This is my third year doing this year-end meme. Wow! Unfortunately, the year is kind of clouded over in my mind with negativity, so I have left a lot of blanks so as not to be too boring or pitiful. If you decide to meme 2006 let me know in the comments!
1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? Opened a Baby Boutique!
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I had hoped to lose weight and found it extremely difficult. I am not giving up though, and have another plan to do the same in 2007.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? A couple friends from church had babies this year.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Only figuratively.
5. What countries did you visit? None.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? More time with my extended family.
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Our Christmas visit at my mom's was especially great. This is also the year that I lost my best friend, so I'm stuck with that memory as well.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? The growth of my business ventures and book writing.
9. What was your biggest failure? Not sure. There definitely were some, though.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Probably but I don't remember much of it.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Can't think of anything. There weren't a lot of extra purchases made this year.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Can't think of any.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted? I won't go into that here.
14. Where did most of your money go? Bills, as usual.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Getting to go to my mom's for Christmas.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006? Can't think of one.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? sadder
b) thinner or fatter? fatter
c) richer or poorer? about the same
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? being happier
19. What do you wish you'd done less of? being sad
20. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? with family
21. Did you fall in love in 2006? nope
22. How many one-night stands? none
23. What was your favorite TV program? Six Feet Under
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? nope
25. What was the best book you read? Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon, again
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
27. What did you want and get?
28. What did you want and not get?
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 35 and I don't remember what I did.
31.What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Wear what you have and try to be thankful.
33. What kept you sane?
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
35. What political issue stirred you the most? Political issues don't stir me much.
36. Who did you miss?
37. Who was the best new person you met?
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
This is my third year doing this year-end meme. Wow! Unfortunately, the year is kind of clouded over in my mind with negativity, so I have left a lot of blanks so as not to be too boring or pitiful. If you decide to meme 2006 let me know in the comments!
We had a great time visiting my mom, her husband, my grandmother, and sister for Christmas. The kids had a huge blow out Christmas and are still enjoying all the goodies they received. One of the highlights of the gifts was that my mom had gotten the kids two of those kid-sized battery-operated cars plus a kiddie dirt bike as well. It was raining on Christmas day so we surprised the kids the day after with a walk outside that showed them their new vehicles. At ages 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10, they were pretty excited and rode all over the yard and driveway. We have a big back yard with a hill, so they are going to love cruising all over the place.
Since returning home I've been busy trying to put things back together. Fortunately we had the house pretty cleaned up and picked up before leaving, but there had been a lot of stuff to find places for, etc. Plus I got a big u-shaped desk from my mom to use in my office, so we had to set that up plus transfer all the computer equipment to the new location. (I spent one night til 2am working on that)
Our mouse infestation seems to be getting worse despite my efforts to leave the house with only glue traps and no food on the floors, counters, etc. Now I have learned that mice apparently enjoy raw potatoes, or at least will eat them if desperate enough. No mice caught, but I have seen them and their...evidence....since getting home. Very annoying!
I took down the Christmas tree and decorations today and am glad to have that finished. This year my kids broke about 3 or 4 ornaments, all of which were new ones we had chosen. Gladly, we don't normally have this problem, but I was tired of it and decided enough was enough.
No big plans for New Year's Eve here. I guess we will come up with something fun to do with the kids. Any ideas?
So, there is an extremely boring blog post. gag.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Recently in my search for something decent for my kids to watch I turned to the documentary section of Netflix. I have been very happy to find some really interesting, clean films that my whole family can watch together.
A quick roundup:
Mad Hot Ballroom takes us to New York City where 5th graders are involved in a 10-week long ballroom dancing course. We see the children at the start of the class kind fo shy to touch or look at each other. By the end of the class the kids do amazingly well and work very hard to be able to go on to ballroom dance competitions.
I love ballroom dance and am still holding out hope that one day I'm going to get to take lessons. This movie was really fun to watch, and my kids enjoyed it too. At first they thought they would not want to watch something about ballroom dancing, but that was for about 5 minutes until they could see how interesting, difficult, and beautiful some of the dances were.
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is the story of a kind of loner man that takes an interest in a flock of wild parrots near his home in San Francisco. Over the course of a year he manages to get the parrots to trust him enough to eat from his hands and come into his house. The parrots are very beautiful and interesting in their antics and personality, and the man is very interesting (not in a weird way, either!) as well.
Rivers and Tides is a film I watched last night and I loved it so much that I am going to see what I can do to be able to offer it in my next business, Supermom's Health and Wellness. Rivers and Tides is a documentary about Andy Goldsworthy, an artist/sculptor that works with nature to create his art. This man amazed me because he would work for hours and hours under difficult conditions to make something in nature, knowing that many of these works would be lost within hours to nature itself. (for instance, washed out by the tide) Andy has many very interesting and thought-provoking things to say about nature and art, and I felt like his perspective helped enlarge my mind to some things I would not normally have thought about.
I watched the movie with my 14 year old son and 10 year old daughter, and all three of us were very enthralled with each of Andy's pieces, and the things he had to say. It's a very peaceful movie, but not boring at all.
The filming of this documentary is probably the most visually beautiful and exquisite work I have ever seen. The beauty, simplicity, and complexity of nature are shown here in amazingly gorgeous ways. It made me think that I need to spend more time observing nature and just appreciating the perfection and creativity of it.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Two Sundays ago our sermon at church had to do with following the things God tells us to do even if we're not sure how it's going to work out. (that's a short version, I don't have the time or energy to tell you the long one)
The message brought up some questions in my mind. Do we have the personalities we have because God gave them to us? Or are our tendencies faulty by a default sin nature? How do we know when to harness our urges, and when to let them run wild? How do we balance the grand things we'd like to do to help others, with logic and practical reality?
One of the young ladies at our church is getting ready to go live and work in Haiti for a couple of years, at an orphanage that she has done summer missions work at for the past 2 years or so. The pictures of her on her trips, holding, teaching, and playing with these adorable, parentless children, only reminded me that about 8 years ago we did some serious thinking about adopting children from Haiti.
Adoption and foster care just burn in my mind, and my husband is very similar to me. We are the type of people that see ads for sibling groups that need to be adopted out of the foster care system, and our first impulse is that we should DO something. We should help. We could maybe somehow find a way to take in these kids.
I have cried many times over photos and bios of kids needing to be adopted. One day last year I was at the library and they had these gorgeous pictures up with information about these kids that need homes. I got all choked up and had to scurry out of there, feeling terrible that I'm really not in any position to add more children to my family.
I receive Above Rubies magazine regularly, and in the past year or so they have featured the need for orphans in Liberia, Africa, to be adopted. The editor's daughter Serene and her husband have adopted 6 (I think) of these children this year, and now the editor of the magazine and her husband, who are in their 60s, have decided that they, too, will open their home to more children, and are in the process of adopting some teenagers from Liberia! I was just so touched at the willingness of these people to see the need, and ask the hardest and most important question of all: How can *I* help?
I've also been thinking a lot about Zoe Children's Homes, and the extremely important work they do there, rescuing children from the evils of human trafficking. Knowing that there are good people working every day to love and nurture these children, and that they are putting their lives on the line regularly to rescue these children, well, it makes me feel like I either need to pick up and go there to help, or do something drastic to be able to give them more money. This organization always needs more money to keep on feeding, clothing, educating, and caring for these children. It is not uncommon that the worker at Zoe in Thailand will know about specific children that they would like to help, but without additional funds, they will not be able to do so.
Can you imagine the difference a little bit of your money can make?! When you can help rescue a child from the most evil crimes imaginable?! You can do this! Consider making a donation today.
Each month we have a virtue at our church that we emphasize. Yesterday I was looking at this month's virtue: Compassion. And I noticed that PASSION is the root word. Made me think once again, how am I to best use the passion I have to be compassionate to the needs of others?
I already have six children and am far from doing all that I would like to or feel I should for them. Though I would like to reach out and do more radical things to help others, I have to be passionate about my ministry I have already with my current family. But that doesn't change the fact that my husband and I care more than the average bear about kids that need a home. I often feel in suspense as to how this will be used by God in the future.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
In the past I've talked about how I'm not going to be one of those empty nesters that lives in the past and bemoans their kids growing up. It's true. I'm not! But every now and then something happens and I realize: this is one of the things I will miss. Recently I realized a thing that I am already missing. When kids get older, you don't get to touch them very much.
When they're little you carry them, hold them, nurse them, help them, dress them, hold their hand, snuggle, snooze, and are generally in close physical contact with your kids. Once they are 14 or 10 or 8, like my three oldest kids, the natural opportunities to touch them are much less.
A couple weeks ago I had this sudden, painful realization that my son (14) is growing up, and I almost never got to touch him. I actually forced him (playfully--he was laughing) to sit with me and let me hold him a little bit. Interestingly, though he pretended to struggle away from me, he seemed to like getting to be near his mom for a few minutes. I think he probably needs that stuff still but is at the stage where it's not cool to get it on your own.
One morning a few days ago my 10 year old daughter gave me a hug in the morning. It was only because she did so that I realized how rarely she reaches out to me in this way. Wow. I loved it. (I asked her "A hug! What's this for?!" Her answer? "I just realized I hadn't hugged you in a long time.")
Since then I've been more purposeful about reaching out to my older kids, making sure there are plenty of hugs. I have shared some little stories from their babyhoods with them, to let them know how greatly loved and adored they are and have been for their whole lives. I guess it's just given me a new appreciation for the time we have with our kids, and a good reminder to make the most of what we've got.
I think that if all my kids were big and not hugging me or sitting near me any more, I would probably be ill from hug deprivation. We need hugs to be healthy and happy! I believe it! My hope is that with the age spread I've got here, that I might be a grandmother and have little grandkids to love on before my youngest kids stop wanting to hug me....
As for the melancholy aspect of this holiday season, I've not yet recovered from my funk after reading Captivating. It was a good book in many ways, but for my current situation the book's message felt like one more "this is how you should be" book. You know, I can't be all deeply relating to people that don't exist or don't want to deeply relate to me! Sometimes it feels like there are just no people available to be real friends with. And that really stinks. I've been greatly tempted to just hibernate, stop going to parties, small group, or anyplace with people that could potentially make me sad. I am only continuing on with these activities because of head knowledge that I have to keep trying, to take chances, even if people let me down. It would be easy to stay home and isolate myself. I like being home! But, it's probably not the best policy for having a meaningful life.
We are planning to spend Christmas with my mom and her husband, my grandmother, and my sister. I am so glad that we are going to get to do this. I have not seen them for 18-24 months (except for one day that I saw my sister while attending my grandfather's funeral). My brother is out of the country so will not be able to be with us, which is a bummer. My grandmother lives with my mom and has Alzheimer's, so I am so glad that we are going to be able to visit with her while she mostly still knows who we are. But it's so sad to know how fast her memory is fading out, and that this might be the last time that she is really the woman I have known for my whole life. Maybe it's selfish to want those that you love to know you. I don't know. All I know is that it feels sad and hard to have your loved ones slip away, whether by death, by distance, or by choice.
I guess I'm just feeling a little hard-hit with loss right now. Despite the fact that I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm feeling stuck in a rut and can't seem to find my way out.
Friday, December 15, 2006
I was directed to a two-part article on a blog, entitled Why I Do Not Homeschool. (Read the article here and here) Seeing as how I homeschooled my kids for about a decade, and have had one or more of my kids enrolled in public school for the past 3-4 years, I was interested to read what he had to say. He made several points about their decision to have their children in public school that I appreciated and gave words to some undeveloped opinions of my own. It also reminded me of how easily people can become polarized about the issues surrounding the education of our children.
It is tempting for many people to feel superior, defensive, or judgmental about their beliefs. In my homeschooling days I read a lot of "supportive" magazines, web sites, egroups, etc. that all fed me a bunch of extreme ideas about what happens in public schools that I now know to be exaggerations, lies, and isolated incidents. All that this did was cause me to develop sinful attitudes, to become ignorant of facts, and to delay doing what was really the best thing for my children (putting them in school).
The truth is that homeschooling is not always the best thing for kids.
The truth is that public schooling is not always the best thing for kids.
The truth is that private schools are not always the best for kids.
The truth is that other people do not know what is best for your kids.
The truth is that your kids may or may not get a good education at any school option.
The truth is that you need to think, check things out for yourself, evaluate your situation, and pray as you go for wisdom.
The truth is that you will probably make mistakes. Lots of them. Almost all of the time you and your kids are going to be ok even when mistakes happen. So, go ahead and be brave. You all aren't so breakable. Move forward, give things a chance, and see what happens.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: however your kids are educated is a tool. And the same tool is not right for every job all of the time. You may need to change tools or get a new tool every now and then. It's ok. The point is to help your kids get what they need, help your family get what it needs, and trust God if the way to get those things done doesn't seem like the way you thought it should.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I know that a lot of you are fellow bloggers that would like a greater readership or to make money through your blog. One of the factors involved with this is making your blog content search engine friendly.
You can get a new report "7 Tips To Make Your
Word Press Blog Search Engine Friendly” by going here.
The price is currently around $3.00 and increases a nickel per hour, so the sooner you get over there, the better the bargain. :)
The report shows you how to get your Word Press blog posts indexed within a few hours rather than a week or more. There are step-by-step instructions to make it easy for you. :)
Hope this helps!
Do you ever meet people that you want to communicate with but don't really want them calling your home?
Do you hate to give out your phone number when filling out surveys or order forms on the internet?
Do you wish there was a good way for you to avoid telemarketers?
Do you want to cut down on the amount of times your phone rings each day?
With this free service you can get a normal local phone number that will always answer with voice mail. You can personalize the voice mail with your own message. You will get an email notification when you have a new voice mail, so you'll never miss a call! You can check your messages by calling in to your voice mailbox, or you can check it online. Cool, eh?
One other thing that is fun to do with this phone is that you can use this service to embed voice messages onto your blog! Too fun! You could use it to record your baby babbling, your kids singing a song, or anything else.
It's cool for a lot of things. I like it. Check it out!
Get a FREE local telephone number!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate
5. When do you put your decorations up? Some years we do it the day after Thanksgiving if we have relatives visiting that we are going to celebrate an early Christmas with. This year we just put our tree and decorations up 3 days ago.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? A little snow for my kids to enjoy is fun, but I am thankful every single year that I no longer live in Central New York. I don't think I would ever want to live anywhere with a lot of snow again.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Though all my kids have brown hair, I have one that sometimes seems to be a natural blonde, if you know what I mean. ;) Sweet as can be, but oftentimes adorably clueless.
Today was a teary day at our church because one of the most involved and dearest families is moving away. This was their last Sunday with us and so a lot of people were crying by the end of the service.
When we got in the car after church my "blonde" asks, "What was everybody
crying about at church?!"
So I explained that this family is moving away today, so people
were really sad to see them go and have to say goodbye to them. He
didn't recognize the family by their last name, so I explained to him who they were by using their stage names, since they are actors in our weekly production of KidStuff. I said, "You know...the people that are Artie and Mrs. F."
He says, "OH! Yeah. Them..... Aw....I'm gonna miss Marty!"
Classic. Just classic. He's seen Artie on stage for 2 years now and thinks his name is Marty.
Later at dinner he asks where these people are moving to and I tell
him Michigan. He thinks about it for a few minutes and then says, "Do
they even know how to speak Michigan?!"
We have gotten a lot of laugh mileage out of that kid today.....
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Some recent goodies over at my other blog:
Need a sexy, inexpensive gift for your husband? Try this!
This year my husband and I are going to fill stockings for each other. Here are some ideas about that. (and, honey, if you're reading this, don't click!!)
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Well, now that I've got your attention.....(snort) I wanted to tell you that I went all hip and daring the other night and bought Spanx Power Panties! If you haven't yet heard about Spanx, it's about time you did. Spanx is a line of products that is made from super duper strong stretchy fabric. You wear 'em under your clothes, to help suck in your fat and giggles, and rid your look of any panty lines or bulges!
Anyhoo...I got the Power Panties (what a hoot!) and I can tell you they are good entertainment while getting them onto your body (I laughed and laughed), and they work pretty well, though I think I could have used the industrial strength ones to push in even more flab. If you've got to wear an outfit that isn't all that forgiving of your flaws, you may want to get yourself some Spanx undergear to smooth out the rough spots and help you look your very best.
On a related panty note...get this!
The other day my husband comes into the house from getting something in the car, and he's carrying a pair of my underwear! He gives me a waggly-eyebrow look and says,
"How on earth did a pair of your underwear get under the front seat of the car??"
I'm looking at him, the expression on his face, and say, "I have absolutely no idea...."
He wanders along, holding my underwear like it's a very interesting scientific discovery or something, and heads toward the laundry room. I follow and catch him looking at the underwear...looking for evidence, methinks!
"Are you examining the crotch of my underwear?!?!"
Him: "NO! I was just trying to figure something out....."
Me: "What's that?"
Him: "How I could have ever forgotten it if we had ever gotten so crazy as to lose a pair of your underwear in the car......"
(Cuz if we get crazy in the car I always collect all my clothes before leaving!! ha HA!)
(More likely, they have probably been there since we took our trip to NY in the summer. I imagine they fell out of a bag somewhere along the line and have been waiting to be rescued ever since. They were totally clean and void of DNA evidence...)
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I'm woefully behind on some product reviews I agreed to do, so tonite I am finally getting around to Captivate U!
This business specializes in soy candles, bath and body products, and gifts. If you aren't familiar with soy candles, you should be!
Most gals like candles, but the soot that collects around the top of our regular jar candles is ugly, and it's annoying when the middle of the candle burns way down to the bottom, leaving lots and lots of wax build up all around the edge. Well, soy candles are SO much better! They don't have soot and they burn evenly, so your candle burns clean and isn't wasted!
Regular candles are made from parafin, which is a petroleum product. Every time you burn a parafin candle you are breathing petroleum vapors, which isn't healthy. Soy wax is natural, biodegradable, and completely non-toxic, plus burns about 50% longer than parafin wax!
Shan, owner of Captivate U, sent me some of her soy hand and body lotion. It goes on smooth and has a really nice vanilla scent. What amazed me about it was that even though I wash my hands a bazillion times a day, that scent just lasts and lasts! I asked Shan how she gets the scent to do that, and she told me it's a secret! :)
Captivate U is a business born from the desire of Shan and her business partner Tina to be their own boss while doing something they love to do. Shan makes the candles, air fresheners, and incense, while Tina makes the bath and body products.
I am not the only one that is impressed with the quality of their products and the fast, friendly service. Go check out Captivate U and see if they can help you finish up your shopping!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I have some freebies available for you when you shop at my online businesses this month:
At Supermom's No-Lice Advice you will get a FREE eBook "Creating an Old-Fashioned Family Christmas" with every purchase. This great little book has decorating ideas, nature activities, other fun holiday activities for the whole family, and lots of great recipes, including my personal favorite, Dangerously Easy Two-Minute Fudge!
I am also giving away a wonderful 26-episode collection of The Cinnamon Bear to every Baby Boutique customer in December!
The Cinnamon Bear is a classic radio program from 1937. Families used to
enjoy listening to one Cinnamon Bear episode a day from Thanksgiving until
Christmas. What a precious way to build family memories!
The CINNAMON BEAR is the classic story of Judy and Jimmy Barton who search
for the family's Silver Star which goes on top of their Christmas tree.
They discover the star has disappeared from the attic. Then they meet The
Cinnamon Bear, and fly to Maybeland in his Soda Pop Airplane in pursuit of
the Crazy Quilt Dragon, whom they believe took the ornament. They meet a
host of characters, including Crazy Quilt Dragon, The Wintergreen Witch, Fe
Fo the Giant, and even Santa Claus.
Each customer will also get a FREE downloadable Cinnamon Bear coloring book!
You can learn more about the Cinnamon Bear audio presentation giveaway here.
I am also giving away the Cinnamon Bear audio presentation to those who purchase Supermom's Complete No-Lice System.
I also have a great freebie that will be especially interesting to homeschoolers and those of you that just love learning! For every purchase of my Healthy Home Products each customer will receive a FREE eBook, Globalmania: Master World Georgraphy in Just 7 Months. This is a brand new, not-yet-for-sale resource that has a $12.95 value.
The Healthy Home Collection now includes:
Homemade Laundry Detergent Kits (make your own healthy laundry detergent and save money too!)
Natural Dishwasher Detergent (stop washing your dishes with chemicals)
Handmade Soaps (We love them! My personal favorites are the peppermint and the cinnamon, oats, and honey. I'll never go back to regular soap!)
Peppermint Shampoo Bars (My new favorite way to wash my kid's hair. Awesome! I posted a product review about it here.)
and a nice Healthy Home Sampler Pack so you can try it all!