.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Status Update....





Happy Cyber Monday!! Can you believe that tomorrow is December?!?! Wow, this year has gone by so very quickly. The days are truly getting away from me. (I hear that happens when you reach a certain age...)


Well, a few days ago, I posted about a series of catastrophies that befell my laptop. It wasn't pretty. And it still isn't....


I think anyone reading this can imagine my frustration at this point. Using vivid imagination, insert your mind's version of a totally frazzled woman hyped up on too much caffeine, destroying a computer (any computer) with a ballping hammer...


My laptop definitely has a virus and it's doing weird things, like asking me for my ATM Pin number when I try to sign on to eBay. My anti-virus program is flagging the virus but can't remove it. With the additional Coke Zero problem, I just can't risk working on it myself-I'm just not computer savvy. And, our financial situation (much like many others) means that taking it to a shop is out of the question. So....I turned it off and placed it gently on a shelf in the bookcase. Goodbye, dear friend.


Thankfully, I do have the option of the overworked family desktop. It is constantly occupied by someone, though, so my Internet time will be very limited. Can you say Buh-bye Twitter friends??


I feel so selfish! There are people around me that are jobless, with no prospects, wondering what in the heck they are going to do, and I'm griping and complaining about my laptop. Ya know, as long as it works out that my kids have a decent Christmas, I oughta be thrilled. So many people will do without this year.


And, like I said....I can use the family desktop. I may have to put up a sign-in sheet and limit each user to 30 minutes like they do at the library, though.


And here's my question of the day....


Why is the over-worked desktop virus-free?!?!?! I mean, I update and usually run my anti-virus and spyware programs daily. I just don't get it.


I don't know where I'll be, when I'll be, or how often I'll be, but I do know that I'll be around. I just gotta!









Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday aka Award Day!





I thought I'd take a moment to share a couple of recent awards. I am thankful for bloggers who continue to come here and read my ramblings, and are still willing and moved to leave me awards. Awesome! I've met some really wonderful women, blogging about their lives, their loves, and their frustrations. I look forward to growing these new relationships and adding others in the days to come.

Okay, enough blabbering. Let's get to the awards...




I received this Heartfelt Blogger Award from my friend and fellow heartmom, Lisa @ Welcome to the Nuthouse.


I never follow the rules when it comes to blog awards and I'm sorry if that hurts anyone's feelings. (I tend to think for myself.) If you are interested in the exact rules, you may have to do a Google search. (My friends tend to think for themselves, too, when it comes to award rules!)



And......



I received the "One Lovely Blog Award" from two friends! Elle @ Stilettos and Vodka and Tami @ Hearts Make Families.

It thrills my heart to know that these ladies find my blog worthy of this award!

I am passing both of these awards on to a few of my favorite blogs, which isn't easy to do-there are so many!

Blue Violet @ A Nut in a Nutshell
Heather @ Theta Mom
Lauren @ Mud Mama
The famous (or is that infamous?) Redhead Riter
and
Colleen @ A Madison Mom


Congratulations, ladies!!
I know I have received three, maybe four, additional awards that I neglected to post. If you sent me an award that I never acknowledged, I am truly sorry! I had good intentions... I promise!




Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!






Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you!
May today's thankfulness spill over into all of the rest of your days!


Enjoy the long weekend and the kick off to Christmas!









Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Dangers of Coke Zero, Preschoolers, and Pokemon....





Some of my blogging friends have probably noticed my absence of late. It is Thanksgiving week, so I'm thinking a few of my buddies have chalked it up to holiday travels, cooking, and baking.


Oh, how I wish it were so!


A few things happened this past weekend that may explain this current absence.






First....what do you get when your cute, little, dependable, 6 month old, HP Mini netbook meets a generous splash from a 20 ounce bottle of Coke Zero? Well, I'm not entirely sure. The fizziness splashed, I jumped, and the netbook was instantly upside down. Everything seemed to be in working order, so I assumed that the splash was either a) not enough to do any damage or b) not on the keyboard long enough to matter.





You know what they say about assuming, right?


The next day, this same netbook was found on the kitchen floor. Grr.... How did the little one get it and why didn't anyone stop him?!?! And how long has the hingey thingy on the netbook been loose? I never noticed it before. Grr....again.


And then....Monday morning I awoke to find my middle schooler using the netbook. Without permission. He handed it over to me, telling me that something was 'wrong' with it. That's when I noticed the strange program icons on my desktop.

I spent part of Monday and most of Tuesday trying to remove viruses. For the record, I have a trustworthy anti-virus program. However, while the middle schooler was happily downloading some Pokemon/Nintendo garbage, he was 'allowing' things that the anti-virus program was flagging.

*sigh*

So, the question is...

What exactly is the reason for the netbook's continued poor performance?

The virus scans are clear, so I'm guessing it's the Coke Zero.

I'm hoping to find out what it is and get it repaired. In the meantime, I am putting together (and suffering through, due to this netbook! #$&!%!) a special edition Daily Blog Review that will feature one of my new friends over at Deep South Moms. This lady is a mom who has dealt with much adversity, but has found a way to take those experiences and use them for the good of others.

In about an hour, I will be up to my elbows in pumpkin pie mix, homemade chocolate meringue pies, and a honey and bacon covered turkey.

My prayer for each of you is a happy, healthy, family-filled, joyful Thanksgiving!





Friday, November 20, 2009

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians.....



Okay.... It's only one little Indian...



"How!"



And a cute little Indian, at that!

No more school until after Thanksgiving!










Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday-Memphis Skyline





The Memphis skyline taken by my husband,

from the banks of the Mississippi River, Arkansas side.








Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Tuesday! (And the CSNBaby.com Giveaway Winner is.....)




I'll go ahead and start with a little excitement...


With the help of Random.org, I have a winner!


The CSNBaby.com plush blanket winner is......


Shelley @ Shelley's Swag!


Congratulations, Shelley! I'll be sending you an email with the details.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Now, let's talk Tuesday link-ups. I'll start with Magical Moments. (Everyone needs a magical moment!) To read more Magical Moments, or to link up your own, go visit Tami at Hearts Make Families.


My Magical Moment this week has been a long time coming. See this?



The End. El Final. La Fin. All Gone Gone!

This week marks the end of a very long relationship with Pedisure Vanilla, with fiber. My little one's pediatrician and cardilogist decided he needed the added calories and nutrition during a hospital stay in late October 2007. Yes, 2007.


For two years, he has ingested (gulped, inhaled, etc.) 3-4 bottles of Pediasure each and every day. We started weaning him about 3 months ago, and this past weekend, we opened the last two bottles (shown above).

He has graduated to regular cow's milk with a little bit of vanilla Carnation Instant Breakfast. But not only that, he is eating more real food! He even ate a few bites from a hamburger this weekend! When he saw them cooking on the griddle, he exclaimed, "Krabby Patties!" and had to have one. You have to know that my little one has never eaten meat of any kind. (Not even McDonalds. *gasp*) He prefers crunchy granola bars and smooth yogurt. And macaroni and cheese!


I think I'll keep those empty bottles....


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~








Crazy Adventures in Parenting To-Do Tuesday


It's To-Do Tuesday. Want to add your list? Go visit my friend Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting to link you own to-do list. While you're there, read a few of her entries. She would love to see you. (And you'll get a kick out of her blog!)

Here's my list for this week:

  • Write! (Write like the wind...) I have a couple of projects and one that must be finished by Friday.
  • Read Twilight-again. Kinda dreading the sleepless nights, but I can't help myself. Gotta get ready for the New Moon phase...
  • Still working (or putting off working) on some furniture refinishing. Started sanding-that's a start, right??
  • I've decided to move posts from my HomeschoolBlogger blog over to this blog. I hope to start that this week.
  • Blogging! Need to work on this blog's layout, write some posts, and write a post for Deep South Moms.


Okay, I think that's enough to list. When you add that to the normal, everyday stuff, it's quite a bit. Don't want to go depressing myself!


Have a great Tuesday, y'all!





Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Quick Reminder.....



Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a plush cartoon character toddler blanket by Baby Boom from CSNBaby! The giveaway ends tomorrow night at 7:00 pm (central time).



You could choose this one:








Or you can choose one of the other characters in stock.





Happy Sunday~






Friday, November 13, 2009

Our Doctor Visit-Turned-Trip to the Zoo






Our trip to the doctor's office at LeBonheur this week turned into a trip to the zoo. Don't you just love those spur of the moment field trips? Well, we had time to kill and the Memphis Zoo was right there, practically begging us to come in for a while. The bonus? Free to Tennessee residents on Tuesday afternoons. And yep, it just happened to be Tuesday afternoon....


We stopped off first thing for a quick photo op at the fountain....






We strolled through Cat Country. The weather was perfect! Then we headed over to the monkeys. My little one was really taken with the monkeys. He was watching their every move. Apparently, so was I. (I've always wondered where he picked up that facial expression....)




From there we moved on to the African exhibit and saw the giraffe house and the zebras, before heading on to the elephants. I was so busy listening to the caretaker tell another family about the night the baby giraffe was born that I didn't take any pictures. (Nosy...or is it nosey??)


We strolled on down to see everyone's favorite-the Northwest Passage. This is where the polar bears and the sea lions live. We spent a lot of time there and we got some great pictures! We all enjoyed the sea lion performance, but the little one was truly fascinated!



I shared one photo here of my boys and a polar bear on Wednesday. This is the photo that was taken right after Wednesday's photo...




Do you see that giant polar bear eyeballing my little one? Not a peaceful, easy feeling! And don't you know my little one screamed and ran?



Yep. Wouldn't you?



As we were strolling towards the Northwest Passage, Cade picked up a huge orange leaf from the ground. He was still holding it when we entered the polar bear observation area. This is what happened next....











Ouch! Poor bear! He really wanted that leaf! I wonder what he thought it was....




When we left the polar bears, we turned and saw that the sea lions were under water also. We headed down to the observation area. My little one was amazed! The sea lion appeared equally amazed. I don't know who those folks are in the bad reflection on this photo, but if you look down on the lower right side, you can see my little one nearly eye-to-eye with the sea lion. They both look mesmerized!




We soon learned that the little one had really been paying attention during the sea lion's performance.


Backtracking a bit....While at the doctor's office, I entertained the little one with a blue latex glove blown up like a balloon. He carried it all day, and even though it was losing air and shape, he still clung to it as he stood watching the sea lion. He quickly discovered that the sea lion liked that glove as much as he did.


He began to make hand motions with the glove, similar to those used by the trainers. He had the sea lion turning flips and twisting through the water! It was a delight to watch and drew quite a crowd.


This last picture is by far my favorite from our day at the zoo. After some time turning flips for Eli, this beautiful creature paused again for a picture....





Isn't this the most gorgeous animal? The color of the water created an eery, almost animated feel. It was hard to leave. Literally. We had to carry Eli out of there kicking and screaming. And when I say we, I mean daddy. Heh.... By the way, daddy was the master behind the camera on this day.



I hope you enjoyed seeing and reading about our day at the zoo. We're hoping for another pretty day so we can go back and see more. Like the pandas!









Thursday, November 12, 2009

Daily Blog Review~Tasty Thursday!








If you hop around the Internet these days, you'll find all of your favorite food bloggers are talking about one thing. Thanksgiving! It'll be here before you know it. It's time to start making those menu plans and thinking about the guest list.


I was hoping around yesterday, looking at some of my favorite food blogs, when I came across a new one. (New to me, that is.) After just a couple of minutes looking around, I knew I wanted to share this find with you all today.


Today's blog is The Wooden Spoon. Kathy is a fellow mom-blogger who also blogs at Blessed Beyond Imagination.

The Wooden Spoon appears to be a spinoff on her beautiful food entries that originated with this blog.


The first thing that caught my eye is the colorful header. What a great photo! It looks like Kathy is ready to do something wonderful in kitchen!


And then I scrolled down and there was a detailed post (with great photos) showing the world exactly how to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey. Right under that post? These beautiful homemade strawberry pastries. So, I had to dig around a bit.



That's when I found the chocolate....


And the mexican....


And a whole section of additional desserts!

Oh, there's other great things like side dishes and sauces. The categories are clearly marked right there on the left side bar.


Just in time for the holidays!









Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday~Zoo Trip!







Three boys and a polar bear!




This was taken yesterday afternoon at the Memphis Zoo.
We got some really great pictures that I'll be sharing later this week.

Today I'm working on a writing project....

Happy Wordless Wednesday! (Or almost WW....)


**Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a plush cartoon character blanket!




Monday, November 9, 2009

Medical Monday: Daily Blog Review


ADHD is something you hear almost daily. And it's not just for kids. Children and adults are diagnosed with ADHD every day. Some choose to treat the condition with a change of diet, while others try medications. Both are very valid choices.


Speaking from personal experience, one of my boys takes medication for ADHD and the difference it has made is just astounding.


Since so many of us are moms looking for answers, I decided to feature a blog aboug ADHD today.


The ADHD and LD Resource Blog is the creation of Shane in Virginia. Shane blogs about all aspects of ADHD and learning disabilities. Even though it's been about six months since her last post, the information contained by her blog is just too valuable to pass up.


You can read about Shane's personal experiences, like this and this, or you can read about new discoveries and the latest news stories.


Take a look around at Shane's place. She has categories (right side bar) that are relevant to those living with ADHD and LD, like research, medication, and dyslexia.

Don't miss the list of really good links worthy of your review. You will not be disappointed!











Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week in Review....





Okay, so the title is very lame, but I couldn't come up with anything else without referencing my DSL problem. And I'm sure y'all are getting tired of hearing about that! However, that is the reason I'm posting a week in review....

Let me just say one last thing about the DSL problem. I just have to get it all out. There was a problem. It wasn't working. I called Bell South and after going around and around, transferred here and there, was able to speak with a very helpful technical person. She talked me through a whole bunch of steps and was able to restore the DSL.

For about thirty minutes.

So, I called back, only to discover that, even though I had spent nearly an hour on the phone with her and had her full name, there was no way to get back to her. This meant starting over from scratch with a technical person with a heavy accent. Now, I have no problem with people of other nationalities working the phone banks of major American corporations. But. It would be nice if the person could understand American english and speak American english.

Needless to say, I gave up. I called again. I gave up. Again. And again. Every day for over a week I made attempts and every day I failed. Until finally I got serious. I sat down at that computer and recreated the steps taken by the very first technical person. And then I remembered!

As she was hanging up, she told me that she could not help me with my router because it isn't a Bell South product. So, she gave me a few tips. And in those tips I found the answer to my DSL problem. One of the adjustments she had me make disabled my connection.

This is why when I called Bell South and spoke with the techs with the heavy accents, they couldn't see the problem! From their end, my DSL looked like it was working fine. And it was...

Except for that one small adjustment we made to enable my router. I set it back to default and everything was fine. Except my router wouldn't work. I poked the reset button and Whaaa-laaa! Internet! Yay! And it only took me 9 days to figure it out and four hours to fix it.

*Sigh*

So, now you know the whole story and I'm done talking about it. Finally....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now I'm going back to last weekend. My son, Jack celebrated his 15th birthday on October 30th. It takes a lot to get a reaction from a teenager these days, so we knew his card had to be special. Dad said to leave it to him. He came home with a double jalepeno chili burger from Sonic, and he had put money inside the foil wrapper! Genius! The boy was ecstatic about the burger and the money!

Later that night we had birthday cake. I made a chocolate cake with white icing and filled it with candles. It was really sweet to hear my little one singing Happy Birthday loud and clear to his big brother. Of course, he cried when Jack blew the candles without his help. So, we lit them again and it proved to be a bit too much for the little guy. He had to spit on three of them to put them out. Ughhh.... Needless to say, no one had much of a cake appetite after that.....


Note the really bad photo composition....

mortified teen, headless dad,

and a stack of towels right beside the cake.

Yeah, but what about my mad cake decorating skilz?!?!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Halloween was so much fun this year! I know it's late, but I just have to post some photos of the boys. The older two dressed up and went on their merry way to do the things that teens do on Halloween. (*fingers in ears* la alaalalalalalalaalalal I'm not listening!) I didn't get photos of them. Sam was a cowgirl and Jack was dressed all in black with a silver mask. Probably something from some hacker movie...

Here are photos of the younger boys:


Eli the gumball machine. This is not the best picture. All of the balloons had worked around to his back! His hat says, "Gumballs 25 cents". On the front is a silver plaque that has the place to insert your quarter and retrieve your gumball.



And this is Mario and Luigi. Everybody loves the Mario brothers, right?!? These costumes were so easy to make. The blue 'overalls' were old polo shirts that had stains and were unwearable. I just cut them with scissors into the shape of overalls. The big yellow buttons are made from scrapbooking paper and glued on with plain ol' Elmer's glue. The hats are baseball caps covered with old t-shirts and the initial logos are paper and marker, sewed on with white thread. Cute, huh?

Fun was had by all, even though I was SO sick! I had the worst cold and completely lost my voice. (And ate way too many fun size candy bars, but that's a whole nuther story....)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On November 1, I officially began my affiliation with Deep South Moms with my very first post.
Writers are required to add a photo to each post, and it was really tough finding one that represented what I was thinking. You have to be careful about copyright and all that. So, I took one myself. What do you think? I was really proud of myself....

I am so honored to be a contributor to Deep South Moms. It really is a great blog. Here is a link to the contributors' bios. You'll find me about halfway down the page.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My daughter, Sam just finished her first week of school at Paul Mitchell. She had a great week and she really loves it! She fits in well with the atmosphere and already loves the people. However, she is finding that the step into adulthood is not as easy as she expected.

It really does signal an end to those carefree days of childhood. *sniff sniff* I did warn her that this would change her and her outlook, but didn't anticipate the overnight change or the growing pains from leaving some of your friends behind. I think she'll be okay, though. She is off for her weekend on Sundays and Mondays and she's already wanting to go back.

I meant to get some photos of her with her kit. It is amazing! Maybe I'll get a chance to do that this week...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you check out my CSNBaby review and giveaway? I don't do many of these, but this nursery decor website was just too good to pass up. Plus, I really loved that plush Spongebob blanket! Go ahead and enter to win one for the little one in your life. You get to choose the character...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This brings me to another birthday. Trent celebrated his 12th birthday yesterday. Again, we had cake, but this time we had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The little one sung loud and long to his brother. (It was cute!) And yes, he cried when the candles were blown out. We learned our lesson, though, and he got one candle on his piece of cake. That way he could spit all he wanted!

Again, check out my mad skilz...

And I get to practice again in one month!

My little one will be four in just four more weeks. (yikes!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, I think that pretty much catches y'all up. Whew... I know it was a lot to take in! I'll be back tomorrow with Medical Monday and I hope to make some bloggy visits. I have missed some great moments on my favorite blogs and I can't wait to get back into the swing of reading and commenting about everyone's entries. Oh, and participating in some great weekly link-ups.
See ya!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

CSN Baby Review and Product Giveaway!












A few days ago, before my DSL failed me, I mentioned an upcoming product review. (Here.)



If you come around here often, you know that I rarely do reviews and giveaways. However, when a representative from CSNBaby contacted me about the company's nursery decor line, I thought it would be a good time to share what I've found out about this company and their product line. (Hello?!?! Christmas is getting really close!)




CSNBaby is a virtual mega baby store! Nursery decor abounds for every style and taste. You can find hip design, traditional decor, and even the current cartoon character favorites.




I was offered a product from CSNBaby's online nursery decor catalog for the purpose of review. This product is the only compensation received, and was essential in evaluating this company's customer service, as well as product quality. This does not influence my thoughts for review in any way. (See my full disclosure policy in the top right hand corner.)



The CSNBaby website is very easy to navigate. From the nursery decor link you will find a thumbnail list of categories from which to choose. Looking for a lamp for your nursery? A quick click has you in the right spot. Interested in a certain cartoon character? There are a multitude of items shown in the 'shop by theme' category. Or, simply use the quick search box at the top.




My order was placed on October 27 and filled (and shipped) on October 28. I received the package on November 1. That's less than a week from start to finish! Impressive....




My little one absolutely LOVES Spongebob, so he was extremely excited when I opened the package and pulled this from the box:














Isn't it adorable?? This plush blanket is the perfect size for a crib, a toddler bed, or for a little one who likes to wag a blanket! It's bright and colorful, soft and plush, and yet thin and lightweight. It keeps my little one toasty at night with no other covers. Plus, it packs a powerful cuddle punch! I'd also like to mention that I've washed and dried it once and it still looks just as great as it did before my little one got ahold of it.


My overall experience with CSNBaby has been very positive. From my contact with the company representative, to the shipping time and product quality, I am pleased.

~~~~~~~~~~

And now.... y'all have an opportunity to get your hands on one of these plush character blankets! And guess what?? You do not have to settle for Spongebob. (I know some people really have an aversion....)


You get YOUR CHOICE of character. How awesome is that?!?! You can choose from Spongebob, Dora, Thomas the Tank, Backyardigans, and Transformers. (Depending on availability, of course.)


This giveaway is open to any US resident age 18 or older. You must supply a street address for shipping purposes, if chosen the winner.


To Enter, visit CSNBaby, find an item you love, come back here and tell us about it! Please leave your email in your comment, unless you have a valid email linked to your login.

For additional entries you can:


1 entry-Follow my blog!
1 entry-Follow me on Twitter
1 entry-Tweet this giveaway


Be sure to leave a comment for each entry.


This giveaway begins...NOW and will end at 7:00 pm (central time zone) on Monday,November 16th. The winner will be announced here on November 17th.

Good luck!






Birthday Boy!





Before I go back in time to make up for the days without DSL (grrrrr...), I want to take just a moment to shout out to this guy....







(I think he has the whole zombie hobo look down pat.)





Today is his birthday and he's......

12!


I really, really can not believe that we are just 365 days away from the teen years....



Yikes!!!



Happy Birthday, Trent!



Today I'm making a chocolate cake (with chocolate frosting) and I'm working on two blog posts. One is a fun giveaway (that would make a GREAT Christmas gift for a little one in your life), so check back later for that post.




I'll be back later. After the par-tay!








Friday, November 6, 2009

Restoration!






Hallelujah!!!


Okay, so it's nothing really deep or mind-blowing....

It's just....


the fact that the Internet is back!

My DSL has been fully restored!

My router is now busy routing wifi to my laptop!



It's about time!


It's been almost two weeks since I had full service.

And for the record....


Bell South is still a loser.

I have so much to share~so much has happened.



How will I ever catch y'all up?!?!



I'm sad that I missed out on all of my link ups this week: several on Tuesday, (I snuck in the back way and posted a WW), Thursday afternoon tea, and Chocolate Friday....
(Did I just say chocolate? Ughhh..... How many fun size chocolate treats can one woman eat?!?!? )

Don't ask!

And the Daily Blog Review has been missing for days and days....

Hopefully all will be back on track now. Just let me get ready for another birthday tomorrow, write a huge catch-up post, do a little more laundry...

And, yes. I.am.still.coughing.


Y'all get the picture!



I'm so happy.





Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


This week's school project: Robot from recyclable materials.


Meet the Robby 5000!


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Here’s Cade showing off his Robby 5000’s cool jetpack….


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Happy Wordless Wednesday!



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