Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting off this Crazy Fun Ride for a While

My life has been insane. Between dealing with insurance, general contractors, home schooling, special tutoring for Dino, the constant doom and gloom of the news, and Easter--I am about to collapse. I have been reading the book “The Jesus Habits" and the book discusses the need for quiet time. And I need the quiet time.

So for the next four days, I am going to step away from Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and the entire internet--along with all TV (really!) and focus on what really matters this time of year.

I will be back next week with a great review and give away from “Sing A Lingo

God bless you and Happy Easter!

PS--No, I am not on the computer on this posting day--I wrote this post yesterday ;)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I wave at my life as it passes me by everyday.

My heart is not in this. It’s really that simple.

I began this blog as a way to express myself but it slowly turned into more--ways to get new readers, reviewing products, keeping the blog going because I had turned into something I wasn’t. And it wasn’t very fun.

My life has been crazy these days. Between shopping for literally everything that was in home before the fire to redesigning our home from the studs to homeschooling to the numerous activities to marriage to well sleeping; blogging has not been in the schedule.

I have gone days without even opening my laptop--I twitter or facebook on the iPhone because it’s quick easy and not much to it. If only all comments were limited to 140 characters. ;)

Blog posts are different. I don’t want to offend. I need to be careful about what I say about my older kids because they have friends on the internet that read my blog (!). And it all takes time.

I know there are many of you who do have the time, the energy and wit to spit out those blog posts. That’s just not me. I can’t do it. At least right now.

I am not sure. I do want to help my husband with his real estate website. He is so busy running his business, he has little time to really care for it. And because he is also an appraiser, he has such a vast amount of knowledge in real estate--I could take his thoughts and share them with the world (and hopefully get a few clients out of it--hey don’t fault me, his commissions are literally our bread and butter!). The added bonus here would be more time with my husband--I love that guy!

My kids have been pushing me to do You Tube cooking videos. It might be fun in the newly designed kitchen. I don’t know. I’d like it because I could do the videos with the kids but I am not sure.

And then there’s that political side of me. To be honest, I am getting sick of the main media outlets painting me as some whacko terrorist because I disagree with our current president and congress. But that’s another story.

Or maybe I will just breathe.

So farewell for now. I wish everyone the best of the best and I love and appreciate you all!


(Don’t worry--I am not disappearing, I will be stopping by the blogs--even if only from my iPhone!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

CD Winner

OK--we have a winner!!!!

It is comment #4 from 'Susan'.

'Susan' please contact me at so I can get your address. I cannot find a link to your name.

Thanks to all for playing!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spanish Learning CD Giveaway!

I have always been a big fan of using different types of media to help enhance learning--half the apps on my iPhone are designed to help pre-school and grade school children--really drooling for that iPad but that's beside the point ;)

Anyway you can imagine I jumped at the opportunity presented by Business 2 Blogger to review a Spanish learning CD by Sing-A-Lingo. Learning Spanish via music was too good to pass up!

Sing-A-Lingo is a cute cd set to popular nursery rhymes tunes in Spanish. The songs are actually filled with common phrases such as ‘Are You Hungry?’ (Tienes Hambre) or ‘Wash Your Hands’ (Lava las Manos). I love this part because it's things you actually say on a daily basis!

Because my kids homeschool and already listen to some grammar CDs, it was pretty easy to switch the CD at lunchtime and start listening. Now before I continue, I must point out my kids do not know Spanish even if we do live in Texas. They are currently learning Latin (et tu?) which I am sure does help but for the most part, they are experiencing Spanish cold here.

When the CD first started, the kids giggled for the first few minutes. They thought it was cute and funny! It wasn’t long before one of my children asked what they were saying so I pulled out the CD case that included the words in Spanish and English. Quickly she and the others were identifying specific words and having fun, even if they were learning. We were using music to learn Spanish!

For the next few weeks, I played the CD and they got pretty quick with many of the common phrases. I find this quite amazing because I basically did nothing but play the CD.

Now I will say, I am sure the CD alone will not fully teach a child Spanish. As most homeschooling parents know, you need multiple venues to really teach a language. The website offers a ‘Spanish All Day’ product that features sticky note word cards, 2 CDs, lyric and vocab cards along with a good night singable book. These items will really enforce the language concepts, especially if your child is learning Spanish at school or it is part of your homeschool program. Also, this CD can really help young children get interested in Spanish--and getting kids interested in a subject is half the battle!

I can really see this CD helpful if you are raising bilingual children--the music just becomes a part of day to day life and the lyrics in the songs are the same things we say daily but the thing I love best about the CD is how I can pop it in the car and we can just listen (and learn Spanish) while driving from place to place to place.......

Today, I am giving away one of these great Sing-A-Lingo CDs! All you need to do is comment and you are entered in the drawing. Mention this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook and get an additional entry :)

I will select a winner this Saturday, April 10.

Buenas Suerte!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Colorful Menu

The other week I was tweeting with a friend about the Food Revolution show and how shocking it was that the kids had meals no colorful fruits or veggies. Neither of us can even handle one meal without some color other than brown--it’s just ugly to even look at much less eat!

It reminded me of when Miley just started to really eat foods and how I would always make sure she had every color of the rainbow at least once in a three day period. It was my little way to make sure she had some good variety and lots of different anti-oxidants. Little did I know this is actually a method many nutritionists use to make sure their clients have a healthy diet.

In honor of the rainbow (ROYGBIV) I have a menu that follows the well known scheme of the rainbow. I am focusing mainly on veggies here because we usually eat most of our fruit at breakfast.

Monday: RED and ORANGE Pasta Pepperonata (the red and orange peppers look beyond lovely here!)

Tuesday: YELLOW and GREEN Chicken stir fry with yellow and green squash (along with a host of other veggies like carrots, asparagus and sweet peas) served on brown rice

Wednesday: BLUE and INDIGO A very yummy green spinach salad with blueberries, blackberries and nuts and feta cheese. The nuts and cheese add the protein to make this a full meal!

Thursday: VIOLET and RED (going full circle) Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato

Friday: ORANGE and YELLOW and GREEN and WHITE Chicken fajitas with carrots, yellow peppers, spinach and mushrooms

Saturday: BLUE and INDIGO Bison burgers paired with a nice GREEN salad and coupled with blue (and black) potatoes

Sunday: VIOLET Purple cabbage in Confetti Rice and Rye along with sauteed salmon

For more meal plans, check out Jen at Chive Talkin’ :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No I am not the fool

So here’s the deal. I have been giving the whole ‘organic, lots of veggies and fruits’ diet a lot of thought. Then I turned on the TV and watched Jamie Oliver’s ‘Food Revolution’ . You all know how I love Jamie Oliver (my brother-in-law just replaced my favorite cookbook of his that I lost in the fire and I have been over the moon but that’s another story) so I had to watch.

Jamie visited kids in West Virginia that didn’t know what a potato much less a beet was. The kids in school had pasty skin and flabby muscle tone. The parents were literally dying from heart disease (the number ONE killer of men and women) because of their food choices.

Jamie visited one family, got out the food she fed her children and in the sweetest way possible, informed her she was killing her children.

I looked at my children--cheeks so rosy it looks like they had make up on, bright eyes and hair, generally glowing. I feel so blessed to have ability and knowledge to give them a diet to help them thrive. Because of post about saving money, I was about to ignore that blessing.

So we are doing our Dave Ramsey budget. The grocery portion will stay generous and we will sacrifice on other things--my SUV and its 127,000 miles will need to last at least 15,0000 miles more, our home (when we get back to it!) will be our tiny little one story home for longer than expected.

And that’s OK.

As Dani mentioned, if you are healthy, you are rich. I always knew this. It just took some help from y’all and a TV to remind me!

I want to thank all of you so much for the great tips on the grocery post. I am going to make the time to hit the farmer’s markets, the local farm that has fresh eggs and compare compare compare my prices with my newly created ‘price journal’.

Now back to the kids and the parents who don’t the time or energy or money to get the ‘right’ food. I am going to be taking a few days off during Holy Week (details on a later post) and pray on a way to help. I just can’t sit back and watch these kids die an early death because of something so easy to prevent.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Income Equality"--An Analogy for Kids

Take your typical classroom. There are the kids who get straight A’s--some of these kids are just naturally smart and the tests and papers come easy to them; but more often than not, these kids work hard. They get to class on time, complete their homework and really strive to be the best they can be. They like the A.

Then there are your ‘C’ students. For some of these kids, they do try hard and school is a struggle. They just can’t seem to get it but they put fourth the effort and do the best they can which equates to average. There are also those 'C' students who could be 'A' students but would rather not put forth the effort

Finally you have your ‘F’ students. Now some of the kids are in bad situations--possible victims of abuse, parents who don’t care, or truly mentally disadvantaged. But let’s be honest (and if you’ve been in school you know this is true) most of these kids don’t care, are lazy and just would rather do something else than their homework.

Now let’s say a couple of the ‘A’ students feel badly about the ‘F’ students. They don’t think it’s fair they get an ‘F’ because they have bad homes or true mental disadvantages. The ‘A’ students are smart and focus on these children rather than the lazy ones even if there are some ‘A’ and “C’ students who have similar bad circumstances.

These students start the cry of unfairness pointing to those ‘naturally’ smart kids--they usually always dress nice, mom is always at school helping and they tend to break the curve in class. They are careful not to mention those 'A' students who do have a tough life but work very, very hard for that 'A'.

This gets the ‘F’ students, and even a few ‘C’ students, attention. Now the majority of the class sees an unfair situation.

The teacher decides to make things ‘fair’ She talks all the points in a test and divides them among the students until everyone has a low ‘C’--all the same grade (many of the ‘A’ students who protested the ‘unfair’ system petition to get extra points for bringing up the cause to bring their grades up slightly higher--not mentioned to the other students of course).

Now, no one waits to see how they did on the test. They already know what they got.

The hard workers start to relax a bit---if the work they do is going to be taken away, why bother? Right?

Slowly, the individual test scores drop until almost everyone is close to scoring the same every time--Ds and Fs. Even the naturally smarter students are doing worse--they feel unvalued and cheated.

Life is not fair, we know that. There are horrible circumstances out there. The glimmering hope out of the hard life is hard work--like it or not. ‘Giving’ someone not doing well by taking away what other kids earn is not right. And helps no one. The kids who never tried will continue never try and the kids who did try will give up. A tragedy.

So does this mean we should just ignore those kids who really got the bad brakes and are stuck with the 'F's? No, but hand-outs won't help. Personally giving them a hand and helping them experience success for themselves is what will help. Everyone deserves a shot at success but to punish those who do find success is just silly.

What are your thoughts?