A return to bedlam.

Lunacy I can handle. It is pretty much what we live with. The craziness that the holidays brought, not so much.
We actually had an awesome time- a lot of family activities, baking, shopping, watching the Christmas specials, singing and dancing around, etc.
Mama was sorely missed- it just wasn't right with her not here. And not just because she is my wrapper extraordinaire, either, although that was a big part of it. ;-)
The tree and decorations are still not down- I know some of you leave them up through the new year or til twelfth night or whatever, but for me once Christmas is over I am ready for it to be over.
This year, though, it just hasn't happened. Even though I tried really hard, I apparently pushed a little harder than I should have and I've not had a choice but to take it easy or end up back in the hospital.
Usually when this happens, the little divas do it for me, but with 2 of them sick and Dawn's ankle sprained it is all we can do to get the bare minimum done.
Good, though, is that for the first time in quite a while the girls got to stay home all of Christmas. They usually make a mad dash to Louisiana to spend time with their dad right after opening gifts, but due to his lay-off and some other things going on and his company trying to get a new contract it worked better for everyone for them to be here.
Of course that would have been miserable for all concerned as the day after the tummy bug started, so it all worked out for the best.
If it wasn't apparent before I now have proof positive that I'm out of my mind.
Found a $130. personal trampoline with the safety net online for $30 so of course thought that would make a fabulous present for Ian since he LOVES to bounce- on my bed, the couch, the chairs, the dogs, doesn't matter.
Well, personal to some is not the same as to me as this thing is a LOT bigger than I expected (like one of those little mini exercise trampolines that had net to keep the boy safe). Ha! NOT.
I should have expected when it said it held up to 154 pounds, but oh well, at least most of us can use it for exercise or fun. ;-)
Luckily, our family room is big enough to have the seating/tv area half and the computers/plant tables, etc half. We have a whole pile of Kyra's things here and as soon as she takes them we will move the trampoline to the desk half of the room along with Butterscotch, the (not small) pony we got him also on a fabulous deal.
The kids all think it rocks, and say all we need is a ball pit and we are Play World and Jump Zone combined.
I have to admit it is pretty fun to watch them enjoying themselves so much. I know not everyone could or would want a gigantic playroom/living room, but I guess it suits us as well as anything. And the giggles make it all worthwhile.
We tried a few new recipes that we are pleased with and will be making regularly, I'll post those another time.
Aside from the trampoline, the Air Hogs battling/dueling helicopters, PS3 I won, along with the Mirror's Edge game, Kingdom Hearts Re-Chain of Memories for the PS2 and Animal Crossing for the Wii seem to be the big hits. Oh, and the Silly Putty they got in their stockings. Dev especially can't get enough of playing with that stuff.
I got some GREAT deals the day after Christmas- JC Penney's, especially had the bargains- I ended up getting two small trees, 3 pieces to a white village, a few ornaments and other things at 75% off then because I spent more than $50. they knocked off an additional $10. All that for under $45. so not bad at all.
At the Christmas Store I got another Lenox Grinch ornament for 60% off- this one is him carving the rare who roast beast. Last year mama got me the one with him and Max on the sleigh. Also got an official cookie dough taste tester apron that Ian and Dev will fight over. ;-)
Not a ton at Wal-Mart and Target, but a few new decorations and a small fiber-optic tree.
All in all 2008 has been a great year, and we're looking forward to 2009 being an even better one.
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Family, the weather and random rambling.

The *weather* is over and things are back to normal.
BTW what does that mean? I mean isn't sunny or partly cloudy weather? It always makes me giggle when people start their conversations with some weather we're having, isn't it? or How'd y'all make out in the weather?
After growing up in the northeast and then living in New Hampshire and Alaska it cracks me up how everything shuts down when it snows here. I know it is because they just aren't prepared for it but keep a few sandbags and it'll all be good.
Two inches and town is closed for the duration. ;-)
Wait, I take that back. UPS came only not in their regular trucks, in U-Hauls.
Lots of deliveries this year, did more than half of the shopping online. I can't wait to see Ian, he's at that age where it will be wicked fun watching his face light up since he understands what is going on.
I love having the girls home from school- something so special about snow days, isn't there?
We've been doing some baking and whatnot- lots of fun and helps keep the house warm and smelling yummy.
Kyra's been having trouble again with Ian sleeping- as in he's not. Even when he falls asleep he's up within a couple of hours. Not acting scared or crying or anything so don't know if it is nightmares or what but the boy is exhausted and so is his mommy.
Shh don't tell but we got a crazy good deal (Thanks, Trina) on a personal trampoline for him with the netting so if he keeps it up she can keep him enclosed where he can't hurt anything and jumping to wear his little butt out.
Do you ever feel like you are being spied on then see bits and pieces of your life on tv or in commercials. We used to feel like that with Gilmore Girls (not the drunken stupid crybaby ones but the witty dialect and repartee) but now they have a commercial that I swear they stole right from my life. And since I have a big mouth and have been telling this story for years and posting all over the net they prolly did. ;-)
Anyways one year Dawn woke up early and caught her daddy eating the fudge off of Santa's plate. She was totally freaked. There were tons of cookies and whatnot (we make sure to leave the big guy lots of variety) but the fudge is the thing and she was sure that's why she always got the best gifts.
Anyways, we fixed it and made more microwave fudge (yes the same one I posted here earlier) and Santa still was exceptionally generous, but he hid daddy's real stocking and gave him a little novelty one filled with real coal. OMG it was the funniest thing ever.
Now they are running a commercial that reminds me so much of that with the dad and the little boy and making those cookies from a mix up quick.
Anyways, it is a cute idea for a commercial whether they spied on us or not, we laugh every time and remember when... daddy eating Santa's fudge and getting a stocking full of coal is of course wonderful family legend now and has to be told several times during the season.
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I do love this weather. :D

Geekazoid here.

School was let out at 1:30 today due to the sleet and hail. Sadly, it's the one day I don't want to stay home--we were going to watch Horton Hears a Who in French class, and I missed it since I have French 7th period.

It's also cancelled tomorrow. That's a good thing--who doesn't want an extra day to sleep?--but it's also kinda bad. Finals are Wednesday through Friday (Mini diva's exempt, because she's missed less than 3 days, grr) and tomorrow was primarily review time. Still, it won't be too hard.

Beyond all the school stuff--it's snowing now! It's the one thing that makes up for cold weather. We only get it a couple times a year here, and it doesn't last more than a day or two, so I have to enjoy it while it lasts. Poor puppies--most of them don't like the snow very much.
Perfect weather for snuggling with a blanket, a book, and some cocoa. Can't wait--except that Mommy stole the book I was reading. Grrrr.

Geek out.
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Basic Biscotti with variations.

Biscotti is one of the things we make that everyone tries to make sure they are on the list to receive every year.

Here is a really good basic recipe that is easy to adapt- nuts, fruits, candies, whatever your imagination can come up with. The sky is the limit.

If desired, before the second baking brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar (colored sugars work fine) or after cooling drizzle with melted chocolate.

Basic Biscotti

8 tablespoons butter, unsalted, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 375.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated; add extract and beat until incorporated.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide dough in half and shape each into log. This will spread quite a bit during baking, so use a decent sized or two sheets.

Bake until logs are golden and beginning to crack on top. (Approximately 25 minutes.)

Remove from oven and drop temperature to 250.

When loaves are cool enough to touch, slice each into 1/2-inch slices, on the diagonal- spread apart slightly still standing on cookie sheet.

Return to the oven. Bake at 250 for another 15 to 20 minutes until insides are dry.

This is a really great basic recipe that can be adapted however you like.

Some of our favorites are: chocolate chip, chocolate chip and chopped maraschino cherries, white chocolate craisin, dried apricot and almond, heath chips, chocolate biscotti (add cocoa powder) with crushed peppermint on top.
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The Christmas Letter I don't send out.

I am so happy for those of you with perfect lives. Really, I am. But, I am not and never will be you; nor do I want to be.

My family is awesome, but we aren't perfect.

My husband has a good job which we are very grateful for, but we don't make gazillions of dollars a year.

My kids have many, many accomplishments but they also have less than stellar moments.

My grandson *cover your eyes if you can't take it* can't walk on water. Yet.

Once more I failed to make mother of the year.

Our house isn't featured in Snooty Snotty I'm so much better than you don't sit on the furniture or walk in my garden magazine.

And that's okay. Cuz we are happy and *relatively* healthy and have a whole lot of fun and love going on.

Sorry, can you tell we've gotten yet another yearly brag letter? We do like keeping up with what is going on but ahh not so much when you only tell us how perfect you and your kidlets are.

Especially when we actually have contact with said perfect children and they paint an entirely different picture than you do.

I'd rather know you are human, really, I would. I'd think much more highly if you flat out said I'm only telling you the highlights but we're all in this together and we struggle too.

I guess it makes people feel better to let the world think things are perfect and wonderful and you are together and in control.

If nothing else the letters give us a good laugh, so keep 'em coming.
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Microwave Fantasy Fudge

This was originally posted on the back of Kraft Marshmallow Creme.

For some reason they changed the recipe, but, this is the original and the best. I adapted it to our tastes, the original called for margarine and nuts, etc. You can make it on the stove top, but I don't remember that part of the recipe because then you have to spend all that time stirring.

This makes a HUGE pan... I think mine is a little bigger even than the 9x13, but you know how it is- there is never any left over once you give someone a taste. ;-)

Microwave Fantasy Fudge

  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Butter
  • 2/3 cup Evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
  • 12 oz pkg Semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 7 oz jar Marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup Chopped nuts (optional, I omit)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. Microwave margarine (butter) in 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) 1 minute or until melted. (I use the 8 cup Pyrex glass measuring cup- it is perfect and makes it easy to pour into pan.)
  2. Add sugar and milk; mix well.
  3. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes.
  4. Mix well; scrape bowl.
  5. Continue microwaving on HIGH 5-1/2 minutes; stir after 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in chips until melted.
  7. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.
  8. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. (I line with waxed or parchment paper and spray lightly with pure vegetable spray.)
  9. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares.
  10. Makes 3 pounds.

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Review Flip Ultra Video - White and Nerdy Lip Sync Video

We were thrilled to receive a Flip Video Ultra to review.

We got the white/silver one which is perfect for divas.

I have to say we are very impressed. The Flip is as small as my digital camera and fits easily into a pocket or purse.

We messed around with it a little bit at home but decided to give you all something truly amusing to watch.

Now those of you who read my blog know I am totally technologically challenged. Well, the mini-diva so takes after me in this area so the fact that she took it the day after we got it to her drama class and was running it like a pro tells us one thing- this baby is idiot proof.

We were a bit wary of the quality after reading how easy this is to use but for the price and ease of use, it is most definitely worth buying.

She told me to warn you all that any mistakes (jumpiness) is because she was laughing and totally operator error.

If you have anyone left to buy for this would be the perfect gift- we will definitely have ours charged up and ready to go for Christmas.

(Mini-D talking: I'm also using the camera to make a short movie for one of my classes that I'll have mommy upload when it's done. =3 I luffs my idiot-proof video camera thingy! Mine! DIBS! Mwahahaha!)

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Review Death Knight Class - Wrath of the Litch King for WOW

Okay, so if you know Anything about gaming news you know that Wrath of the Litch King just came out.

Unfortunately because I’ve been sick I haven’t been able to play much, but I have been able to try out the new class.

Let me just say that SO far Blizzard has done an amazing job from what I have seen.

The Death Knights look like what they are, fallen heroes raised from the dead.

The starting quests for the new class are just plain fun and a great way to ease you into the class instead of just dropping you into the world.

They were so fun in fact I remade mine 3 times just to go through them again …….. That and I couldn’t get my skin shade just right. ;)

This is the first time I have ever had fun in what is considered a “tanking” class.

The three talent trees are very well fleshed out, with each having their own strengths .

I personally went with unholy- I am a sucker for a pet class and really, who doesn’t want their own zombie pet?

I’ll have more of a review of all the new content when I have more time to play but if the rest is as well done as the Death Knights I know I wont be disappointed.
gamer girlie out.
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What we've been up to, shopping deals

Just when things settle down on one level and gear up on another it is THAT time of year- no, not the holidays, the sicky-germs are coming to town. I left my Mother-In-Law's house on Thanksgiving before Ian could even open his presents. :(
Luckily not too bad, and I am okay now, but Dev has been sick. They had all last week off of school (Yay) and she's been sick for days even missed yesterday and today from school.
I didn't try to get any black Friday deals this year- nothing that appealing in our local stores and too wiped out to stay up to hit online- from what I have been reading I didn't miss that much anyways.
Dawn and I did run out for a bit, though, and SCORE! got the mini-diva the mack-daddy of all presents. Dude, all I will say is it is totally pimpin'. Yes, we want to drive Casey crazy. ;)
Most of the shopping I have done so far has been online- if you check out my sidebar you will see where I have found some of the best deals for anyone who still has to finish their lists.
I have won a few things that I actually managed to keep my big mouth shut about- the girlies will be having a very nice Christmas!
I just don't have the oomph right now to post more, but hope everyone is doing well and if you got any great deals, let me know!!! I am only about a third done with mine.
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Much to be Thankful for.


Happy Thanksgiving family and friends.
I find myself with so very much to be thankful and grateful for I could be writing all night so I'll just list a few.

Family and friends, of course, and the fact that we are all (relatively) healthy and happy.
Ken has a good job with benefits when so many do not.

Electricity and indoor plumbing.
I live in a time when I can be connected to so many others all around this wonderful world of ours.
Plenty of food to eat
Warm fuzzy socks.
Washer and Dryer (although I admit I'd like to have someone else tackle laundry mountain now and then).
Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
And... the play is over- the pics didn't come out so great, but Casey as Hero is the tiny little blonde in blue and this is Devon as the Messenger with the brunette ponytail on the bench in brown.
The kids did a fabulous job, as did Ms Webber, the director. All of the hard work and dedication of cast and crew paid off.
Etc. etc. etc...
Whether or not you are American and celebrate our Thanksgiving or not, I'm sure if you take a moment to reflect you will find this is the case for you as well.

I wish you all a fraction of my blessings and you will be/feel very rich indeed.
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The Twilight movie

I was, quite honestly, expecting the Twilight movie to fail. Hardcore.
The clips that I'd seen didn't look great. I didn't care for the actors at all. My friends had conversations on how horrible it was going to be--and how we couldn't wait to see it.

So we pre-ordered our tickets and got to the theater at 10PM on Thursday, two hours before it was set to start. We went to the bathroom and sprayed our hair fun colors then found our seats (I'm not sure why we colored our hair to go sit in a dark theater, but it was lots of fun).
A few minutes before the movie started, a woman came in and announced that if anyone screamed, they would be removed, and that we should get all of our screaming out after the movie. My friends and I rolled our eyes--who would scream for actors like Robert Pattinson?

The beginning started out a little rushed. What took months in the book seemed to span out over just a couple of days. Bella did a little more narration than I liked--though I see where it was necessary. The only similarities between book and movie seemed to be the names and basic plot.

And yet... I enjoyed it a lot. Once I looked past between the book/movie comparisons, it wasn't a bad movie. I was fully expecting the actors to totally fail, but they pulled it off quite well. I didn't like the actor they got for Rosalie before I saw the movie, but she did a very good job.
I won't spoil the movie, but I'll say that the one part that I completely loathed was the meadow scene. The part about the sun wasn't pleasant at all. But Renee's involvement in the movie--more so than in the book--almost made up for it. I liked her character a lot.

Overall? Seven or eight stars out of ten.

Also--it's been announced that they're definitely doing New Moon. I know that I'll be at the midnight release of that too.

Note: If you have to go to school the next day, it's unwise to stay up all night and drink Monster energy drinks, which I've discovered give me a wicked bad headache--I much prefer Amp. You won't be tired with the Monster, but you'll crash and burn later. I was in the play that day, so I had to stay up much longer than my other friends. Still, it was so worth it--a couple of my friends who are relatively soft-spoken were belting out bad music and attempting screamo with the rest of us on the way home... and one of my friends recorded it. Good times.
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Welcome SITStas

Welcome, SITStas. I'm honored to be the featured blog today over at The Secret Is In The Sauce.
Thanks Heather and Tiffany.
For those of you who don't know, Heather and Tiffany started SITS for all of us comment ho's... if you have a blog you will for sure want to sign up so you can spread and receive the comment love for yourselves.
Ooh, and if you haven't already, check out Saucy Eats, the SITS Girls recipe site. Very inspiring and fun... and you don't gain weight just looking... well maybe a few of the recipes but totally worth it.
I had planned on having tons of time to come up with this super awesome, creative, humorous post so y'all would know how fabulous I am but things have been crazy busy here with the little diva's.
Tonight was opening night and OMG all day the drama teacher and Blondie were frantic because mini-diva LOST HER VOICE and has a wicked sore throat. Tons of tea and honey and various lozenges helped enough that she was able to project so well she was louder than many of the other actors. The littlest diva covered when one of the main characters (Beatrice) forgot a few lines and was commended for her quick thinking.
The cast did a really good job, but cast, crew and parents are all exhausted. 3 more nights and I should catch back up to life as it usually is and especially all of my favorite blogs.
Tonight, of course, will be even more fun as while I am sure none of you know a thing about this- play, cast party, midnight release WOOFREAKIN'HOO can we say finally?
Anyhoozles, grab your favorite drink, put up your feet and enjoy our little corner of the Loonyverse.
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Looking forward

I have been out of sorts lately and I think I have figured it out.
Okay, bear with me.
I might be a mama hen, but I like my (not so) little family around me. It's not like they never get to do anything, but with the rehearsals and everything else going on in their lives, we just don't seem to have any time together except in passing.
We haven't even watched Broters & Sisters yet (thank God for DVR) and we watch religiously.
It seems like our lives are being lived in passing any more- I'm running here, they are going there.
I'm thrilled for the experience they got of being in the play, and naturally we'll sign up for the next thing they are wanting, but I will enjoy every minute of our time together until it starts.
I love and am so very grateful that in addition to loving them I really like my girls as well.
Each one of them is delightful, intelligent, compassionate and a joy to be around.
So very different from each other, yet in the core values so very much the same.
Many people I know are now starting to stress about the holidays and how they will get everything done, me, I am looking forward to the time we will have for and with each other- baking and candy making, shopping and wrapping, the tv specials and the movies, the hot chocolate and carols.
Right now I am feeling so very blessed that I am going to give thanks for my many many blessings.
My wish for you all, dear friends and family, is that you are a fraction as blessed as I am- if so, you are rich indeed.
Oh,even though it is illegal to do so in our home until after Thanksgiving, I've put the tree up in Our Loonyverse, cute, huh? I am so grateful for all the talented designers and coders and widget makers. :D
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Quickie update

Had a mostly quiet weekend, which is good because the little diva's are pretty exhausted from rehearsals (can we say OMG I cannot wait for this play to be over) and whatnot and the rest of us have just been blah.
Kyra and her little family went to Nebraska to the Anime Convention and unfortunately the most exciting part as of yesterday afternoon was that her husband somehow managed to need 15 stitches. I know, right, who gets their face gashed at a convention, but Aaron somehow found a way.
2 hours from the time it happened til they left the er, though, so if you do have an emergency apparently Lincoln, NE is not a bad place for waiting. ;)
Gearing up for the holidays, deciding on what we will bring up to Ken's mom's, etc... we'll be making at least one new thing, we do every year I am physically able.
I can hardly believe Ian will be 2 on the 24th... the theme of his B-day will be Wall-E, I think Kyra is going to try to design his cake herself, we'll have to see if she has the time and energy.
I've still got things to do today, so I'll update more later.
Hope everyone has a wonderful, wonder-filled week. :)
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The best water bottle ever

Awhile back, mom won me a KOR One hydration vessel. I'm madly in love with it.
Yeah, it's just a water bottle, right? Holds water. You drink from it. And maybe it looks cool, but it's no big deal, right?

This thing is the coolest water bottle (ahem, hydration vessel) ever. It's oval-y instead of circular, and it's blue and white. Also, you can put in these little discs--stones, they're called--with inspirational messages written on them. Every time you open the bottle, the message is right in front of you. My current one is NEVER SETTLE. The mouth is wide enough that you can get plenty of the H2O you need with no spillage.
Also, best of all, the KOR One hydration vessel contains no BPA--the chemical in most plastic water bottles that can lead to breast cancer. Major plus. Not to mention how much fossil fuel you're saving by drinking from the same water bottle instead of those disposable ones.

It costs about thirty dollars, but it's definitely more than worth it.

Peace out~
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No more wrinkles!

I love my (mommy's) new garment steamer.

I hate ironing. It's not just something I kinda don't like to do, I -hate- it with a burning fiery passion, and I'm no good at it. I always burn my forearm (sometimes even of the arm I'm not using) it takes me forever and I'm not very good at it. I would rather rewash and dry my clothes then iron them... and it doesn't make much difference in time.

My husband just got a promotion. This is fantastic news in every way... except wardrobe. He now has to dress all snazzy and wrinkle free in those kinds of clothes that it seems you -look- at it and it wrinkles. Whether it is because she felt nice, or maybe she just didn't want to listen to me cry and complain, mom let me borrow her Rowenta pro compact garment steamer.

She won it who knows how long ago and never took it out of the box, poor thing. It is such a wonderful alternative to ironing! All I had to do for setup was twist the hose in, add water, hang the head on the over-the-door hanger provided and let it heat up for two minutes. Once it's done, I hang what I need to steam on the hanger and just run it up and down a few times. It does leave it a touch damp but that was dry in five minutes, not bad since it only took about 2-3 for giant pants that would have been easier if I had a different kind of hanger. In other words, I can steam an entire outfit in the time it takes for my coffee pot to brew, and it will dry by the time I've had my first cup.

I did have to go over some stubborn spots a bit more, and it took a bit of pulling here and tugging there, but that would be reduced it we bought an extra attachment that gets rid of bad wrinkles and can even add that crease some people like in their pants.

I only ran into two problems, but neither of them come close to countering the good in my opinion. First, if you accidentally steam your hand while repositioning clothes, it REALLY hurts. Not enough to leave a burn or even need to run under cold water, my coffee scalds me worse, but enough to be unpleasant at three in the morning. The other is that is ran out of water kind of fast but that only takes two seconds to fix.

I did read other reviews on it at Amazon, and apparently other people had a lot of problem with the steam not being consistent, leaks, or the hose disconnecting. I don't know if they have just been fixed or what but I didn't have any of those problems. It worked well for me and I will likely be tossing my neglected iron out (or freecycling) but if I ever do have problems I will post an update.

Mommy, can I keep it? ~ GeekyMommy
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Rocks for brains.

I'm pretty sure I have rocks for brains.
I actually thought that as they got older my kids would need me less. Ha!
Last night the little diva's come home from play practice and inform me that not only do they need to go in today (I knew this) but since everyone so enjoyed the snacks I brought to one of the rehearsals... pinwheels and a couple kinds of cookies... it would be nice if I could do the same for today.
10 o'clock last night.
Umm hmm.
So after telling them how they KNOW how I hate being asked for stuff like this at the last minute and that I had the headache from hell that was making me sick as a dog and I couldn't possibly what do I do?
Like a moron I am up at 5 am making 4 different kinds of muffins and oh, what the heck, why not do a couple of summer sausage, pepperoni, cheese, breadstick and cracker platters... make some cheese spread, oh, it is not just gonna be the drama kids mom, since Blondie does the stage make-up so well and the band is going to be doing Thriller she's making them into zombies and one into Michael Jackson when he was black and... well heck, might as well toss something healthy in there but mostly we buy vegs that are on sale and now it is the fall ones... luckily a hunt through the fridge, freezer and pantry yielded some baby carrots, snow peas, baby corn and olives along with some dip.
Tomorrow of course we have to shop for all the little extras for their costumes.
I tell myself it will end when they move out, but I know better... Kyra is always needing mama for something or other.
And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way, rocks in the head or not.
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Ian's sugar high & around here lately

Remember Ian on his Nana's bed on Halloween night? (This is his other grandmother, aka Nana.) Yep, the little boy is STILL bouncing off the walls. Kyra really has her hands full so has been taking him everywhere she can think of to try to get the hyper out.
Don't worry, he barely got a fraction of the candy to keep... but on Halloween itself he was pretty much given free reign and I think he's still running on sugar fumes.
From the minute he wakes up he is ALL OVER THE PLACE and doesn't settle down til he crashes and burns. Hahaha I love you, Kyra, but I am glad he's not with me 24/7 right at this very moment.
So wins lately... some really great ones... if you have not tried organic clothing, let me tell you they have the softest stuff imaginable. We've won a onesie (which Kyra gave to a friend at a baby shower) and a Green mama t that Kyra is wearing constantly, it is that soft and cute... I will get a pic up and do a review soon, promise.
Won a Dove prize package which included tix to the movie and among other things a year's supply of Dove products- and as Kyra is super sensitive and Dove is the ONLY brand she can use, let me tell you this is much appreciated.
I don't want to spoil it for the littlest diva, since she will eventually get around to writing her review, but I have to mention the Kor Hydration Vessel that I won... make sure you read her review when she gets it posted here, but I will tell you this much- IT ROCKS! and all the cool kids want one now. (Yes, she dibbed it and tested it out by bringing it to school.) She'll include a photo and link in her review. There are more, and I will be adding them to my win list (eventually) and the freebies have been plentiful lately, and with Ken's overtime hours being eliminated both the wins and the freebies have been a blessing indeed around here.
The littlest diva's have been super-busy with rehearsals. Devon is still 3 different characters and Casey is now the only Hero, so she is one of the leads on all 4 nights. She's thrilled, but a little disappointed that she won't get to dance. Ah well, that's showbiz!
All of the food we made for Halloween went over really well, and a couple were new to us, so I'll be posting recipes and reviews when I am feeling up to it... I have had a headache for the last couple weeks that I just can't seem to shake so blogging has not been my biggest priority.
I saw on someones blog (sorry, I forget where) all of the buttons on the sidebar were scrolling so they only showed one at a time. What a fabulous idea! That way each can get the attention it deserves and not get lost amidst a sea of other buttons. Each is cute and deserves to be showcased imo. If anyone knows how to do this on blogger and can walk me (slowly) through it I will love you forever and ever and ever, amen!
That's about it for now, hope everyone is having a fabulous week.
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United we stand - divided we'll fall.

I have deliberately avoided giving my opinion on who I feel should be running our country on my blog and I am not going to change that now. Anyone who knows me well, though, is in no doubt. The point is, who I wanted to win is not important. The people have spoken and overwhelmingly we have voted for change.
History has been made. Love it or hate it, it is what it is.
And I for one would like to invite everyone to join me in congratulating our President Elect Barack Obama.
I love America, and being an American.
Are there things I would change? Heck yeah.
Would I want to give up my citizenship for anything else available. HELL NO!
It breaks my heart to see America and the United States the world's big joke and our president a laughingstock. The sad thing is we do it to ourselves.
Why can't we all just say it is what it is, no we're not perfect but darn it let's take a little pride in ourselves, our leaders and our country.
Even if you can't personally support the man and his ideals or policies, maybe you can respect his position and that WE put him there.
Maybe not you personally, but the collective WE.
Let's do what we can to help him make our country the best it's ever been.
The potential is there.
Please, I know from some of your posts you are devastated by the outcome, but do you really wish him ill just so you can say I told you so?
Nothing good can come from predicting failure and gloom and doom.
I for one am full of HOPE and with all of my heart wish President-Elect Barack Obama nothing but the best.
God Bless America. God Bless Obama. God Bless You All.
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God Bless America - vote for freebies.

After you grab your I voted sticker, hop on over to Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, Krispy Kreme or one of the select Chick-Fil-A's for some free goodies.
Yes, I know you would have voted anyways, but heck, why not get something for nothing... Who doesn't like to score freebies? That way no matter what happens we can all feel like winners. ;-)
Not sure where to go to vote? Go here and type in your info and they'll tell you where your polling place is.
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Spore: Game Review

Ever wanted your own planet from the ground up? Ever wondered would happen if you controlled evolution? Ever wanted to just sit around and make the most adorable little creatures ever? Ever wanted to turn those creatures into little war machines bent on galactic domination? Then hop on the nearest asteroid and take off for Spore. This game has something for nearly everyone.
Spore is all about creating things from teeny tiny amoebas to cities and cars to space ships and eventually planets. This game is fun and addicting the graphics is very nice if a little cartoony but that’s part of its charm.
The sounds are very well done. And no matter how it may annoy your mother you must turn it up so you can hear how adorable they sound or how vicious they growl, but they get annoying the 50th time you’ve tried to charm another tribe.
Each stage of your creature’s growth has a different play style to it your first stage as an amoeba all you care about is food. In the second stage you lead your creature to either dominate all other species or charm them into being your friend. The choices you made as an amoeba will reflect how you spend your time in this portion- depending on how you play you will get different powers for either charming or fighting.

Every time you do something in the game you get DNA points which help you evolve This is there the game shines the most want your creature to have 8 legs 6 eyes and two heads, no problem as long as you earn the DNA points. The only problem about this stage is that it seems too short even on hard mode this portion of the game can be done in less then an hour. Every so often your creature’s brain will grow (big headache for the poor little guy) til he’s ready to make his tribe.
This part of the game you don’t control one creature you control the whole tribe. The only thing you can design now is the cloths your creature wears. I would have liked to see some more choices here. Theirs not much customization in this part of the game
The next stage is more fun civilization stage. Congrats! your little guy is now in control of the entire planet but don’t relax yet there are different factions that all want control over the resources. Here is where the game gets fun again- you get to design everything here: your cars, your houses, air cars and ships- its all up to you how they look.
Mine ended up looking like something Dr. Seuss threw up.) The go out and conquer the world. Next step outer space.
Here is another area where the game shines: space is SOOOOOOOO huge AND you connect online to see other things people have created. And there is so much to do. Make friends; make enemies; take over the galaxy; buy the galaxy; explore; colonize; abduct other creatures and people for experiments… there’s just so much to do it will keep you busy for a very long time to come.
There are two really big things not great about this game.
One is how EA handles security. You cannot play this game with out an online connection. Even though it is a single player game you have to connect for them to verify that you can play.
The other is you are limited to 3 installs that means if you upgrade, if you get hacked, if you get a new computer, or if you are like me and have limited space and have to alternate your games you’re out of luck. The EULA pretty much says you’re “RENTING” the game.
It’s a bit annoying you can do more than 3 installs- if you call them then send in photos of you game box and code then 5 different forms of id a credit report and stand on your head and sing Mary had a little lamb….. Okay, maybe not the singing part but still a lot of hoops. But I didn’t find it enough of a deterrent to keep my from buying and loving the game. There’s just so much to do it will keep me occupied for a long long time to come. Now if you’ll excuse me my Igorettas need me we have planets to explore.

Gamer Girlie Out.
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This was Halloween: The Aftermath.

Our Halloween started bright and early- this is how the pretty mini-diva went to school. She's learning stage make-up and I think she did an awesome job!

We had an amazing night- we spent it with Kyra's mother-in-law and she really does it up right. We are semi-rural and get few if any Trick-or-treator's so it was super-fun for us to be in an area that gets tons- and Holly got extra as some people told us they went back and brought others or called them to come see.

She had everything from a broom that chased you to remote controlled rats, a magic mirror, bubbling cauldron, little cemetery, skeletons, giant spiders and more.

She always does a lot, but this year we (girls and I) were part of a living scene- Dr. Devon was a mad scientist, Casey was Dolly and Dawn was the Headless Horseman, a couple of her less than successful experiments and I was a zombie offering to trade candy for brains.

It was hysterical as we scared the heck out of some of the older kids, and the talking mirror was snarky except with the littlest tykes and some were so confused it was very hard to keep a straight face.

Kyra alternated between a fortune-telling gypsy, a witch, the voice in the mirror and taking Ian trick-or-treating.

We had so much fun!

Enjoy the pics. I'll blog about the food and recipes later. :)

So my delightful, precious children dressed as: Dolly, The Headless Horseman, the Evil Dr. Devon and a Fortune-Telling Gypsy.

After wearing it day after day and wanting it constantly when the big day finally gets here Ian wanted nothing to do with his Thomas costume, but Kyra finally got him into it by bribing him. He was adorable and polite as can be, though, so that made up for it.

Holly did an amazing job decorating inside and out. Unfortunately my camera settings got knocked out of whack so only a few came out, but here they are for your enjoyment.

You think Nana might be spoiling the boy just a wee little bit? ;-)

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Pumpkin patch, hayride pics & review

We played in nature again this weekend- UGH! Not near as much fun as we were hoping for. After looking up pumpkin patches online we found one in Little Rock- naturally Google Map did not have perfect directions. We stopped and asked at a gas station and they told us they didn't think it was there this year- which thinking on it later was odd as it had 2008 hours etc...

Anyhoo, they told us about another one just a ways back towards where we came from- now the first one (that we were told wasn't there this year) was $2 per carload since it was the weekend or free weekdays but we had to do it when we all had time and presumably the cost of the pumpkins.

Where we ended up... Wildwood something or other... HA! 4 bucks a kid and 3 per adult. Rip Off! Yes, we got a hayride... lame but Ian liked it okay. Since kids were an extra buck they got a pumpkin- I kid you not the largest that they had a choice from were from the miniature ones that they sell in bags of a dozen for a couple bucks to at most 6 inches.

It was a sorry sorry selection and we heard others grumbling that they'd be stopping at Kroger on the way home as well. Seriously nothing even close to large enough to carve.

They did have a selection of pre-priced ones but the decent ones that are $3 to $5 depending on the market were $14.95. SICK!!!

In all fairness they had a couple of neat looking snake shaped gourds- also way overpriced.

Yes, we did it we had made such a huge deal out of pumpkin hunting with Ian we felt like we had to after an hour finding the place, but next year for sure we are getting personal recommendations.

Kyra and Aaron were also disappointed Saturday night- they had read these awesome reviews on a Haunted Hospital and that was not near as scary as they were led to believe and at $10 bucks a pop we had hoped all of the rave reviews would live up to their name, but alas once more I guess it depends on what you are used to. Ian had a sleepover here, though, so it was fun for us, mostly Auntie Dodo as she watched movies with him.

I've got more recipes and pics but they'll have to wait. Halloween is coming up fast and we've been hopping to get ready for it. Hope everyone is having as much fun as we are getting ready for the little ghouls.

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Prayers requested while gunmen still at large @ UCA.

In addition to our own relatives who are students at UCA and the profs we know, we are keeping the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers while 3 of the 4 shooters are still free. Your girls as well, Betty.
Here is the latest from KATC channel 7:
Conway - Two people are dead, and another wounded after a shooting on the UCA campus after a shooting just after 9:00 Sunday night outside the Snow Fine Arts Building.
A UCA spokesperson has now confirmed both of the fatalities were students, and the third was a non-student who has since been treated and released from the hospital.
Campus police say the suspects ran into Arkansas Hall after the shooting. One suspect has since been taken into custody, but three remain at large.
Unofficially, and through our own unconfirmed sources the incident is gang related. One of Kyra's friends was one who called it in, so we are taking it to be a firsthand and accurate account. YMMV.
While all such incidents are of course scary and mind-boggling, when they hit this close to home (we have nieces, friends, etc who are students) it really takes on a whole new perspective.
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Sixth photo of the Sixth Album meme - late but worth it.

I got tagged with a meme (yes a while ago- I told y'all I had some catching up to do) by Rachel over at Something to Blog About. I am supposed to do the sixth pic in the sixth album- okay well I have folders so this is as close as I could get.
This is my Pansy Paws dog, dude, the older of the 2 boys we have. Excuse the unmade bed, he likes to curl up with and around things and had some serious snuggling to do with a supersoft blankie. (Kohl's has them for $10 around Christmas time, a great price for a really soft blanket that wears very well.)
My nephew found Dude on the side of the road one night and he's been a huge part of our family ever since. The vet told us what breeds he might have but we forgot, and we just call him our snuggly boy.
Pretty cute, huh? How can you look into those gorgeous eyes, loving you unconditionally and not turn to mush?
Anyways now I am supposed to tag some people- Rachel tagged 4 so I guess that is what I am supposed to do- here goes- Trina, Jen, Betty and Anna.
Tag, you're it.
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Shhh Mommy's Meditating.

I've tried to meditate and do yoga. I suck at it, but still I try.
I can do the physical moves, but the mental quiet just isn't happening.
It doesn't help, of course, that when they say things like "that part of your belly that feels all soft and doughy". Umm hello, don't say things like that when I am in the room unless you want doughboy comments. And giggling. Lots and lots of giggling. Just don't.
Meditation causes mental chatter that runs the gamut, from mentally creating a grocery list or wondering who is gonna do what to whom on one of the tv shows I watch to how much better off the government would be if they would put someone in charge who actually had to worry about whether they can buy gas to get to work or groceries to feed the family and split the difference and got a gallon of gas and just enough food to fill the kiddos bellies insisting all the while they are still stuffed. Or had to figure out how to be fair to all parties involved.
No way in hell we'd be bailing out people who pushed for overspending and giving credit that people couldn't afford cuz we would never in a million gazillion years have gotten into such a ludicrous position in the first place. Oh, please, we all know it is the truth. Nobody but the banks ever thought the interest only loans were a good idea, anyone with an ounce of common sense was saying then that it would bite them in the ass and now it has taken out a big fat chunk. I know we have to do something, but there is no way it should have gotten anywhere near this far.
I am not going to go into politics here, and wasn't going to mention it at all, but you see what happens when I try to do something good for myself. Once that is in your brain, how do you shut it up and clear your mind?
When the kids were much younger I would tell them I had to go into my room to meditate because it was the only way to get half a second of peace and quiet for myself. Honestly. You parents know- the minute you either get busy or get quiet you are desperately needed. Period.
And telling the kids that you needed to rest for 5 minutes so you had the energy to take them here and there and do this and that for them had them all needing you RIGHT. THIS. VERY. SECOND. IF. NOT. SOONER.
When I told them I was meditating they would actually leave me alone, thinking it would mellow me out and let them do what they wanted for 15 minutes or so. (No, I am not claiming to understand how their minds work, it is just a fact of life.)
Of course they soon learned that if mama said she is meditating that means she is taking a nap. But. It was nice while it lasted.
What works for you? Kyra can't even go to the bathroom without Ian beating on the door incessantly. How do you find your balance and get a minute or two to yourself?
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You've got some nerve, mother!

The weekend went by so fast- I'm not even sure we had time to blink.
Kyra and the little guy came over to play yesterday, that's always fun... he is at such a fun age/stage right now. I know I always say that but it's the truth.
Mama got the confirmation letter that everything is set for our trip to Universal. You know you won and did everything right but until you are declared the official winner, there is that tiny little niggle of doubt. OMG talk about excited- yep, we're more excited than a couple of kids let loose in a candy store.
She got the paperwork with the list of blackout dates and we decided that April would work best for all of us- not too hot, not too crowded. I will probably go to her condo (I told y'all the lucky dog has a place right across from the beach, right?) a week before and stay for a couple weeks after- it was supposed to be 3 weeks total but she's angling for 3 plus the 4 days for the trip which is fine with me as long as the rest of the family doesn't fall apart. ;)
Oh, oh, my mom is a trip and a half. She had the nerve to say that me and the boy (my nephew, who is coming with us) embarrass her! and to try to act with decorum and dignity.
This from the lunatic who used to grab my hand and RUN LIKE A BAT OUT OF HELL across Great Adventure when I was growing up to Rolling Thunder (yes, back in the day this was considered an excellent roller coaster) to catch one last ride before it closed for the night.
God love you mama, but you have one helluva nerve saying we embarrass you.
I know what she's talking about, though. When we lived in Alaska there was a lot of unauthorized ditch-diving and I had a mini-van with not the best traction on the planet so we would somewhat limit our outings.
This of course meant that we had to take a list to the grocery store.
Now this was just not something I had ever done or ever wanted to do, so the boy and I would say things like only dorks carry lists and blah blah blah.
Anyhoozles, we got some neon index cards to write the lists on- different colors for different stores and we would always put dork list on the back of them really big in sharpie. Yes, bless his heart, my nephew would carry around bright pink index cards and make sure dork list was showing.
This was back in the day, peeps, he was a teenager, just not something most teenage boys would do. And that is just one of the reasons I love him to pieces and he'll always be my boy.
Betcha dollars to donuts if he was here with me now he'd carry the Hello Kitty lists for me. And yes, Ken does!!! I know, I know, thank God they are secure in being guys, right?
Most likely, Asia, who will be about 3 1/2 when we go will be the most mature one there. And you know what? That's okay, cuz we'll be the ones having the most fun!
Oh, and if anyone has been to Universal Orlando, where is the best place to buy a dorky hat or crown? It's my thing, like one of the very first things that I do when I get to a fair/festival/theme park, so that I can suck every second of enjoyment out of the trip... it's like a signal- when the crown goes on the adult cares get left behind.
Tons to do today before Ian gets here, just wanted to do a quickie update. I am getting to the comments/emails, I promise!!! Eventually. Real life will always come first with me and I hope everyone can understand that.
It's a new week, peeps, make it a great one.
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Fall Cleaning

As the air gets nippier and darkness comes earlier, I feel the need to get my house in order.
Arkansas does not have seasons as distinct as some places, and I miss the glory that is the turning of the leaves that is New England, but I do feel the need for change.
I am in the midst of a major overhaul in my home and I am also planning on updating my blog to make the posts easier to access and less all over the place.
I have a disdain for clutter (I know, I know, and I still had all these kids and dogs... and yes, mama, I know I'm a slob comparatively ;-) ) so am going to be deleting the obsolete crap and making the ones I keep easier to access... I hope... I am going to try my best anyways.
I will be getting to each and every one of you kind enough to comment on my blog, and I will try to do it in a relatively timely manner.
I ask for your understanding if it is not as quickly as others respond as the need to reorganize has overtaken any other priorities except my family and unfortunately with my illness it takes me a lot longer to do these things than it used to.
I appreciate you, more than I can possibly say.

Much love and many blessings,
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Mommy's awesomeness!

Ok, so do you know how awesome my mommy is? You probably think you have some idea, but really, you don't.

A while ago my Drama teacher personally invited my mom to come play with us during rehearsal's. This was big, since my teacher hates extra people in her room-even kicked one kids brother out, but she's been invited.

Why? Because everyone falls in love/wants to adopt my mom as their mom before they even meet her.

Why? Because she makes yummys. She actually owes my friend Birthday fudge and cookies (Which, hopefully, she'll get around to tonight.)

Now, my fabulous mommy has been invited, but has she actually come to any rehearsals? No.

Why, you ask again? Because I can't find the stupid coffee pitcher thingy. Yep. I wanted her to bring me coffee but she can't without it! (Well, she can, but not enough to share...So I'll make her bring cookies for the class. =3)

My drama teacher also wants to try my Mommy's lasagna, which is amazing, by the way. Yummmmmm. You can ask for the recipe, I guess, but it won't turn out the same, so I don't know why you'd bother trying. Your doomed to taste failure. (Yeah, sorry. I have a mean streak.)

Back to how awesome my mommy is...

I think my friends only like me 'cuz of her. They all call her mom, mama, or pretty lady.

She's known by people I don't know. No joke. She doesn't know them either, but still.

Everyone wants to be my friend around Christmas 'cuz I break my poor arms bringing them goodies. Like, over a trillion pounds worth of food. Yeeesh! Seriously, I could just buy them cards or real presents, but nope. They want yummies. (I can't blame them. I celebrate Christmas for the yummies and the presents *Hint to mom, those flying helicopter things. Hint. HINT. Did you note the hint, mommy? Just checking. HINT.*

Randomness about my mommy and my friends!

When mom makes me subs, she makes one for Miranda.
Kris gets my juice box and shares his fries. =3
Hannah gets bagels on bagel days.
Paulina reads the notes from mommy aloud.
Shishi brags about having met my mommy.
Darcy still claims that she's mom's favorite. Tch. Lies.
I'm sure there's more, but I can't think right now. I smell dinner. Yummmmm....

For whoever actually read all that...

Dude, your awesome.
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Y'all could have warned me.

Y'all could have warned me, you really could have.
It would have been the honorable and decent thing to do.
I love my SITSta's, I really do. Nobody leaves the comment love quite like a SITSta. But.
Oh. My. Gracious.
Did you think it would be funny to watch the blogathon virgins click around like chickens with their heads cut off?
What you should have done is given me months if not years to train. You wouldn't send a newb into a marathon without making sure they had the strength and agility to endure it.
Pwn the nOOb, pwn the nOOb! (Gamer talk, don't ask me, the gamer girlie says it all the time when they *get* the new players so it seemed very appropriate.)
My eyes, my poor bleeding eyes. I only thought the 40-itis was bad before.
I could squint or hold things 3 feet from my face and still sort of see, but now... even with the granny reading glasses I'm cross-eyed.
Sounds insane, right? Naturally you'd assume I'd fit right in.
I am weak.
I am a sissy.
I want my mommy.
Are you happy now? You've made me grovel and admit to the whole world (well, the handful of fabulousity that reads my blog anyways) that I couldn't handle it.
And I'm not alone.
Nope, SITSta's, we broke Blogger last night. At least the comment function on Blogger.
I finally dragged my weary butt to bed after more than 30 minutes of dutifully writing scintillating posts on a handful of blogs- really, they were the best posts of the day as everyone knows I function optimally when I am dead tired and it is getting way past my bedtime.
I even tried posting over at SITS but I finally had to admit defeat when I kept getting the same *what the &&*&*^&* did you do? you broke Blogger you moron, thanks for ruining it for everyone* message over and over... well, okay, maybe it said Blogger is down we're sorry for the inconvenience or some such nonsense.
Whatever, it wasn't very nice.
Now that I'm a seasoned veteran at this whole blogathon thing, I would like to suggest that instead of snickering in that oh so polite way, you could warn the newbs that they need to pace themselves so no one else has to go through what I did.
I tried, oh how I tried to pop over to all the fabulous blogs that linked up, but alas I have to admit defeat.
It's all y'alls fault, though, for having such wonderful content on your blog that I totally got distracted from completing my most important mission. Every bit of the blame goes to my wonderful SITSta's.
Now that the frenzy is over and I've gotten past my childish need (yes that IS the same as seeing things in child-like wonder that they say is soooo beneficial) to point fingers and cast blame, I promise, I will get to everyone who is on the list and everyone who left me such wonderful comments. Eventually. Probably.
I had so much fun, and made so many new friends, and I will probably go blind reading all y'alls wonderful blogs, but you know what?
Next time I will be there with bells on.
Aerosmith said it best... I don't want to miss a thing!
Thanks Heather and Tiffany and every one of you SITSta's who made my first blogathon such an enjoyable event. I had a blast!
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Celebrating SITSta-hood

I've posted about SITS before, and I am sure I'll post again, but I am posting today for a purpose... and not just to win some of the fabulous prizes that are up for grabs during the SITS blogathon.
SITS, aka The Secret is in the Sauce is a site started by Heather and Tiffany to support your fellow bloggers by leaving some comment love.

If you have a blog, you probably know that sometimes it feels like you are talking to yourself. Or maybe that is just me and y'all have wildly popular #1 in Google Rankings blogs. Regardless, the concept is brilliant.

Every weekday a new blog is highlighted and SITS members sign in for roll-call and leave a comment (or several if you are like me) for the featured blogger.

I have found so many wonderful blogs that I now read on a regular basis- today I will tell you about 5 of them. Yes, it is hard to limit myself to just 5, but I am going to play along with the spirit of the blogathon.

These are in no particular order, just 5 blogs that I learned about through SITS that I really think you will enjoy.

The one thing they all have in common is that they are so very gracious and they inspire me in some way.

A Little Loveliness: I want to be like Melissa if I ever grow up. She truly gets the little things that mean so much. Beautifully decorated tables and delicious looking foods to celebrate life, the little moments and the large.

Party In Pink: I found this blog not too long ago - you guessed it, through SITS and let me tell you, if you aren't inspired by the creativity on her blog then I don't think you will find inspiration anywhere.

Keeper of the Skies Wife: A life well lived is what you will find on this blog. Love for family and getting used to a new time in life is what shines through clearly to me. When I log on each day I check to see if there is a new post from Betty.

Made with Love and Glue Lots of Glue: Beautiful and fun. I love looking at the ideas and beautiful pictures on this blog.

Mrs Mouthy: If you can get past the fact that you need to sign into a Window's Live account to comment, you so need to check out this blog. It is one of my newer obsessions, she's so fun, the kind of mom you hope you had or hope you are for your kids.

Okay, there are so very many blogs that I read and enjoy, I wish I didn't have to pick and choose because every single one is worth checking out. If you have some extra time, just start clicking on the list of blogs I read... I can promise you won't be disappointed.

If you blog and aren't a member of SITS, you really need to check it out. You will be made to feel so welcome and no matter what your tastes and interests, you will find kindred spirits among the SITSta's.

If that wasn't reason enough to join, they also have regular giveaways!!!

Do yourself a favor and check out SITS and their sister site Saucy Eats.

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A life of its own ... expanding My Loonyverse

You know how sometimes you get this idea it just seems to take on a life of its own?
That's what is happening here in My Loonyverse. I'm keeping the name, but it is really Our Loonyverse. The little diva's are also going to be contributing to the blog.
It started out over a game that I asked the gamer girlie to do a review on for you all, as they all LOVE it ... definitely we recommend it as a great Christmas gift, you will so get your moneys worth... it's coming, she's getting some cute screen shots, etc.
Anhoozles, this blog is about the things that are important to me... and lets face it, that's my family. So, I invited them all to partake in the fun and excitement that is blogging for My Loonyverse.
I know it will contain reviews of games, movies, toys, food, etc...
Beyond that your guess is as good as mine.
I hope you will welcome their input and viewpoints as much as I do, these girlies are my world.
You know that Pointer Sisters song is running through my head right now... *We are family. All my girls are blogging with me.* really loudly and (not so) slightly off-key.
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Invading mommy's blog.

Of course just my own blog wasn't enough; I just HAD to go and post on Mom's too. Well, she asked me to, but still.

Casey (minidddiva) already talked about the wonder that is Tiramisu coffee creamer. But it's so fabulous that I just have to add on. I like my coffee two ways: either black or with more stuff in it than most people can bear. I just tried the creamer yesterday evening, and, well... most of it's gone now. It's not my fault it's yummy, is it? I blame Coffee-Mate. Just like I blame Misters Ben and Jerry for my overactive ice cream eating, and Quaker for my rice cake intake.
Speaking of rice cakes--Y.U.M. You would think that they'd be nasty--who wants cake made of rice? Well, I do. They come in all sorts of flavors--cheese, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon toast, you name it--but my very favorite is just the lightly salted flavor. Theoretically, you could probably put something on them, but I munch on 'em. I'm pretty sure that they're healthier than your average serving of potato chips, and they're yummier.
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Thanks To My Mama!

Alright, so my Mommy (Dddiva) has got me blogging now. This is my big blogging debut, so enjoy this boring post as much as you can.

My Mommy really does rock, and I'm lucky to be just like her =3 only a bit shorter, but still almost as awesome. I'm her favorite, by the way. Don't listen to any of her other kids-Or Darcy, my best friend whom claims she's my Mommy's favorite. It's really me.

I'm going to do a mini-review here, since mom does it a lot and I do enjoy promoting the good things in life.

As you all know this family can NOT function without coffee. Seriously, we'd all fall apart without it. We'd go savage and rip each others heads off after being annoyed for a day or two. So I'm reviewing a delicious creamer-Nestle Coffee-Mate, Tiramisu flavored. Mom just got it for us yesterday, and it's almost gone. No kidding, and Devon and I are the only ones who've had any yet-though I've only had two cups with it, and I don't use a lot of creamer...I wonder where it went. =P The creamer is seriously delicious. I've got to say it's pushed my usual favorite, Coconut, off of the top of my "Favorite creamer" lists. It's not overly sweet and it doesn't make the coffee taste like someones accidentally dropped spices into it, but it gives it a rich, somewhat creamy taste and it makes the coffee smell a little less bitter. It's good. Go buy some. Now.

Well, I hope you all have a great day!


Current music obsession: Running up that hill. (I'm listening to two versions of it, one by Placebo, the other by Within Temptation.)
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Weekly date, great deal.

Fridays are traditionally date night for a lot of people. For me, not so much.
Partly because I've got 4 kids, and partly because Ken sometimes works overtime and the money is always welcome.
However, Fridays we do pretty much spend together.
Grocery and bargain shopping. WooHoo, right?
It actually is kind of fun. And it is pretty much the only time we spend together when we're both coherent (he works second shift).
It might seem lame to some, but everything doesn't always have to be about dinner and a movie or doing something special.
You can take the ordinary, sometimes even dreaded, and kick it up a notch.
We go to several stores and Ken keeps track of the best prices on the things we buy so we always know when we are getting a good deal. (Others have a price- book, I have a husband with a good memory and an ability to figure out unit cost faster than any calculator.)
We may or may not include a meal out, but it doesn't seem to matter, the point is to spend time together and to have fun.
We laugh and kid around and get our chores and errands done at the same time.
To anyone who says they can't find the time to spend together, my point is that you can find the time you just have to redefine what constitutes a date. My kids are older so we don't need a sitter any more, but even if we did we could find a way somehow to have time together without the kids- do it when they are in bed if that is the only thing you can manage.
BTW Ken hates shopping, passionately, but he doesn't dread our Friday dates since he doesn't think of it as shopping but as spending time with me.
Yesterday we added a new store to our rounds- in Mayflower across the parking lot from Big Star is the Chicken & More Store. They sell close to expiring things way cheaper than I've ever seen them anywhere else.
I'm talking about Baker's Chocolate, Libby's canned pumpkin (the really big cans), Wheat Thins, Kraft Marshmallow Fluff and the big Kraft Real Mayo for 25 cents each. You know I stocked up.
Even though I am a Hellman's Mayo gal, there was just no way I could justify almost $4 for mayonnaise when I can get a decent one for a quarter.
Anyways, we were told that they are getting new things in all the time so we will definitely make the trek across the parking lot- which is good because you all know there will be some baking and some fudge in my future with these bargains.
How do you fit in time with your honey when you just don't have time or money for the traditional date?
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Bless you for hanging in there. Halloween foods, request.

Sometimes I think I am the most boring blogger on the planet. My brain has literally shut down lately and I can't think of a thing to say. I will read all these clever blog posts and think why the heck do people read my blog (I mean the few of you God love you who aren't related). God Bless You, every one of you.
Oh sure, life goes on but at the moment it seems like it is cook, clean, run the girls here, drop them off there, do laundry, do more laundry, do still more laundry ad infinitum. Did I mention the laundry? I swear when I am not actually doing laundry I am dreaming about doing laundry.
Things are actually going well minus the allergy and sinus issues. Play rehearsals are going fabulously for the little divas- they both of course thrive on drama. ;-)
Kyra has a job making diaper baskets for baby showers 20 hours a week so we have the little guy a couple days a week to spoil rotten- err I mean make watch educational crap and eat only healthy foods.
I've been winning a lot lately, finally (almost) have my win list updated and I have 23 notices of wins in my emails that I won't post until they are in hand. Not bad, not bad at all. Oh, one I will tell y'all about.
I won one of the weekly prizes in a picture of your lunchbox contest from one of the bento lunches I made for the littles and the prize is a stainless steel bento box so the little divas can take hot foods as well. I know my pics are not great and we don't have the lighting worked out right on this camera for in the house, so I am really happy to have won it. :)
I miss my mommy ALOT. ALOT ALOT ALOT! It's so not fair she is so far away, I don't care how old I get I need my mommy.
Not sure why I haven't been posting my dinners or anything, our meals have been a lot more creative now that it is cooler and I am not melting the minute I even think about turning the oven on.
The littlest diva is co-hosting a Halloween party and we are in charge of all the food. I've been looking for fun things to make for that- not too babyish but still fun.
So far I am planning pumpkin roll (this always gets raves but I am thinking of doing this one covered in icing and made like a dead tree limb with gross gummy bugs coming out of it), dirt & worms or a graveyard cake with peep ghosts, freezing an ice hand in a claw shape for the punch bowl, and making pumpkin & gingerbread biscotti, and fall flavored coffee drinks.
Yes, I know not everyone lets their kids have coffee at 15, but we can't function without it and, well, without a little indulgence in your life what's the point.
I think that the pumpkins that you put something in-usually ghoulash (pun intended) or whatever are cute but not sure if that would go over well or we should just stick to finger-foods like sandwiches cut into tombstones and mummy-wrapped dogs.
If anyone has any more ideas, please, please let me know, the girls are really excited about this and I'd like to make it extra special for them.
I've been looking at some sites, and finding a lot of neat things, but not a ton for teens. Hehe I might just make a Halloween page with all the links I've found, there are some really good ones out there.
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Leftover bento

Things have been nutso... so what's new, right? and the bento lunches have been put on hold since I got out of the hospital.

Finally made some, nothing too fancy but the girls will like them.

For all of you who feel like you can't make bento lunches until you get the right equipment, you'll notice I have added a picture of a bento we made in a simple tupperware clone type container that we got in the dollar store. You don't need a special or fancy box, just a variety of foods, a bit of an imagination and a little time. All 3 bentos have the same ingredients- yes it is a miracle. ;)

Dawn made Casey's favorite- chicken-fried steak 
and they like the cold leftovers better than eating it hot. Along with the c-f steak are breadsticks, string cheese, baby carrots, snow peas, lychee & blueberries.

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