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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day with the kids

I must admit that Valentine's Day isn't really my favorite holiday. My favorite color is red, my favorite symbol is the heart and I am absolutely a flower and chocolate freak. All of the signs of Valentine's Day.

It all started when I was a teenager in high school and we gave each other candy grams or flowers or whatever. I hardly ever received anything. Girls would come to school empty handed and leave with giant stuffed animals, candy or dozens of flowers. I always felt crappy that no boy ever thought enough of me to give me something. Well, there was my junior year when my boyfriend bought me the cutest, biggest bear... that was nice.

As I got a little older Valentine's Day came and went with little excitement for me. I would be such a scrooge when I'd walk into a store and see all the red and hearts everywhere. Yuck, I'd think.

While married, my husband always made Valentine's Day special and I came to appreciate the holiday. I'm glad I finally do because my children have made this Valentine's Day one to remember and they didn't have to deal with the Valentine scrooge that I used to be.

The day started yesterday (Friday) when Andre and Amareah came home from school and Andre said that he had a gift for me. I didn't want to ruin it for him and tell him it wasn't Valentine's Day yet because he was so excited. When he gave me my gift, which is the first Valentine's Day gift I've received from my son, I was so happy. It is one of the best gifts I've ever received. One, because he was so proud of it. Two, because he is my only son. Three, because it was given from a pure heart.

It's a milk-carton basket covered with red tissue paper hearts and a sheer red ribbon as the handle. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. His card was wrapped in pink tissue paper.

He signed his name and everything. Just looking at it makes me smile and the fact that it means so much to him. Today, he even asked me where I was keeping it. I think I am going to ask him where he wants me to keep it so he knows how extremely special I think it is.

A week or more ago my teen aged daughter asked me to be her Valentine. She actually chose to spend the day with me (and her younger siblings) instead of going out with her friends and hanging with her boyfriend.

She gave me this cute little bag and balloon. What's in the bag? Heart-shaped Dove chocolates, and boy are they yummy.

I enjoyed shopping for the kids. My idea to give them flowers started with the fact that I wanted to get my 4-year-old daughter (my sunflower) flower(s). She is always asking to buy flowers, but I don't always have the money or want to spend it on that. So instead of buying her some that would die, I found the perfect solution.

This is the Valentine stash:
Each of their bags had a little gift in it along with the flowers, which are different because if they aren't they'd argue about which one belongs to whom. I would have gotten the teenager one, but there were only three different kinds.

It's funny how I always start talking about something and don't expect to write a lot, but I guess I get a little excited. I have to say that this was a very pleasant Valentine's Day. Even though my children can be naughty, it's nice to be surrounded by their pure and unconditional love... Hmmm?? Pure and unconditional, that's the true meaning, huh?


Thursday, February 12, 2009

It can be yours

Have you ever dreamed of having your own business but did not want to take on the challenges of your own store? That entrepreneurial bug just will not be squelched until you do something about it.

Maybe you should consider a rent to own franchise. You would be surprised at how many rent to own business opportunities there are, but taking into consideration that the industry is thriving and growing it is definitely something to look into.

It isn't as hard as you may think especially when you align yourself with a knowledgeable rent to own group like the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations or APRO, which is the industry's professional organization. Feed your entrepreneurial bug and give rent to own a try.

Put the money somewhere else

There's something that has been bugging me for quite some time. I don't think about it much until I read something in a magazine, hear it on the radio or see a commercial on television. What is the deal with organizations putting funds into - what I consider - unnecessary research studies?

For instance, I'll see a magazine blurb that reads something like, 'In a recent research study of 200 participants, researchers discovered that the color blue calmed 98 percent of the group.' Are you kidding me? We're still searching for cures for cancers and fatal diseases and we're putting money into that.

Please tell me that I am clueless and that these studies actually don't use any money so nothing is going to waste. If they use the money that I think they are - including paying research participants, purchasing supplies and compensating study monitors - then I think the funds can be put to something of more importance. Like a cure for breast cancer or better heart disease monitoring for women ... a cure for AIDS. I mean, I could go on.

Like one of my favorite people (Tammy) often says: "I'm just saying!"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On a high note

So far this week hasn't been the best and, yes, I realize today is only Tuesday. I am stopping in my to-do list to post my little surprise. Angelika honored me with an award. It's especially wonderful because of what the Three in One award is for:
“Blogs of attitude and gratitude, a member of a proud sisterhood, and a best friend of all blogs.”

Angelika, you made my day!

Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude.
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let winners know they have received award.
5. Link to this post and the person from whom you received the award.

Shaunalynn at The Art and Science of Parenting
Tammy at Mom Knows Everything
Tina at Mummy Diaries
Sandra at Super Mae
Tina F at Family Affair
Toni at It Is Nap Time
Lin at Duck and Wheel with String
Carrie at Little Miss Hannah
Heidi at Maternal Spark
ArtSnark at ArtSnark's Artifacts

I will do my best to pop by and let you know I've got an award for you. I chose these bloggers because they are some of the sweetest, most supportive women that I know, and they are the epoteme of what the award represents. There are others of you that I love too so please don't think I forgot you. Thank you all for your sisterhood.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Unexpected showers

Today started off pretty much like any other Monday. The younger children were with their dad this past weekend so he took them to daycare and school this morning. The teenager went off to high school. When I woke up I ate breakfast, dressed and went to my 11 o'clock appointment.

The appointment went well. I left in a relatively timely manner, planned on stopping at the bank on the way home and eating my lunch once I arrived here. It's about a 45 minutes drive and I had time to think about what I was going to do once I arrived home, and how much time I would have left before it was time to get the two middle children from school.

I drove onto the highway that leads to my house and was stopped at a light when I suddenly heard an incessant beeping sound. I glanced at the control panel and a red thermometer light was glowing. I looked at the gauge and it was on the H.

What the heck? I was in the far left lane and immediately put on my signal to get over. Most of the time, in this area, people aren't the most courteous drivers so I just kept thinking that I hope I can get over before the van starts to overheat.

I considered trying to get to the mechanic that had been working on my van lately, but he was at least 10 minutes away. I was about to pull into a restaurant parking lot when I saw a small shop on my right. I pulled in and popped the hood. While sitting in the van, I called my BFF to let him know what was going on and stared at the hood to see if any steam was coming from the van.

I didn't see anything. I got out and while standing on the driver's side peeped under and in front. Easing around I looking for steam and when I didn't see any I quickly touched the edge of the hood as if it was a hot iron. It wasn't hot. Lifting the hood up I saw the coolant boiling. It was a little amazing because I have never seen that... glancing to the passenger side I saw coolant running across the pavement.

Putting the hood down quickly, I returned to my seat and called the mechanic. He said he could take care of it if I had it towed to him since I could "blow up" my engine by driving it.

"You gonna pay for the tow," I asked.

"Wish I could."

"Guess I'll just go into this random place then."

Let's fast forward about 20 minutes...

"It's going to be $500," said the new mechanic, who I don't think I like.

"Are you serious," I almost started to laugh.

"I wish I was."

What is with the wishing stuff today?

More than three hours later the van was fixed.

My soon-to-be ex had given me the money from his tax return that he promised me and I had planned on making another mortgage payment since I am three months behind and catching up on all the other bills. So, needless to say, I was not happy.

I walked away from the shop, sat down on a curb and cried.

Just a mini breakdown and then I was fine. Well, after I talked to my BFF and sat there for a bit feeling sorry for myself and wondering how I can ever get out from under so many bills when I have to keep putting money into this vehicle that's falling apart. I just got the money into my hands, for goodness sake.


Okay, I wrote all of that to say that if you don't see me around much today it's because I am exhausted and extremely behind on my to-do list. I am going to opt not to do a weekly meme that I normally do: Monday's Muse from Maternal Spark. I guess instead of writing this post I could have did my Monday's Muse.

And I had wanted to do Meet My Friends from It Is Nap time since I so often neglect that one, but I don't feel like doing that either.


Please forgive me while I try to regroup, follow up on some things I committed to and try to do some stuff that I just can't delay any longer. Thanks for your patience, prayers and friendships. Hopefully, I'll be back to commenting and visiting regularly before the end of the week.

Photo credit: Storm over the Mississippi River near Hannibal, Missouri by Hannibal photographer William Richmond, PO Box 1139, Hannibal, MO 63401

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