Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2009 Roundup

Okay, so Christmas 2009 was really low-key but wonderful. We were just so thankful to even be able to HAVE Christmas this year after all of the work and employment issues - we were blessed. We have a tradition every year when we go to get our tree. We either go to a Lowes or Home Depot because they have the lowest prices and then it's every man for himself as we each vie to be the one to pick the family tree. Nick takes this VERY seriously and hates when he doesn't win. It's kind of comical to watch us all run around hauling out trees. Poor Frank has the job of displaying it properly for all of us to ooh and aah over as we decide if it's a good fit for us. But this year was Frank's year - he found the winning tree. It was a bit smaller than we thought it would be when we got it home but it still smells wonderful and we loved it!

Then we set up our little Christmas village that used to
belong to my step-mother, Collette. She gave it to us many, many years ago when she re-did hers. The pieces are a bit mis-matched but it looks so pretty when it's all lit up. I have to admit, I had a hard time setting it up this year. It made me sad. After a few days of it looking pitiful, Frank took pity on me and set it up with Michael. Isn't it pretty? Thank you, Collette!

We did the holiday picture card thing which is always good for a laugh because it is so hard to get one that is just right. Nick is very photogenic and is comfortable in front of the camera. Michael looks at picture taking as a form of torture and is visibly uncomfortable. This was this year's. Cute, right? I took this picture at 11:30 at night because it was the only time that I could get both boys together and clean! Why do boys make things so difficult?

Christmas Eve was festive. I made the traditional seafood sauce and we ate an early dinner and it was wonderful! Very yummy, if I do say so myself. We were doing out dessert open house and the first guests arrived at 7:00. We visited and chatted, the kids played and the next family didn't show up until 8:00 and by that time the 7:00 family had to leave! It was a revolving door there for a little while! All in all we had about 25 people come through over the course of the night and I cannot explain how much I enjoyed it. It is so amazing to have the kinds of friends like I do who are truly family to me. I love you guys!

he last of the guests left somewhere near 11:00 and then we let the boys open two gifts - one of which was new pajamas because that is tradition. Nick hates it but TOO BAD!! I like everyone to be in new pj's for the pictures. Christmas morning's tradition is that they are not allowed to wake us up until 8:00 and then Frank and I go out to the living room first and then call them out so that we are sitting there and can see their faces when they see their gifts. I love that! Nick got Rock Band 2 for the Xbox and Michael got a Star Wars ship. After that it was a free-for-all. All of the relatives send gifts and so Christmas morning finds a LOT of gifts under the tree.

The remainder of the day was spent in our jammies. I have to admit, I kind of liked being a slug this year. Frank got me a pair of slipper-booties that look a little like Eskimo boots and I wore them all day. I read, we ate, I did make our traditional breakfast of pepperoni omelets and then made a big dinner, but in between? Slug-fest (and of the lazy kind, not fighting kind).

It truly was a great holiday and I hope that all of yours was wonderful too!

*Today's article is on New Year's Eve around the World. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I am SO blaming E-card for This!

So life was a bit busy today and I didn't get to do my dropping until after dinner. I'm dropping and I'm dropping and I'm using the toolbar on Favorites and while I was waiting for the ten pages to load, I got up and walked away from the computer. When I got back? BAM! Weird program on my computer!

It gave itself a spot on my desktop with a nice little icon, it gave itself another little icon down on the right hand corner of my screen - right next to the time and to make extra-sure that I knew it was there? It had a pop up window that came up ever two and a half minutes! WTH???

It was called Spy Eraser. I did not download it. I did not click on it. I DID have to do a System Restore to get RID of it! I was able to delete it from my desktop but shockingly, it did not appear on my program list so I could not fully REMOVE it - hence the system restore. MAN! I hate that!!

So whichever of you sneaky E-card sites dished this up, I'm here to let you know that I am NOT amused! This is like the virus that had to keep being removed when I was dropping like a month ago. E-card, if you are listening: Your service is really becoming more of a nuisance than it is worth. Do you THINK someone can get a grip on this?

I hate when this happens...

*Today's article is on creating your own curriculum. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas was Killed by...Me

Because I wasn't enough of an emotional wreck with Nick kicking me to the curb this Christmas, my younger son decided to get in on the act. A couple of days before Christmas we were sitting down to dinner and talking about our plans for Christmas Eve and laughing and having a good time. Nick turns to Michael and is like "You still believe in Santa don't you?"

Let me stop here a minute. We played up Santa BIG time when Nick was little but by the time Michael came around, Nick was 8 and by the time Michael could understand it all, Nick had outgrown it. So while we did talk about Santa, we didn't make a huge deal out of him. He had his picture taken with Santa for the first time when he was 7. Do we suck or what?

Anyway, so Nick asks him if he still believes and Nick is a HUGE lover of all things Christmas. You know the movie "Elf" with Will Farrell? THAT is Nick. He has enjoyed keeping the Santa myth alive and so he asks Michael about it and Michael put his fork down and said (get this): "Well I did until MOM took me shopping with her to buy people's gifts!"

Twenty years from now he'll be on some shrink's couch recounting the time in his life when mom killed Santa for him. Great.

So I look at him and I'm like "What are you talking about?" He says "You know what you did, mom. You took me shopping with you all around Target to buy gifts." So I'm like "Um...Yeah, gifts for dad and Nick from OTHER people, not SANTA!" I am devastated at this point. I mean, we all had that moment in our lives where we stopped believing but to actually be sitting there with the finger pointing at you is a pretty rough thing. I remember the year I figured it out: I got a bike for Christmas and my dad was up until after midnight putting it together in our living room, cursing the entire time. Ah, good times.

Frank, sensing that I am about to cry, tries talking to Michael and then Nick chimes in to encourage Michael to still believe. And Michael's like "I don't know...Joe doesn't believe and neither does Ben (his two best friends) so I just don't know!" Okay, now we're getting somewhere but the bottom line is he blames ME.

Later that night he gets his PJ's on and kisses us goodnight and goes to bed. He shuts his door and then I hear something - he has slipped a folded up note of paper out from under the door. On it it says "I believe".

Could you just cry or what???

Monday, December 28, 2009

Computer Craziness - Part 2

Okay, I know this was supposed to be the Christmas post, but it's not. Sort of. Sorry. Anyway, the day before Christmas Eve Frank told me that he really wanted to buy me a laptop. He knew, though, that I would have to pick it out for myself because I was the only one who was going to be using it. This job that he is doing was going to pay well and so it was decided that we would get the laptop after Christmas. Yea!

On Christmas Eve he worked. When he dropped his friend who works with him off, the guy's wife came out to wish him a Merry Christmas and asked if he wanted to take my laptop home with him. He was stumped - and had no idea what she was talking about. It turns out like six months ago, she had gotten a really, really, REALLY good deal on a used laptop. I was envious, I admit. Well, for Christmas she got a new laptop and so was passing on her used one to me! Yea, again!

So Frank came home not knowing what to do. He sits me down and is like "Look, I have no idea if this thing can do what you want it to do and I know I promised you a new one and I don't know what to do!" I felt bad for him, I really did. So I told him to wrap it up and put it under the tree and I'll play around with it in the morning. It is old. It's VERY basic and after talking to two tech guys (one at Staples and one at CompUSA) it seems that even if I upgraded this laptop as far as it can go, it is still going to be slow and not capable of doing a lot of stuff. Now, I don't NEED it to do a lot of stuff but I would like to be able to do what I need to efficiently.

And honestly, I really, really, really, REALLY want a new shiny one! How horrible am I??? I have new laptop envy and it makes me feel like crap! Now I don't know what to do.

I'm so confused!!!

*Today's article is on Getting your teen to read. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Said I Wouldn't But I Did...

Okay so Christmas is over. There are still far too many cakes, cookies and pies lying around the house but we are doing our best to put a dent in them. All in all it was a wonderful Christmas; one that I will write about tomorrow. For now, here's a Christmas story that really, really, REALLY bummed me out.

So you all know that Frank was out of work for a while. Things got VERY tight around here. Nick ran up his cell phone bill AGAIN and I'm still unemployed. Festive times, right? Anyway, with the last bout of cell phone drama with the teen, he announced that he does not want anything for Christmas; we should take any money that he gets and pay off his debts and whatever else we might need the money for. I was VERY tempted to do just that but, being a sucker for a pair of big brown eyes, I could not imagine sitting here Christmas morning and having him NOT open any presents.

Frank got work, the burden eased a bit and I went and shopped for my boy. A few days before Christmas he announces to me that my present will not be here in time for Christmas. Is it back-ordered? No. Are we not confident with the postal service? No. Is he too broke to actually buy it right now? Yes. Okay, fine. I'm not thrilled and I tell him that he should not be spending too much (or anything) if he cannot afford it. This should have been the end of this story but like most teenagers, they don't know when to shut their mouths. Was he too broke to buy his mother a present to open on Christmas? Yes. Was he too broke to buy his girlfriend over $100 worth of gifts? Apparently not.

Now he tells his dad that my gift will not be here in time and Frank has the first assumption that I did - it's back ordered. So we talk about it briefly and when I tell him that no, it has nothing to do with mail and orders but solely because the boy did NOT order it because he spent all of his money elsewhere. This did not go over well at all with my husband. The thing that made it worse was that, okay, he has a limited income but he bought gifts for EVERYONE else - his brother, his father, his girlfriend, HER parents, AND her sister and brother in law. For all I know HER dog probably got a gift from him too! But mom? No, apparently NOT important enough to budget for.

Am I greedy? No. Am I hurt? Yes. Why? Well, why was it so important that everyone else have a gift and not me? No one knows. So we TELL him how disappointed we are and how hurt I am and there is no remorse. Nothing. Just a lame "sorry" and he thinks we're done. I let it go but Frank cannot. Then to make matters even WORSE (if you can believe it), on Christmas Day we are all just lounging around the house and I'm lying in bed reading a good book and the phone rings. It's my father in law calling us because he was still asleep when we had called him earlier. So Nick gets on the phone with him and is asked "So, what did you get your girlfriend?" He has no idea the Pandora's Box that he has once-again opened. Nick is walking around the house with the phone but decides to STOP and stand in MY doorway and replies "What DIDN'T I get her? Oh, I got her EVERYTHING".

Son of a....

Frank pretty much lunged up from the couch and practically tackled him. When he got off the phone, Frank was like "What is the matter with you???" The boy's response? "What? What did I do?"

The list is endless at this point, son. The list is endless....

*Today's article is on making your own homeschool yearbook. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Saturday, December 26, 2009

An Update for those who are interested...

Okay, so many of you have expressed your opinion on how you wish my dad and I would make up. So in an earlier post I mentioned that he sent the boys Christmas gifts. Yes, yes, it was considerate of him. The day after we received the box, I had the boys call him to thank him.

Nick made the call. He talked to my dad and although I did not allow them to watch the memorial DVD, I did have to tell them about it because I knew that dad would ask if they watched it. And he did. So Nick talked to him and thanked him for the gifts - even though he had not opened them yet. They talked about how Nick and his girlfriend are doing and dad asked if Nick was planning on proposing any time soon. Nick said he'd like to and dad says (get this) "Gee, I'd like to help you with a ring and all, but I sold all of grandma's stuff".


Was that necessary? No. Not even a little bit. Maybe I am being overly picky but I just thought it was a stupid comment to make. Then Michael got on the phone and talked for a minute. He is not my conversationalist. So he talked and then when he was saying good-bye, he looked to me and said "I don't know what to do". Awkward. So I said "Hand me the phone" and you know what happened?


He hung up. I was willing to get on the phone. I was willing to wish a Merry Christmas. But once again, I was denied. I keep trying, people. This is now like the 5th attempt that I have been turned away. No one can say that I have not tried, because I have. I'm not seeing this changing any time soon.


Kind of Random, Kind of Funny

I was over at Stacie's Madness and saw her post about this and decided to click over to Urban Dictionary and checked it out. Go on over and look up your name and see what it says.

I spell my name Stacey. Yes, with an "e". So here is Urban Dictionary's definition of Stacey: The correct way to spell Stacy;
A name for the most awesome girl ever. A girl who is constantly thinking about others and never herself. Good looking, kind, selfless, and funny. Loves surrounding herself with close friends and always enjoys life. Stacey is the epitome of class and good taste.

Not too shabby for Stace...

Hee, hee, hee!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas

On this day, our Savior was born. I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! Have a blessed day!

*Today's article is on the Twelve Reasons for Christmas. You can read it here. Thank you!*

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!!

You know, weird as this may sound, I have come to enjoy the holidays so much more since moving away from family. Quick Nancy, hit the "print" key! Anyway, we have started our own family traditions that we otherwise would not have done because there was always some place to be. When you get married and have kids and live near family, everyone wants to see you (when you're single? Not so much.). As a child of divorce, I always had two sets of grandparents to take Nick to and then there were my in-laws. Holidays were exhausting.

Once we moved it was like, okay, we have all of this free time to do with what we want! Our first Christmas in North Carolina, my grandmother came to visit me because she didn't want me to be alone. I just miss her so much! We had a lovely Christmas that year and it was so simple - no fuss, no muss, just time together. After that year we invited friends over and Frank has some cousins and relatives that live 90 minutes away so it was all still very nice.

A couple of years ago I took a cue from my sister. She always has people in her home. I don't know how she stands it sometimes but she does. One year she told me that she was doing an open house and whoever came, came. So we decided to try that. On Christmas Eve we had a dessert open house for our friends. The first year it was kind of small - maybe less than ten people. But last year was like our fifth year (maybe 6th year) and we had over 30 people! I put out the invites this year and it's going to be a bit smaller than last year but I am loving it. I think that it is just wonderful to surround yourself with people that you enjoy.

Everyone brings a dessert to share, we have music playing, the kids run around - last year it was warm out so the teens all went outside. This year it's not going to work out that well. There's always the shed! But for 3 hours my home is filled to the rafters with love, laughter and fellowship. I love it!

What are you doing this Christmas Eve? Whatever it is, enjoy and be merry. Have a little chocolate for me!

*Today's article is on the Twelve Days of Homeschooling. You can read it HERE. Enjoy and thank you!!*

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best of 2009

Wow! That banner is a whole lot bigger than I thought it would be! Fun, right! Anyway, I saw this over at Scary Mommy and thought, why not? This is the time of year where it's all about reviewing all that happened in 2009 and counting down to 2010. The following is a list of my favorite All-Stace posts for the last year, month by month. Here we go!

January: "Seriously, I Should Get An Award For This"

February: "Valentine's Day - Part 2: Where is Steve Perry?"

March: "But I Don't WANT a 1969 Cougar!"

April: "Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl"

May: "All of a Sudden I'm 16 (and not in a good way!)

June: "That'll be $165 and your Dignity"

July: "Diary of a Mad Vacation"

August: "Technology for the Elderly"

September: "In the Spirit of the Great Pumpkin"

October: "I Know I'm a Girl But..."

November: "A Beautiful Life Gone too Soon"

December: "Blessings and the Power of Prayer"

Okay, I think that just about does it. If you have a favorite post that I did here that I did not mention, feel free to let me know!

*Today's article is on the National Gingerbread House Competition. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another "Gotcha" Moment...

Christmas cards have been arriving, money from relatives for the kids has been arriving, on-line purchases have been arriving. Today there was a knock at the door from the UPS guy and there was a box on my front porch. It was addressed to Nick - the label was the typed out UPS kind.

I knew that Nick hadn't ordered anything and then I noticed the return address. My dad. My sister told me that he had shopped for the kids and that I should expect something. So it arrived today. It was very nice of him to remember his grandchildren and not take his feelings for me out on them. First, let me say that it was kind of childish to not even address it to me - as the parent. So okay, I open it up and it has several wrapped boxes in it and a card on top that says "Nick & Mike". Secondly, NO ONE calls my son Mike. No one. Ever. His name is Michael. A grandparent should know that. But...I'm being petty, right? I can feel something large in the card so I open it to make sure that it's not some kind of long letter telling my kids what a jackass of a mother I am or something awful about my husband. Inside was a DVD in memory of my step-mother. I put it aside because I'm not sure I am able to watch it and I notice the inside of the card - addressed to Nick, Mike and family.


Really? And family??

Okay, putting it aside, I put the gifts under the tree and contemplate calling him to thank him. But Nick wasn't home and I felt that if we were going to call, the boys should both be there to thank him. So I decide to watch the DVD before showing it to the kids. He said in the card that it was something for them to remember their grandmother by. Sweet, right? This DVD is a slide show of pictures of Collette's life. It was beautiful, the music was touching and lovely. There were pictures of her that I had never seen before. There were pictures of her with everyone except...

MY children.

Oh, here's something to remember your grandmother by, but you were left out of it! ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME??? REALLY??? If he did not want to put me in there, FINE, but don't you DARE make this like you care about my children's memory of their grandmother when you deliberately EXCLUDED them from it!!!

So to recap...sending Christmas gifts? Nice. Almost deserving of a phone call. Excluding the grandchildren who loved her from her memorial? Shitty. Take note, Nancy...tell dad to NOT expect a call on Christmas until HE apologizes to MY children.

*Today's is on some updated homeschool studies and how homeschooled adults are doing. You can read it HERE. Thanks!*

Monday, December 21, 2009

What it Takes to be a Hero...

As a mom of two boys I've heard a lot about Super Heroes. I know the basics and am forever being told of different ones with super powers and how cool they are. I've seen movies that have showcased these characters.

In the real world, we hear about heroes on the news: the firefighters from 9-11. Heroes. Our military fighting for our country. Heroes. A good Samaritan stopping to help someone in need. Hero.

Do you know who is NOT a hero? Tiger Woods' wife.

Yes, I seriously heard that the other day that this woman is a HERO in her home country. A HERO!?! Really?? So basically, you categorize someone who was cheated on, lied to, oblivious to what was going on around her and will now reap MILLIONS of dollars in a divorce settlement because of her husbands infidelity and THIS is a hero??

I think anyone and everyone who has ever been TRULY honored for doing something heroic should get to go and slap this woman! She is not a hero! She did nothing heroic! She sat back in her mansion, counting money that SHE did not earn while her husband cheated on her. That doesn't make her a hero unless the people judging that are shallow and disgusting and think it is heroic to marry a billionaire celebrity and then get to walk away with millions for it when the marriage ends.

Honestly, the media makes me sick.

*Today's article is on Getting Organized in the New Year. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Your Money to NOT do as You Wish With...

Back when Frank and I first started dating, he did not have a car. He lived on his own but without transportation. It was a little weird but those were the circumstances. He asked his dad to co-sign a loan for him to get a vehicle with and his dad agreed IF Frank bought a vehicle that his dad picked. This caused great strife because it was Frank who was going to be paying the loan AND having to drive and maintain the car! Frank eventually won but I am amazed that as life has progressed how that attitude has now come in to play in many other areas.

I shop at Staples. I have a rewards card. I got a certificate in the mail for $30. Yeah, me, right? No. I went to Staples to purchase a gift card and was told that I could not use the certificate for gift cards. Um, it's MY money that I earned, why can't I? Okay, on to store number two. I went to a used book store today to trade in some old books. I opted for store credit. This place was huge and sold not only books but movies, CD's, DVD's, VHS', vinyl records, video games, video game systems, and iPods. I was loving it. So they go through my books and give me my store credit and then are like "But you can't use it on video games, game systems, game hardware or general 'stuff'". So basically I can use it on Books. That's it.


Years ago we went to purchase Nick a Playstation 2 for Christmas. We went to a small store that only did video games and they refused to sell us the system unless we purchased TWO additional games. When did this become the norm? What happened to making a sale? What happened to giving the customer what they wanted? In a time where all we hear about is how bad the economy is and how people are not spending, here are places that are turning away sales because of what? NO ONE KNOWS!

I'm still confused.

*Today's article is on no snow days while homeschooling. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Medical Lesson Learned: Ladies Only!

You know, I never thought I'd say it, but at this point I'd almost WELCOME menopause (or, the "pause", as I like to refer to it). Why? Because I am so tired of painful periods and cramps. Nothing works for me anymore. There is no over-the-counter medicine that works. My doctor doesn't seem to be phased by it and kind of looks at me like I am a big baby. Sometimes I am.

So with Frank being in his migraine mode and seeing that the Excedrin Migraine works wonders for him, I saw that Excedrin makes a Menstrual Complete medicine. In my line of thinking I figure that if this stuff is strong enough to tackle his migraines and succeed where no other medicine can, then surely this stuff - in the menstrual formula - can possibly help me.

I went, I bought, I took. The first two certainly took care of the cramps but I felt a little buzzy. I had just gotten home from going out for dessert with a friend and while I know this medicine has caffeine in it, I thought it was just a combination of that and the sweet dessert. Six hours later I wake at 4 a.m. with heinous cramps - the kind where I can barely unravel from the ball I'm in to walk to the kitchen to take something. But I do - two more. The bottle says that you can take up to 8 of these in a 24 hour time span so I feel okay in taking these two. Well, this began a horrific experience that I will not soon forget.

I took them at 4:16 a.m. I went back to bed and within 15 minutes my cramps were almost gone but my heart was beating erratically - I could FEEL it. I tried for over two hours to go back to sleep but could not. I got up and went about my morning but felt really weird, very shaky, kind of queasy and still my heart rate was not right. I had a bowl of oatmeal, hoping that food would level things out but it didn't. Five hours later my cramps are almost unbearable but I am afraid to take anything at this point.

We had a small Christmas party to deal with and so I stayed away from the sweets and chose some chips, popcorn, water, etc. to eat and while my stomach felt a little better, my heart did not. We ate a late, protein-laden lunch, still didn't feel better. At 4:00 p.m. I took a nap. I woke up at 5:00 p.m and STILL did not feel right. Frank got home at 5:30 and wanted to take me to the ER because he is convinced that this cannot be from the Excedrin. I told him I had gone on-line and researched this and all of these side effects are what can happen with this stuff but no time frame was given. I was still very weak and shaky and my heart was still beating weird and so he made me just sit quietly and rest. I did and by 8:00 pm I was tired but didn't feel quite so shaky.

I'm writing this on Wednesday morning, more than 31 hours after taking the last dose of this stuff and I am STILL not feeling right. I may have to call a doctor. I don't want to, but I may have to. The lesson here, be very, very, VERY careful when you take this stuff. Seriously, it scares the heck out of me right now.

*Today's article is on Christmas Cookie Math. You can read it HERE. Thanks!*

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chick-Flick Friday! "Where the Heart Is"

Okay, so I know that this one is on cable right now a LOT, but I can't help myself, I love it. "Where the Heart Is" is the story of a down-on-her-luck teen (Played by Natalie Portman)who is left stranded and very pregnant by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart. She ends up living in the store because she has no where else to go and no money and upon giving birth, she sort of has her 15 minutes of fame for having "The Wal-Mart Baby".

Along the way she meets up with a few of the locals who befriend her and this is the story of their relationships as they all become family. The supporting cast which consists of Ashley Judd and Stockard Channing are wonderful. There is a cameo by Sally Field as the mother who stops by in hopes of cashing in on her daughter's brief stint with fame only to end up leaving her quickly.

This is definitely a chick flick because you will alternate between laughter and tears and of course, there is a good love story that, while not the main part of the story, is in there enough to make you sigh. This is a great movie for when you have the night to yourself but unsure of your mood. Enjoy!

*Today's article is on Christmas specials on books through A Beka Books. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?

Okay, so now I am a tier 1 in my unemployment journey. Fun times. This is so NOT what I wanted to be but at the same time, this time of life has afforded me the opportunity to really look at what I want to do with my life.

Back in July, that drunken witch that my dad is married to said to me in one of her ridiculous rambling e-mails that basically I am a loser who is wasting my life. I took GREAT offense to that because really, I was okay with my life. I have a great marriage, two wonderful kids who are healthy, I have friends...I mean, we are by no means living the perfect life but we're happy. But that stupid comment in her e-mail just stuck in my craw, you know?

As I look forward to a new year (as most of us are at this time), I think that I am still doing what I want to do with my life. I'm working hard at a career as a writer and my marriage is still strong, my kids are still great, I mean...God has blessed me abundantly. I know I use this phrase a lot but I'll use it again - God did not choose to bless me with great wealth, but he blessed me with a great marriage and THAT is worth far more.

So as you are looking forward to the new year, what are your goals? Are you doing what you want to with your life? Is anyone out there living the dream? I'm just curious.

*Today's article is on the Life and Science Museum. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blessings and the Power of Prayer

Since becoming a Christian in early 1996, I have seen God do some pretty amazing things in my life. Have all of my prayers been answered? Yes. How can that be? Am I rich? Am I thin? No, I'm not but then again, sometimes God's answer is no. A very wise woman once taught me that and I have to remind myself of that point at times. God is not a genie in a bottle who grants wishes. Sometimes things have to happen a certain way and it's not for us to understand why - but someday we might.

As you all know, we have been struggling financially this year. Frank has not had a lot of work but, praise God, we had some money in savings that carried us through until this last month. Christmas was looking bleak and I was looking at ways to cut our already limited lifestyle back even more. It's not easy to do when you already don't have much.

A couple of weeks ago, actually it was the Sunday right after Thanksgiving, my church had their annual special service where it is all about thankfulness. Everyone is invited to get up and speak and share (briefly) something that they are thankful for that God has done in their life. I don't mind public speaking but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to get up and speak. I love to talk so I have to learn to differentiate between WANTING to talk and being led by God to talk - especially in this type of situation.

As the service went on, my heart started to race and I felt very anxious and it suddenly became very clear what I was supposed to get up and share. A little background for you: I am back at the church that I first went to upon moving to NC. It was where I became a Christian and stayed for 8 years. I left for personal (albeit selfish) reasons and after being away for 6 years, I am back. So I stood up at the mike and told how I was thankful to be back amongst family. That the people of this church have meant more to me over the years than I could ever imagine. How if it hadn't been for the love of my dear friend A.D. who made it her personal campaign to get me back in the church, I don't know how I would be handling life right now. I shared how I had lost two amazing women from my life this year who I miss terribly and with being unemployed for six months and Frank not having work, well, it was good to be among my Christian family who remind me always of God's provisions. That said, I sat down.

After the service, someone came up to me and offered Frank a job. A large job. A job that he's been at now for over a week and will (weather permitting) take him through the next two weeks. I had another friend offer him a similar job. And on top of that, the guy that he works with just got word on a job that will start up in early January.

Can I just say how big of a sigh of relief I am breathing right now? I don't always understand God's timing. But what I have noticed in my own personal experience is that when I acknowledge all that HE has done for me and how I trust in HIM, he gives us what we need.

My mom has a favorite song by the Rolling Stones - "You Can't Always Get What You Want". We always laugh because it is so true. The thing that makes life more tolerable, and to be able to truly see the blessings that come your way is when you realize the difference between wants and needs. I want Frank to have work - is a selfish statement. I might as well be saying I want a million dollars. But the reality is that we NEED Frank to work to provide for our family.

God heard of our need, and he met that need - by blessing us with friends who we love, who are now our family. I love you all so much and there aren't enough words to convey my thanks to you. I thank God for all of you.

*Today's article is on the Morehead Planetarium and the Star of Bethlehem show. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Those We Lost in 2009...

Last week my mom and her siblings buried my grandmother's remains. It was a small, graveside service. Later that night, the church that my mom and aunt attend had a service for those who had passed away in 2009. This poem was handed out to everyone as they entered the church. It was written by John Wm. Mooney, Jr. It was copyrighted in 1989 but it was just so beautiful that I wanted to share it here with all of you for perhaps those you lost this year.

Merry Christmas From Heaven

I Still Hear the Songs,
I Still See the Lights,
I still feel your love on cold wintery nights

I Still shares your hopes and all of your cares
I'll even remind you to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you, you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment, to stay in His grace
I came here before you to help set your place

You don't have to be perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip, if you continue the climb

To my family and friends,
Please be Thankful today,
I'm still close beside you,
In a new special way

I love you all dearly,
Now don't shed a tear,
Cause I'm spending my Christmas
with Jesus this year

*Today's article is on Christmas traditions from around the world. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bucket List Meme

Okay, so I stole this one from Rebecca over at the Freaky Frugalite. I just recently stumbled upon her site through Entrecard and you should definitely go and check her out.

It’s called a Bucket List Meme, and I’m not quite sure why. Does it have something to do with some movie with the same name? If so, I regret using the same title. :-p I’m such a non-conformist. Supposedly, a “Bucket List” is stuff you want to do in your life before you kick da bucket, am I right? I don’t see how this list would qualify for me, because I would have WAAAY more than this… but it’s a meme, and I like memes… so Bucket List or no, these are the things I have done, as signified in bold letters.

Been to Canada - Senior year of high school, class trip to Niagara Falls Been to Mexico
Been to Florida - Um...only a LOT
Been to Hawaii
Visited All 50 States
Been to Europe
Been to South America
Been to Central America
Been to Asia
Been to Australia - that is the dream!

Been on a plane
Been on a helicopter
Been in a hot air balloon
Been sky diving
Been on a Cruise - No desire. Have you seen "Titanic"?
Been to Washington, DC
Been on the opposite side of the country - California, graduation trip
Driven across the United States
Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
Been deep sea fishing

Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
Seen the Statue of Liberty
Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
Swam in the ocean - I grew up on Long Island, so um...YES!
Swam in the Mediterranean

Gone on a blind date - not something I'd ever want to do again
Watched someone die
Been lost in a neighborhood - yes
Cried yourself to sleep - often

Played cops and robbers - last time had to be in the second grade
Recently colored with crayons
Written a letter to Santa Claus
Sang Karaoke
Paid for a meal with coins only
Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t
Made prank phone calls
Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
Caught a snowflake on your tongue
Danced in the rain

Watched the sunrise with someone
Blown bubbles
Been kissed under the mistletoe
Been skinny dipping outdoors
Gone ice-skating - but not successfully
Gone to the movies
Gone snorkeling
Skipped school - more than I care to admit
Gone snowmobiling
Lived in more than one country

Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
Seen a falling star and made a wish
Truly believe in the power of prayer - YES I DO!
Seen whales in the ocean
Ridden on an elephant
Ridden on a camel
Swam with dolphins
Saw and heard a glacier calf

Traveled by train - only back and forth from Long Island to Manhattan
Traveled by motorcycle - only around the neighborhood
Traveled by subway - yes and ICK!
Been horseback riding
Ridden on a San Francisco cable car
Been to Disneyland or Disneyworld
Been in a rain forest
Been to Niagara Falls
Walked on the Great Wall of China

Been to the Olympics
Been spinnaker flying
Been water-skiing
Been snow-skiing
Been to Westminster Abbey
Been to the Louvre
Been to a Major League Baseball game
Been to a National Football League game

The last paragraph has me stumped. Westminster Abbey?! Feel free to steal the meme. I think I may revise it, and make up my own. :D

*Today's article is on the book "The Legend of the Candy Cane". You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Enough of it Already!

Unless you've been living on Mars in a cave with cotton in your ears, you may have heard the news about Tiger Woods. I mean, haven't we heard enough? Every day the "girlfriend" number goes up. And how many of these women are actually legit? You know, just because he bought you a drink, doesn't make you his girlfriend!

I know that the world looked at him like some sort of Messiah, but guess what? He's just a man! A man with 750 jillion dollars at his disposal to do whatever he wants. NOT that I am agreeing with what he did in any way, shape or form, I just think that it is pretty much a proven fact that people with that kind of money do stupid things - thinking that they are above reproach - and then get caught with their pants down.


I'm not a sports fan; I don't follow golf. I know who he is and I was fine with just knowing he was a golfer. I don't care to see 89 images of his Escalade all banged up or the fire hydrant that it hit. I'm sorry that his mother in law went to the hospital, I don't need to hear the 911 call. There are people in the world with REAL problems. He cheated on his wife? Sure. Did she beat the crap out of him with a golf club? I can only hope.

But in the end, I'm tired of seeing it everywhere. It's unnecessary and irrelevant to what is really going on in the world.

So stop it!

*Today's article is on homeschool websites. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Something to Ponder...

I saw this over at "Not Always Charming" and just about laughed myself silly so I thought I would share. Enjoy!

1. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

4. The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase “Regards” again.

5. There is a great need for sarcasm font.

6. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f*** was going on when I first saw it.

7. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

8. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

9. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

10. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

11. Was learning cursive really necessary?

12. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

13. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

14. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent an idiot from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters !

15. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

16. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

17. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

18. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

19. Bad decisions and bad experiences make good stories

20. Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

21. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

22. There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

23. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

24. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

25. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

26. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

27. It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

28. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

29. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet my a$$ everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time…

*Today's article is on Christmas during the Civil War in the Carolinas. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chick Flick Friday! - "Barefoot in the Park"

This is a classic and I love it! Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park" is just silly fun from a time where comedy was clean. This movie stars a very young Jane Fonda as Corie and Robert Redford as Paul - newlyweds who are also newly acquainted! He is a straight-laced business man and she is...well, a hippee, so to speak.

The movie chronicles their first week of married life as they move in to their first apartment, have their first guests for dinner, meet their neighbors and have their first fight. It really captures what it is like to be a newlywed, only these two don't have the benefit of really having KNOWN each other first so everything that they learn about one another is truly brand new information.

This was the movie that the TV show "Dharma and Greg" was based on but the show did not do this movie justice. The long running joke throughout the movie is the fact that their apartment is a sixth story walk up and everyone that comes to visit them just about collapses in the front door, especially Corie's mother! Their apartment is really two tiny rooms with a hole in the ceiling and weird neighbors - all together it makes for a very lighthearted, romantic comedy.

So if you are in a 60's frame of mind, check out "Barefoot in the Park". It really is a great movie and if you like Neil Simon's work, you won't be disappointed.

*Today's article is on a Homeschool Parenting Conference in Cary, NC in January. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cluster Migraines

My husband suffers from cluster migraines. When I first met him over 20 years ago, they scared the hell out of me. I would have to sit back and watch this strong man being brought to tears by the pain. He's suffered from them since he was 15 years old. He's been to doctors, the ER, he's had all of the tests. No one can figure out what triggers them and no prescription medication has ever helped him.

The cycles don't really have a rhyme or reason, either. He used to get them, several times a year but for a very short time - like 2-3 migraines a cycle. Well, then he'd get less cycles, but more headaches. The way that the cycle is now, we can go up to 18 months between them, but the headaches come sometimes 2-3 times a DAY!

About ten years ago, he went in to a cycle right before our first trip to Disney. I was like "There is no way you can survive one of these headaches in Disney!" I mean, when one would strike, he needed complete silence and darkness for HOURS. There was no way that he could be in the middle of a park and walk to the exit, wait for a bus, ride the noisy bus back to the hotel, walk to the room... I mean, he'd be dead by then. On a fluke, we tried Excedrin Migraine and if he takes it at the very first twinge of a headache, he will be fine within 15 minutes. The problem? He is male. He tries to fight these damn things.

This cycle started up about a week ago. He had two that first day. What I noticed within the first three days was that they hit more over night. He fell asleep on the couch one night and did NOT get one. Solution? Sleep on the couch if you don't want a headache in the middle of the night! I don't know why, but it works. Our house is weird and I know that I wake up with a headache almost every morning so I can only imagine what his head feels like if it brings on a migraine. By the time he wakes up in the bed with a headache, it's too late; the Excedrin will not work.

We were on a good roll for about 5 nights when at 3 a.m. this morning, guess who came to bed? Besides waking me up by coming in the room, within an hour he was moaning in pain and trying to fight it at 5:00 he finally got up and went to take a hot shower (they help too). But by now I am WIDE awake and not feeling at all kind towards him because he brought this on himself! I mean, WHY would you deliberately put yourself in a situation that has been PROVEN during a cycle to cause a headache! I mean, I know the couch isn't the most comfortable place in the world but now, he's suffered with a headache, I've had like three house of sleep and I'm pissed.

I had to get out of the bed before he got out of the shower because there was no way I could be nice. When he gets one of these headaches, normally I am like Florence Nightingale - I'm getting his pills, I'm making him tea, I help him get comfortable...blah, blah, blah. But I just cannot find it in me to do that this morning when he purposely and SELFISHLY did this to himself.

I guess a career in nursing is out...

What's in a Name?

You Have an Inspired First Name

You are a highly original and naturally creative person. You are always thinking outside the box.

You are have adventurous spirit, and you are extremely energetic. If you love something, it's easy for you to stay motivated.

You have your own unique take on the world. Your views are both independent and progressive.

You aren't shy about living a bold and interesting life. You are a bit stubborn and headstrong when it comes to what you believe in.

Blogthings: Waste Time at Work!

Honestly, I don't know how these quizzes do it, but they're pretty darn accurate! My husband would particularly agree with the stubborn part!

*Today's article is on a local event called "The Art of Storytelling". You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Here's a Question...

Okay, did y'all watch the finale Tuesday night of "The Biggest Loser"? I know I did! Okay, so I'm watching and I'm watching...little bit of frustration when Tracy almost won the $100,000 take home prize...watching, watching... and then a commercial for the Jay Leno show.

Do you know where I'm going with this?

I did not think that Jay was done live and yet there was a promo for him having the WINNER of the Biggest Loser right after the finale. WORSE - they showed a clip and although the face was blocked it was clearly DAN! How is that possible? I mean, if we watched a LIVE finale where the winner is just then finding out if they won, how then could Jay have had them on his show earlier for a taping?

Anyone out there know anything because I am stumped!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Okay, so about a month ago I was debating throwing in the towel with Entrecard. It's very time consuming, I'm not seeing a whole lot of benefits to it, blah, blah, blah. I decided to chill out a bit and last month, due to computer issues, I actually missed a couple of days of dropping and didn't have a break down because of it. Of course now I'm only a serious dropper instead of "drop-dead" serious.

Oh, well.

But today? TODAY???!!! It was a maddening day for dropping and I really, really hope that it wasn't just me. I drop on 300 sites a day. I'd say that easily 10% of the sites that I go to today had something wrong with them where they jumped away to something different that would not allow me to stay on their site to drop on the widget! It was so frustrating and a total waste of my time!

If it were only one site, then I could blame the site. But 30 of them? So here I am at almost 6 pm and not done with my dropping because of my frustration level. I start and then stop because I can't get pages to load and then just when I think they will and I see the widget...BAM! the page goes white and I can't do a darn thing.

This does not help my already less-than-friendly feelings towards Entrecard, I can tell you that!

Holiday Meme!

Holiday Meme

Ok, there's tons of memes out there. I found this one over at Lola's Diner (I love her!) who decided to create her own holiday meme. Here goes: 1. What is your favorite holiday show/animated show?
My all-time favorite movie is "Scrooged" with Bill Murray and my favorite animated holiday show is "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

2. What holiday character do you think you're most like?
Mary from "It's a Wonderful Life"

What holiday character does your spouse think you're most like?
Mrs. Claus from "The Year Without a Santa Claus"

Favorite Christmas/holiday song?
If I'm in a silly mood, it's the Chipmunk Christmas song. But normally, I get really cheery to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" - not traditional, I know.

5. Most hated Christmas/holiday song?
Blue Christmas - especially the Elvis version

6. If you have an all holiday music radio station when do you start listening to it? I don't have one and I wish to all that is Holy that they wouldn't start playing holiday music in November!

If you have an all holiday music radio station do you love it or hate it?
Hate it!

8. Have you ever wrapped yourself as a Christmas present? Come can tell!

Who is Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer's father?
I found two different answers to this one. Anyone know for sure?
10. Do you drive your neighborhood or one near you at night to look at other people's holiday decorations?
Yes, I do. Not as often as I'd like, but I do it.
11. When you see a heavily decorated house do you think, 'oh that's lovely'? Or do you think, 'oh criminy, that looks like Christmas threw up all over their lawn'?
Oh, I get all giddy and excited at first and then I think "Don't these people have anything else better to do with their time? and "I wonder what their electric bill must be like!

12. Are you counting the days to Christmas with excited anticipation or dread?
Dread. I'm too poor this year to really get excited.

13. When was the last time you had your photo taken with Santa? Did you sit on his lap? It was 1993 and I was selling Tupperware and I sat on Santa's lap at our holiday Christmas party. There's a Poloroid of it somewhere!

Do you make a Christmas list for your spouse or significant other or do you rely on them to pick your gift(s) without a clue from you?
It varies from year to year. Sometimes I just shop for myself and let Frank put his name on the package but most years he goes out himself and shops.

When do you put up your tree?
The second week of December.

16. Real or fake?
Real - every since our first Christmas together. I had a fake one growing up but when Frank and I moved in together we decided that we wanted a real tree.

17. When do you take your tree down?
After January 4th because that's Nick's birthday and we used to keep it up to keep it festive in the house for company - now he still enjoys having the tree up for his birthday.

18. Do you shop the day after Christmas sales? What do you shop for?
Not if I can help it. If the kids get gift cards, we'll go, but other than that, I am usually shopped out by then.

19. Is your work/office having a holiday party this year? Will you attend?
Being that I am unemployed (except for my penny-a-page-view gig at the answer would have to be no.

20. Do you have your New Year's Eve Plans set yet?
No. We really don't ever do anything on New Year's anymore because whenever we try to plan something, things go horribly wrong. It's just safer to stay home and make our favorite snacks and chill out.

*Today's article is on How to Pay for College Seminar. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Finally Got New Glasses!

Okay, the last time I got glasses was around 11 years ago. I had no choice, my last ones looked like something from the Sally Jesse Raphael show! Mine were green whereas hers were red but they were both HUGE!

So I got my glasses and they were fine. When I was pregnant with Michael and had to stop wearing my contacts (just another "perk" of pregnancy), I was fine with them.
I went for four years without contacts and was fine with my glasses. Well, now I really am not comfortable wearing them for anything except walking from the bed to the bathroom to put my contacts back in! Remember my eye doctor appointment back in June where they kept trying to sell me glasses even though I kept reminding them that I was unemployed with no insurance? Then they told me how they were "affraid" to even TOUCH my glasses because they were so old? Well to them I say HA-HA!!

Zenni Optical has $8 glasses and I went and ordered my some glass
es. I was not expecting quality glasses for that amount but at least I would be able to see. Always a good thing! So they finally came in the mail and I was just about giddy. They arrived a little over two weeks after my order was placed and when they came they each had their own hard-covered case and Zenni Optical cloth with it. They fit perfectly, they look great and best of all, I really can see in them! I am very pleased.

I ordered two pairs because at that low price, why not? Plus, without trying them on, I wasn't sure which style I was going to prefer. They are almost identical and the funny thing is that I like one pair and Frank likes the other. Go figure. But now I have a pair and a back up and with the shipping it cost less than $21.

Now that's a deal!

*Today's article is on virtual field trips. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Tiny Rant...sort of...

You know, for an unemployed chick I'm quite busy. I've gotten involved not only in several writing projects but I also joined about a half a dozen different little small groups/activities/clubs/etc. It's good to get out and see people and be productive but I am telling you... people can be really annoying.

There, I said it.

Okay, why? you ask? Well, I'll tell you. For starters, If you are in the middle of an emotional crisis with life in general, PLEASE don't take on the task of leading any kind of a group. We don't need to ride the roller coaster with you, okay? I have enough problems of my own without having to deal with yours too. Next, when someone takes the time to research something and gets a really, really, REALLY great deal for the entire group, don't nit-pick it apart and try to nickel and dime it to see if you can get even MORE free stuff. How about saying "thank you"?

I realize that I've said it often that I don't miss working with the public in retail but I have been shocked, amazed and appalled at the behavior of some adults. If you are unwilling to step up to lead something, then don't criticize the person who stepped up to do it! If you think you can do it better, GO AHEAD! Oh, and my personal favorite that I recently encountered...if a rule is set and agreed upon by the entire group do not expect to be the EXCEPTION to it! You are no more important than anyone else! Quit your whining and complaining for crying out loud! Rules aren't made by one person in these types of organizations. There are committees, sub-committees, etc. and so anything that gets made in to a rule, is voted on by many. Take it up with them if you don't like it, but please don't sit an pout about it. And finally, along those same lines, when something is voted upon, agreed upon and SETTLED upon by the group, please do not take it upon yourself to start a campaign to change everyone's mind because YOU are the only one who did not agree. That's what happens in group organizations, not everyone gets their way.

Whew. I feel so much better. Thanks for listening.

*Today's article is on the Secret Keeper Girl Tour. You can read about it HERE. It's a great thing for moms of 8-12 year old girls. Thanks!*

Sunday, December 6, 2009

What People Love Most About Me???

People Love That You're Witty and Funny

You're the person who always can spin a great tale or make a witty crack. You are naturally funny, and you have the confidence to tell joke after joke.

Only your closest friends see your serious side, and people who don't know you well might be surprised to find out how insightful you are.

You are a determined optimist. If you have lemons, you will make lemonade... even if you don't have any sugar or ice.

Of all your friends, you're the first to raise a toast, celebrate an occasion, or just remember someone's birthday. You try hard to keep everyone in good spirits.

Blogthings: If Quizzes Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Take Quizzes

Okay, I AM witty and funny. Sometimes when it's not even appropriate to be so! Yikes!

*Today's article is on the Heart for Home School Ministry Winter Conference. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What Can You Do?

As many of you remember, my grandmother passed away in January. She had donated her body to the program at a local university. She was excited to do it and it was something that we all respected.

Upon entering this agreement, you (The family) are told that you will receive your loved ones cremated remains in approximately one year. Okay, fine. My mom comes home from work the other day to find a "Final Delivery Notice" in her mailbox from the post office. She had never received any other notifications so was unsure what this was in regards to. Well after a trip to the post office, it turns out that it is Grandma's remains!! What the hell???

The post office claims that it's first delivery attempt was September 12th. Yes, SEPTEMBER!! It is now DECEMBER!! Where were these other notifications? No one knows! So along those lines, I am curious as to how this whole program of sorts is even run. I mean, shouldn't the University follow up with this sort of thing? Shouldn't the crematorium follow up with the family or at least notify them that they are releasing (mailing) the ashes out and to be looking for them? At this point, I'm like "Is this even Grandma?" I mean, how can I trust a program that is run so poorly? Plus, where is the post office's responsibility in all of this? How can you claim "Final Notice" when there is no record of a first or second notice?

Mom was pretty upset and I can't say that I blame her! This is her mother! I think that it is a disgrace that my sweet little grandma wanted to do something good to help the field of science and that her remains were treated with such disregard.

So what do you do? Do you have any recourse? I suggested going to one of the local TV stations that have a "Troubleshooter" type thing and getting the story out there. As of right now, I don't know what is going to happen but I will keep you posted.

*Today's article is on holiday events at the library. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chick Flick Friday! - "The Ugly Truth

Okay, so I rented the movie "The Ugly Truth" starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. I had really wanted to see this one in the movies but never got around to it. I had thought that it looked like a funny romantic comedy/chick-flick and for the most part, I was right.

This movie deals with the different ways men and women view the opposite sex and what we want in a boyfriend/girlfriend. Katherine Heigl's character is a rather uptight, control freak who pretty much writes out a script of how her dates should go. Gerard Butler plays a guy who does a segment on the morning show Heigl produces called (surprise, surprise) the Ugly Truth where he talks about how men are basically dogs and don't really car about what's on the inside, it's all based on looks and what you do with them.

While there are some definite laugh out loud moments, a lot of the humor was kind of crude. I am in no way, shape or form prudish but some of the jokes and comments I could have done without. Would I recommend this movie to y'all? Absolutely. It is funny and I do find Gerard Butler to be kind of attractive in a weird kind of way but if you have a problem with crude humor, prepare yourself. All in all, I'd still watch it a second time.

*Today's article is on the Santa Express! You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

Thursday, December 3, 2009

41 - Day Two

Okay, so I did, in fact, survive turning 41. It wasn't all that exciting but was filled with some wonderful surprises.

First, I was woken up at 5 a.m. by my husband who was in the throws of a migraine. I had to help him from the bed and in to a steamy shower because that is one of the only things that helps him. At 6:45 I got to walk out of the house and in to the pouring rain to drive Nick to work. But when I opened the door I was surprised by a bouquet of balloons and an incredibly sweet card from my friend Danette. That was so sweet that I almost didn't mind having to be up and out of the house that early.

I worked at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) today in the toddler room. I spent three hours getting animal cracker drool on me but it was totally worth it because all of the kids must have sensed that it was my birthday and were extra snuggly with me. I love that.

I picked Nick up from work after running some errands and when we got home, there was a bouquet of flowers waiting for me and MORE balloons! I LOVE balloons! The flowers were from two brothers from my middle school writing class (Thank you Calvin, Dave and Dena!!) and the balloons were from my girl, Nani. Thank you! We went inside where we all (me, Nick & Michael) had lunch together and watched a couple of episodes of "How I Met Your Mother". I baked myself cupcakes (devils food with chocolate icing) and talked on the phone with friends, my great-aunt, my mom, and my sister.

Did anyone pick up on what family member did NOT call me today?

Frank and the boys took me out to dinner to the Outback and it was delicious! It's really one of my favorite places to go and the food is always good. I love me some steak for dinner that I don't have to cook! Yummy! We also stopped at Barnes and Noble because there were a couple of writer's magazines that I had wanted and they are a bit on the pricey side for such thin reading but Frank got them both for me.

I got over 100 birthday wishes on Facebook and all in all, I am feeling blessed. So far, I'm kind of loving being 41!