Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jackie Absolutely Has Talent!

I have to admit that I haven't been following this year's "America's Got Talent".  Tonight, I flipped over because I was talking to Maryann on the phone and she told me that I had to turn it on and watch the guy doing his talent with his bike.  The guy with the bike was great, but nothing touched this 10 year old PA girl's talent.  All I can say is WOW!  She is absolutely out of this world talented at such a young age.  Not a pop or crack in this little girl's voice.  She is an angel.

I'm going to have to watch every week until finale now because there are so many talented people on this year.  I feel bad that I've missed so much. 

Side note:  Fighting Gravity's routine was crazy wicked.  I love their glow-in-the-dark contact lens.  I think I need to go out and buy some just to freak people out.  LOL!

Stomach Bug
The stomach bug has been going around and this Mason Bunch finally told that bug to pack it up and leave today.  He wore out his welcome the day he arrived on Thursday night.  Of course, momma was the last to get it.  I just thank the dear Lord for allowing it to hit me last, so I could take care of all my other little (and big) patients.  Doug came home last night not feeling good, right after I was getting Katie to feeling better.  I had him immediately quaratined to the bedroom for the rest of the night.  The poor man went to bed with the chills and slept from 7PM - 4AM.  Thankfully, he felt well enough to go to work today.  I could tell this morning, this was not going to be a good day for me.  Fortunately, I was able to get Katie to school before I got to feeling really bad.  Thankfully, I didn't get all the symptoms like everyone else had.  Again, I have to thank God because Peggy was home.  Millard and Peggy came by and picked up Colton for the day because I didn't want to take any chances.  Still not wanting to expose Katie, Millard was so nice to go pick her up from school and take her back home with him.  I'm so blessed to have such a great family.  Thankfully, I didn't feel sick for very long, but I rested and watched lots of television.  I've come to a conclusion - THERE'S NOTHING ON TV.  It doesn't matter if you have 3 channels (like I had growing up) or 1000 channels (satellite or cable), there is still nothing ever on that's worth watching.  I was too pooped to go back and forth watching DVDs, so I slept. 


Monday, August 30, 2010

New ESPN College Game Day Saturday Promo

You've got to check it out.


Bama vs. San Jose State
Saturday, Sept. 4th
6:00 p.m. CST

Don't miss it!



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Movies In Review

Movies In Review
Grab the popcorn and chips y'all, it's movie night.

"The Last Song" starring Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth

I finally got to see the movie after reading the book. I don't know if there is a specific reason why the movie directors or producers, who ever is over the script, have to chance the location from what the book says. Why? Nicholas Sparks, author of "The Last Song" has the main scene located in the Carolinas, but in the movie it's Georgia. Why? I understand why the movie directors/producers leave out a lot of information from the book because they are pressed for time, but DON'T change the script. PLEASE! It's an automatic turn off for me when you start REALLY messing with the script. If they had not messed with the script, this movie would have been absolutely awesome. Don't get me wrong, it was still a good movie and I enjoyed it despite the changes. Bottomline, I still cried like a baby towards the end. It's a sweet romantic drama.

"A Death At A Funeral" starring Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, and Danny Glover

Doug brought this movie home. I'm not a Chris Rock fan (at all) because of his potty mouth and this is my opinion, I feel he is a racist against caucasians. Honey, I haven't laughed that hard since the movie "Old Dogs" starring Robin Williams. I probably laughed harder. Oh . . . my . . . word! I thought I was going to PIMP watching this movie. This is an adult "You've Got To See This" movie. Of course, it is strickly an adult movie.

Post Follow Up
Thank you so much ladies for all your imput on Snacks that Begin with the Letter "Ff" suggestions for Katie.  I received so many great ideas and it's going to be a very hard decision because of all the choices. Mrs. M has informed us parents that she is running a little behind on preparing for the literacy project, which includes the "Letter Expert" part.  When the time comes, I will have to go back over the list again and make a final decision. Of course, I'll have to get approval from the diva. Thanks again and I'll let you know as soon as possible on what we've decided. 


End Gas Chamber at Cullman Animal Shelter Slideshow

My friend, Allison, put this very touching video together about sheltered animals and I wanted to present it to you.


Addison HS defeats WCHS Thursday Night

Big Jon #81
Doug and I picked up my parents and headed to the town of Addison in hopes to see my nephew, Jon, play his first football game. He is a Junior in high school, 6' 3" and plays positions: tight end, kicker/punter. We are so proud of him. They played a great game. Jon, #81, was able to make 4 extra points for his team. Final score: Addison 28 WCHS 14. As you can probably tell from the pictures, Big Jon is kind of easy to point out in the sea of football players. LOL! He is such a sweetheart. As soon as the game was over and everyone finished celebrating on the field right after game, he came looking for his family supporters to give us nice sweaty hugs and kisses. LOL! I got to meet his girlfriend that night as well. She is so pretty, reminds me a lot of Leslie with the dark hair and blue/green eyes. She is a little bitty thing, but seems very sweet and well mannered. My dad tried to pick on him about her, but Jon gave it right back to his grandpa. LOL! Way to go Jon! My dad loves to aggravate all the grandkids, including my little ones.

Watchin' the Game

Making His First Field Goal of the Game ~ Addison 7 - WCHS 0

Jon ~ you did good and we are very proud of you! Love ya!

Fired Up After Splitting the Uprights

Jon Talking It Over with the Ref
In the Huddle ~ Jon's the Tall One

Another Punt ~ Look at that Leg Go Up ~ Shew!

Doug takes a silly picture of me and Sue ~ Jon's girlfriend is the one to my top right with the blue shirt
Mom Cheering On


Tex-Mex Dip with Spooky Tortilla Chips & Other Spooktacular Ideas

Mommara mentioned in a past comment (Sunday's Show & Tell) that she would like to bookmark this recipe. Well, I thought I would post the complete recipe from the book and share it with you. I haven't tried this recipe, but I'm sure it's like any other Tex-Mex party dips. Enjoy!

Tex-Mex Dip with Spooky Tortilla Chips
Supplied by Taste of Home
Yield: approx. 9 cups dip and 5 dz. chips

20 flour tortillas (8")
1/2 to 1 tsp seasoned salt
2 cans (9 oz. each) bean dip
3 medium ripe avocados, peeled
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 c (8 oz.) sour cream
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 c (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1 c sliced ripe olives
4 green onions, sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped

Cut tortillas with a ghost or pumpkin shaped 3 1/2" cookie cutter. Place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Spritz tortillas with cooking spray; sprinkle with seasoned salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Remove to wire racks.

Spread bean dip onto a 12" serving plate. In a small bowl, mash avocados with lemon juice, salt and pepper; spread over bean dip. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise and taco seasoning; spread over avocado layer. Sprinkle with cheese, olives, onions and tomato. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

Halloween Decoration Crafts
Katie and I have the Halloween fever.  I think it's because of all this cooler weather we've had these past few days.  This past week, the lows were in the upper 60s and highs were in the lower 90s.  The wind has been blowing, causing some of our leaves to shower the ground.  Tomorrow's high is suppose to be 89 degrees.  YAY!  I love it.  Tonight, we were glued to Disney's Family Craft website.  We're going to try to make some "Paper Bag Creepy Trees and Salt Dough Ghost" for Halloween either tomorrow or sometime this week.  Here's the video for the instructions:

Paper Bag Creepy Trees & Salt Dough Ghost Craft

If you can't see the video, here's the direct link: Paper Bag Creepy Trees & Salt Dough Ghost Instructions

If you still can't get into the link, here's the transcript for this craft idea. 

Want a spine tingling wait to raise your kids spirit this Halloween. I'm Penelope Hsu at the craft table with family fun. Make these paper bag trees in salt dough ghost to haunt your house with spooky scenes.

For paper bag trees you'll need a medium size brown grocery bag, scissors, a small beverage bottle, and pebbles for weights. Cut off in this part of the bottom of a medium size brown grocery bag then slit open one side so you have a rectangle and open it up. Place a small beverage bottle on the center of it. Gather the paper around the bottle and twist it around the neck. Snip down from the top to create several strips that will become limbs twist them within 3-4 inches from the end. Snip the untwisted ends as you did previously and twist them into finer branches. Remove the bottle and fill the trunk with pebbles or other weights. Finally re twist the trunk shut. To make 6 salt dough ghosts you'll need 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of salt, half a cup of water, a wooden spoon and bowl and a fine point permanent black marker. Combine the flour, salt and water in a bowl. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth divide the dough equally and shape each piece into ghost keeping the base flat so it will stand up. Microwave the ghost on a plate 1 or 2 at a time at 20-30 seconds intervals until the dough is fairly firm about 1-2 minutes total. Let the ghost cool they can get quite hot, use a fine point permanent black marker to draw on eyes and a mouth. Now add your ghost and trees to the table for a chilling conversation piece.

Katie is so excited about making these ghost.  The recipe makes about 6 cute ghosts.  I have all the ingredients, I just hope we'll have time to make them up before the end of the week. 

Katie and I also agree that we might have to make a few of these creepy crawlers for her classmates at school and ballet friends. Too cute and sounds so simple.  I LOVE SIMPLE!

Spider Pops Craft

Spider Pops Website Link


Black pipe cleaners
Googly eyes


Holding all four pipe cleaners, center them at the base of the pop and wrap them around the stick once so there are four legs on each side.

Bend the pipe cleaner ends to form eight feet.

Glue on googly eyes.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Katie's First Project & Charlie Brown

Katie's Project

Katie and I just finished her first school project. The assignment is a part of her Social Studies, "All About Me." On a piece of poster board, she has to tell her class about herself. I titled it "All The Things I Love." I took a piece of construction paper in the shape of a gingerbread man and turned it into a mini ballerina Katie. I wish I would have made the lips a little more perky, but I can't draw lips very well without them looking weird. The leotards and slippers are made out of shiny pink scrapbook paper and pink iridescent flower sequins. I used rose petals to make the tutu. I found the cute giggle eyes from Hobby Lobby. I think they work perfectly, I'm so glad I found them. I pasted various pictures of Katie and the people/things she loves (family, brother, cooking, ballet, beach and books). I was very limited on space. So, I wrote little sentences all over, which told the story. For instance, her favorite color is pink. She loves to laugh and make new friends. How she loves to play pretend with her Barbies and other dolls. Last night, Katie put on the final touches ~ stickers ~ which I think really made the poster complete. The poster isn't due until Friday, but she really wanted to take it this morning. She was so happy with it, which is all that matters. Right? Doug has decided to take the day off tomorrow, so we've convinced Katie to wait to take the poster then. This way, I can carry it in for her and won't have to worry about Colton.

Colton wanted to in on the action

My Charlie Brown

Out of all the toys Colton has, he loves to play with his and daddy's caps. If he had on a yellow t-shirt with a black zigzag design on the front, he would look like Charlie Brown. In fact, "Charlie Brown" is Colton's nickname my sister, Maryann, gave him since he learned to walk. We all pretty much agree with her. Doug wants me to try to find a Charlie Brown shirt for him. I thought this picture of him wearing his daddy's cap made him look pretty close to Charlie Brown, playing baseball.

Colton dancing to music from the television

My Personal Workout Progress
I don't want to say it too loud, but since I've been going to the gym (one week ago) I've lost 7 lbs. Yay! Sure, I realize more than likely it's just water. Hey, it's still weight loss. Right? It's given me a little more encouragement to keep up the good work. I've committed to 12 months of physical fitness. I mostly do power walking for close to 3 1/2 miles on a program called "Pike's Peak." When I'm inclined I try to really stretch my leg muscles. I can tell it is working because my heartrate goes up and the sweat. Yuck! I do the strength training with my sister. I try to do 3 set of 15 reps per machine. Ugh! Can you say ~ FEEL THE PAIN? Today, I can really feel a little burn in the muscles under my arms. You know, where your flappy wings end up showing? I also feel the muscles in my sides burning as well. So I know it's working.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Storytime and School Sweethearts

A week or two ago, I came across a great sidewalk sale at Books-a-million. They had some children's classic story books for $2.97 like Peter Pan, Alice and Wonderland, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables. I remember my literature teacher, Mrs. Whisenhunt, read us this book and I fell in love with the story. Of course, I think I've seen every movie from the books when I was a child. As soon as I saw "Anne of Green Gables," sitting up in the bin full of other story books, memories began to flood back to me. I had to get it for Katie. Then I debated . . . would she be old enough to listen to books without so many pictures in them? Could she understand what was happening? Yesterday, I decided to take a chance and got the book out for her. She kind of looked at me like I was crazy at first when she noticed there were not very many illustrations inside. She was just as excited as ever to know that I would be reading a book to her, whether it had pictures or not. She was curious and I was too. I wanted to see how she would react, if she could keep up and make sense out of what I was telling her. I'm only reading one chapter a night. The chapters are fairly short, so it shouldn't overwhelm her. Tonight, I read the second chapter. Of course, she asks for more. I ask questions after I read, to see if she is paying attention and too see I'm not getting over her head. If there is a word that I know she doesn't know what it means, I'll stop and ask her. If she doesn't, I'll explain it the best way I can. For instance, she's never been exposed to orphans and wouldn't understand how a child could not have a mom or dad. We talked about adoption and what it meant. She seems to really enjoy the story so far, she was looking forward to it tonight anyways. I hope it will continue because I really enjoy our mom and daughter moments.

Speaking of mom and daughter moments, as you know, we like to talk right before I turn out the light. As we were getting ready for bed, she was talking about her school friends and I noticed how giddy she was once she mentioned the name "Miles." I haven't met Miles or his parents yet, but I do know that he sits right beside Katie. While we were having our bedtime talk, she began smiling again as soon as she mentioned Miles' name. I asked her if she liked Miles a little. "Yeah, mom. He is my boyfriend." she said. Puzzled, I asked her that I thought Jackson was her boyfriend? "Jackson" she said with a weird look on her face. "Yeah" I told her. "You told me your boyfriend's name was Jackson." "Oh, {laughing} that's not his name mom. It's Miles not Jackson {still giggling}). She opened up to me a little more tonight. She told me that he not only sits beside her in class, but in front of her in the lunch room. She says he makes her laugh by making silly faces. I asked her if he liked her. "Yeah, he does." she answered. She said that they hold hands. Oh me, so funny.

Her telling me the stories, helped me remember my little Kindergarten boyfriend, Jason. We would hold hands and he kissed me on the cheek under the lunchroom table. LOL! First little crushes are so sweet.


Sunday's Show & Tell

The Summer heat may not be winding down, but Summer is slowly coming to an end. First signs of Autumn are every where - high school football has began along with the Pros, the leaves in the trees are being to change and fall. Sue told me that she saw a fuzzy worm this past week. Normally when you start to see them, Fall's a coming along with cooler temperatures. Y'all I'm getting the fever - AUTUMN is right around the corner. Normally, it doesn't start feeling good and cool during the day until around October, but the night in September are usually real nice. Stores are feeling the same fever because the magazine aisles are solid with the holiday books and magazines. I've mentioned before that I'm a big "Taste of Home" fan. Love, love, love their recipes. So, as I'm waiting in line at Walmart to check out. What should I see?   This . . .
I have to say that I had so much fun reading and viewing ALL the great sounding recipes. Most of these recipes look and sound so scrumptious. I can't hardly wait to dig in.

So many great Halloween ideas to make for the kids

The graveyard is actually a veggie pizza
The spiders are actually ham 'n cheese melts ~ Katie will love 'em

Mexican taco dip ~ to make the ghost, cut out flour tortillas with a cookie cutter and bake in the oven.
What a great idea!
There are not just recipes, but also craft and no-sew costume ideas.
Pumpkin carving templates

This sweet lion costume is made out of a sleeper, fleece material (mane) and infant boggan.
Handmade Autumn Note Cards

Mandarin Chicken Stir-Fry with Sesame Soy Ginger Noodles Recipe
I've been experimenting with Asian dishes.  I bought a Lawry's seasoning packet for Beef 'n Broccoli.  Doug thought the meal was good, but I was disappointed.  I tasted the heat from the spices, but no real flavor.  It was pretty bland.  It reminded me of your basic brown gravy. 

Friday as Doug and I were doing our grocery shopping, I found myself checking out the Asian food aisle once again.  Doug spotted the sauces "Panda Express" and he told me that was the same company that owns "P.F. Chang's" restaurant, which happens to be our favorite Asian restaurant.  So, I picked up the sauce "Mandarin".  I made a simple stir-fry and just poured a little bit of the sauce once the stir-fry was complete.  I have to apologize because I didn't use any measurements, it was pretty much a guess.  Oh but it was absolutely delicious.  We had very little left for leftovers. 

(above: Mi's Mandarin Chicken Stir-Fry w/Sesame Soy Ginger Noodles)

(note: all of these meaurements are approx.)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut up in small pieces
1 bunch of broccoli florets (I used fresh broccoli and cut off the stems, but you could use frozen)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Sprinkle of equal amounts of minced garlic, salt & black pepper (for seasoning)
3-4 Splashes of Panda Express' Mandarin Sauce (to your liking)

Using a large skillet on stovetop (medium-high heat); warm up your oil; add broccoli and pepper.  Stir and cook until veggies are tender.

Add meat to skillet and cook at medium heat until well done (approx. 170 degrees).  The chicken will probably sear, which is normal.  Stir and watch that it doesn't burn.  Add garlic, salt & pepper seasoning while cooking. 

Once cooked thoroughly, add sauce.  Bring the sauce to a boil at medium to high heat.  Then turn the heat down to medium to low heat; simmer to thicken sauce a little.  Taste and add sauce, if you feel you need more to satisfy your tastebuds. 

Note:  I bought baby bella mushrooms to put in this dish, but completely forgot about them.  You might want to throw some in or anything veggie you think will taste good with it.  Experiment and play.

We are not rice people, so I made noodles for our side.  I've found a great box noodles from "Simply Asian" that I absolutely LOVE.  The flavor I prefer is called "Soy Ginger."  I was told it's the ginger that makes the meal.  I couldn't agree more because these noodles with the seasoning taste just like P.F. Chang's, in my opinion.  It took me maybe 10 minutes to fix the noodles to go with our Mandarin Chicken Stir-Fry.  Yummy! 


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Please Let Me Know

Parent/Teacher Meeting
I thought our Parent/Teacher meeting was very productive tonight. I love how Mrs. M is so organized and pretty much has an answer for everything. LOVE IT! As soon as I sat down, there was a syllabus in front us. I glanced through it and there were lots to cover. Our meeting lasted maybe an hour, but we went over what the kids will be covering the next several months - READ AND WRITING.

According to Mrs. M, next week all of the children will be getting into the meat of the Kindergarten experience. They all have taken their class assessments on literacy. We will receive the results as soon as she gets them back. She did warn us to not get upset if our child scores low because this is the first time they've been exposed to testing. It basically tells where the teachers need to begin and when they are tested in January, it will give them a better understanding as to their teaching skills.

To help out with letter and sound recognition, each child is to be responsible for being a specific letter expert. For instance, Katie is assigned the letter "Ff." She has to tell the class, with Mrs. M's help, what the letter is, how it sounds, have a show and tell that begins with that letter and to recite a poem Mrs. M has assigned. Mrs. M said it is totally optional if the parents want to give a treat out to the students that begin with the specific letter. My question is what GOOD treat could I share with the class that begins with the letter "F"? I need your help. Doug suggested, Fish (Goldfish crackers), Frosted Flakes and fruit. I can't give fruit because it will need to be kept cold. I thought of Frosted Animal Crackers, but would that be too much sugar? Please let me know. I value your opinion. Thanks!

Next week, Katie has to turn in a poster all "About Her."  Mrs. M gave me a sheet of tan construction paper with a little girl/boy traced out.  This girl is suppose to represent Katie.  I have to cut it out and dress it up to be her.  I'm not an artist by no means, so I need your prayers to get this project accomplished.  I do know we have to have a lot of ballet and pink.  Stay tuned . . .

Katie will be bringing books home every day next week to read and have projects to complete.  I'm so glad I started her on the "Bob" books this past Summer.  She is comfortably reading the pink books to me and she read, with help, one green book tonight. 

I think I've bumped my head because I signed up to help out with two out of SEVERAL activities this school year.  I'm going to try and help out with the Christmas party and the field trips.  I'm kind of excited about the field trips.  No, we're not going to have one every month.  When it is much cooler, we are going to the zoo.  This is awesome because I didn't find the time to take the kids this past Spring, so I'm happy we'll be able to go at this time.  An added bonus, Birmingham has been doing some updated to the existing exhibits and adding some new exhibits.  I hope to be able to go with them, but we will see.  The second field trip will be to see this guy . . .

Stephen Fite  . . . in concert!

I think Katie will enjoy this. Mrs. M said he is really great entertaining the children.

Calling all local aunts, grandparents and cousins!
I need your BOX TOPS.  If you don't know what "Box Tops" are they look like this . . .

You can find them mostly on cereal, instant meals and Ziploc boxes or that's where I've found them.  I have found them on toilet tissue packages in the past.  Katie's class has the opportunity to keep the money from Box Tops this year for things that they need in their classroom. Right now until early October, Mrs. M has a contest going on Boys vs. Girls. Whomever gets the most Box Tops (Boys or Girls) that group gets to choose the theme for the party to celebrate. If you live locally, I'd be more than happy to pick them up from you. Thank you!

Fresh Ripe Tomatoes
There is a great little produce farm a little over a mile from the Eva four-way stop.  You can't miss it because there's a sign "PICKIT."  His fields are irrigated, so his crops are really pretty.  Dad, Mom, Colton and I went tomato picking today.  The guy charged us $8 for a 5 gallon bucket of tomatoes that we picked.  I like to pick them because it's a great experience and you know what you're getting.  Unlike the pre-wrapped produce that you get from the store, you are not going to pick a rotten or too ripe vegetable or fruit.  We had to drive around the fields to find the ones that had not gotten too old or picked through.  He said that he should have tomatoes up until beginning of frost.  I'd like to thank Millard and Peggy for bringing this farm to my attention.  BTW, he had other produce for sale.  I bought Doug a cantaloupe from his fruit stand.  Doug said it was delicious.  If you're interested and you live locally, please send me a message and I'll give you directions. 

 Movie Rentals
I have a feeling we are going to have to break down and order NetFlix.  My friend, A, told me how much her and her family have enjoyed it and it's only $8 a month.  WOW!  I don't mind the $8 a month thing, but according to my dear beloved husband, you have to purchase a PS3 in order to set up for the NetFlix.  Surely there's got to be another way?  Doug insist there is not another way, this is IT.  I don't see why we would have to spend $300 just to get a monthly subscription for movies.  Is he just jerking my chain?  Is this really the ONLY way to get a subscription to NetFlix or is it he just REALLY wants a PS3?  Please let me know.   

Now I say this because I walked into Blockbuster this afternoon to pick up the new release "The Last Song."  As you remember, I recently did a review on this book here and was excited to see that it was on it's way to the shelves.  First, I went straight to the Blu-ray rentals and to my disappointment they only had one spot for this movie.  Of course, the Blu-ray movie was gone.  The regular DVD movies, which were a whole lot more than just one spot for this movie.  Unfortunately, they were all gone as well.  Disappointed, I headed out the door.  Well, one of the clerks stopped me and ask if there was a specific movie I was looking for.  When I told her, she asked clerk #2 to check her bin to see if any came back today.  While she's looking, I thought I would chit chat.  I told clerk #1 how disappointed I was that there were only one Blu-ray movie out of all these other DVD "The Last Song" movies.  She gave me a pretty lame excuse, but I just let it go.  Then, I asked if either one of the girls had seen the movie.  "Oh yes," I got from both girls.  "You'll really like it" clerk #1 said.  I told them how awesome the book was and how I would love to see the movie because I feel it will be just as good.  Clerk #1 pipes up and says "oh, well the books are always better.  I mean, this was an okay movie, but it's not that great."  Ok, first off how does someone go from "oh, you'll really like it" to "it's not that great" just because I said that I read the book.  Everyone knows the books are better than the actual movie, but that shouldn't stop you from wanting to watch the movie.  Clerk #2 made a face when the clerk #1 was expressing her disapproval.  Clerk #2 mouthed to me that I would still like it.  Unfortunately, neither clerk had the movie in their bins.  I hated having to go home empty handed.   


Monday, August 16, 2010

What's Homework?

Today is the first day, Katie has homework. As soon as we got home, I let her eat a snack and watch 30 minutes worth of Scooby Doo before we got started on the homework. She came to me all excited. "I want to do my homework now," she said. I didn't even get the paper out to read over what we had to do, then she began asking "what's homework?"

She has to practice writing her name, memorize her lunch #, have a book read to her, she has to count up to 20, and have a selected list of nursery rhymes read to her. This homework is to be done everyday this week.

Mrs. M sent all of us parents our newsletter today. She informed us that all the children will focus on shapes, letter recognition, practice their counting and words that rhyme this week. YAY! I'm so happy Katie is staying in green because she got a treat at the end of the day. If she turns in all of her homework at the end of the week, she gets another treat. According to the newsletter, there is a parent/teacher meeting this week already. She just wants to sit down with us and let us know what learning skills, they've been working on. Nothing big.

Can you believe it is Scholastic book buying time? Mrs. M sent home two order booklets. Katie's been begging me for "Goldilicious." It's the last book of the "Pinkilicious" series. Scholastic is offering the book for $4. I can get so many great deals from this company. I also found another great book that I remember reading as a child, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." I remember this being a pretty funny book. I noticed during Open House at school that Katie had an interest in the "David" books. I found one "David goes to school" for $1. I think she'll enjoy reading it. I would have loved to order more that I liked, but I had to STOP.

Last night, we had a very nice thunderstorm, which left the ground still pretty wet this morning. I love it! We haven't had as much rain for the past few weeks. Our nice wet Spring and early Summer has come to a halt, I do believe. I guess we had some pretty strong winds to go along with the storm because this is the first time I really noticed all the leaves are beginning to turn. On the drive to school, I couldn't get over the leaves on the road. That's when I noticed the yellow, orange and brown leaves are beginning to show. I brought it to Katie's attention. Right off the bat, "mom, does this mean it's Fall now?" It's hard to explain to a 5 year old the starting of a Season. I told her that she will have to watch each morning and see how things begin to change. I just hope we'll have a somewhat decent Fall considering that the leaves are already changing and falling. With the trees beginning to change and the hype of football around the corner, I'm getting so excited.

On A Side Note
I joined the gym, so watch out this momma's on her way to losing some major weight. I'm all set with my music, yoga pants, and club pass.

After a few months, Colton is finally cutting 3 of the last 4 teeth (canine). YES! It's been very hard on him for the past few days. I knew something was going on with all the symptoms, but I couldn't see anything cutting through until today. He was absolutely miserable all day today. He only took one 15 minute nap today, so he was extremely tired by the time I placed him in his bed at 9:00 tonight. All I could do was have him suck on ice pops, suckers, rock him and give him medicine. Beings that his top two teeth are showing now, I'm hoping he will feel much better tomorrow. The tooth on the bottom looks like a little blister.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Movies In Review

Date Night
Starring Steve Carrell and Tina Fey
I think Steve and Tina are really good actors/actress. I've never been disppointed in a movie with them in it. "Date Night" is a movie to wake up us old couple per say. We find our comfort zone, schedules, and normal everyday routines and we think we are happy. A lot of us don't like to change because you don't know what to expect. Will we regret it? Will it be a moment that we'll never forget? When we do decide to venture outside these comfort zone, put a little spice back into our marriage, some times it doesn't work out as planned. That's what I've always thought of marriage, something to always be working on. Never give up. Well, this movie reflects the average run of the mill couple with children and what happens when they decide to spice up their marriage by doing something so off the wall that it leads them into a world of trouble. It's a good entertaining movie. I thought it was humorous in a lot of spots, mostly dry humor.

This movie is strictly for adults. Eventhough there are no sex scenes, it is very suggestive and bad language.

My Life In Ruins
starring Richard Dreffus and Nia Vardalos
My fascination with Italy and Greece automatically reeled me in when it came to this movie. I loved Nia Vardalos in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and she is awesome in this movie as well. This isn't a double over, split a gut hilarious movie, but it was lots of fun. Most importantly, they introduce to you the beautiful and fascinating landscape of Greece. The amazing ancient architecture, breathtaking Mediterranean and clusters of bright white limestone houses perched up on the mountain tops. So beautiful! This story tells how a professor loved a country such as Greece so much that she moved there in hopes to teach ancient Greek architecture, but she wasn't able to find a job. She wouldn't give up. She sent resumes all over the world, in hopes to teach others what she knows and loves. Teaching wasn't in the cards. It's very important in Greece to find your happy spot. I forgot what they called it, but it where you're cup is flowing over with happiness, peace, laughter and yes DANCE. I don't want to spoil it for you. Will Georgia find her happy spot? I thought it was a great story.

Eventhough there were no scenes, it was suggestive. I wouldn't recommend watching this movie in front of small children.


First Week of Kindergarten

I believe we all survived our first week of school. Yay! Katie is absolutely LOVING Kindergarten. She's making lots of new friends and has the opportunity to see her other friends during lunch, P.E. or recess. I think it's sweet, Katie has her first crush. She doesn't like to talk about him a lot, I think it's because she gets embarrassed. So, I don't push it too much. Of course, Dad doesn't like it at ALL! He tells her to stay away from the boys. The boyfriend's name is Jackson and all I know about him is that he has blondish brown hair, green eyes and is short. Whom she is comparing him to, for him to be short, I have no idea. Friday, she drew a pretty picture of two stick figures holding hands on a beautiful sunny, blue skied day, while standing in a field of pink daisies. The stick people both had brown hair. When I asked her if this was me and her walking in the field of daisies, she corrected me right away. "No mom. That's me and Jackson." Oh well, excuse me.

A little girl by the name of Emma has replaced Claire as being the new best friend. Katie misses Claire, but she understands that Claire won't be going to her school. Apparently, Emma is also in Katie's Sunday School Class at our church, so that makes it easier. She loves to talk about her new friends and all the things they get to do together. It's like an entirely different child this year compared to last year. She yacks my ears off from school to home every day. I'm so happy for her to be having so much fun.  She loves the fact that she gets to go to school every day this year compared to last year. 

Right now, she hasn't brought home any homework. They are going over shapes and colors. According to Katie, Mrs. M reads all the time. Meanwhile, Katie and I are going over her "Bob" books every other night. She can breeze through the red colored books and does fairly good with the pink. The green are a little tougher for her, but with help she gets through them. I've tried to mix things up by letting her read (for beginners) "Biscuit", "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and "Dick & Jane" books.

Friday, Doug was home for the day and joined us in the drop off and pick up parties. He couldn't believe the hours I left and arrived. He kept saying this is crazy. I told him that a lot of people just set back with a good book or newspaper. For me and Colton, we bring a snack party. I usually carry two bags. One is full of toys that Colton might want to play with at the time and the other is snacks and drinks. Doug could not believe it. When we finally picked Katie up, we all went to Dairy Queen for a little ice cream treat. I noticed the car in front of us. This person had a vinyl decal of their initials, which spelled out "SPA". I just thought it was so neat. At that point, Doug asked if it was our cousin Shawn. Sure enough, she was bringing her boys over for a cool treat as well. I guess great minds think alike. As soon as she rolled down her window, I hollered at her. Her son, Trey, is at the same school as Katie. He told Shawn that he gets to see her sometimes at recess and lunch.

Yesterday, my sister, Maryann and nephew, Ryan, came by the house and kidnapped me for a few hours. HAHA! Maryann's been needing a little help learning how to upload pictures from her new digital camera. She knew that I use an out source for printing my pictures, so she asked me to help her set up an account. We could have done it here, but I thought it would be better for her to understand in front of her desktop. Plus, I wanted to check out Ryan's new room. I got Maryann all fixed up. Whitney came by to visit with Ryan.  All weekend, Ryan and I have been swapping movies.  I'm borrowing his "Planet Earth" Blu-ray.  He said it was awesome to watch.  It comes with 4 discs.  He seems to think that Katie would enjoy the animals.  He just ordered "Life" narrated by David Attenborough in Blu-ray.  He said he'll let me borrow it as soon as he watches it. 

I'm so happy for Ryan. He is 27 years old and has been working for Duke University Hospital as an RN since he graduated college with a Bachelor's Degree. He's made a huge decision and leap for his future. He was accepted to UAB for his undergraduates degree. Since he was in high school, he was hoping to be an Anesthesiologist or in that field of work. Now, he has that opportunity. YAY! In order to make it happen, he took a leap of faith. He left his job, his current residence and new life to come back home. Honestly, I'm just thrilled that he is home where he belongs. I think he is happy to have this opportunity. He starts his classes this week. Bless his heart, he's got 5 classes and 1 lab. Yuck! He's ready to dig in and get started. By the way ladies, he is SINGLE! He and his girlfriend had to break it off because she is attending Duke University for her undergraduate degree. They decided to not even try to have a long distance relationship. Hopefully, he'll receive his undergraduates in a couple of years.

Last Friday, I had so much to do and very little time to get it all in.  Unfortunately, I had to put my gym membership on the back burner.  Ugh!  Lord willing, I hope to get everything finalized and get me working out in the next couple of days.  Shew!  Y'all just don't know how frustrated I am with myself and how I've let myself go.  I blame it on hormones!  Unbalanced Hormones are a woman's worst NIGHTMARE!  I've had a few people tell me, because of my symptoms, I might be currently going through perimenopause.  After today's meltdown, I looked up the symptoms and yeah, it describes me to a "T".  So folks, stand back a perimenopausal woman is walking through.  UGH!  Once I get everything scheduled, Katie, gym, Colton, hopefully I'll get an appointment with my doctor.  I'm hoping she'll be able to tell that I'm not completely out of my mind.  I was telling Doug just today that I feel like my nerves were sticking out like barbed wire and I'm emotional rollercoaster.  Add on headaches with those mood swings and you've got me, the crazy person. 


Friday, August 13, 2010

Full Of Wonder

Have you ever wondered where the phrase "The Dog Days of Summer" came from? I've always known, living in the South, the end of July through the month of August was "The Dog Days of Summer." I never really questioned or asked about it's origin. So, as I'm rocking my baby boy and listen to the July flies outside my window practicing their symphony for later tonight, the question popped into my head.

The phrase dates back to the ancient Roman days. It was thought that Sirius, the Dog Star, would come to a close proximity to the sun causing the hot weather. Romans referred to the dog days as the hottest and most sultry days of Summer extended between July 24-August 24. According to the Old Farmers' Almanac, the dog days of Summer extends between July 3rd-August 11th, which coincided with the rising of the Sirius aka Dog Star. These are days when rainfalls the least. The Sirius, Dog Star, is part of the constellation Canis Major. This constellation appears in the northern hemisphere during the hottest time of the year, Summer. The star named Sirius is quite visible in the night sky. "Dog Days are named for the appearance of the Dog Star in the Eastern horizon." This is according to Fern Fischer, Technology, "Dog Days of Summer": The Meaning of the Phrase.
The Constellation Canis Major - Sirius "Dog Star" is the brightest star in this constellation

I found a phrase that comes from the short story, "The Bar Sinister" by Richard Harding Davis. "Dog days bright and clear, indicate a happy year. But when accompanied by rain, for better times our hopes are vain." It's thought that people will remember during the dog days to tend to their animals (dogs) and leave them water to drink during the most sultry dry days of Summer.

Books and Movies
While we are on the road, headed for school in the mornings, I listen to The Rick and Bubba Show. Wednesday, their guest was, Darek Isaacs.  He is a author, film producer, and speaker.  He is also the President and Founder of Watchmen 33, an organization designed to defend and confirm the authority of the Bible.  Darek maintains that only through the knowledge of Jesus Christ can the great mysteries of human existence be answered.  He travels all over the country as a speaker and for film events, but I was pleasantly surprised that he and his wife reside here in Alabama.  He is the author of the book "Dragons or Dinosaurs: Creation or Evolution."  He spoke a little about his book and documentary and I became quite interested.  I mean, haven't you ever wondered why dinosaurs are not mentioned in the Bible?  If scientist are discovering all of these fossils, these GIANT mythic type creatures, then why are they not mentioned more in the Bible.  I just figured I would have to wait and have this discussion with God one day in heaven.  Little did I know that the Bible does mention dinosaurs, eventhough the word "dinosaur" isn't written.  It was there this whole time, but the only way you'll see it is by reading the King James Version.  I've tried researching Darek's findings by using my NIV.  The NIV describes the beast as jackals or serpents.  In the KJV the readings are different, describing the creatures as dragons and serpents.  Darek said it is just a communication error, a language barrier.  The word "dinosaur" is a new word in the language history.  Darek seems to think that the fossils the scientist are finding were a possible result of the great flood (day of Noah).

I would be interested in either reading the book "Dragons or Dinosaurs: Creation or Evolution" or watch the documentary.  I found an interview with Darek Isaacs from Crosswalk.com "Did Dinosaurs Coexit With Humans? An Interview with Darek Isaacs".  Isaacs writings and documentaries can be found in most Christian bookstores all over. 

Please let me know if you've read this book or seen the documentary. Did you like it? Was it informative and interesting? I really want to know.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

"The Boys of Fall"

Kenny Chesney - "The Boys of Fall"

My cousin had this on his Facebook and I had to share it with you football fans. It doesn't matter if you're a Giants or Bama fan, a frenzy starts as soon as you see your favorite team charging through the fans or tunnel onto the field, ready to play some ball. I don't know about you, but the hairs on my arms stand straight up and I get a rush of adrenaline racing through my veins when I see them and their excitement. It doesn't matter how you start, it's how you finish. This not only applies to a game, but also to our everyday life as well. It doesn't matter how you started your day, it's how you finished it. For instance, did you finish your day by ranting and raving at a stranger that took your parking space that you were waiting for or did you ask God to forgive that person for being so rude by getting your parking space? When you preview your day every night, ask yourself  "would God be pleased with me and the way I finished today?"  To get a little deeper, you could review your life and ask "how will you finish at the end of your life, when you are face to face with God Almighty?"  Something to think about.

I'm so ready for Fall and Football. It's two great events come together with a side homemade chili along with chips and dip.  I LOVE IT! 

An Actual News Report
Antonie Dodson has made a name for himself this past month.  He helped rescue his sister from being raped upstairs in their apartment.  Some creep broke into the upstairs window and proceded to rape a young lady, while sleeping in the bed with her little girl.  Why am I interested in this guy and story enough to blog about him?  Well, this incident happened in Huntsville, AL at the housing projects.  Antonie was so upset about what happened that he let his feelings get ahold of him.  Now, this guy is all over the internet from YouTube (rap remixes) to iTunes.  He seems excited that he's getting so much attention, but his intent was to catch the creep that did this heinous act to his sister.  He just wanted to get his point across to the violator.  Here are three videos for you to check out, if you haven't seen them.  1. Rap Remix; 2. Original news report from WAFF Channel 48; 3. Second news report on all the hype. 


Make Room For Shrooms

Health News

"Mushrooms Makes Meals Marvelous"
(Say this a few times - HAHA)
I love mushrooms. I love them raw in a salad, as a pizza topping, sauteed in a great chicken dish or stuffed with ground meat like turkey or lean beef. Now let me clarify, I'm talking about mushrooms like: Portobello, Oyster, Shiitake, Cremini and Button. I'm not talking about shrooms that send you off to another world as soon as you take a bite.  LOL! 

As I was skimming through my "Everyday Food" magazine, I found an article that put a smile on my face. Apparently, it's good news that I love mushrooms so much. They are very good for you. According to the article,"Eat Smart" vol. Septemeber 2010, pg. 61; mushrooms are full of nutrition and are a great part of a healthy diet. The benefits of eating mushrooms are as follows: Rich in antioxidants. A good source of protein and dietary fiber, which lowers cholesterol. They are potent source of minerals such as selenium, which may protect against heart disease and some cancers, and potassium, which helps control blood pressure.

So eat up you mushroom lovers! Put a few extra cut button mushrooms on your salad.


To add to our mushroom health news, I came across the recipe below. It sounds so good and I plan to make this little hors d'oeuvre.

Upside-Down Mushroom Tartlets
Makes 6
Active Time: 20 min.
Total Time: 45 min.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (cut into six 3" rounds)
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for muffin pan
1 large shallot, diced small
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
3/4 c. grated cheese (2 oz.) (suggested Gruyere type cheese for this recipe.  I think shredded mozzarella & provolone cheeses would be good as well)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place puff pastry rounds in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while mushrooms cook. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft and browned, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in thyme and remove skillet from heat.

Lightly oil 6 jumbo muffin cups. Divide mushroom mixture and cheese among cups, then top each with a chilled pastry round. Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.

Run a small knife around cups to loosen tartlets. Place a rimmed baking sheet or large plate over pan and invert to release tartlets. Sprinkle with more thyme. Serve warm.

(nutrition information - per tartlet: 115 cal; 7.3g fat (2.6g sat fat); 5.4g protein; 7g carb; .7g fiber)

Suggested Notes: cut these into quarters for a pretty yet simple hors d'oeuvre, or serve them with a crunchy green salad for lunch or a light supper.

The above recipe and health information are supplied by "Everyday Food" a Martha Stewart magazine vol. September 2010.