Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday & Thursday Thirteen

Happy Thursday to you all! I hope that you are having a wonderful week. I am BUT I seem to be lacking in time (do you have some to spare?) We have had a busy and fun week filled with the zoo and playing games and spring cleaning. I also am working on a couple of big projects for my blog -- YEAH!

So today I would like to say that I am thankful for all of my readers understanding ... I am busy today and just have not had time to think So today I will be thinking of all of you! And will be around soon to read your blogs, I usually read everything but my commenting has been sparse so please hang in there with me, I have comments and love your blogs, I just have had very little sit down time to type!!!

And if you are looking for some great reading ... check out my Blog List, there are some great reads!!

Now for my Thursday Thirteen, here are thirteen posts/topics that I have started writing (some only in my head):

1. My first Give-A-Way, coming in May for Mother's Day!
2. An extreme makeover of my blog ... hopefully coming really soon!
3. Vaccines - I am reasearching some on this!
4. Breastfeeding - some tips, ideas, and thoughts.
5. Co-Sleeping - personal choices.
6. Making goats milk yogurt.
7. Beautiful Like Me Project.
8. A kitten story.
9. Our Egg Hatching Project
10. Caitlyn's Corner - green tips from the teen!
11. Alternative Medicine - what works for us.
12. Babywearing - making it work for us.
13. A review New Native Baby Carrier

So that is what I am working on. Oh yeah and the usual stuff, with family updates and pictures off my precious children! Have a great day!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday - #10

For me this picture needs no words, it makes me smile and it makes me cry all in the same moment. It both warms my heart and saddens it!

Let me explain. This is Jacob at his first baseball game this season (which they won). I snapped this before the game, he was watching the team before him finish up. When I saw him standing there it warmed my heart ... his love for baseball, my little guy growing up so fast, and just how proud my dad would be of him.

My dad (actually my step dad, who I lived with from the time I was two years old) passed away from cancer before any of my children where born. This makes me sad just to think about it because I know he would have loved his grandchildren more than anything. My dad was a baseball fan (actually a fan of most any sport). He loved to play, he loved to watch and he loved to coach ... he lived for sports. He was also #10 ... always! He grew up in a small town and apparently when he first started playing baseball (in Kindergarten, as the story goes) he and his best friend went to try-outs. They both made the team, dad was given #1 but his friend really wanted it so he traded with him and ended up with #10 and he just always had it!

So when Jacob's coach asked me what number I wanted and my choices were #10 or #12,without hesitation I said #10. I did not realize just how emotional it would make me feel when I saw that #10 watching the game.

My dad would be so proud of Jacob. I believe in my heart that he is watching over us but some days I wish with all my heart that he was here to share in the little pleasures of life with my children.

A magical day to you!

I participate in Wordful Wednesday sponsored by
SevEn cLoWn CirCus

Check out the Wordless Wednesday HQ!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

To-do Tuesday

Things are getting done, slowly but surely. I am not so great at checking things off my list BUT I still frequently write a paper list and cross things off!!!

Just yesterday we had a couple accomplishments ... headline news!!!

Rick peed on the potty all day!!!!
Jacob's baseball team had their first game and WON!!!!

Okay here I go with my list, I am using the same one again and adding a little!!!

My To Do List:

Organize Boy Clothes - YEAH! I did this and have four boxes to give away!
Clean Out The File Cabinet
Write 3rd Blog Post for: Beautiful Like Me
2nd attempt at making yogurt - WOOHOO, it came out great!!!
Work on Garden Plan: what are we panting and where, etc...
Have dinner ready on time, almost every day!
Finish some blog posts that I have started!
Take kids to the zoo - we are headed there today!
Clean off porch

Big Project
Learn Wordpress - oh my! oh my! oh my!
Redesign my Blog
Kick-off my very first Give-a-way!!!

Want to start your own To-Do List, stop over and visit Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting with her To-do Tuesday!

Also check out The Owl's Nest: From To-Do to Ta-Da!

Have a wonderful day! Happy list making!

Monday, April 27, 2009




Sunday, April 26, 2009

Morning Prelude in Green Valley

My dear mother-in-law sent me this beautiful email the other morning.

Soft morning breeze and sunrise in a clear sky - Looking across the flat green valley toward the hard crusty mountains, what stands up are stately palms with their feathery tops waving, and taller dark spikes of cedar or cypress trees (??) This palm gently shakes her branches like a rustling taffeta skirt.

The neighborhood is awakening with its daily chattering alarms. Sparrows fluttering about feeding babies in the tile roof openings, mourning doves cooing from various perches. Two sit quietly on the wall.

Mr. Gambrel Quail jogs in quick spurts along the garden wall, watching carefully for - anything - peering past his black plume, he spots the two doves and hones in. As he gets closer, he lowers his head and the doves depart. Satisfied, Mr Quail also departs.

Flicker goes about his appointed rounds at chimney covers, tapping out the wake up call, moving from house to house.

Cactus wren jabber, jabber, jabber now and then. Bright yellow Goldfinches check out the red ocotillo blooms for insects.

ALARM, ALARM !! On a large bush, a flock of sparrows are silhouetted - one atop each small twig - all chattering and facing......A HA !! here comes RoadRunner on his jaunty morning constitutional. So innocent ! Sparrows keep him in sight and cry continuously - facing him with every diversion he tries. Get Gone, Mr Roadrunner !!

Woodpeckers look in cactus holes, and announce their bouncing flight to the next saguaro. Cardinal flashes by to sit in a tree top searching for 'Wicker Wicker Wicker !!"

Zzzzzzzzoooooooooom Ms. Hummer says, bunny rabbit moves in under a bush. Mr Lizard scampers over the rocks, watching out for RoadRunner.

MockingBird sums them all up for a long morning prelude, backed up by the steading questioning rhythm of all the lost quail: "Where??, where??, where??."

Not all who wander are lost.
I just thought this was so nice. I absolutely love the early morning, as the sun rises. All is still and then the music of birds and life starting to awake. Then the treasures you see as the light opens the door to a busy world!

A very happy day to you!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Drink Anyone?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - Spaghetti Sauce

My Sam loves spaghetti
with lots of sauce!
He also insists on doing it all himself!

A magical day to you!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To-do Tuesday

So I am starting to really get into this, I never remember (until Monday night) to check things off BUT I think of my list often and when I have a minute to spare I think of something on my list because I would love to report that I actually completed my list!!!

I am also one of those people that adds things to the list just to cross them off, so I have added a couple things to last weeks list that I did actually accomplish!

I feel like it was a good week, I was able to do a few things. I also got a few consecutive hours of sleep - that really is a task in our house of children! I also feel like we are getting a good routine, it seems life after Willy was born was just hectic and it has taken us awhile to settle in but I feel like we are there! Sam is back to himself, still a little naughty at time, just like a one year old should be but I no longer feel like I am going insane!

So here we go with the lists ...

Review of Last Weeks List:

Organize Boy Clothes (this has been started)
Clean Out The File Cabinet (one out of four drawers done, and it was moved inside)
Write 2nd Blog Post for: Beautiful Like Me
Paperwork for health insurance - mailed yesterday!
Work on Garden Plan: what are we panting and where, etc...
Have dinner ready on time, almost every day!
Clean and organized shed - it looks great!
1st attempt to make yogurt - I will post soon about this, 1st attempt, too runny!

So this week I am going to carry forward items and add a couple!!

My To Do List:

Organize Boy Clothes
Clean Out The File Cabinet
Write 3rd Blog Post for: Beautiful Like Me
2nd attempt at making yogurt
Work on Garden Plan: what are we panting and where, etc...
Have dinner ready on time, almost every day!
Finish some blog posts that I have started!
Take kids to the zoo
Clean off porch

Want to start your own To-Do List, stop over and visit Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting with her To-do Tuesday!

Have a wonderful day! Happy list making!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on The Wall!

Today I am posting for the Beautiful Like Me Project, a project dedicated to raising awareness about the lack of self-esteem and poor body image in today's youth. We are inviting anyone and everyone to please join us in spreading the word. Please feel free to join in anytime. Also please take a minute to see the other Beautiful Like Me Posters (listed below)! Together we can help today's youth have a positive self-image!

This weeks topic is:
"What do today’s children and teens feel pressured to imitate? Why?"

A friend recently stated that "... my children are mirrors ..." and although we were talking about something very different, it struck me. It just seemed like such a powerful statement, are my children truly a mirror of myself? After much thought and a whole lot of observations of my children, I do believe that there is a lot of truth in this statement. Children's first and probably most important role model is their parents and/or primary care provider. But I think this comes naturally, there is not the pressure to imitate. So as a parent I need to remember that my children are indeed watching and I need to set the best examples as I can, I also need to be aware that there are other influences.

I believe that these other influences can vary some depending on the lifestyle of the family. As a homeschooling family we have been lucky to avoid some of the pressures that a public school offers. When I was a teen this was huge ... there were others with better clothes, more money,
better this and that OR so I thought! I am very thankful that my children do not have the pressures to try to 'fit in' at a public school because it can be very difficult.

So as always I was struggling with where to go with my post, I decided to interview my daughter (who is fourteen) and here is what she had to say:

Me: "What do you think that teens feel pressure to imitate?"
Caitlyn: "Celebrities and stuff they see in magazines and on TV."
Me: "Why do you think teens feel this pressure?"
Caitlyn: "Because that is what is suppose to be cool and they want to be cool."
Me: "Do yo feel these pressures?"
Caitlyn: "No note really."
Me: "Why not?"
Caitlyn: "I think , well 1. because I am homeschooled, 2. the way you raised me and 3. I don't see the point in focusing on stuff like that when you could be doing something to help the world."
Me: "What does being homeschooled have to do with it?"
Caitlyn: I am not influenced by the school and stuff. Because there is so many kids there and they talk and rumors and stuff and I do not have to deal with that.
Me: "What kind of things are teens imitating?"
Caitlyn: "Like how much they weigh, look a certain way, buy certain brands."
Me: "Is there anything wrong with teens imitating celebrities?"
Caitlyn: "Yes and no, I think that as a person you can do as you want so if you want to act like someone else fine but some things are not so healthy and you should just be yourself, not someone else."
Me: "What would not be healthy?"
Caitlyn: "Like with weight, starving yourself to be like someone else would not be healthy."
Me: If you were a celebrity, what kind of role model would you be?"
Caitlyn: "I don't know, I would just act like myself."
Me: "Do you think celebrities have a responsibility to be good role models?
Caitlyn: "No, is is not really their responsibility, it is more people responsibility to realize that they are people too. Maybe it is the media that makes them out to be these amazing people that we should imitate when they are just people with a job."

And then I lost her to her book!!

I think that Caitlyn has a great outlook and is not pressured to imitate anyone. I would like to say that it was because of my remarkable parenting skills BUT I can not. I do think that I help ... mostly by talking about it a lot but also Caitlyn has a confidence about her that she was born with. I do wonder sometimes how this would be different if she had the daily pressures of public school but honestly I am thankful that we are not dealing with it!!

I also know that each child is very different and even though Caitlyn is bubbling with positive self-esteem, my second child, Allyson is not and it is even more important that keep communication lines open with her. And then I have four boys who are all very different and I am sure will each have their own needs regarding self image!

So I guess for me, I find it difficult to really answer this question but as a parent I must be aware that there are many outside influences in this world and we need to help the very individual needs of all our children! So please take a minute or two and open up a conversation with the young one in you life about their self image, it could change their life!

In addition to myself check out who else has committed to this project, I will be adding as people post:
My Co-hosts: WickedStepMom and Tricia at Shout

Judy Haley at CoffeeJitters
Cate at Nature's Child
Lisa at Use Your Wisdom
Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting
Tricia at Shout

Please join us anytime, if you post leave a message with your link and I will add you to my list! Together we can make a difference, each story told touches someones life!

Here you can look at past Beautiful Like Me Posts!

Here is our topic for the next Beautiful Like Me Post and you can always go to the Project Main Page for a list of topics and other information.

Next post scheduled for Monday, May 4th
What features/qualities would we like today’s children to see as beautiful?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cyrus!

A year ago today my little sister became a mom! She brought Cyrus Howard into this world. Although this was not in her game plan she has become a perfect mom (hey, dad you are great too) and Cyrus is a breathe of fresh air! See that smile, it can melt your heart.

Today we are sending him this birthday wish -- as we can not be in Vermont to celebrate with them, we are celebrating here for him. We miss you guys so much and hope that you have a most wonderful day. I expect lots of pictures!

Happy Birthday, Cyrus!

Much love to you and to your mom & dad for making you so wonderful!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mamarazzi's Favorite Thing Swap!

I am so excited Mamarazzi is hosting her third Favorite Thing Swap. I participated in her first swap and it was so much fun. I did not do her second one as my baby was due and I was concerned I would not be organized enough BUT I am ready this time and so excited! This was so much fun last time!

So head on over to Dandelion Wishes to see what all the fuss is about! And stay tuned for more from me about this so fun swap!

My Point of View

Here is my view of Willy a lot of the time. He loves to ride in the sling and it allows me to get a few things done! But as he is growing so fast I wanted to take a picture from my view so I could remember it ...

And here he is snuggled in. These moments are precious. Sometimes Willy just stares up at me, soaking it all in. Then when he flashes me a big smile, it melts my heart!

I always wanted to use a sling but never had very good luck until now! I love my New Native Baby Carrier which I bought on eBay for $5.00!!!! I do not know what I will do when he grows out of it.

A spectacular weekend to you!

I entered this post in Tiaras & Tantrums, What Are You Wearing? today, so stop over check it out!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thirteen- Caitlyn

Caitlyn has many, many 'things' that make me thankful ... she is an amazing girl who has taught me so much. One quality that she has that I admire greatly is her love of books ... she has been known to devour a large novel in one day! So here is my thankful thirteen for this week:

Thirteen things I never thought I would say to my fourteen year old daughter!

1. "Did you already finish that book"
2. "Please put the book down"
3. "Do not pick up that book"
4. "Do not start a new book right now"
5. "You have to stop reading long enough to ..."
6. "I will only buy you another book if ..."
7. "You really have read all those books already"
8. "How many books have you read this week"
9. "I can not afford to keep you in books"
10. "No we are not going to McKay's (the used bookstore), we were there yesterday"
11. "She is not listening, she is reading"
12. "You will need to get a job to pay for all your books"
13. "STOP reading and pay attention"

Now, I hope that you all know that I am not some mean mommy that is denying my child books. She reads all the time. I love this and should not complain about it BUT I will say that when she is in a book, she does nothing else. You can not talk to her, she does not stop, she just reads, as wonderful as this is, there are other things in life that need to happen ... showers, eating, etc...

I will say I have used this to my advantage ... when there is a particular book that I want her to read, I bribe her:

Caitlyn: "I need a book."
Me: "How about The Red Badge of Courage?'
Caitlyn, in that teenager tone: "mom"
Me: "If you read The Red Badge of Courage, I will take you to McKays."
Caitlyn, again in that teenager tone: "FINE!"

And she read it, in one afternoon (she said it was not the best) and we were off to McKays in the mornng! So if any of you have book ideas that she should read, send them along and if you have books themselves ... send them too!

So yes indeed I am thankful (and a little envious) for Caitlyn's love of books!!!

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