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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thoughts

It's hard on the days when Monica is at school and Ken is at work all day.
I am here. alone. with my thoughts.

I don't like noise though.
I want it quiet.
I don't even turn the TV on anymore.

It is especially hard when I don't want to get up.
I have to get up and make someone else (who doesn't want to get up) get up.
Then, we have to fight ourselves and each other to get where we need to go for the day.

I am so looking forward to not having to do that anymore very soon.
Summer is my favorite season.
It's nice out.
This year we get to go places and do things we didn't always get to do.

I have found myself thinking, "Wow! Megan would have really loved this!"
And, then I think, "Wait a minute. No, she didn't! She couldn't when she was here."

I thought I had already mourned the fact that she wasn't a normal child.
But, I find myself mourning it all over again, now that she's gone.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blogmania is Friday, April 30th!

Blogmania is over 100 blogs giving away hundreds of gifts...ONE DAY ONLY...April 30th - BLOGMANIA DAY!

I found it through this blog: Photobucket

There will be links on each participating blog to lead you to the rest of them. All the blogs are giving away packages of prizes, not just a single prize. If I enter 100 giveaways on the same day, I wonder what the odds of winning one of them is? I guess I will find out on Friday and Saturday!

Tomorrow night, get plenty of rest. Get up early Friday, and CLICK, CLICK, CLICK your way to 'Loot Scoopin Mania!' I know I am!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Worthy of the Prize - Giveaway @ Cap Creations

There's a neat giveaway going on this week at my friend, Cap Creations, blog. The goal at Worthy of the Prize is to encourage people to stay spiritually fit while they are keeping themselves physically fit. They have great key fobs that can be used as a key chain or to keep your fit cards together. There are three types of fit cards: memory cards, devotional cards, and prayer cards. There are 31 cards in each set - one for each day of the month. The giveaway is being listed until next Sunday, May 2nd.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Junk Out! 2010

This blog carnival is hosted by An Ordinary Mom.


I mentioned last week that, previously, just getting through life was the focus of our household and that we didn't even have the time/energy to look around and notice things that were minor but not the way we wanted for our home.

I also mentioned that one of the things that bothers me the most is the fact that, as a result, my 8-year-old daughter (Monica) doesn't know much about the process of de-cluttering, cleaning, and "earning her keep," LOL!

Since we are working on de-cluttering and cleaning, it would be a shame to let it get back to the way it was, right? I have found a tool that helps parents and children make an agreement about jobs the child is to perform, assigning point values to the daily jobs, and then allowing the child to shop in a reward store once they have earned enough points.

My Job Chart is a FREE interactive, online version of the traditional charts we have made in the past where the child has the chores listed, you mark off the job in some way (stickers, initials, etc.), and at the end of the week they get an allowance or something else.

This online chore chart system has a separate log-in for the parents and the child(ren). The parents are guided through the process of assigning jobs, printing a copy of the completed chore chart with each child's picture (if desired), assigning point values for each job, creating rewards with the number of points the reward costs, and sending messages of encouragement (or otherwise, if necessary) that the child will see when they log in to their account.

My Job Chart even gives good suggestions for jobs that can be assigned as well as rewards that are not necessarily monetary goods. Parents can also make up their own jobs and rewards if they don't see what they want already listed and even upload pictures of the jobs/rewards to encourage the child. My Job Chart can also send parents e-mails saying the child has either finished a job or earned a specific reward.

When the child logs in to their specific account (siblings are not able to access each other's account), the first tab lists each job they are to do and separates them according to the time of day they are to be completed (morning or evening). The next tab shows a list of "extra credit" jobs that the child can do if they want - or are trying to get points for a really big reward. The third tab shows the reward store that has pictures of the rewards and how many points they cost.

This video shows what the child's account looks like.


It only took me about 30 minutes to create an account, select basic jobs that I want Monica to start with, assign their point values, and give her a choice of 5 different rewards to choose from. It was really easy. And, yes, she was actually interested in what we are agreeing to do.

One of the bonuses to this online system is the fact that Monica enjoys computer time and feels like she has somewhere to privately work on her progress rather than look at a poster on the fridge, where anyone can see what she has or hasn't done.

This week will be our first full week implementing this system. I'll tell you if it was effective for us in next week's post. You can sign up here if you want to try My Job Chart to help you and your child(ren) focus on keeping your home de-cluttered and clean so that you can enjoy it more.

Friday, April 23, 2010

5 Question Friday!


This is a weekly link up from Mama M. She provides the questions. We provide the answers and link to her blog so we can see everyone else's answers too! Here goes...

1. What was the first car you owned? I owned a 1983 4 door, Chevrolet Chevette Scooter (with racing stripes). It wasn't the coolest car but it was a 5-speed stick and only cost me $600.

2. What song are you embarrassed to know the lyrics to? Way too many Hannah Montana songs. My, ahem, DAUGHTER is a huge fan :)

3. Have you ever had stitches? Yes, when my children were born.

4. What was your first job? I worked at a walk-up ice cream stand for a couple of months one summer before moving to my restaurant job in high school.

5. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Ummm, Big Bird. He is big and yellow (Meg's favorite color) and is always cheering someone up.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Isn't She Lovely?

At first, Monica was embarrassed when she found out I used her picture with my doll carriers.


The second time she modeled for me, she knew what it was for and wanted to see herself on my website.


Today, she basked in the glow of the sunlight and gave me some fun poses.





And, no, the doll never fell out! I know, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.


To think that there has only been about a year and a half since the first photo is almost unbelievable. She has changed so much!

P.S. Wow, I took these myself. All I did was move the photo session outside!
Oh yeah, I forgot. I have to pay her now too!
It cost a new pair of sunglasses!
This post was inspired by:

Ramblings

I am working on an upcoming post detailing what I am doing to help my 8 year old help us around the house instead of trying to pick up faster than she can dish out.

I just finished a tutorial for my other blog about baby doll bibs. You can see it here. It's amazing how long it takes to describe in each little detail about something that is really so simple.

I am sewing my most current doll carrier fabrics today in hopes of getting Monica's help for my photo shoot so I can freshen up the home page of my website and get better shots of some other stuff. The lighting is so better outside and makes the pictures so much more lovely. And, it is a decent temperature today - 62 is better than 32 any day!

I am making something for a friend of mine and I hope to get it mailed to her by the end of the week. Just a small token of appreciation.

I am making new friends and enjoying their company.

I have found so many awesome ideas lately, I can't pick the one I want to try next.

I need to finish some projects I started. Many of them are half-way done. They shouldn't take long to finish, right? I just hope I can remember what it was they were supposed to be, LOL!

Then, I have to sort out the new stuff I get in the mail every day so I can get it all in my van when the Flea Market starts in a couple of weeks. Wowsers! May is almost here already!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Junk Out! 2010

The Junk Out 2010 blog carnival was started by An Ordinary Mom.


I started participating in January knowing it sounded kind of like a New Year's Resolution kind of activity (which I am not good at) but wanted to make my life better anyway. I knew it was an area of my life I needed to work on.

I had been so pre-occupied by other issues the last few years that I didn't even care about the clutter and chaos around me. I didn't even see it anymore. It wasn't what I was focused on or even had the energy to want to try.

I have more walls, cabinets, and drawers that have been written on than I care to count. (My girl called them murals, and I started to believe it.)

I have more household supplies than I know what to do with because every time I can't find something, I go buy it again.

I have found gum stuck to more surfaces than I realized (and I couldn't believe it when I found it and then wondered, "How long has that been there?").

I have a basement that has become a "catch all" for stuff I don't want to deal with because there is room for it there and I don't have to look at it in the main part of the house.

I have more "Glad Ware" containers down there than I can fit into my cupboards. I put them in a sack every time the cupboard got full. (On the bright side, I now have enough to start my 30 day freezer cooking supply!)

My garage was full of the larger stuff that I couldn't manage - until last week, that is! I can't even show you the picture of the swing set I had in there that someone just came up and asked for when we put it outside to organize. They even hauled it away themselves - YES!!!

I have looked up the FlyLady's website before and cleaned the sink - but didn't have the energy to keep moving afterwards.

I also haven't had the time/energy to try to teach my 8 year old to do things to help because it was just quicker for me to do it first than show her and then help her fix what she didn't do right.

This last problem is the one that bothers me the most. Now, I do have more time to try to help my daughter learn some things that will help her be a more responsible person. I have a couple of options that I am considering to aid me in achieving this task. I am going to post about them very soon!

We are out at the campground relaxing today!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This video...

was taken exactly one year ago today!



It makes my heart sing and break at the same time.

I did what you told me, Mom!

She said it with a straight face just like this.


And then she added, "It's just that today is opposite day and you forgot when you gave me the instructions!"



I said to her, "Oh, my bad!" Luckily, it wasn't about anything important.

Do you remember the phases you went through as a child before or after your child brings it to you like it's a brand new thing?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Do you vote?

I used to vote religiously every week. I would call the numbers of the contestants I wanted to continue on in the competition. Then I could vote many times and not just for my favorite. Our family would single out the contestant who NEEDED TO GO HOME and voted for the rest.



Then last spring Megan was in the hospital a lot and I didn't even remember it was Tuesday often enough to watch and know which numbers to call because I was busy with her and not focused on the television - I am glad about that now!

During one of the last episodes in May 2009, I found something out. I was talking to my husband on Twitter during the results show and saw that a few of the contestants names were trending topics.

I checked out each name and found out that a couple of the contestants were being picked apart and another couple were being praised. I told the lady in the Ronald McDonald House that was also watching the show, "These two contestants are going home tonight according to Twitter!" We kept watching and watching. And, Twitter was right.

I knew from then on that if I wanted it to be a surprise, I would no longer be able to tweet on Wednesdays. It didn't change my world though.

But now, it is another season and I have yet to call in a vote. Sure, I am interested. I am not sure I like the idea of the "save" though. I wonder who the two contestants going home tonight are. No, I haven't checked Twitter either. I am just waiting because I know the results aren't going to change my world.

My world has already been changed in the last year. I don't want to tweet anymore. And, it really doesn't matter to me who stays and who goes home this time. Of course, I am still going to watch tonight just to see what happens.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Junk Out 2010 - a day in which we SOLD!

I have been piling a few things up in my basement since I started this Junk Out 2010! weekly link party by An Ordinary Mom.


See the "Give, Sell, Toss!" definition in the graphic? That is exactly what we did today. I have been tossing as I come across something that is obviously trash in the main rooms of the house as I work. I have also been piling up a few things, like I mentioned, in my basement. And, my Mom has been sorting through many things in her house that used to belong to my Granny.

We decided to hold a garage/yard sale at the end of Spring Break to catch the beginning of the sale-ing season knowing we will probably be holding more than one this year. She got her stuff together, I got my stuff together, and we got a few items pitched in from other extended family members. It was also the perfect weather for being outside - a sunny 70 degrees with white fluffy clouds. It looked much like this, thank you, Jesus, I really needed that!

Here is what our sale looked like this morning.
Pictures from Granny's house.

My Granny's trinkets that gave birth to more trinkets.

Desks, side tables, and wine racks.

Beds and kidlet toys.

My OLD dining set.

No estate-type sale would be complete without one of these crocheted chair cushions now would it?

And, here is what our sale looked like around 2pm this afternoon. (Notice the crocheted chair cushion still looking for a home.)

Along the way, as I was bringing out the many pictures that my Granny had put in boxes when she moved into my Mom's house, I found this gem.

About 15 years ago my Granny went through this phase where she was labeling everything in her home to go to people she wanted to have her things. See the tag at the top of that frame? Anyone want to guess who this cutie pie 4 year old is? Yeah, I brought it home - along with some other family pictures that I will show in a separate post.

My Mom made some $$$, I made some $$$, we only had this much to take to the giving center,

and we all went out for dinner! It was a busy, productive, and fun-filled day.

We are already scheduling our next venture for a Saturday in May. We both still have plenty more where this all came from, especially if we are going to cash in again, WOWSERS!

We have a winner!

OK - I said that this would be announced sometime today. I had no idea that our day would be so busy and I wouldn't get to it tonight. Anyway, here goes!

I added the extra 2 comments for Kristine and Charity (who entered this giveaway on the last post) to the end of the comments to make #12 & #13. Then out of comments 1-13, the random.org widget picked comment #3.
Congratulations to Krista@thegatheringplacedesign. She is our bangle watch with matching cell phone case give away winner! E-mail your address to the link on the left sidebar, and I will get your prize to you ASAP! You're gonna love one of these!


More giveaway posts are also in the near future for everyone who wants another chance at winning something soon!

Now I gotta write my Junk Out! post so I can link up in a timely fashion!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Having Fun on Friday!

OK, I guess I was just too vague about my giveaway. So, for all of you out there I am going to make it easier on you.

One lucky winner is going to win one of these awesome Suisse watches by Quartz accompanied by a fabulous matching cell phone carrier that can be clipped to your purse handle or threaded through your belt!

The watches are bangle bracelets and sooo easy to put on - no buckle or clasp to mess with.

Jennifer of Simply Yours boutique says, "They are very comfortable and stylish!"

They come in so many jewel colors and styles.

Please don't let my unprofessional pictures turn you away. I did my best!

They are a perfect gift for your teenager who needs to know what time it is when they are out!

Or, a great Mother's Day gift!

I got them to take to the Flea Market this summer.

But, they are so cool - I just had give everyone a peek.

The Flea Market isn't until May!

So, what is your favorite color?

All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post. The winner will be announced sometime tomorrow (Saturday). You have until then to enter.

I will be listing them soon on my website. I will announce on my facebook page when they are listed bright and early Monday morning! Become a fan and you'll be the first to know!

Note: Charity and Kristine you will be given an additional entry since you already did on the last post - when you didn't know how cool this giveaway was!