computer...for my GRAND-CHILDREN! *SIGH*

*Sigh* sigh...wheewww....


There, I've admitted it...


"Hello, my name is Shelly and I'm... A Namaholic."

Upon adopting 3 of our children, immediately after the judge swore us in, signed the petition, granted our adoption and asked the recorder to end the proceedings, he looked up, AT ME, from his high up judge seat and said,

"What's up with these names?"

I had to explain where I came up with our children's names. Oh yes, I have a sickness...NO I have a gift!

So are you ready for the perfect little baby girl, toddler, growing child, teenager, grown to adulthood name that can be thought of as the best name on the face of the earth to match all beauty and all ages for a human female precious soul?

Ready?!

It is...

Nevaeh (Ne vay uh)


I found the precious name here, in all it's glory, with a little two year old's face to match.

Nevaeh is Heaven...spelled backward.

nuff said. I'm done looking for girl names. Thank You Mary-Ann for being proud of your niece and blogging about her and Mary-Ann's sister for naming her!

It is finished.
:-)

THE UPS MAN WALKED UP TO MY DOOR...

This week has been a fun one! I got a lot of freebies in the mail as you can see by the picture to the left. Add coffee, Cereal and shampoo to that list. I was happy to have the free loot so I thought my week of free-stuff-getting was finished.

A day later, I was blogging and all of the sudden the UPS man walked up to my door. I looked up and saw him there waving to me through our living room

window. I smiled, he smiled. I waltzed over and opened our door. He handed me a package, told me to enjoy and off he went.

I wasn't expecting anything to come in the mail and I certainly wasn't expecting anything by UPS so I wondered what in the world?! I
opened the box and Holy Cow!!

We won the weekly give-away for MAXXED Energy Pops!!


These are the
neatest things. They are Energy Pop Suckers that come in an Energy Pop Can!

Of course, my eldest sons and their friends just HAD to pop them open and pass them around to every single friend they have.

They went over like a house aflame. They're the neatest most innovative things I've seen since the blow pop...but way cooler!

Kazz and his friend, Matt had fun mocking up a commercial for the sucker.
After they posed they took off to hand out the suckers. They've been the talk of the block all week now.

I've got to get more of those buggers, that's a sure thing.

So, it's been a freebie week. I'm one blessed blogging mom that's for sure.

Hope your week was a fun, healthy, happy one too!

5/11/08

TO THE GUY IN THE VAN...


Hello there fellow homeschooling parent that I got to talk to at the red light there on Gratiot last night. :-)

Click Here to see where we made our Bumper Stickers.

You Can Click Here to check out our local HS group.

Hope to meet you again soon!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM

Mom..Nova Star...
You made my bed, my meals, my heart to grow,
my smile to show and my children and husband happy and loved.

You made our house a home.

You are the glue mom.
I Love You.
Happy Mother's Day.

5/10/08

ONE WORD TAG

I've been sorta tagged by mommy2joe. I take it as a "go" if someone tags everybody so
here I "go!" LOL

Answer each with only one word:

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Significant other? Hot
3. Your hair? Oily
4.Your mother? Precious
5. Your father? Funny
6. Your favorite thing? Mocha-Latte
7. Your dream last night? Blogging
8. Your favorite drink? Mocha-Latte
9. Your dream/goal? Family
10. The room you’re in? Living
11. Your hobby? Cooking
12. Your fear? Hopelessness
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Alive-n-happy
14. Where were you last night? Starbucks!!
15. What you’re not? Pharisee
16. Muffins? Blueberry
17. One of your wish list items? Disney
18. Where you grew up? Franklin Furnace
19. The last thing you did? Pottied
20. What are you wearing? Meijers
21. Your TV? OFF
22. Your pets? Huskies
23. Your computer? Gateway
24. Your life? Content
25. Your mood? Blissful
26. Missing someone? Parents
27. Your car? 1-ton-Van
28. Something you’re not wearing? Bra
29. Favorite store? CVS
30. Your summer? Fun
31. Like someone? Brian
32. Your favorite color? Red
33. When is the last time you laughed? Today
34. Last time you cried? Yesterday
35. Who will blog this? YOU! :-)

If you read it...You are Tagged!

5/9/08

WHERE'S MY STIMULUS CHECK?!

I just checked out the IRS "Where's My Stimulus Payment" page.

Brian and I thought we would get our direct deposit today but it turns out that ours will be mailed instead of direct deposited. Go figure.

We always get our refunds direct deposited but this year, for some unknown reason, the IRS decided to mail ours instead...sooo....that is how our Stimulus Check is coming to our home also.

Not only that but I found out, by using their handy-dandy little site there, that we are going to get $600 less than we thought.

Oh well, I'm happy to get what's coming.

If you still haven't gotten your stimulus payment, you may want to check out what's up
right here.

Good Luck! My parents got $600 less also. hmmm....

5/7/08

FRUGAL HOMESCHOOLING

We've been homeschooling for 10 years. It seems like we've tried every kind of homeschooling from unschooling to overly structured. Somewhere along the way we became an eclectic, frugal, fun homeschooling family. Some weeks we go by a schedule, some weeks we don't. One thing we have stuck to recently, however, is freebie sites. 


I have been over the moon for freebies and frugal ideas. The boys enjoy something different now and then and I enjoy changing up the learning adventure too.


I had a brain pop and decided to start an international Yahoo Group for Frugal Homeschooling Parents to store, share and chat about all things Frugal and Homeschooling...including recipes! :-)

So, for all of you out there who ware interested in freebie sites, frugal sites and peeking into the links other parents have stored away...here's your chance to dive in...

FREE HOMESCHOOLING has begun. 


Enjoy!  :-)

5/5/08

WHOA!!

Summer is coming. Here's hoping that dad remembers that the kids want to live to see next summer.

I really, REALLY hope the next picture taken showed all of them happy, healthy and cracking up with laughter!

I LOOKED UP...

I leaned back, breathed a sigh of relaxation a moment ago and looked up to rest my eyes.
This was not quite what I expected to see just above my head as I was yawning.


I used to be one of those people who would shake my head at those who detested spiders. I would say things like, "Their fangs can't penetrate human skin." and "They aren't going to harm you. They are God's creatures."
Then my brother was bitten by a spider and hospitalized for a week. He has VERY large scars on his forearm where the surgeons had to lay his flesh open, remove the dead tissue and leave it open to heal from the inside out. The doctors were very happy with the scarring results because they were concerned the poison was going to get into his blood stream and kill him. They were able to get the flesh eating venom out of him before it invaded his muscle.
You know what I think of spiders now? I hate them.

Is the one above my head a variation of this Brown Recluse? I can't tell.

When I can, I'll let them crawl around the house. Until then, they go bye, bye...and besides that, they're yucky!
Word to the wise.

5/4/08

MOTHER'S DAY FRUGAL CRAFT

TODAY'S FRUGAL CRAFT SITE IS
ACTIVITY VILLAGE! (click)
"All our kids crafts are quick and easy, require minimal equipment and materials, and offer satisfyingly instant results - because we know that even crafty kids like to be able see the fruits of their labour in action within minutes rather than hours! ...crafts sorted by holiday, season and activity."

Happy Crafting! :-)

5/3/08

MY HOT, SEXY ITALIAN...ANDY

Remember the scene in The Godfather where the grandpa was scaring the daylights out of that kid. It was supposed to be cute but I laughed my hiney off.

My children have never seen The Godfather, of course, but they do love oranges. They were walking around the house like this. So, a photo op was born.

Anyway...


That movie is where I first saw my Andy.

I fell in "deep crush" with Andy Garcia after watching that movie. The scene where he looks at his woman at the end of the movie, grasps the door and shuts it practically in her face, while looking deep into her eyes...Oh my goodness. Yacka pookie he's a hot tamale!

He is the crush that took the place of my childhood Italian crush, Scott Baio. As Scott got older, he got less hunky and I lost interest in good old Scott but he held my fancy from the age of 7 to about fifteen. Andy, however, oh my, he hung in there. I still like him, a lot. Those eyes and that strong, mellow voice just. Whew...

I'm just a huge sucker for Italian men. My hubby is Italian. I saw him at the county fair and that was that. We've been together ever since. He was not about to be the one who got away. I knew my Italian when I saw him, he thought I was the best thing since sliced bread so we made toast..or a sandwich or whatever...

My fascination for Italian men is woven into my psyche somehow, some way. I even think Anthony Soprano (James Gandolfini) is one of the hottest men to ever walk on the face of this earth. Dark haired, Dark eyed, sure of themselves Italians, of any size, float my boat, curl my toes and make my mouth water.

But I digress...I was watching my new favorite sit-com, George Lopez, the other night. Let me rephrase that...
I was blogging while Brise, our 11 year old son, was watching George Lopez the other night when who should appear on his show, as the brother-in-law, but...du du dummm...Andy Garcia!

I heard his beautiful voice from behind me and KNEW right away that the man speaking was "my" Andy. I immediately twirled around in my chair, stared at the screen and watched in amazement as he played the part of a Latino.

As the show kept going and he kept talking and I began to snap out of "Italian man watching" mode...it dawned on me.

Andy Garcia.

G.A.R.C.I.A.

Garrrcceeeeaaaa...

Latino name.. Helloooo

My brain began to register this and the turmoil that took place in my mind was truly a chaotic mess. I whispered to myself in my mind...

"Shelly, pssst...Andy is not Italian."

From somewhere deep inside, another part of me whispered back...
"Yes he is. See my toes curling there....He's a hotty Italian man."

The first voice emerged again gently nudging...

"Shelly honey, he's a Latino. He's 'Garcia' precious dear...not Gargano, not Garofalo, not Garin...It's G-A-R-C-I-A...as in L-A-T-I-N-O"

At about that moment I realized that Brise was snapping his fingers at me.

"Mom!" snapping his fingers "What's wrong with you?"

My mouth was open, my eyes were watering and I must have looked terribly perplexed because the look on my 11 year old son's face was one of deep question and worry.

As I woke from my inner dialogue,
It registered. I looked up. I looked over at Brise and said,

"He's not Italian."

To which Brise replied, "Okayyy?"

How did I not know this?!

There goes my super-uber-crush that was born from the Italian Mob movie.
My Andy, my beautiful, Italian mob, hunky powerful Andy...rolling the dough
with the girl in the sexy, mind-numbing kitchen scene...will forever be....

the beautiful, talented actor who played an Italian.

Somehow, it's just not the same. *sob*