Wednesday, December 26, 2012

end of the Advent season

Actually, since Sarah has a book about the Twelve Days of Christmas and since we do have a download with activities to do on Epiphany, I guess the season isn't really over yet.  ;)  Our tree is still up, and we're still using Christmas plates and mugs.  Still, December 25 has come and gone, the presents have been opened and exclaimed over, so Christmas Day is officially done for 2012. 

I've sung the Christmas carol "Joy to the World" pretty much my whole life, and to be honest I never really thought much about the lyrics.  I think it was last year that I looked at some of the words and thought, "Hmm, that sounds really postmillenial in nature.  How interesting."  It added an extra layer to the song for me as I contemplated those latter verses.

Since we can't print anything at our house right now, we decided to forgo our usual Advent Bible study activities (which have to be printed) in favor of a series of videos from Holy Heroes, a Catholic organization.  One thing that the videos brought out that I had never considered before is that Advent is not only celebrating the first coming of Christ but also longing for and looking toward His second coming.  We can still sing "O Come O Come Emanuel" with all of its words of yearning, because we are waiting for Him to come again.  The recent tragic events in Connecticut drove home just how desperately we need His return to put things right. 

A Facebook friend noted a couple of weeks ago how much she was enjoying a particular rendition of "Joy to the World."  A friend of hers commented that the song was originally written about Jesus' second coming, not His first.  I can't really vouch for the veracity of that claim, but suddenly some of those lyrics from the other verses make so much more sense. 

I'll close with the lyrics to "Joy to the World," and you can decide for yourself.  Until then, we can join together in both celebrating His first coming and longing for His second.

Joy to the World, lyrics by Isaac Watts, 1719
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

"Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."  Rev. 22:20b 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

more Natalie-isms

This morning, Sarah and Natalie just would not stop bickering while getting dressed.  Finally, in exasperation, Sarah declared, "Natalie, you're being mean!"  Natalie huffed in response, "No, I amn't!"  Not a bad application of standard contraction rules, even if totally wrong.  ;)

Then this evening, I commented on how clear the sky was and how you could see all the stars.  Natalie happily chirped, "And you can see the moon too!"  Then she added, "But it's broken."  I'm sure she'll be quite pleased when it gets "fixed" and is whole again.  :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Actually, we haven't had anything more than snow flurries.  But boy, that wind!  We've heard all manner of thumps, bumps, and bangs keeping time with the howling outside.  This kind of cold day just makes you want to huddle under a blanket.

The soup I had stashed in the freezer came in handy today--homemade soup in just the time it took to defrost and reheat.  It really hit the spot.  Normally coffee is my hot beverage of choice, but tonight I splurged and made some old-fashioned homemade hot cocoa (I can't drink the instant stuff).  Since the only milk in the house was Natalie's almond milk, my hot cocoa has an almond hint to it.  Not too shabby. 

Even though it was only flurries, Natalie's been fascinated by the snow.  Since we didn't really have any to speak of last year, she doesn't remember seeing any.  She loved it.  She loves running to the window to investigate all of the booms and crashes too.  ;)  

And since we're still here, I'm going with the internet fan theory that the Doctor saved us.  ;)  It's what he does. 

In all seriousness, I wish everyone a very restful (albeit cold) evening. Since Christmas is rapidly approaching, Merry Christmas as well ( just in case I don't make it back here). 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

setting the mood

You know that old expression, "When Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy"? 

I think there's something to it. 

I've not been feeling great.  Either Christmas allergies have kicked in or I've caught Natalie's cold.  My throat hurts, and I'm tired and congested and cranky.

Sarah's been whiny and emotional and somewhat cranky today.

Natalie's been whiny and weepy and irritable as well.  (She's also on Benadryl, which doesn't do anything good for her disposition). 

Coincidence?  Maybe not.  Maybe my bad mood is rubbing off on them, and I need to watch it, sore throat and all. 

Natalie is sleeping and Sarah is reading, so I think I'm going to read and relax and try to soothe my throat with hot beverages.  Hopefully that will put us all in a better mood. 

Monday, December 17, 2012


I know I've been quiet here for a few days.  I wrote an entry about Friday's horrific events, but I just couldn't bring myself to post it.  There just aren't any words that could possibly be adequate.

Natalie's got some sort of cold; she's sounded horrible the last couple of days.  I'm sorry that she's sick, but I have to admit that her croaks and squeaks have been kind of funny to hear.  I keep meaning to restock our supply of elderberry syrup and pick up some children's chewable zinc, but I've not had a chance to do either yet. 

I do have a couple of funny stories though.  Natalie discovered for the first time that some public restrooms use hand dryers rather than paper towels.  Now when Sarah was Natalie's age, the hand dryer scared her silly.  Natalie found it delightful.  She couldn't stop giggling.  She positioned herself so that it would blow her hair as well.  She had a great time! 

After letting out a string of sneezes, Natalie exclaimed, "I'm sorry!  I didn't mean to curse!"  She got that particular line from a movie preview on a DVD we own.  The scene shows the woman "squawking" then apologizing for cursing.  I'm not sure why Natalie associated sneezes with squawks, but it still amused me. 

I'm off to bed (after finishing my hot tea and gargling with saltwater.  I hate sore throats!). 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

busy nights

Nelson had a basketball game yesterday evening, and his parents and the girls went along to watch/cheer (I'll leave you to figure out who did what).  I had a ladies event at church.  We ate and chatted and had a white elephant gift exchange.  However, I think the "white elephant" idea was lost on some; there were some NICE gifts!  And I came home with a $10 Walmart gift card--score!!!  :)

Tonight was Nelson's parents' anniversary.  So they took US out for supper!  :-D  Hey, it's a great gig if you can get it.  I thoroughly enjoyed my steak and chocolate brownie.  A big thank you and wishes for many, many more years together to them. 

Tomorrow Nelson has another game.  Eventually we might get a chance to catch our breath this week.  ;)  We're usually not busy at all, but the last few weeks have had a lot going on.  I'm not used to it! 

On a completely unrelated note, the previous post was about migraines and what health practitioners people found useful.  I got to thinking about a book I had read on migraines and some of the recommendations it contained.  I also thought of my own plan to incorporate more yoga into my life.  I got the idea of searching for specific poses or routines for migraines.

Obviously, a lot of articles I found were generic "studies show that yoga is beneficial for migraine sufferers."  Yeah, thanks--I want details.  But I did eventually find specific recommendations.  One particular pose that showed up over and over again was "legs up the wall."   It's basically exactly what it sounds like.  You lie on the floor on your back and place your legs on the wall, forming a ninety degree angle. 

I tried it.  We have hardwood floors.  It isn't very comfortable.  Next time I'll remember to use my yoga mat.  And a pillow underneath my head.  I think that's allowed.  At least it should be. 

Have a good night.  :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

an interesting poll on migraines...

Well, interesting to me, anyway--it may not be so to anyone else! 

Anyway, the poll was about which health professional were the most helpful when it came to combating migraines.  After all, if you're going to try to see a pro to address your headaches, why not better the odds by at least starting with the ones who have already proven themselves? 

I honestly found the results fascinating.  Some pros ranked higher than I would have expected--others scored lower than I would have thought.  Each responder could choose up to three, but they were to focus on who helped them the most.  Others also may have proven beneficial, but this was about who was helping the most.

Headache specialists far and away outranked anyone else--it wasn't even close.  No surprise there--go to the expert, the one who has dedicated himself to the latest in research and so forth.  Next was family doctor; this did surprise me a bit.  I wouldn't have thought the family doctor would rate that highly.  On the other hand, for many this is going to be the only person they have to work with, so upon reflection that does make sense.

Complimentary medicine came in next, which again did not strike me as odd.  We migraine sufferers will often try about anything, and some CAM practices have proven very helpful for migraine.

"Other specialist," "quack," and "chiropractor" were pretty much tied.  The "quack" category amused me because it's a term that could mean a hundred different things to a hundred different people.  Still,  many people are clearly getting some sort of relief from their quacks.  Heck, I'd join the pond myself if I thought a quack could help!  ;)  I would have liked to see "other specialist" and "quack" a bit better defined though.

Coming in last were mental health practitioners (HA!  It's NOT all in our heads!) and physiotherapists.  Dentists, nurses, and OB/GYNs did not get any votes.  However, this doesn't mean they aren't helpful--just that they aren't the most helpful.  I'd actually have to mention my OB/GYN though--he was the only who started me on a daily magnesium regimen, and boy has that been helpful! 

Anyway, if you want to see the nifty graph with all of these lovely results, you can find it here

On a lark, I did a quick search, and there are several headache specialists in my area.  Maybe one day...  :) 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

the gospel according to Natalie

 Nelson had to finish up a couple of things after the service this morning at church.  As we waited for him, Natalie grabbed my Bible and opened it to "read" it. 

"This says Jesus," she informed me.

"Oh?  What does it say about Him?"

"He died and then was alive and then they put Him in a stable!" she proudly proclaimed. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday night and Saturday morning

After the excitement of The Nutcracker yesterday morning, we had another activity last night.  The nearby state park was having a celebration with Santa, crafts, music, face painting, and refreshments.  It was free!  So we took the girls and Nelson's parents and had a grand old time.  Our tree is now sporting a couple of new ornaments that Sarah and Natalie made last night.  :) 

In addition to the morning ballet and the evening at the park, I had an afternoon activity.  I was feeling pretty tired while at the park, and I drank a Mountain Dew just to try to stay awake until bedtime.  It didn't really work.  We got home just after 8:00, and by 9:00 I was dozing off in my chair.

So Nelson graciously decided to let me sleep in this morning.  Well, he tried to anyway.  But while he was in the bathroom, Natalie sneaked downstairs.

"Mama?  Are you awake?"

"No," I grumbled in response.

"I want you, Mama," she insisted. 

"I'm sleeping," I replied.

"Well...can I have the iPad?" she inquired.

"If I give you the iPad, will you let me sleep?" 

"Yes!" she proclaimed.  "The iPad is your only hope for me to leave you alone!"


Sarah and Natalie had a birthday party at a local gymnastics place today.  Nelson took them though, so you'll have to hassle him for pictures.  ;) 

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Nutcracker

I took the girls to the Intercity Ballet performance of The Nutcracker today.  We had been planning this for awhile now.  I knew Sarah would love it, but I wasn't sure how Natalie would do.  It's a long time for a three-year-old to have to sit still and be quiet.  Still, she begged to go, so I reserved three seats. 

Both girls loved it.  They loved the pretty dresses, the dancing, and the various special effects (there were quite a few of those, actually).  The "snow" inside the auditorium was especially a big hit.  ;) 

Natalie is now begging to be in the ballet. 

I enjoyed the performance as well, although I admit the excitement and wonder of the girls was my favorite part.  Because this morning performance is designed for school children, the audience was encouraged to clap and laugh and generally express their enjoyment and appreciation.  Sarah and Natalie had no problem with those instructions.  ;)

Interestingly, the Intercity Ballet is something of a cooperative effort of several dance studios in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia and--wait for it--San Diego, California.

Wait, what?

San Diego, California. 

I'm still scratching my head over that one.  I mean, northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia make perfect sense, but San Diego? 

Apparently, Clara herself was on loan from San Diego.  And apparently, dancers from here sometimes go there to perform. 

That's just weird.

But it was a lovely show, and I'm glad we went.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

warning! danger ahead!

Did you hear the one about the lady who requested free samples? 

See, she was a cheapskate by nature.  She routinely bought the least expensive option at the store--store brands, off-brands, what was on sale.  She scoffed at the premium items; they couldn't possibly be that much better. 

But that didn't mean she would turn down a free sample when it was offered.  Free is great, right?

Those companies know what they're doing, I tell you.  Those freebies are S-N-E-A-K-Y. 

It started a couple of years ago, with a sample of Nexxus shampoo.  I had snickered about those salon shampoos for years and about the poor saps who bought them thinking they were soooo much better than normal brands. 

I then had to eat my words and swallow my pride and all those "oops, I blew it" things.  That stuff is wonderful, and it did amazing things for my hair.  I got all sorts of compliments.  It doesn't mean I can suddenly afford to buy Nexxus on a regular basis, but at least now I know that the stuff is good, and worth every penny.  And no, my arrogant words did not taste good at all.

More recently, I got a sample of these fancy dishwasher tablets.  I've always used dollar store dishwasher powder, sometimes with white vinegar in the rinse aid slot.  This tablet was supposedly high-octane cleaner with some sort of rinse substance included. 

Holy cow.  It worked.  It worked really well.  I'm eying the coupon they sent with the sample, wondering if maybe I should snag some of this stuff while I have the chance. 

Today it was laundry detergent.  I usually either make my own or buy something at the dollar store.  I got a sample for this nifty little gel packet thing.  Dingy socks never had it so good. 

Sigh.  Beware the free samples, people.  They're insidious little things. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

basketball, broken vehicles, and the kindness of friends, family, and strangers

That may just be the longest title I've ever used.  :) 

Nelson plays basketball in the church league.  The girls enjoy going to the game (although Natalie is less than thrilled with the buzzer).  Tonight at the game, we met a lovely lady named Ashley.  She was actually there in support of the rival team, which was fun to joke about.  :)  She was so sweet to the girls, and Natalie especially had a fabulous time talking her ear off.  Her husband, one of the other team's players, had somewhat shaggy red hair.  Natalie insisted he looked like Pinkie Pie (from My Little Pony).  He took it well.  ;) 

Nelson's car is dead, but at least it is home now.  A friend of ours arranged to have it towed for us.  That particular friend has been kind and generous many times in the past, so we are very grateful. Family has helped out too, so hopefully the car won't stay dead too long.  Thankfully Nelson can do a lot of work himself as far as cars go.

I couldn't squish it into the title, but here's a funny "Natalieism" for you:  the other day she was doing that whole "Eeny meeny miney mo" chant.  Her version had a slightly different ending though.  "Eeny meeny miney mo.  Catch a tiger by the toe.  If you let him go, catch him again!" 

Her version of "Jingle Bells" is pretty cute too, but I can't remember the exact lyrics she uses right now.  Maybe some other post. 

Have a good night! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Children Around the World

This is my first year teaching kindergarten for our homeschool co-op.  The previous two years, I taught the four-year-old class.  We did alphabet activities with the four-year-olds.  It was fun, and I was comfortable with the age group.  Still, moving up has worked out quite well.

The kindergarten class is supposed to cover four distinct units throughout the course of the year: Children Around the World, Families and Communities, Animals, and Plants.  As my co-teachers and I looked over this list to divvy up the planning, one thing jumped out at me--those first two units were in entirely the wrong order.

First of all, children need to start with the familiar.  Talk about their own family, community, culture, etc. before you move on to the unfamiliar lifestyles of other children.  It makes no sense to start with the unfamiliar then jump back.

My other motivation though was the realization that if we swapped the order, Children Around the World would coincide with the holiday season.  How much fun would it be to learn about other cultures' holiday traditions?  I could easily envision planning activities for Israel involving Hanukkah or reenacting Las Posadas when studying Mexico. 

The biggest problem is picking which countries on which to focus.  There are so many fascinating things we could do and so many interesting cultures to explore, but we're limited to one class a week for a seven-week period.  It's been so hard to choose!  I will definitely have to do some of the things we couldn't get to with my own children. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Yeah, I missed yesterday.  :(  Sorry.  But honestly, if I had tried to write something in the throes of the headache I had, it would have all come out gibberish anyway.  You really didn't miss anything. 

Anyway, moving along now.  We did manage to get a couple of productive things done yesterday.  We went to a nearby used bookstore to cash in some books.  We managed to get over $20 in cash and over $25 in store credit.  Yay!  We then headed to my grandmother's house.  We ate supper with her and my parents and brought Sarah home with us. 

Today I have slept a good deal.  I slept late this morning to recuperate from the headache, then napped again this afternoon.  I think I'm almost back to normal. 

Researching the yoga article a couple of days ago gave me an idea.  I'm going to attempt a "30 days of yoga" experiment.  I know the supplements and tea that I'm using are making a big difference in my overall health and functionality.  We'll see if adding daily yoga does anything.  I've always enjoyed yoga anyway, so even if it doesn't make a major impact I won't be too upset.  :)

I need to make a menu plan for the week and maybe a short grocery list.  Have a good evening. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

again at the eleventh hour

Ooh, The Eleventh Hour!  That's the title of one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who!

But I won't bore you with that.  I'm running late again.  The girls and I spent the day in Greeneville with my parents (Sarah is still there; she's staying overnight).  They got to decorate another tree while there and had a blast doing that.

Nelson's car died today, so we'll have to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.  :-p  Cars: you can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. 

I'm almost done with an article I'm writing on the health benefits of yoga, so I'm going to pop off now..  I posted something as promised, and if I finish this article tonight rather than putting it off I'll feel very accomplished.  ;) 

Have a good one!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

insert clever title here because I can't think of one

So I was looking forward to drinking a cup of my free coffee for breakfast?  Yeah, it kind of didn't happen.  Sarah woke up a few minutes before I did this morning.  She sneaked herself upstairs while I was using the bathroom and promptly set about making breakfast.  She fixed three bowls of oatmeal in the microwave.  And she made me a cup of coffee.  It was terribly sweet, and I was very touched.

The downside?  Well, for starters, I don't actually like oatmeal (unless it's baked oatmeal.  Which this wasn't).  And...the coffee was instant.  Easy for her to manage, but not my lovely Green Mountain coffee.  :(

Never fear though, I ate some oatmeal and drank the coffee and complimented Sarah on both and thanked her.  And I managed to sneak Natalie about half my oatmeal, so everyone was happy.  ;)  And I drank a cup of my Green Mountain coffee this afternoon.  :-D

I use a lot of freebie curricula that I snag from various sources.  We're finishing up a free Thanksgiving unit study that we didn't quite complete last week.  Gotta get Thanksgiving done before Advent starts on Sunday!  ;)

Supper tonight came partially from another free curriculum--The Children Around the World unit from which I pull ideas for co-op.  I was fixing meatloaf and decided to fix rice for a side (I was out of potatoes).  I remembered the curriculum had a recipe for yellow rice.  Of course I didn't follow the recipe completely as written (hey, it's me!), but I did get a lovely dish of yellow rice.  Sarah especially loved it.  I do want to try the authentic version one day, but I didn't have all the ingredients tonight.  Still, anything that jazzes up boring old rice is good in my book.  ;)

That's all I've got for today.  I've already talked about Sarah's aversion to edited poems on Facebook so I won't rehash that here.  ;)  Have a good night!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

my favorite price

Today was the day of the freebies. 

I have absolutely no problem with that.  ;)  I love free!

Weeks ago, I signed up for a free sample of Green Mountain coffee.  I love Green Mountain coffee.  But it is p-r-i-c-e-y.  I don't get it often.  My coffee arrived today!  :)  I will be brewing a cup tomorrow morning--something to look forward to. 

Something else came in the mail today.  I posted that we went to a "trunk or treat" party at the local Shriners' Temple for Halloween.   We put our names in the basket for door prizes while we were there, but we didn't think too much about it.  Well, apparently we did win something, and we got it today!  We now have a free pass to Bays Mountain Park and a certificate for free Little Caesar's Crazy Bread.  :) 

The last freebie of the day is the most exciting.  Money Saving Mom posted today about an art curriculum that normally costs $75.  She had a coupon code to get it for free.  Sarah loves art, and I'm thrilled to get free curriculum.  Check out that post here.  I'm going to spend some time this evening browsing the new curriculum to see what's there and how we can start using it.  :)  I'm sooooo excited about that! 

Now I'm off to drink my daily medicinal tea.  It did not arrive today, but I do have six boxes of it in my pantry currently that I got for free!  Did I mention how much I like freebies?  :-D 

Have a great night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

stream-of-consciousness post

Yesterday I had two or three posts in mind.  I meant to write them up and schedule them to post today and tomorrow.  But Mondays are always crazy and hectic, and I didn't get it done.

Now I can't remember what either post was about. 

This is why I haven't been blogging often.  I forget what I was going to say before I ever even get a chance to say it.  :-p 

So here I sit, racking my brain to figure out just what it was I meant to write.  I keep thinking I'll at least get a hint as to the subject.  Something should niggle at me, you know?  But no.  I got nothin'.  It's just gone. 

Maybe I should start trying to post menu plans and shopping trips again.  That's at least something to write about, even though I'm sure no one cares.

Maybe I should ramble on for an entire post about how I have nothing to say.  That's loads of fun to read, right? 

Ooh, I know!  I'll talk about the kindergarten class I'm teaching for our homeschool co-op.  It's actually kind of fun.  My unit is Children Around the World.  We've had a great time eating, playing games, listening to music, reading stories, and finding art projects.  I drag my computer to class each week, and the kids look at pictures and sometimes even power point presentations.  So far we've done India, China, Australia, and South Africa.  Israel and Mexico will be coming soon.  I think I'm going to use some of the lessons for geography for Sarah--the resources I'm using can easily be adapted for an older child. 

Sarah's second grade class at co-op combines art, history, and a brief Spanish lesson.  I also have a couple of Spanish apps for the iPad.  I snagged an entire Spanish curriculum for free, and I was excited to start using it, but it uses cassette tapes.  Our tape player broke.  Completely kaput.  So now I have a lovely free curriculum with no way to use it.  :(  But at least with the co-op class and the iPad, she's learning a little, even if it's not ideal.  

And now I've bored everyone long enough.  For today, anyway.  ;)  Come back tomorrow and be bored again! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

some pics

This post brought to you by my iPad and my phone.  If the photos aren't quite up to par, that's why; I wasn't using a "real" camera.

S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g to reach

Positioning everything just so.

Natalie liked playing peek-a-boo while decorating the tree.

Sarah took her job very seriously.

Posing once the job was done.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The girls have been getting out all the Christmas decorations.  They are brimming with excitement while waiting for Nelson to put of the tree so we can decorate it.  I will be switching out dishcloths and coffee mugs later.  I didn't realize we had so much holiday stuff! 

Maybe I'll try to take pictures and post them once it's all done.  Maybe.  No promises.

Although an all-photo entry would keep me from having to think of something to write that day....

Hmm.  That does have possibilities. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

write something

I've been reading a lot of books about writing lately.  I snag them from Amazon when they're free and read them on my Kindle.  I also subscribe to tips from various writers, bloggers, publishers, etc. on Twitter.  Each one offers a different perspective, but one thing is common across the board.


Every day.  Write something

That is one reason I started this blogging experiment--to force myself to write something each day. 

The trouble is, I can't always think of the "something" to write. 

One of the writers I read said "writer's block" was nonexistent and was merely making excuses.  He said if you made yourself sit down and just start writing, something would eventually come--no block.  It's all in your head. 

So I guess this little bit of rambling I'm doing here still counts as writing something today, right? 

Anyway, here's my day today:  laundry, dishes, pumpkin waffles, bill-paying and checkbook reconciling, and writing my first story for this site I got an invite to. 

Oh, hey, there's something to write about!  I got an invitation to a writers' site!  It pays exactly jack and squat, but it still feels good to get noticed and invited to be part of something. 

Of course, I have four blogs I don't use much--maybe I don't need another site to write for right now. 

Oh, well.  At least I'm writing something.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Better late than never....

Sliding in under the wire as far as updating today.  I don't have any words of brilliance, and I'm typing on the iPad so you'll have to ignore any weird autocorrect quirks.  But I'm here.   "hey, I wrote something!"

We spent a lazy day at home, chilling out and watching movies.  I avoid Black Friday craziness like the plague.  I might see if there are any good Cyber Monday deals.  I encourage you to see if any of your favorite local businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday tomorrow.

Have a good night!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish everyone a joyful and blessed Thanksgiving Day.  Take a moment to count your blessings as you spend the day with family and friends.  We will be celebrating at my parents' house. 

A Psalm for Thanksgiving (using the King James Version so I don't get in trouble for copyright violations--eye roll)

Psalm 100

King James Version (KJV)
1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

writer's block

So the problem with promising to write something every day?  Having to think of something to write every day.  :-p 

So I guess I'll try giving a bit of a glimpse into our daily lives.  Not that they're terribly exciting or anything, but I promised I'd write something.

Mondays are Kindermusik days.  Both girls are far enough into the program to have a bit of homework (Sarah more than Natalie, obviously).  Natalie's assignment was for me to make this homemade clay stuff for her to sculpt with, then bake off the pieces in the oven. 

The substance wasn't very clay-like, in my opinion--more like homemade play dough.  And boy, did it use a ton of salt!  I used up most of my salt supply.  One of the other moms confessed she bought cheap salt just for play dough making.  Like me, she uses kosher or sea salt for cooking and baking, and she didn't want to waste it on play dough.  I think I'll try that next time.  I bet Dollar Tree would have big boxes of cheap salt.  This time I just used what I already had on hand--hardly a frugal option. 

The girls really did like the not-quite-clay stuff though.  They wanted to try to make Christmas ornaments with it.  I think if I make the stuff again, I'll add some cinnamon so we can have scented ornaments.  Natalie proudly showed off her creations to everyone at Kindermusik--her teacher, the other children, the moms, Sarah's class, etc. 

Funnily enough, Natalie is starting to beg to do school every day, so I'm going to have to come with some activities for her.  Time to start stalking the preschool sites, I guess.  I don't believe in strong academics this young, so I'll be on the lookout for fun crafts or some such things.  Maybe I'll pick my SIL's brain--she's always posting these amazing things that she's doing with her young son.  Anyway, Natalie sees Sarah doing school each day, and she wants to do it too.  I can only hope they both stay that eager!

I did rather like Sarah's grammar activity yesterday.  The lesson was on linking verbs.  After we recited the definition and talked about examples, the hands-on activity was to make paper chains.  The chains were three links.  She wrote the subject on one paper strip, the linking verb on the second strip, and then whatever it was linking to on the third.  Then she attached them together as a chain and had a great visual of how linking verbs work.  Sometimes the lessons in this grammar book seem dry, but this one was really neat. 

Okay, that's enough for one day.  I don't want to bore anyone, and I don't want to run out of things to say all in the first day!  ;) 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


*blows dust off this blog*

So I haven't blogged much all. 


The funny thing is, sometimes I have posts rattling around in my head.  I just never manage to sit down and actually write them.  Then when I do log on here, I can't remember what it was I wanted to say. 

Again, oops.  :-p 

So, I'm going to try something.  It may work beautifully.  It may bomb horrifically.  Time will tell. 

I am going to post something here every day.  It may be a long, rambling post.  It may be as short as the tweets from my Twitter feed.  Topics will vary.  I'll either gain new readers or scare everyone off completely.  Who knows? 

But the fact is, I have four blogs to my name.  I rarely use any of them.  That's rather sad, and it needs to change.  This one is my favorite, because its lack of definitive theme means I can yammer about anything I wish.  So I'm going to take advantage of that and yammer away.  One of my goals for 2012 was to blog more regularly.  Time to make that happen.  If I post something at another of my blogs that I think might interest others, I might even share.  Maybe.  ;) 

But at any rate, something will be here.  Every day.  Even if it's just a "hey, look, I wrote something today!"

Let the posting begin.  :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween (with pictures!)

Pat me on the back--three posts in a row with pictures!  I might be setting a new record here.  ;) 

Anyway, I would like to know first of all when Halloween became so massive and complicated.  It was simple when I was a kid.  You put on a costume (often homemade) and walked around the neighborhood getting candy on Halloween night itself.  A church or two might have an alternative celebration but those were also on that night.  End of. 

Now?  It's big to-do.  Downtown had its celebration the weekend before Halloween.  Some churches did as well.  I noticed one the day before Halloween.  Parties and celebrations all over the place--but forget about finding a neighborhood with people at home to give out candy.  At least the neighborhoods near us weren't.  :-p

We did find a "trunk or treat" party at the local Shriners' temple to attend on Halloween.  The girls got candy, played games, and generally had a blast.  All's well that ends well. 

And I do admit that I found it incredibly cool that Reformation Day was out-trending Halloween on Twitter for a good couple of hours--even with the big production Halloween has apparently become.

Here are some pictures.  Enjoy! 

This picture cracks me up.  Sarah really enjoyed that caramel apple!
In other news, there was a pumpkin carving contest at church.  Sarah talked about it for weeks.  She drew out possible designs.  She was so hopeful that she might win "scariest" pumpkin.  The night before, she and Nelson carved a pumpkin and placed a flashing blue light inside.  It was an awfully cute pumpkin, but it didn't strike me as terribly scary.

However, the pumpkin did win the "Carver's Choice" award, and Sarah was thrilled.  The prize was a $10 Chick-Fil-A gift card.  They will use that soon.  :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sarah's birthday

Sarah's birthday celebration kind of happened in stages.  On her actual birthday, we had a small party at my parents' house with the children there (one of whom also had a birthday that day!) and both sets of grandparents.  Saturday we had another small party with pizza and blondies at a nearby park; a couple of Sarah's friends were able to join us in spite of the dreary weather.  Sunday some of my long-distance relatives were in town, and we went to visit with them.  It was not a party, but there was cake and dessert and a singing of "Happy Birthday."  Sarah and Natalie both enjoyed playing with their cousins. 

Here are some pictures from the shindig at my parents' house. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

photos from Friday

This post is brought to you by my dad, who shared his pictures from Friday's tour.  :) (Sarah may have taken some of these shots, but I don't know which ones.)

The show bread which caught Natalie's attention.

The angels atop the ark of the covenant.

The ark of the covenant.

The priestly garments.