Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Okay, so Sunday was the day of rest I had hoped for.  I let the housework go then took a nap and then went over to see my mom and play Scrabble/Upwords.  Then yesterday I had my busiest day of the week.  I worked 6 hours at home at my medical transcription job and then went to the NICU for my volunteer job.  It's not as tiring now as it was at first.  The first time my arms were kind of sore from all the holding and patting of baby bums I was doing.  Now my arms are getting used to it.   I really love being there.  I feel useful and helpful and I'm so busy, I can't spend any time brooding on my own problems.  It's so therapeutic.  I so wish I could do it more often.  I may look into getting medical assistant training and going to work there after the kids are done homeschooling.  I don't really do that much in relation to the kids homeschooling though.  As I've mentioned before, they pretty much homeschool themselves.  We check their work kind of randomly to make sure that they're doing it and understanding it and we answer questions, but they get it done on their own.  I try to get all the curriculum so that it is addressed to the student and not assuming a teacher teaching a large class, and if you shop around, you can find these kinds of resources.   So that's my Tuesday update.  I'm back to real life today, typing and doing dishes and giving the dog his shot and lamenting about the house needing to be cleaned while at the same time, trying to think up excuses for not cleaning it ...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday Fun Stuff/Our week in photos.

Yesterday was the fall festival at our church.  We went out early to help set up and so we were involved in it for several hours.  It was fun, but tiring.  My youngest son had a plan that we dress as literary characters and he dressed as Rowan of Rin, my daughter dressed as Luna Lovegood and I dressed as Professor Trelawney.   We didn't really decorate our trunk for trunk or treat, but we made an obstacle course around it and when they finished the obstacle course, the kids got to fire a Nerf gun at a target which had numbers on it and that was how many treats they got.  I had kind of over-bought treats this year and I wanted to give them away, so at first the numbers on the target were 3, 6 and 9, but then our booth became so popular that everyone wanted to do it over and over again so we changed the numbers to 3, 2 and 1 and then finally, we just said, yes you can do the course and you can shoot the Nerf gun, but no more treats if you've already got some.  My kids had made a fun course that involved jumping lava and dodging yarn lasers so it was fun even without getting treats.  After a while, the kids were having my son time them to see how fast they could negotiate it.  It was cute.  After the fun and festivities we had a chili supper, which was delicious of course.  Then we came home, exhausted.  :-)    It's going to be a lazy day today, I hope.

Teaching textbooks has a funny malfunction this week.  It says that's exactly right!  Your answer 10.  Correct Answer 4.

Part of our obstacle course.

Me as Professor Trelawney (in the Harry Potter books)  I can't actually see out of the glasses so I had to keep taking them off.

The glow sticks on the ceiling fan after we came home.

lasers in the obstacle course (actually yarn).

4H class making felt owls.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday fun stuff.

Here is a just adorable little fall craft that's pretty nearly free.   I might adapt this for a shorter word and maybe Christmas colors.  Maybe Noel? 

Free printables here, cute ones.  I love free printables for some reason. Here are some more.    

Here's a really yummy fall recipe.  I do apologize in advance for any fatness this may cause.  It only has 223 calories though, I calculated it this morning when I should have been working.  That's really not that bad. 

Crustless sweet potato pie.
Sweet potato - cooked without salt 4 cup, cubes
Sugar - Granulated (sucrose), 2 cup
Milk - Nonfat (fat free or skim), 2 cup
Eggs  6 large
Butter - Unsalted, 5 tbsp
Vanilla extract  2 tsp
Cinnamon, 2 tsp
Pumpkin pie spice, 2 tsp
Salt 2 tsp
Pamelas Products - Gluten Free Baking Pancake Mix, 6 tablespoons (Or baking mix of your choice)

Mix with mixer until it is smooth-ish. :-) Pour into 2 pie pans and bake at 350 for 1 hour, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. This pie only has 223 calories per serving, whereas a quick google search tells me that regular sweet potato pie with crust is 300-400 calories a serving. You won't miss the crust, trust me. :-)

Fun Halloween Labels - I like to print these out and put them on products in the pantry and fridge and see if anyone notices.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Much better.

I'm just a bit less crabby now.  Okay, a lot less.  Today was my day off and the girl and I went and did a little bit of frivolous shopping.  I don't get to do that as much as I used to so I really enjoyed it.  We went to Bath and Body works where they were having a hand-sanitizer sale and they had all the holiday scents.  We had to get some gingerbread.  I love that stuff.  I swear, just smelling of it puts me in a happier place.  Weird, I know, but hey, cheap and calorie free, so why not?  Then we went to Target and just looked at a few things, accessories, hats, purses, candy and of course the dollar section.  I love the dollar section of target so much.  They didn't have the dog costumes that they sometimes have this time of year in the dollar section.  That's a shame, because I'm sure Max and Freckles would have really appreciated a costume.  (not).  Anyway,  we had a good time and we came home with chocolate and that's what matters.  :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Somewhat better today.

We had 4H yesterday with our homeschool group.  The kids made these little owls.  They turned out really cute and the kids were very creative with the colors of felt and the kinds of buttons they used, so they were all original works of art.  The 2 that came to live at our house (not these, these are last years and I'm too lazy even to make my daughter take a picture of the new ones) are named Hermes and Dwight.  These ones from last year were named Errol and Hedwig. 

After 4H, we went to Burger King and had dinner and did a planning meeting for field trips, mom's nights and 4H meetings for the next 3 months, which does include Christmas, so that was fun.  Being with the group generally puts me in a better mood. 

With regards to my bad mood of my last post, I have a story.  Yesterday, I told my youngest to take a shower before 4H.  Then, I realized that I needed the nail polish from the bathroom, went in there to see if he had gotten in the shower yet and he HAD.  How weird is that?!  He had immediately gotten up and gotten in the shower!  I was a little annoyed honestly.  My daughter said that I couldn't get mad at someone for doing as I asked him to do but I said, I'm old, I'm crabby and I am experiencing PMS for the second time in 2 weeks.  I can be however mad I want at whomever I want, whenever I want. 

I really should state for the record that I behaved myself.  I pretty much always do.  I didn't fuss at him.  There was only a tiny eye roll.  That's it.  I've gotten remarkably good at holding in my frustration over the 24 years of being married and 20 years of raising kids.  :-P

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My attitude.

I have a bad attitude sometimes lately and often, it surprises me with it's ferocity.  I'll just be sitting here, minding my own business and then I'm angry or overwhelmingly frustrated.  I am assuming that this is a stage of being middle aged?  Part of it also has to do with the fact that I have another urinary tract infection and I am in the stage of waiting for it to get bad enough that they'll be able to see it and treat it.  Meanwhile, I feel pretty much like crap.  I feel like sleeping all the time, but I can't.  But that's only part of it.  On the other hand, I also have been feeling a lot of joy and contentment in my life that has sometimes eluded me in the past, enjoying the fall weather, enjoying my kids, being proud of my oldest in college.  I tell you, it's confusing being me sometimes.  And difficult.  And tiring.  And sometimes really great.  Sometimes, like today, trying to get my job done (after getting notified of a couple of mistakes I made yesterday, which is kind of paralyzing ... what if I make mistakes today?!!!, etc.) while fielding calls from my mom's pharmacy and doctors and the "Rachel from Cardholder Services" calls and some calls that we've been getting lately because someone has given our phone number out to try and avoid her creditors and my youngest son getting up early this week and wanting to either pace behind my chair or talk to me while I'm working (which is impossible, by the way because I have to stop working to listen.), and add that to my own version of ADHD (without the H) and it's just hard.  And it's not even 9:00 a.m. yet.

I may have to design myself a warning label.  Approach with caution.  Or better yet, throw chocolate and run.   

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chemistry and other stuff.

I have a hard time posting a blog title before I type anything because I never know what I'm going to type before I type it.  I've been working.  The kids have been doing school.  I think I can go out on a limb now and say that the Chemistry book we're using this time is a winner.  Here it is.  The Elements.    It's for middle school so we are going to try and finish it by Christmas and then do the other one, Carbon Chemistry in the spring.  The free one that I had downloaded earlier was written for a teacher in a classroom and since my kids are pretty much homeschooling themselves in chemistry, they wanted something addressed to the student.  This one fits the bill.  They read it and do it together.  They have an electron cloud map up on the wall and they've been enjoying it.  It also recommends that you buy this card set Elementeo and I want to, but it's kind of spendy for a card set.  Still I think my youngest son would really learn a lot from it so I may buy it as soon as I get some Swagbucks built up. 

Right now what I've been wondering/thinking about it whether or not my oldest will get to come home for Thanksgiving.  I really, really want him to, but he doesn't have a car, Greyhound is actually pretty expensive and so far, he hasn't found anyone coming north he can ride with.  I really won't like it if we have to wait until Christmas to see him, but that might be what has to happen.  :-( 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The crazy kids.

Are still doing school tonight.  I just looked at the clock to see what time it is and it's just 8:30 p.m., so I guess if you think of it in terms of homework, etc., it's not that bad.  They like to have their reading time and goofing off time in the mornings apparently.  Right now, they have just finished chemistry and have gone outside to play badminton by the porchlight.  Whatever works, I guess.    They are enjoying themselves.   They had a great time doing chemistry if the laughter was any indication and they have really been in a badminton mood lately, so it's good that they can choose that for exercise.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playing around with the camera.

We went on a walk today and we were trying to take some interesting shots of the trees.  This is what we came up with.


I'm looking forward to my Thursday today.  We've got a video chat scheduled with the college boy.  He's hard to catch.  He's so busy.   That's actually the only thing I have scheduled today.  Isn't that cool?  I have to do some cleaning but that's freestyle.  I can do it when I want.  The kids will be doing school today on their own as they usually do.   I may work on the clutter around here.  It needs some serious work.  Or, I may not.  I may cook a big meal or I may not.  I might work on my Cafepress store.  The day just stretches out before me, filled with possibilities.  :-)   

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Walk today.

The walk to the mailbox was just gorgeous today.  :-)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Great list of fall fun activiites.

I'm going to try and do at least some of them.

Creative Family Fun

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Such a blustery day.

It's not cold today, but it's windy.  All the trees are turning colors here in Kentucky and it is so beautiful.  We are going to go see my mom today, then head to a local craft show and then back to church tonight.  We've got 3 or 4 really busy days coming up.  I think they'll be good-busy if you know what I mean.  I hope so anyway.  I'm starting to look forward to the holidays and am squirreling away gift cards because our grocery store, Kroger, gives 2 x the gas points for gift cards and sometimes as many as 4 x, so if I spend 25 dollars, I get 100 gas points, which means I get 10 cents off every gallon of gas.  Last time I filled it up, I got 60 cents a gallon off.  That's significant.  Anyway, that's what we're doing today.  I doubt I'll get time to cook any of the yummy recipes I've been making lately because I'll be in and out today, but that's a good thing because my jeans are getting kind of tight.  :-P 

Friday, October 12, 2012


The writer of this blog is not responsible for any food cravings or fatness caused by preparing the yummy recipes she has listed here.  :-P

Seriously, do make those pancakes, they are wonderful. 

I had a great mom's night out tonight.  We went out to eat, went to the salvage grocery store and then to Micheal's crafts for the yarn sale they were having.  Fun! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In a cooking mood.

I think when I am in a cooking mood, it may be a sign of my good mental health, since after my Dad passed away, I couldn't face cooking for months.   I've really been enjoying it lately though.   I've been looking up and finding some really good recipes on line.  Here are some yummy ones.  I have adapted all of them to gluten free, if they aren't already.

Rice Noodle no-boil lasagna.
This one is already brilliantly gluten free.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pancakes. 
I just used a gluten free pancake mix.

Scalloped potatoes
I used 1 can of Progresso cream of mushroom soup since it is gluten free.

It seems like when you first go gluten free, all you can find is gluten free bread recipes, but you need other things too, right?

Anyway, I missed getting to video chat with my son again today (schedule conflicts) but I am still doing okay, enjoying the cooler weather and cooking up a storm. 

I do need some hot chocolate though.

Or hot cider.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Still here.

I'm still here.  Life is marching on.  The science experiments are ongoing in the kitchen.  The weather is beautiful.  My son in Mississippi was supposed to chat with us tonight but he was AWOL.  My mom is okay.  Her sister is having a lot of problems with her rheumatoid arthritis and so mom and I went out to visit her today.  Usually she comes to see mom and I see her there.  I volunteered in the children's hospital last night.  I've realized that it makes me happy, being able to comfort those little ones.   Just thinking about them today would make me smile.  I wish I could do it more often, or have it as a paid job.  I really don't want to go to nursing school though.  :-)  We played a couple of hours of rock band tonight and my voice is tired, so we are going to watch Monk instead of doing our read-aloud, the second book of the brotherband chronicles. 

And that's the summary for today. 

I hope you all are having a good evening! 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The homeschool practice of strewing.

I used to do this all the time.  I'd go to the library, pick up a bunch of interesting books that I wanted the kids to look at, whatever subjects we were studying at that time, and put them on the couch and not make the kids read them.  Of course, they would be drawn to the new books and would read them almost every time.  Today I wasn't even trying to do it, I went to the library and while I was there, I thought I'd pick up a chemistry book that was recommended by our curriculum. When I was in the chemistry section, I saw a book on kitchen science experiments and I thought they might be good for 4H this month, so I picked it up.  I brought the books home and put them on my bed and forgot about them.  But now, a couple of hours later, my youngest son has about 6 science experiments going on in the kitchen. He's been asking me all night for things like epsom salts, borax, balloons, tall containers with lids, etc.  I hope nothing explodes in there.  :-)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Friday stuff.

Yesterday, we had what we like to call a big day.  We had a homeschool gym day which was really nice and then my daughter and I went to a dinner playhouse, well, for dinner and a play.  Our church was going and the driver could get a free ticket, so I filled up my Suburban with people and we went.  I think it will probably be a once in a lifetime thing for us, because it's expensive and time consuming.  We left at 4:45 and didn't get home until 11:00 p.m. and it involved a lot of sitting.  We saw a play called The Church Basement Ladies 2 and it was cute and extremely well done, but well, it's just not us, I don't think.   I dunno.  We have an invite to go to a movie tonight, but I think we might just stay home.  After that day, I need some home time. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012


As usual, I've got a bunch of stuff to do today and as usual, I don't wanna do most of it.  I am doing a bit.  I've washed dishes, got rid of Monday's lentil stew disaster (threw it out to the woodland creatures, maybe they won't mind that it doesn't have any flavor.  At all.and cleaned out my purse.  That's the sum total of what I've gotten done so far today.  It's sad, really.  I've sat down here to eat my lunch and after lunch, I am going to do some cleaning.  I promise.  I don't promise how much, but I am going to do some.  Then later, we've got skate night and we've got to go vacuum out the car, pick up prescriptions and get dog food.   Exciting stuff, I tell you but it's one of those days when I'm appreciating the everyday.

Last night we got to do a video chat with the oldest in Mississippi.  We didn't have a very good connection because our internet is too slow, and it kept signing us out but we had fun anyway.  This was the first time his siblings have gotten to talk to him at all since they refuse to use the phone.  This way, with the cameras, if nothing else, they could just make faces at him and hold the dogs up for him to say hi to.  It's the little things, right?

Latest baby gift.   It's a seal.

 An occupational hazard I have from many years of medical transcription is that I almost always try to type lung instead of lunch.  Imagine if I hadn't noticed and had blogged "I've sat down here to eat my lung".  :-)  Also, I almost always try to type bowel for bowl, so I have to really watch it when I'm typing recipes.  :-P.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Book stuff.

.Parental Book Reviews  This doesn't seem to have all of the book reviews we need, but it has quite a few and I find the reviews helpful. The volume of books that we go through around here can be crazy at times.  My youngest has lost 2 Hank The Cowdog audio books and they are valued at the library at 19.99 each, so 40.00 worth of books he's lost.  I just paid to replace a book a couple of months ago, but I don't want to buy these two.  Consequently, I took pretty much all of the books that we had checked out back to the library today and today he's trying to cope without his usual huge selection of audio books.  He's listening to some audiobook that we had previously purchased or downloaded from the library, I'm not sure what it is, but I know we don't actually have very many and he can go through 5 or 6 audio books a week, so I'm not sure what he's going to do.  I looked into getting him an audible subscription but the most books you can get there is 2 per month.  Silly people.  Do they think that is enough books?  Apparently they do.  We are better off sticking with the library downloads (although they don't have as wide a selection as he'd like) and free audiobook downloads like Books Should Be Free.  Hey, maybe he'll expand his classical books exposure with this library ban.  Or maybe he'll get desperate and FIND THOSE BOOKS. 


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Tired Tuesday.

I started out tired today.  I am trying something new on Monday nights, which is volunteering at a hospital NICU.  I went and held and soothed babies for a few hours last night.  It was underwhelming and overwhelming at the same time.  Most of the babies were quiet, so I spent a lot of time looking for something to do, but when one of them needed me, it was nice to be there.  I got to hold one little guy for quite a while.  The lady who gave us the tour said that some of the parents go back to work while their babies are in the NICU with plans to take their time off when the baby finally gets to come home and the nurses are stretched a little thin, so sometimes they need people to do non-medical things like holding, soothing and fetching things.  I did a little bit of each.  The worst part, but I know it is necessary, is the constant, constant, constant hand washing.  My hands got tired of it, but I won't neglect doing it.  As to why I am doing this?  I don't know.  I guess I'm searching for some meaning and purpose since my kids are getting so big and really don't need me as much.   I don't know if I'll continue it, but it might be therapeutic for me to give to others (it usually is) so I'm going to try it for a while and see how it goes.  I might need to switch to Thursdays because doing it after work was pretty tiring.  I think everyone should do some volunteering at least once in their lives.  Here's a book to make finding a position easier.  Make a Difference


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