Friday, November 28, 2008

Many Thanks & Black Friday

Well, here it is late into the evening of the day after Thanksgiving and I am just getting to finish this post ... I guess better late then never (I think I should change the title of my blog to that!)

Many Thanks

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, as I clicked along the blog sphere the past few days, I found many posts about all the wonderful things that people were thankful for -- this was so nice. I love blogging because it gives an outlet for sharing stories, complaining and helping others BUT for me it also provides a smile and hope that there are many wonderful people in this world. Although you may not bump into them in your every day life, it seems that they are there, and through technology we all are blessed with access to this wonderful network! So I would like to say thank you to everyone who shares, whether it be fun, silly, complaining, sad, kindness or just a glimpse into your life, I appreciate the bloggy world that we all share.

I feel that I have so much to be thankful for. I have a family, six (one we have not yet met) beautiful children who are kind and caring and bring me more pleasure than I could have ever imagined! Then there is my husband, a man that has stood by me and our family through everything. A man that I can truly say is the love of my life and my best friend.

And if we really want to talk about family ... I have so many wonderful people in my family and extended family -- it has grown and grown and although some of us rarely see each other, we are there for each other. I can not even begin to list the people and their special qualities that make them who they are and me so thankful that they are a part of my life.

Okay and now lets talk friends, I have so many wonderful friends (from way back and newly made) that bring so much joy to my life. There is always someone there to share a complaint or a dream. Again, more reasons to be thankful.

And last but not least there is the little (used lightly) things like my health, my families health, the fact that we have a roof over our heads, food on our table and all those other things that really are considered a luxury to some. I truly am thankful for all of this.

Black Friday

In years past my mother and I were up in the wee hours of the night headed off to shop until we dropped on Black Friday BUT today (and for the past few years) I have had a change of heart. I really am just not able to buy into the commercialism of the holidays and really want it to mean more to me and my family. I want my children to grow up thinking that the day after Thanksgiving (if you are lucky enough to have it off) is a time to spend with family and enjoy what you already have. I do NOT want them to think that it is a day to push and shove and frantically buy more 'stuff' just because it is on sale!

So, we decided that our Black Friday would be spent at home, and we would not buy anything!! And that is just what we did. We played outside and enjoyed the lovely t-shirt weather. We ate left overs and watched a movie. A lovely day!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Saving Organic Labels

This letter was sent to Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting, she has asked for us to share! As organic standards is also very important to me and my family I am sharing!!!

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for signing the petition, "Organic Fish Must Meet Organic Standards!" As you know, it is critical that we maintain high standards for the organic label in the U.S.

Unfortunately, bureaucrats at the National Organics Standards Board in Washington don't think the organic label is all that important. On Thursday, they recommended to the USDA that fish be labeled 'organic' – even if they've been fed fishmeal that contains mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or other toxins.

It's outrageous. Join me in telling the USDA and the Obama Administration transition team that you expect higher standards for the organic label »

And then, please tell three friends to do the same »

Not only did the board recommend toxic fish be sold under the organic label, but they also recommend labeling fish organic if it is raised in open ocean net pens – a practice that is highly polluting and harms the wild fish supply and health of our oceans.

I am disappointed in the board's decision. But there is still time to speak out and express outrage at this decision to the USDA and to the next Administration that will be walking in the door in a couple of months. Please take a moment today and stand up for environmentally friendly, toxin-free organic standards for fish »
Thanks for taking action!

Care2 Campaign Team

This is the code for a button that you see above, feel free to grab it and share! I am not sure if it will work this way or not, I have no idea how everyone makes these great buttons and inserts the code in a fancy box and all that jazz - so I am doing it like this until I can figure it out!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wordless(ful) Wednesday - Magical Snow

As the cold weather blows in and we all start to nestle down next to the fire, I am thankful that we have moved to a much warmer climate! For my whole life I have lived in Vermont and had to survive the cold winter months. I am not saying that it is not beautiful and there are not lots of fun times to be had BUT you know what? I just will not miss it that much! Besides we can visit!

A very magical day to you!

I participate in Wordful Wednesday sponsored by
SevEn cLoWn CirCus

My Boys!

Here are my three boys, when they were all around the same age! It seems that lately I have have spent a lot of time reminiscing about my children. I have been looking at pictures and just thinking about the fact that they are growing up. I have read several beautiful mommy blog posts which have made me stop and want to appreciate my childrens every moment.

They are so beautiful and if you can not tell from the pictures, all you would have to do is spend a little time with them to see just how wonderful they are. They each are so different but have such magnificent qualities! A little hug, a funny smile, a quiet moment, I am so very blessed!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sculpey Creation

This is a chicken made with Sculpey, my son Jacob made it!
See how cute ...
Each little detail ...
So very cute!
Sculpey is a great gift for kids of all ages. Grammy sent a bunch of colors for Halloween, along with a book on how to make things! The kids have had hours of fun shaping and creating! I like it because it does not dry out and it is fairly easy to use! And besides I love little creations like this! Here are a couple more:

Friday, November 21, 2008

My New Shower Curtain

Okay, a new shower curtain ... I know to most of you this is probably not a big deal BUT to me it is!! I have never had a shower curtain that I love ... you see I seem to always find one that I love and then I look at the price tag and think OMGoodness!! I can not spend that much money on something that is going to hang in my bathroom and I am only going to see for a few minutes each day.

So for years, I have had cheap shower curtains that were okay or most recently just a plastic liner -- who really cares!!! Not like I really get any privacy anyways with all these kids, there is always someone flinging open the shower curtain while I am in there to ask a question or to tattle!

Well a very dear friend that I have known forever and yes I mean forever (her mom was my babysitter when I was only six weeks old) had sent me a picture of her bathroom many years ago and I LOVED her shower curtain. We had talked about it and she had told me how she had made it herself and it was nothing fancy! So when we moved into our new place I thought I would try to make one ... but I was thinking I would copy her idea ... SOOOO I asked her if she still had that picture she had sent me and she laughed and said she had no idea what I was talking about (it was many years ago now)! After some chatting she thought she had the shower curtain in a box (as she had just moved also) and was not going to use it. So she said she would mail it to me.

Well, she was not able to find it BUT being the most wonderful person that she is ... she made me one and it is so gorgeous. I love it! The problem is ... I just want to hang out in the bathroom all the time. The colors just make me smile and feel happy! I would have NEVER in a million years put these colors and patterns together but I just can not tell you how pretty it looks! It is just what I needed. My bathroom is small (no room for decorating) and this gives it the needed color and jazz (see those cute buttons) that I was hoping for.

So my dear friend, Terry, a huge THANK YOU! It is the best!!!!

The pictures just does not show it as wonderfully as I see it, the bathroom is so small it is hard to get a good picture! But I can assure you it is just magnificent!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It Arrived! It is Here! I'm Bubbling with Excitement!

Mamarazzi over at Dandelion Wishes hosted a Favorite Thing Swap. It has been so much fun. The idea was that if you wanted to 'play' Mamarazzi would do ALL the organizing and matched us up --- then we gathered some of our favorite things and sent them along to our partner!!!

I had a great time organizing (used lightly as I am not very organized) my package. I hope that Smoochiefrog will enjoy her package. I know that I was just thrilled to open mine and LOVE all my treasures!!!!!

Here is a slide show of my treasures :

The chocolate arrived just in time, it was sooooo needed today!!

I was saying just the other day that I need to buy some nail polish, as over the years all of mine has dried up. I always loved painting my nails but it has been awhile and I really can not wait to have a minute to actually sit down and paint them!

I am very excited to make the Oreo Cookie Cake it looks great, the kids really want to make it, right now ... but I need to get a couple things at the store first! But I am sure it will be delicious!

Is this not the cutest card ever?!?!?

I think that tonight after the kids go to bed I am going to sit down and pop my popcorn, mix in the m&m's (because that is what I was told to do), do my nails and watch my Netflix movie that also arrived today! It will be like a night at the spa!!

I think my favorite thing (besides maybe the chocolate) is the adorable froggy ornament that will remind me of this swap for many years!

This has been so much fun! What a great way to boost energy and spirits!

Thank you to Mamarazzi for organizing the swap and for everyone who participated and to Smoochiefrog for such a wonderful package!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wordless (Wordful) Wednesday - Fireworks

When we were planning our move to Knoxville, my children spent some time looking at the attractions in the area! Thanks to their Uncle Michael they learned of Boomsday, which is the Labor Day Celebration here in Knoxville.

As we just love fireworks, it became a goal to try to get to Knoxville in time to see the great Boomsday display!

We made it! And despite the fact that we had only been here two days and had no idea where we were going -- we went!!!

And we had so much fun! There were many people, but everyone was kind! The firework display was amazing.

Although it was a little late for my littlest sleepy guy! See how cuddly he is in his Ergo Carrier --- shortly after this picture he was fast asleep!

A very magical day to you!

I participate in Wordful Wednesday sponsored by
SevEn cLoWn CirCus

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Babywearing & Motrin

All you have to do is a Google Search: 'Motrin Ad' and you will be faced with many links to outraged babywearers and a general appalled feeling from the mommy community! When I tried to view (and link to or embed) the ad, I continue to get errors. I will keep trying but I am wondering if it has indeed been pulled off by the company or maybe the server is just overwhelmed with so many bloggers!

So thanks to many others who have written the ad out, just in case this happened, here it is. This is a little video on their website front page, which they call a "Mom-versation". It is complete with graphics that really show the pain of parenting.

"Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion.

I mean, in theory it’s a great idea.

There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch.

And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free.

Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience.

They say that babies carried close to the bod tend to cry less than others.

But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t?

I sure do!

These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back?!

I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid.

Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom.

And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why."

I did watch this ad and thought it was just ridiculous for so many reasons but I think the thing that bothers me the most is that someone is taking the act of parenting and drugging it! Whether you believe in babywearing or not, whether it works for you or not, it does not make you an 'official mom' to be in pain AND if there is pain (because we all know there are many pains that go along with parenting) - WE DO NOT NEED TO MEDICATE IT!!!!!!

Here are a couple of video responses to the ad, like I said it has hit the mommy blog world quite hard and there are many opinions and thoughts. I thought these two were well done (I am sure there are many good ones), I just do not have time to watch them all!!!

Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing had this to say:

Katja at Ladybug Landing put together this video:

Also skip over to Crazy Adventures in Parenting, Lisa had great points to make!

I enjoy blogging because there are so many opinions and thoughts. I love the passion that many put into a cause no matter how big or small. From my point of view the Motrin Marketing team made a mistake BUT looking at the silver lining I see a movement for babywearing ... an awareness that was not there before, a positive in a negative situation.

So in conclusion I have this to say:

Dear Motrin: I do not use your product or will I start! I also will remember this and voice it to many! But in addition I would like to say THANK YOU, for bringing International Babywearing Week into the spotlight. You have united a great bunch of moms, parents, and people for a great cause ... the well-being of children!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rainy Saturday

Just in case anyone is looking for ideas on how to spend a cool, rainy, windy Saturday afternoon -- here are a couple of suggestions!

Curled up on a nice cozy lap, near the fireplace!

Napping in a cozy blanket, near the fireplace!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bloggy Goodness Award

Mamarazzi has passed this award onto me and everyone who has participated in Mamarazzi's Favorite Thing Swap. Please stop by Dandelion Wishes it is a really fun blog, Mamarazzi's family is an inspiration! I have to say that I have had so much fun preparing my package for this and I just can not wait to send it out! After the swap I will fill everyone in on all the fun!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chicken Soup!

Well, yes we have had lots of colds going around here and indeed chicken soup is great for that but that is not what I am writing about ... believe me no one wants to hear about boogy noses and hacking coughs -- we are hoping they are on their way out and will not be back for a long time.

Actually, I am going to tell you about our chickens ... please keep in mind that I am fairly clueless about chickens! This is all a first for me!

As a family we have been talking about having chickens for years but just have not had the space for them. Here at our new place it seemed like the perfect time. So we started planning what we wanted. Our intentions were to get a few (ten or so) hens for eggs and then at some point raise meat birds.

The pressure was on my Dan to get the coop built as I browsed Craigslist and found many chickens for sale. I think he was afraid he would come home to a bunch of chickens with no place to live. So after many days, hours, and much bickering a coop design was established and materials bought. For those of you who can throw together a coop in a day -- bravo to you! For us building things is a little more challenging, just read this post for how well we work together, after all these years not much has changed!

Anyways, we finally got the materials and with the help of the children ... Dan built the coop!! I did help some ... I did some of the painting and helped keep the kids safe and made lunch BUT honestly the less I helped the better!!!! I bought all the supplies that we would need ... a feed dish, a water dish, some food, scratch, and hay! We were ready, all we needed now was chickens!!!

So I found some chickens on Craigslist and we went to get them. Light Brahmas, that were born sometimes during the last week of May and first week of June. They had not started laying yet but should soon. There is a flock (is that the right term) of ten but there may be a couple roosters. This all sounded great to us! We went and picked them up and brought them home!!

YEAH, we have chickens. I had researched the best way get them to nest and all that jazz. So they stayed in their coop for two days and then on day three we let them out to roam around. Or more precisely be chased around by the kids who wanted to pet them. The first couple of nights it took all of us and some chasing to get them all back in the coop but now they all go in at dinner time! Good little chickens!

On the fourth day (a Monday) we went to put them in and there was one missing, we searched. Dan and Jacob went into the woods and searched. We thought of all the possibilities and had decided that we had lost one ... five days later (Saturday) I went out in the morning and there it was ... scratching around! So we have ten again!!!

So here is the funny part ... it would be nice to know which are hens and which are roosters --- we have even joked that maybe they are all roosters and we just have no idea what we are doing! There is one that I am quite sure is a rooster but other than that I have no idea. I have looked it up on the internet ... apparently Light Brahamas have very little distinctions between males and females. I asked around and was told that the I should know because the roosters will crow - well these gals/guys are quiet ... I have heard a little clucking here and there but no good crows!

So here we have a wonderful coop and ten chickens ... no eggs yet (but I was told that due to the colder weather and shorter day light hours that I may not get any until spring) and we have no idea which are the hens and which are the roosters! Real good chicken farmers, aren't we! But they are fun to watch, they even let the kids pet them sometimes, they come running when I go out and who knows maybe someday we will get some eggs!