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Friday, July 2, 2010

Safety & Tie Downs

Not everyone has a long holiday weekend, some people still have to work especially emergency workers and, more than likely, tow truck drivers. Given it’s the fourth of July weekend unfortunately there will probably be quite a few accidents and breakdowns. Those truckers will be using tie downs, tire straps and whatever is needed to get the job done. Every driver needs to be careful so they don't find themselves in need of a tow strap. Now that would not make for a good holiday weekend.

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An evening of learning fun

Today I talked to my good friend Kellie (the wonderful owner of Little Feet Childcare where my children go) about my children and their summertime learning. So, this evening – and I’m so proud to share – that I picked them up a little early today and after dinner had them work on their handwriting (for the 5 and 6 year old) and shape recognition (for the 3 year old) as well as letter recognition, phonics, etc., for everyone.

After they did a little work they had a little downtime for coloring. I thought you would enjoy getting a glimpse at us (mainly them) all spread out on the floor in the office.

Anna refused to switch from a workbook to a coloring book ‘til later so this is her violating the workbook…

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Andre really likes coloring and drawing (way more than handwriting and reading – LOL) so his transformer pictures was wonderfully detailed with reds, greens and black.

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Amareah saw me taking the picture and gave a sly little cute smile as she busily worked on her Holly Hobby picture.

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Amber was hanging out with us as well. She was reading her book, but put it down to rest her eyes because of a headache. I’m sure her headache was made worse by our yelling and talking loudly. She’s reading some of the old V.C. Andrews’ books and now she’s on Web of Dreams.

DSCF4809After that we talked about letters, words and their meanings. A good, impromptu albeit loud and disorganized learning session.

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Have you decorated your body?

Quite a few people I know have tattoos and I’ve secretly wanted one for quite some time. Besides it being so permanent, I have fears about scarring. I have the same fear about piercings. Not that they’re permanent, but that they’ll scar or look really silly in about 10 years or so. Although I like jewelry, I’m not sure about something like a belly ring. What do you think? Have you decorated your body with tattoos or jewelry? Why or why not?

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It’s July 2nd

{Insert amazed expression here.}

I feel like a broken record, but I can’t resist saying it, “I can’t believe how fast time is passing.”

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At the end of every week, normally on Thursday, I say, “Geez, this pass week has went by quickly.” And, normally, whoever is nearby will say, “Mmmm hmmm, it sure has.”

Today was no different. Well, I guess it’s a little different in the fact that I’m so amazed by the passage of time that I had to write it down here. As with just about everything I want to know what you’re thinking: Are the days passing quickly for you as well? Does it seem like you’re getting less and less accomplished, but haven’t added any additional tasks or duties?

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

A camping we should go…

a camping we should go…

high ho cherry-o.

a camping we should go…

Notice I said “should.” That’s because I’ve never been camping. I’ve jealously read different blogs about the family vacationing that’s going on. Some people have already went on their adventures and some are still planning, but it seems like everyone I “know” is doing something. And quite a few people have chosen camping.

I’m not quite sure why I’ve never been, but I have a few ideas. My father, who was a mighty outdoorsman, passed away when I was about 10 years old so some of the things I think I would have learned from him went untaught. For instance, I just knew I would go fishing with him, but we never got a chance to do that. The same goes for camping.

The first time I went to an away camp for the summer, we slept in bunk beds in cabins that were somewhere in the mountains of Pennsylvania, I believe. I did not enjoy the freezing cold nights or the one night we spent out in the “wilderness.” (A bunch of kids huddled in sleeping bags on a concrete pavilion.)

As I got older and saw different advertisements for camping, it just looked a little too expensive and involved for my taste. Thus, my next excuse, is I don’t know how to plan a camping trip. And, finally, it’s too expensive.

house boat Where, like anything, if you look for a good deal you’ll find it and it’s no different with camping or any similar outing. A lot of people go on boating holidays and enjoy themselves immensely. Those things are all things that I want to experience, I just figured out that I don’t want to have to do the planning. So, if you have an extra tent with all the fixings, a spot in your van, car or truck and a little extra patience; will you adopt me? Then I can go with you on your next camping or boating adventure. :-)

Have you ever been camping or on a boating holiday? If so, what’s your opinion of such vacations.

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Whew, now I can relax a little.

Before you even get ready for a little vent about me and my children, I’ll let you outta your misery and tell you that I’m not relaxing a little after dealing with my wonderful children. I’m relaxing a little after going on an interview for a part-time job.

Why are job interviews so stressful? Even though I had interviewed with these exact same individuals almost a year to the day ago, had talked to them briefly since then and stayed in contact; I was still nervous.

Okay, I’ll go ahead and spill the beans and tell you it’s with my local library. The one right around the corner from my home. Well, more than a corner, but about five minutes. And the position is for a part-time library assistant (aide? I really should know that shouldn’t I?) at the reference desk. The interview is conducted by two women who ask about 20 questions then I was instructed to type a couple of paragraphs of text and follow formatting directions, create a flyer based on information provided and put a stack of books in the right order. Oh, and I had to email the documents.

I’m still coming down off of the nervous high adrenaline that spikes when one is put on the spot or whatever. Maybe the nervousness is a combination of giving the right answers and “passing the test” as well as being in competition with other candidates. (They interviewed six people for the position and should have an answer next week.)

Here I am still in the library…

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… I’m waiting for Amber to come back and pick me up. My interview was at 3 p.m. and Amber had a final exam at 3:30 so I brought my trusty laptop, which I’m excited to use at the library for the first time, and my camera so I could share the experience with you. Okay, I just happened to grab my camera ‘cause I thought I may see something I want to take a picture of. :-)

Wish me luck on getting the part-time gig; I think I’ll really enjoy it. Of course I’ll let you know what happens.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finding affordable health insurance

As our children get older and go out on their own there are several things that come up that need to be addressed. One of the smallest is, as the parent, the reminders that I no longer have a child, but a young adult. Every single form I fill out now asks are there children under the age of 18 in the home. Well, regardless of how old my daughter Amber gets she’ll still be my child. It’s just weird to be reminded that she’s an adult.

One of the largest things that needs to be considered is health insurance. All of my children had the same health insurance and it was for minors. Now that my oldest has turned 19 she no longer qualifies, and as a freelance editor and writer who’s also a veteran, I don’t take advantage of typical health insurance. So there’s nothing to add her to.

Now it’s a matter of finding her adequate health coverage for routine check ups, prescriptions and emergencies. My main concern with a lapse in health insurance for her is that since she’s had ongoing medical concerns that she’ll be presented with an emergency situation before this is taken care of. As the parent of a child, I’m worried. As the parent of a young adult, I’m hoping she can get it worked out.

With a little input and help from myself and her godfather, Amber is hopefully on the right track to finding a health insurance plan that will take care of all of her needs. We all know that the ideal plan has low monthly premiums, inexpensive co-pays, convenient prescription plan and the ability to utilize specialists and find second opinions outside of a network without a lot of hassle. The best is a private health insurance package that fits every budget.

If you have older children what did you do concerning their health coverage? If you’re self-employed what health plans do you have in place?

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Playing with my camera

I consider myself a lover of all things creative and, in fact, there isn’t much that I don’t like to do when it comes to being creative. I just don’t do the particular hobby or interest often and they don’t rank high on my list. But every once in awhile I’ll get a strong desire to play around with my camera, some paint, jewelry-making stuff, fabric or scrapbooking supplies. I even like to mold clay, but that’s something I haven’t done since about 1994. Wow, that’s a long time. I think I want to look into taking a ceramics class, but that’s another post. I digress.

Over the last few days or so I’ve been playing with my camera. I would love to have something a little fancier with tons of options and lenses and whatnot, but for now I’ll make do with what I have. Here, my dear friends, are a little bit of my photography “work.” I’ve played around with some different effects so you professionals can give me your tips, suggestions and critiques. Be nice, mm’kay?

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I’ve been playing with lighting and perspective. What do you think? I’m really pleased with the way they turned out.

What are some hobbies or activities you like to do but that you don’t get around to that often?

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Wordless Wednesday: Post-workout rest

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Check out last week’s photographic post of Amber on her birthday, and for more Wordless Wednesday participants visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Learn something new each day

Just about everyone is familiar with the saying, “You learn something new everyday.” I’m definitely finding that to be true especially when I have access to just a large library of information by just turning on my computer.
Earlier today, after some unsuccessful attempts, I did a search for information on how to make a friendship bracelet. (I know, seems a bit random, but I have a good reason.) I wasn’t even surprised at the amount of information that’s available on making friendship bracelets, but I was a little amazed at how many different kinds there are. This may seem silly, but I had no idea there are beaded friendship bracelets.
Another thing I learned recently, which is on the entire opposite spectrum, is about a pace-edwards (a premium brand) truck bed cover. This is one lady who didn’t realize a truck cover could be so fancy and that there are so many different kinds. There are a wide variety of styles, brands and types that do all sorts of things. I mean, really, did you honestly know that there’s a truxedo? I definitely didn’t. I will admit, however, that I thought it was a fancy truck cover for dressing up your truck. (Go ahead and laugh.) It’s actually the number one selling roll up tonneau in North America. Who knew?
That’s a little bit about what I learned today. Did you learn anything new today?
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Keeping it green

I’m not a master at going green, but we do make some green attempts. Before Amber came home from college I was just recycling newspapers and magazines, but since she’s been home she’s gotten me on the green bandwagon (well, halfway on) that she and her college friends are on. I now recycle cardboard, water bottles and cans – on the off occasion that I use them – along with the newspapers and magazines. Here’s a little glimpse at our stockpile. This is the second (or third?) load of the summer and I’m going to try and commit to it after Amber leaves.

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I can not believe how many water bottles we use each day. The bag below is holding only about three days’ worth.

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There aren’t normally this many cans, but I bought a little soda for Amber’s surprise party.

DSCF4774 Tell me, are you a little green, a lot green or somewhere in between?

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Bathroom makeovers

Even in this economy, one of the things that hasn’t changed is the desire to improve my space – my home. I’ve noticed it’s the same with most homeowners. They want their homes to be beautifully decorated and functional, but often times finances and circumstances don’t allow for that.

I’m determined not to let my finances be a hindrance to adding a little more color and comfort to my home and one of the first things I’m going to work on is our bathroom. It’s a tiny little thing that I’m totally uncomfortable in. It’s better since Amber and I painted it and changed the flooring, but there is major work that needs to be done. The entire floor has to be replaced from tile to foundation ‘cause of water leaks. After that’s done I’d like to get some new bathroom furniture. You know a new vanity, shelving and cabinets. I glanced at some rustic vanities and I'm not sure if they're for me, but window shopping, dreaming and planning is just the beginning.

Have you done any home improvements or redecorating lately. If so, tell me how it turned out. Maybe I can get some good ideas from you.

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Am I back?

If you’ve been reading “It’s a woman’s world” for awhile then you know I used to write a health and weight loss journal each week on Tuesdays. I’ve been avoiding it because 1) it became more about what’s going on with my health, which I know is important but I get tired of talking about it all the time. 2) I wasn’t doing what I should do to take care of myself weight wise.

It seemed as if I had hit a plateau and then, to make matters worse I gained a few pounds. About five or six. That made me feel icky blah. Well, I’m proud to announce I think I’m back – a little – from the icky blahness.

DSCF4685Friday, after much whining and complaining, I finally went to workout with my daughter Amber. That’s us on the way to our local parks and recreation area. (Doesn’t Amber sit too close to the steering wheel!?)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I really like to workout. Yoga, walking, tennis, aerobics… even volleyball; I’m all for it. The problem? Too lazy to initiate it. That’s right, I won’t even put a yoga DVD in the DVR. Or stop at the park on my way home from taking the kids to daycare. Yup, true laziness. Then, to give myself a little break, there were quite a few times when I wasn’t feeling well (you know = the attacks) that would set me back.

What I’ve realized is that the 60 pounds I lost can be kept off by my lifestyle changes, which I so don’t mind keeping. But any extra, especially if I’m going to indulge in treats, is going to come off through exercise. SIGH…

DSCF4703 An-t-way, I really had fun walking – I never doubted I would. And I felt great afterward. I’ve already asked Amber if she wants to do yoga with me in the morning so hopefully I will keep this momentum going.

So, do you think I’m back? Have you been working out and, if so, what has motivated you? If you haven’t what do you think you need to get started?

Come back next Tuesday to see how I made out through the week and share your own health and weight loss stories.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

I think I forgot to tell you…

… about Anna’s birthday celebration in May. The other day I commented on my friend Heather’s post about her Little H having her 3rd birthday. She responded and asked me didn’t Anna have a birthday coming up. Well, I told her that it passed and that I wrote a post about it. I looked for the post and couldn’t find it. She looked for the post and couldn’t find it. It seems as if the post only got written in my head. I’ve come to the conclusion that I have blogstimers.

Boy, that word sure does give me a good chuckle.

An-t-way, I showed you a picture of the birthday girl, Anna, on her big day (a Wordless Wednesday post) looking like a fabulous big kid so now let me share some highlights of her day.

They had to eat dinner before they could enjoy the festivities. I can’t recall what they ate, but it looks like she’s enjoying it. Whatever it is it doesn’t look too appetizing right now.

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RP got her this beautiful cake. When she saw it her eyes brightened up considerably.

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Anna was nice enough to hold back her enthusiasm so mommy could take this nice picture of her. I resisted telling her it was too dark and let her continue jumping around.

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Regardless of how many times I told her not to stick her little dirty fingers in the cake for a taste, she still managed to do it at least three times. So, of course, I had to capture her doing it and giving me the “mmmm, yea!” face.

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She feigned shyness and embarrassment when her siblings and I sang the happy birthday song to her…

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But kindly lifted her arms so I could see her beautiful face.

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She couldn’t wait to see what was in the bag…

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It’s an interactive Curious George book that helps with color, shape and letter recognition. I think it was a hit ‘cause she still “reads” it and enjoys playing one of the games in it. The fact that she cheats at the game is neither here nor there.

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I have very few recent pictures of my foursome together and it always warms my heart to see them enjoying a moment as siblings. Aren’t they a gorgeous bunch?

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Oh, and in case you were wondering, the cake was absolutely delicious!

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Now this is the most beautiful face ever!

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Happy Birthday Anna!

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CyroCell is protecting mom, baby

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of CryoCell International. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gotcha!

I mentioned to you in the Joys of birthday celebrations post that there were more surprises to come for Amber who turned 19 on Wednesday. Over the course of Amber’s life there have been quite a few times when I wanted to do more for her but wasn’t able to because of finances. Financially, not much has changed, but for this birthday – the last of her teenage life – I wanted to show her how much I appreciate and love her. So, it’s been quite a birthday celebration and it’s still going on… in little ways, but nonetheless it’s happening and I’m loving her reactions.

Before I tell you how I surprised her yesterday, I have to tell you that Amber knows me like the back of her hand. She knows when I’m upset whether I say anything or not and she knows when I’m up to something, but NOT THIS TIME! Yipp-ee-freaking-yea! LOL

Yesterday, with the help of her BF and her BFF, I pulled this off:

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Not as many people came as I would have liked, but the important thing is that Amber was surprised and she had fun. We snacked and talked about things we did to pull off the surprise and I told her that it was hard to do ‘cause I always do that type of thing with her. :-)

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We lit the candles, sang happy birthday and enjoyed the cake and, of course, more snacking. Then the teens enjoyed a game of Monopoly while I worked in the other room… participating from afar. It was quite hilarious to hear all of the bankruptcy, bribery and laughing.

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My other daughter (pictured above right), who has been Amber’s BFF since middle school, won the game and had to take a picture for posterity. I, of course, had to blog about it! She bankrupted everyone. Her BF was out first, then Amber. Amber’s BF held on for as long as he could ‘til he too was defeated. (I won’t tell how Donnie also beat everyone at bowling earlier that day. LOL)

 

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Seeing this sweet face and gorgeous smile makes the entire day worth it. This is what it’s all about:

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Happy Birthday “little girl!” Love, for always & for-ever, your mommy!

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