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Saturday, August 29, 2009


So, a few of you have been asking about my Village downloads. hehehe. Here's the standing as of 10:50 MST: 234 takes a village - to - 213 keep your village. Pretty close, wouldn't you say :) Turns out, it was a good thing that I had both! Now everyone is happy :)

It was a long day at school on Friday. Jake just didn't seem to get the hang of anything he was supposed to do. I decided to let him have an hour per class, and just move on once the hour was up. By noon, he had done 4 classes, and not a single one was completed. He worked for an hour on 2 math problems, and one of them was wrong. Sigh. I really didn't know what to do for him. I was just getting frustrated.

Then, at some point in the day (I think it was during my shower - i like to let the hot water go over my face and just think about stuff), I realized that even if he fails, it's all him. There's only so much I can do. I can't make him choose to be fast. I can't make him want to get better grades. Sure, there's thing I can do to encourage the child. I can create an environment for learning. But I can't make him do it. That's gotta come from him. I really do think it's an important thing to remember as parents. Our children have free will. They can choose their own way. We have no control over it. Sure, we have influence, but no absolute control over their will. It would make things a lot easier if we did, though - hehehe. But that's not what lifes all about.

After lunch, I told him to go back and work on all the stuff that he hadn't completed during school time. He worked on his Science lab practice write-up, on his Math Story problems, on his English summarizing project, and his History questions. It took him all day, but he got it done. And he was actually pretty pleased with himself for accomplishing it all. I think we'll be ok with this virtual academy thing. Once we get into the swing of things :)

I spent a lot of time designing today. One good thing about having a 7th grader in a virtual academy, is that they work independently. So I had a lot of time to work on designing. I get him started on a class, tell him the directions, show him what to do, then I turn him loose on it, and let him do it himself. So, I basically have 40 minutes out of the hour free. Not a bad thing :)

I'm working on stuff for my Grab Bag this next week. I have 3 WordArt packs, and an alpha pack that are mostly done right now. I also have 2 calendar packs that are close to completion, but not for the grab bag. I've got the rest of the week to finish stuffing the grab bag with TONS of WordArt goodies :) Aren't you excited!!!

The kids got home at around 4pm, and Captain America got home at about 4:30pm. Early for him! I made dinner, and the big kids actually liked it. We're at the end of the month, and I wanna see how far the food in the house will stretch. We had a TON of hot dogs left over from Manditory Fun, so I made up my own casserole. Hot Dog Casserole.

I combined a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of corn, and 3 cups of dried hash browns. Plus 1 cup of milk and 3 cups of water. Then, I chopped up ALL the hot dogs into bit sized pieces, and tossed those in too. I added some pepper, mixed well, and put in a baking dish. I used a whole bag of shredded mexican cheese, sprinkling it on the top, covered, and baked at 400 for 45 minutes. Yeah, I know. Weird. BUT, the big kids really liked it. AND, I got rid of all the hot dogs. And didn' even waste them. See, I'm good :)

After dinner, Captain America and I got ready for our date. The movie choices are dwindling, unfortunately. There for a few weeks, there were GREAT movies to see every Friday. Not so much, now. We had to choose between Julie & Julia, Post Grad, and My Sister's Keeper. All chick flicks. I REALLY wanted to see Area 9, but it's rated R and I don't watch rated R movies. Dang! Anyway, My Sister's Keeper was playing at the $2.00 theater, so it won out in the end.

I really enjoyed the movie. It bounced around a lot, but was so good. It was a tear jerker, for sure. Captain America liked it too, I think :)

Hopefully our Saturday is a nice and relaxing day. After the first week back to school, I think we're all looking forward to some rest :) And sleeping in. I sure hope my kids leave me alone in the morning - LOL! We'll see, though. I'm not holding my breath :)

Well, when my friend Cheri sent this quote to me, I just KNEW that I had to use it. Isn't it great?? And, I really like the way that it turned out, WordArt-ed. A lot of the time, I'm more about the shape of the piece rather than what it actually said - hehehe. I know, I'm strange. What can I say :)

Click on the link below to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leave some love if you like my work. Thanks!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Little Smart Mouth

Woohoo!!! New stuff for the week! Click HERE to go to Scraporchard to pick up my new stuff this week. AND, next week, I have a special treat for you all! Another Grab Bag!! I just know you'll LOVE it :) At least, please pretend that you do. I don't know if I could take your rejection - sniff. sniff. You love me, right???

Layout by Trina

Typo is now all fixed - Dang typos!

Layout by Charmaine

Well, it was only day 4 of the homeschooling thing, and DANG it was a hard one. 2 1/2 hours to do a math lesson. That child. I really wish I knew how to help him "get" it. Know what I mean. He needed help on every question. Sigh. Hopefully Friday will be a better day. Pray for me :) hehehe.

We did math, then English, then Science. Then, we headed off to the pool. Jake, Jim, and I had the whole pool to ourselves. There were only a few other people there. Jim was SO sad that there was no one to play with. We only stayed for an hour, but Jake got to count it as PE. So it was all good.

When we got back, Jake worked on Art, and Jimmy and I went in his room and watched a movie. Well, I designed. I got 2 WordArt packs for my Grab Bag, and most of a 2010 Calendar pack designed. It's all coming together nicely.

At 3, I headed up to the school to pick up my 3 kids, and 2 other kids who I was gonna babysit for an hour. Their dad is in Iraq, and their mom had a Dr.'s appointment. I was more than happy to help.

Joe and Eme figured out how to meet me in the back by the Ft. Bliss gate, but Tom couldn't figure it out. They all 3 got the same note, but Tom swears his was different. Um, yeah, no. I photocopied the note and gave them each one. It said meet your siblings by the back gate. Not by the tree in the front of the school. That was where they were supposed to meet the first few days, before I found a better place to meet. Oh well. We were only 15 minutes late getting back home.

I made Mac N Cheese with cut up Hot Dogs (I know, I'm gourmet) for the kids for dinner/snack, and let them play for a bit.

The mom, Kayley, came to pick up the kids at 4:30pm ish, and Captain America got home at around 5pm. Early for him! We quickly ate dinner, and headed up to the school for Open House. We talked with Joe's teacher, and asked what we could do to help him out in 1st Grade. He's a bit behind. Poor guy.

Then, we went to Tom's teachers room, and she was already talking to the group of parents about the 4th grade class. He should do fine in class. He's such a smart kid :)

Next, it was Eme's turn. Her teacher only had such positive things to say about her. She said that she needed to bring something to do in class, because she's SO far ahead. Like crossword puzzles, word finds, a book, something entertaining to do. Good job, Eme!

Next, we hustled away from the school, and to the Ft. Bliss movie theater. Harry Potter #6 was playing, and it's only $0.99 a person. The kids were SO excited. Jake and Tom have read the books, and we've all seen all the movies.

As we were coming into the theater, we say Andrea and her family. They came to see Harry Potter too! What are the odds.

When you purchase movie tickets, you can get a little card punched, and when it's filled, you get free popcorn and a drink. The way I counted, with the 6 tickets purchased, I should be 1 shy of a free popcorn/soda. WELL, it was double points day, so we got a card filled, and 1/2 of another one. SWEET! My kids were totally excited.

During the previews, a friend from Captain Americas Army school came in and sat near us. All kinds of friends at the movies - hehehe.

Jimmy fell asleep after about 30 minutes. On my lap. I was freezing, so I just LOVED to snuggle with the little heater, but OMGosh. I forgot that the child snores. LOUD. So loud that the guys 3 seats away looked over and started laughing. I didn't notice it as bad during the action scenes, but during the quiet scenes. How embarassing - LOL!

My butt was SO sore by the time the movie was over. See, I have a dumb tailbone. Ask my friends. They've felt it. It sticks out WAY more than any normal person. Seriously. It's kinda gross. I need a donut, I think. Ha! Anyway, with me sitting in the theater seat for 2 plus hours, then add a 50 lb child to the mix. Dang! It's still not feeling terribly well :) I'm just a freak , i guess - ROFL!

We got home at almost 10pm, and I hurried the kids off to bed. They're gonna be TIRED tomorrow. Oh well. We don't do that often, and they'll remember the time that Mom and Dad both took them all out to see Harry Potter. We were creating memories :) At least that's what I'm telling myself - hehehe.

Jim and Joe were out within 3 minutes of being put to bed. I went in my room to design/blog, Captain America went to his office, and I started watching My Fair Lady. I'd seen it once before, but it had been a VERY long time. What a nice movie. I got to the part where the dad was signing "With a Little Bit of Luck". Now it's gonna be stuck in my head all night long - hehehe. I thought it was funny how she kept saying "I'm a good girl, I am". ROFL! Hopefully I get to finish it here soon. I had to turn it off when Captain America came to bed. Early riser, that one - hehehe. Such is the life of a soldier :)

Captain Americas really excited about getting done with class. It's officially over on September 18th. But there's only like 9 more classes left. Not that he's counting or anything. We also found out that we get 10 days off between class and his assignment to get settled. We're gonna try and take some of that time and go to Sea World. Apparently you can get free military tickets. My friend Laurie went during the summer. I'll have to ask her all the details. It sounds like a lot of fun. I think it's in the San Antonio area. Any of you live near there???

And finally, one of my blog readers made up some Twilight Bookmarks, and used a few of my WordArts in them. She's giving them away on her blog, if you wanna check them out. They're pretty cool :) Click HERE to go to her blog and see :)

So, my mom sent this saying to me, without a lot of explanation. I was like, "What the heck??". Then I realized what it was. It was a saying by "The Pioneer Woman". You all know who she is, right? My mom blog stalks her. I've seen her site before, and thought it was wonderful. She takes fabulous photos, has fun stories, and good recipes. Anyway, apparently this is a quote from her. And, because it was my mom asking, here it is. Not sure what I think of the quote, but I thought that the WordArt was darling - hehehe.

Click HERE to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leave some love if you like my work. Thanks!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Raise a (My) Child

Hey Chickas! How was your Wednesday??? Mine was pretty good. Started at 7am, getting kids ready for school. I was just about ot make their lunches, when I decided to call the school and see if their free lunch was still in effect. WOOHOO! It was. That saved me 5 minutes worth of prep time - hehehe. I got the kids out the door by 7:30am, and everyone had eaten breakfast. Yesterday I had to send theim with baggies of cereal. Silly kids :)

Jake and I worked on his History, Health, and English. Captain America came home for lunch around noon, and I started Jake on his Math. Andrea and Adela and I went to the mall to go to the "Jewlery Box" to get some more fun stuff after lunch. My plan was to get some PINK in my jewlry collection, but I ended up with Black sunglasses, a green necklace, and a brown necklace, brown earrings, and brown bracelets. So much for adding color. You should see my closet. My biggest section is black - LOL! It IS my favorite color - hehehe.

I stopped by the Elementary school and picked up Tom, Eme, and Joe. I dropped them off at the house, then Tom and I headed to the TMC (Army doctors office) for his Immunizations. He had one 6 months ago, but needed another in the series. It was fast and painless, and we were home in about 20 minutes. Gotta like fast :)

It was left overs night, which the kids hated (but we had to get that food eaten, right?), and after the kids did their chores, they had free time. Captain America and I got to go on a little mini date. We decided to go and return his shoes (he'd got the wrong size) and go to Target. It was fun to walk around with Captain America, and just hang out.

We were home by 9pm, and everyone was asleep. And the house was still clean-ish. Beauty! I was SO happy :)

I got my weekly products designed, packaged, and uploaded to my store, and even watched a bit of the Tonight Show. It's been a while since I had the TV turned on :) I think I should stick to Fan Fic - hehehe. It's more entertaining. Well, at least until Prime Time TV starts. You do know that I'm a TV junkie, right?

OK, this WordArt request is from Sharon. I couldn't do just one side, so I did both. I know that last time I did a quote like this, I got a TON of comments on it, a few saying that they didn't agree with me. See how non-confrontational I am. hehehe. Both sides. Everyone is pleased. Right??? Hopefully :) I wonder which one will get taken more? I'll have to keep tabs on this one.

Click on the link below to go to my 4shared account to download the PNG, and leave some love if you like my work. Thanks!

Raise - Title Wave
My, a, Child - AL Verdigris

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Wow, did I feel crappy when I woke up on Tuesday morning! Serious caffeine withdrawals! I took 2 migraine pills, ate 4 saltine crackers, somehow managed to get the 3 kids ready for school and out the door on time, got Jimmy set up with a movie, and had Jake start on History. Luckily he's self directed! I stumbled back in bed, and didn't emerge until around 9am. Wow, it was night and day difference. No more headache. No more nautiousness. No more stomach cramps. Sure, I felt a little bit off for being drugged up (hehehe), but I'd take that over the pain. Thank goodness for drugs!

I just laid low most of the day, and tried not to get out of bed too much. I was able to still help Jake with his lessons, but didn't do much housework. I got up around lunch time and fixed hot dogs on the little indoor grill for the boys, then retreated back to my bedroom.

The UPS man came at some point, and Captain America had got a package from his parent. It was full of Civil War stuff, DVD's, and stuff. He was estatic to get it! Jimmy watched movies all afternoon. Lion King and Finding Nemo. It was WONDRUFL. Thanks, St. Louis Hartys! We really apprecite it :)

I let the kids relax when they got home from school for probably too long, then when Captain America got home from work, we all scrambled around to get the chores done. I did some dishes, and dished up dinner for everyone. We had a family home evening (a day late, but Captain America was studying for his test on Monday night) about Baptism, since Eme turns 8 in October and will be baptised. then, for an activity, we went to the park. Well, Jake and Captain Americastayed home, but the rest of us went to the park.

It was fun. Adlea and Andrea came. But, I got to chatting with 2 other moms there, who were also homeschooling their 7th graders, and I never managed to go and chat with my girls. I haven't seen them very much lately, and I SO miss them :( One of these days, we're gonna have to get together again....

I came back home, put the kids to bed, and realized that my drugs were wearing off. I took 2 more migraine pills, and went back to my room. I've been reading more Twilight Fan Fic, and almost got it finished when I fell asleep. Captain America had already gone to bed, so it was warm and peaceful in my bed. I woke up at 11, and realized I hadn't designed or blogged for Wednesday yet. So, I gathered my stuff, and went to the couch. Here I sit, at 11:30pm, and I think, when I'm done with this post, I'm gonna try and finish my Fan Fic. It's really pretty good. Edward never comes back after he leaves Bella, but Bella doesn't go to pieces when he leaves. Jasper never leaves with the family, but instead stays to learn to control his urges around human, and he and Bella fall in love. It's way out there, but SO good. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. And, it's only rated T, so it's not icky. Click HERE to give it a look-see :)

This WordArt request comes from Alexis. I thought it was SO perfect, that I decided to make it :) I liked how it turned out :) Click HERE to go to scraporchard to pick up this weeks WordArt Wednesday, and leave some love if you like my work. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If Love....Part 4

The first day of school was a huge success!!! We were up at 7am, and got Eme, Tom, and Joe ready for school. Jake stayed home with Jim, and I drove the others up to school. After dropping Tom and Eme off at their classes, I took Joe to his class.

I thought the poor thing was gonna cry. He didn't want to stay by himself. He didn't know anyone there. Poor thing! I told him it would be ok, and told the teacher he was upset, and headed home.

Jake had 4 classes to do. First, we did History, and learned about geography. About why it's important in everyday life. About GIS (global information systems - or something like that - mapping technology) and how it affects us today. Next, we did Math. It was decimials and rounds and junk. He knew how to do it, so it was just review.

I made homemade playdough for Jimmy, and let him watch a video for a little while. We had lunch, and Jake did Science, where he learned about technology and archeology. And last, we did Literature. He learned about informational media, and read a true story about a flash flood. I think he enjoyed the day.

After school, I went off to Wal-Mart to get a few items. Jake held down the fort. I got almost everything I needed. They still didn't have composition notebooks, and were out of the cheap tissues. And I'm not buying name brand tissues. I refuse - LOL!

I stopped by the school to pick up the kids. I parked, and walked around to the front. They are starting a new thing where they release ALL of the kids out the front door. While it sounds like a sound theory, the kids who walk to Ft. Bliss have to go to the front, then walk around the street, just to enter the gate from the side, to exit from the back. Seems like unnecessary contact with the street, if you ask me. Hopefully they'll change it soon.

Anyway, I showed Joe where to wait for Tom, and showed Tom and Joe where to wait for Eme. Then, once they're all together, they can walk to the back of the school, exit through the gate to Ft. Bliss, and come home.

They all said that they had a great day. That they liked their teachers, and had made friends in their classrooms. I was SO glad. Thats what I wanted to hear.

We got home, the kids did their chores, I filled out paperwork for their classes, and they had some free time. I made Sausage and Eggs for dinner (a family favorite), and I realized that I was having Caffeine withdrawls. It feels like a migraine. Sigh. So, I took a pill, and hid in my room. And took a nice relaxing hot bath. But, the headache still persists.

I'm about 30 seconds away from going and chug-a-lugging a caffeine soda. I hate headaches, and the migraine pill doesn't seem to be helping. I feel and early night coming one :)

OK, here's the 4th and final part of this WordArt poem! I home that you've enjoyed it :) Click on the link below to go to my account to download the PNG file, and as always, leave some love if you like my work. Thanks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

If Love....Part 3

So, my family talked in church yesterday. It went pretty well. Eme "ate the microphone" according to the boys, but she was able to be heard. Jake and Tom stood farther way, and no one could hear them. I guess it's better to eat the microphone - LOL! But they all did good. They were nervous, but did just fine. I was SO proud of them.

I talked for about 20 minutes, but didn't leave much time for Captain America. Poor guy. He'd prepared a nice talk, and only have 5 minutes. I don't get up and talk on the fly well. I have to have everything pre-written, or I just babble. So, it was either 20 minutes worth of talk, or none at all. Sorry, sweetheart! Next time, we'll coordinate better. And you can give your WONDERFUL talk :)

If you wanna read our talks, you can find them below :)

Then, I had to do sharing time for 2 hours. It was a crazy busy day at church - hehehe. I was SO ready for a nap. We got home, fed the kids hot dogs and cinnamon rolls (except the 2 older boys, who got some left over steak from the BBQ), at lunch, and headed to our respectives rooms for a nap. I didn't really get much sleep, though. About 30 minutes, maybe. I coudn't sleep. Not that I wasn't tired. I just kept thinking of all the things I had to do.

I came out, and helped Joe and Jim clean their room. It was a PIG mess! Blankets and toys and clothes and trash (mainly orange peels - sigh) and papers and crayons and LEGOS galore. But, it's beautiful now. All clean.

We divied up all the school supplies. I don't know how I managed to miss the fact that I needed 5 boxes of tissues, and I only bought 1. Sigh. I'll be making another trip to Wal-Mart in the next few days. I'm sure, though, that the class will be just fine without them for a week. Just use your sleeve - ROLF!

I had the kids do their chores, and we hooked up Jacob's homeschool computer. It did have all the pieces to it after all. When I pulled out the tower, the plugs and the keyboard and the mouse were under it. Silly me - hehehe.

We connected the internet, and let him do the online orientation. It was about an hour long. After that, we finished up the chores, cleaned up from the BBQ yesterday, and made dinner. At 6pm, the kids and I went to the park for about 30 minutes, then came back home and got ready for bed. I had the kids lay out their school stuff for tomorrow. I HOPE we're all ready to go - hehehe.

The kids got Father's Blessings from their dad, and were tucked into bed. I played on Facebook for a while, and then blogged. Hopefully it was relaxing enough to make up for the whirlwind that will be Monday. I'm dropping the kids off at school at 7:50 something (school starts at 8:05am), then coming home and doing school with Jake. He's trying to convince me that the pool can count for PE (which I'm inclined to agree with), so we may be going there. I'm out of pressed powder (makeup), and Captain America needs more Protein Powder for his shakes. We'll see how it all goes :) I'll looking forward to getting into more of a routine.

Here's another part in the 4 part series. Part 4 tomorrow, then on to something else :) I must say, though, since I had 4 days designed and ready to go, my evenings have been less hectic. Maybe I need to sit down one day and design a weeks worth of freebees, just to free up my schedule - LOL!

And, for all of you long time blog readers.... remember last year when my family had first moved to Florence to live with my family when Captain America shipped off to Basic Training? And we went to the wedding? The one where the guys wore kilts and there was the guy with the sword that Tom was fascinated with? My mom's cousins daughter (Katie) got married. She was 23 years old. Then, she was diagnosed with Breast cancer. SO sad. I only recently learned about it. I saw on her mom's Facebook account a link to a news special about Katie. She and her hubby are celebrating their 1 year anniversary. And already they're facing such big trials. My heart goes out to the poor girl :( You usually don't hear about girls so young having Breast Cancer.

Click on the link below to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leaves some love if you like my work. Thanks!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

If Love...Part 2

Well, we survived mandatory fun yesterday. hehehe. We were up and getting ready at 7am on Saturday. I baked 4 dozen cinnamon rolls (pre-made on Friday, just needed baked), and worked to get everyone ready. We had to be out the door by 8:20am. It was a rush, but we managed.

We loaded up on the army bus at 9am, and off the Ruidoso, NM we went. It was a great bus trip. And a nice bus too. The kids LOVEd their goodie bags. It kept my kids entertained the whole 3 hour trip. The kids started off sitting together in 2's, but as the trip went on, we realized that there were empty seats, and they spread out. They each had their own row. It was nice.

I worked on my talk for today, and then even had time to design 2 WordArt packs. It took me the whole 3 hours. I was just putting my laptop away when we pulled into the picnic area.

We BBQ'd and played games and hung out. I think that the guys had a great time. Me? Well, I didn't know anyone there. Hanging out with single soldiers isn't really my thing, you know. And because Captain America was so heavily involved with the planning of the event and the execution of it all, he wasn't available to hang out with. I'm not the most outgoing of people, so I just kinda walked around and looked uncomfortable - LOL!

But, the kids had fun, the soldiers seemed to have fun, Captain America seemed to have fun, so I had "fun by proxy". After food, the kids got to do a pinata, which was a highlight for my kids. They just LOVED that.

Jimmy with the pinata

Joe with the pinata

Eme with the pinata (she's cheating, can you tell - LOL!)

Tom with the pinata

Jacob after he broke the llama (or horse's) neck

The group decided that they were having so much fun at the park, that they didn't want to go to "funtrackers", the Mini Golf/ Race cart place. We just stayed and played hores shoes/catch/frizbee/cards, whatever the guys were doing.

VanDam and Joe

Captain America playing catch :)
We left at 4:30, and got back to Ft. Bliss at around 8:00pm. After cleaning up, dropping off the supplies and such, we got home at around 9pm or so. We fed the kids, bathed them, and sent them off to bed. We were able to bring home most of the uncooked steak from the BBQ, so I weighed it out, bagged it up, and now have 12 dinners for myself! No ground turkey this week! Woohoo! We also brought home a dozen cinnamon rolls, some Oreos, and some of the most WONDERFUL looking carmel nut brownies I've ever seen. But, since I'm still hard fast on the diet, I'm resisting. Only 4 more lbs to go.

OK, I fixed the preview. Yesterday, I was giving out the "If love is a drop....." part, and today is the "If love is a petal", and yes, it's spelled right - hehehe. I was designing after midnight again. Bad me, I know. All spelling goes completely out the window at that point. And yes, I know this one isn't "Sunday" themed, but I'm tired, so this is what you get - hehehe.

Click on the link below to pick up the "If love is a petal" part of this 4 part series :) And, as always, if you like my work, please leave some love :)