Thursday, December 31, 2009


OK... let me just start off with this:


Now that that is out of the way, I can continue. I have lots to say, I think. Don't know if I'll get it all out today, or not. We'll see. I have an entry "written" in my noggin, but I need to filter it lest I offend some. Some folk... I really don't give a rat's butt if I offend you, but there are some that I DO care about and would not intentionally offend.

One thing I would like to just vent about: JAPANESE SPAM! I guess. I have been getting comments - 2 or 3 a day - that are Asian. WTHck~ Whatever. It's just irritating.

Blogs - if you don't like what you read, I really don't care. I had a person leave an ugly comment on one of my posts the other day. Nope... don't go looking for it. I didn't let it through. If it makes me sad or mad, but makes me think, I'll post it and continue the conversation. If I feel it was just ugly (and I felt this one was) then I don't publish it. It was THAT that led to the post that I need to filter. It's about friends and words. No doubt, somebody will be offended. *sigh*

Coupons - I am SO behind. BUT, I'm going to start anew this weekend. I have a cyber-friend... she is a coupon goddess. She has informed me that there will be 5.... count 'em folks, FIVE coupon inserts on the 3rd. Gettin' me a double edition and gonna clip like there's no tomorrow.... on Monday. HA!

Blogs, again.... really? Do you really care what I read? Back in the day, when my track record for tickin' people off was REALLY good, I got someone interested in a blog that I read. (That is present tense... not past-tense.) Anyway, this woman is a bit, um, different. She, by all appearances, talks herself up a bit. Her religious views always seem to take a beating. I chose to read her blog because of some of her housekeeping/organizational stuff. Granted, there are other, more "Martha-esque" people that I could read, but the woman IS a Christian and I just like some of her writings. Well.... my friend discovered all sorts of stuff that she (the blogger) had seemingly kept secret. That is fine, to me. I mean, it is her blog. If she chooses to portray herself in a certain light, I don't really care. I then had some folks get upset with me for even reading her blog... and made comments saying such things. WHAT? It is totally your choice to click on the blogs I have listed on my sidebar. And, it is my choice to put them there in the first place. *Please note... this is all water under the bridge. I only bring this up because of what I am now seeing on other blogs.*

OK... backing up... don't want to post my other entry too soon. FILTER!!!

I thought about kind of reviewing the year. Is it "Year In Review?" Or "Year-End Review?" Either way, that is what I'm doing. THEN, I might post on some of my goals... because I only do that 3 or 4 times a year, huh?

I had wanted to read, I think, 32 books this year. I read 40. WOW! I will list my faves. (Please note that I will not list the books from the Twilight series or the Harry Potter series, since these were all rereads.) I enjoyed all of them, but I really liked the Tracie Perterson's books: "Summer of the Midnight Sun," "Under the Northern Lights" and "Whispers of Winter." I really enjoy period novels and Amish fiction... which brings me to my next favorites: "The Storekeeper's Daughter" by Wanda Brunstetter. I really LOVE Beverly Lewis, but didn't care for the "Courtship of Nellie Fisher" series. Don't get me wrong. It was good, but there are a few of her other series that I like much more.

For this year, I will set the goal at 40 books.

My grandfather died in February. It was really sad, but it was time. He was saved. I don't worry about where he went. Now, he is just waiting for the rest of his family to join him.

Church is great. JBQ is going really well. I know, I know... I STILL need to post on JBQ. It is such a cool program. I am constantly impressed with what these kids learn and already know. My oldest knows so much. And, my 2nd and 3rd? Right behind him. My oldest got his Master Seal this past October and will be going for his Impossible Award by the end of summer. I will get into details of how to get those later. My 2nd son has his 20 point Seal and will be going for his 30 point and Master Seals sometime in 2010. My youngest, who competes as a Pee Wee for this year, will probably go for his 10 point seal in the next 12 months.

Another goal.... I want to eventually get my Master Seal. I have my 10 point seal, but haven't studied because I coach a team and haven't taken the time to learn the next question set. (I had to know 288 questions for my first seal. I need to learn another 192 questions for the 20 point seal.) Eventually, I will know all 576 questions (like my oldest) and get my Master Seal. If it is important enough for me to push into my children, then I need to practice what I preach and learn it for myself. I do know a LOT of them, but don't have the quotes verbatim and there are still several that I need to brush up on.

I finally got on the list to sub at our school. And when I say "finally" it's because they got my application on September 21.... and didn't get me approved until the Thursday before Christmas Eve. Yep.... you read that right. I won't even get into my thoughts and feelings on that bit of news. It frustrates me beyond belief! My goal, for the rest of this school year, is to sub 5-10 days a month. That is easy enough, as long as DH is in town. I don't want to pay for daycare. The amount of money they pay for a sub.... let me clarify... for a sub who is a certified teacher... is horrible. $70 a day. That's it. That is roughly 1/3 a teacher's daily rate. I know I should get less than a full-day's worth, but to get what some regular Joe off the street gets? OK... I'll "babysit" for $70 a day. (Sadly, I pay my sitters much more than that for my 4 cherubs. We had a sitter last night while we went to the TSO concert.... From 5 until 11:30 cost us $80 and $30 worth of pizza.) BUT, I digress.

The HMNB. I like the idea of a Home Management Notebook. I really do. I suck at keeping up with it. I have a wonderful notebook full of dividers and ideas. I brush the dust off of it every now and then and move it from the bedroom to the table.... to the bar.... back to the bedroom. LOL! I determine to use it a bit more this year.

Cooking - it is no secret, my love for cooking. A lot of people say that I should write a cookbook. That is a dream. Maybe in a few years, but now? No.... not yet.

Been trying to sell bread. I do OK for just starting. I'm not sure how much my heart is into it. I have a few faithful ladies, whom I love to bake for. But, when I just baked, and showed up with it... well that was TONS of fun. Now that people order and expect "x y z" on such-and-such day? That feels..... different.

Housekeeping - surely you know, by now, that I am a HORRIBLE housekeeper. But I really want... no, I really NEED to change that. There is a chance that I may have to go back to work next year. I don't want to... not yet. I want at least one more year. (Note to Honey... I said, "at least." I might LOVE IT, having the kids in school and being able to be the Uber-volunteer/housekeeper.) Anyway, I want at least one more year because I want to be room-mom for my youngest. And I think/hope that if I can get my cr@p together, I might convince said-Honey to let me stay home.

I never wanted to work, anyway. Really. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE teaching. I truly, truly do. But, with all the cr@p going on in the world, and having all my kids out and about, I want to be able to be all up in their biz at any given moment of the day. I don't want a predictable schedule. I don't want to NOT want to cook because I just got off work, have no clean undies, and have papers to grade. I would rather cut back on my budget... WAY back. I would rather substitute teach full-time, just so I can say, "Nope... not today... I'm going on a field trip." I don't want to worry about getting a sub when one of the kids is sick. Just my feelings.

Myself - heh.... WHERE. DO I. BEGIN?! I'm fat. I'm frumpy. My house is out of control. I think that one of the only things I'm doing right is JBQ. "Train up a child in the way he should go. When he is grown, he will not depart from it." *sigh* At least I got that going on. Now, I know some of you are about to hit the comment button. Please... I'm not looking for the cyber-hug, build up that says "You are doing the best you can. You are busy with 4 boys. Your hubby is gone a lot. I don't know how you do it. I couldn't"

Well, No.... I'm NOT doing the best I can. I could and should do much better. I appreciate the hug. Go ahead... I'll take it ;) I AM busy with 4 boys. My hubby IS gone a lot. You don't know how I do it, because that is not your life. Some of you have 4 kids... you know what that is like. Some of you, your hubby is gone a lot.... you know what that is like. Some of you "couldn't" because you don't have to. It's amazing what necessity pulls from you. I am busy with what I choose to be busy with. My priorities are jacked-up.

I'm trying. I am improving... I think. Laundry is not the issue it used to be. There are a few theories. One is that the older 2 boys do their own laundry. Just that little bit has made a huge difference. I also think that I just don't see it like I used to. Now, I'm like "Whatever! It's clean."

I do better at keeping my bar and table cleaned off. Not that it is always cleaned off... I just take more afternoons to do that.

Ok.... I'm pooped. I'm sure there must be SOME way to end this a bit less abruptly, but I can't think of any. I think I'll turn the tube on "the ball" and at 11:00, when it drops in NYC, then I'll wish the 3 boys at home a Happy New Year and call it a night.

Blessings to all who have stuck with me and still read.

PS... If you would like to see Making a Happy Home Monday reappear (maybe once a month) please let me know. I'm debating, as this helped me to get some stuff done. If not, I won't be offended.... you will just be partially responsible for my having to go back to work because my hubby sees that I STILL suck at keeping house. LOL!!!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Luke 2

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Mr. Whittle: "Your weight! What happened?"
Scott Calvin: "Bee sting. Evidently I'm allergic. It almost killed me. But, the guy at the emergency room said that eventually the swelling will go down. I hope."

The Santa Clause

Monday, December 21, 2009


"Don't think of it as dust. Think of it as maybe the soil of some great past civilization. Maybe the soil of ancient Babylon. It staggers the imagination. He may be carrying the soil that was trod upon by Solomon, or even Nebuchudnezzar."

Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Christmas

Sunday, December 20, 2009


"He's an *angry* elf."

Buddy from Elf

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Well, not really. Just full of thoughts.

I know I've kind of discussed this before, but here it is again, hounding me.

This whole "New Year's" thing.

Don't tell me you haven't considered any New Year's resolutions. I know you have. I always swear not to do them, yet it pops up in the back of my head. WHY? Why do I think about it now - at the beginning of the year, instead of the beginning of the month, or even the week? It sure seems it would be a lot more productive... making a determination, as often as 12 times a year.

No, most people seem to do it.... let me correct that... they seem to advertise it once a year. They seem willing, on January 1st, to suddenly be held accountable for things that they want to change.

I don't know.

I think the reason I start thinking about this a lot is because I, at this time of the year, have time to think, assess and determine.

I guess I have that throughout the year. It's just that I seem to work in little bubbles of time. This last bubble was a big bubble with a lot of stuff crammed into it. Going to Disney World (which I will blog about soon) took 9 days out of my normal Christmas prep time.

Don't get me wrong. I'm SO glad we went. We all had a great time and I hope we get to go again. It was just hard. And, as my hubby so lovingly pointed out, I didn't adjust accordingly. I still did everything, but in a significantly shorter amount of time. I addressed cards on the road (despite motion sickness).

Then, when we got home, I immediately went to a party. And when I say "immediately," I mean just that. We got in, I took a shower, got dressed and was at a party within about 45 minutes... a party that was about 15 minutes away.

The very next day, we had church and 2 parties. However, we weren't completely done with the kids make-up work, AND we were all so tired. We didn't go to church or go to the first party. So I cooked for the 2nd party and hubby worked on homework and washed clothes.

We started the week with SO much to do. Hubby needed to go see his grandfather. I had baking to do... OH THE BAKING!!! AND, hubby flew out Friday, so he had to get stuff done. I had another party Thursday night and a party for my son Friday.

I did a my baking and candy making Wednesday and Thursday. I had to make my list and go shopping on Tuesday. I didn't go Monday because I had a church project that I have been working on for about 4 months. (Will be done in January, thankfully.)

Because I am me, I couldn't change my stuff to fit the shortened time. I just had to shorten my sleep. :( Not too good, really...... that is terribly hard for me to admit.

No, around precious sleep, 4 hours or so at worship team practice/service, and about 4-5 hours at another party, I made: 2 large loaves of cranberry bread, 2 large loaves of pumpkin bread, 6 cups of candied pecans, a huge load of millionaire (which I have to tend to for a solid hour), truffle pops, haystacks, 96 mini-cranberry muffins, 96 mini-pumpkin muffins, fruited white chocolate bark, wrap the teachers gifts, box up the candies to go to the teachers, AND bake 2 dozen shaped sugar cookies for the party the next day.

I don't want pats on the back. I'm tired... just tuckered out. I got into bed Thursday night and my hubby noted that in doing all I love to do, that I didn't enjoy it as much as normal. You see, I usually have the music cranked up and dance around the kitchen while I do this. I didn't enjoy it because it was all crammed together. That makes me sad. Here I sit in a messy house... embarrassingly messy, with a mere 6 days left of my season... my favorite time of the year... and I feel like it just started.

So, what do I do? Well, I try to slow down just a tad. I love being busy, but I don't love missing out on stuff. I miss sitting in front of the fire with my hubby. (Though I did make some homemade hot chocolate.... doesn't get better than chopped up semi-sweet and canned milk and a splash of cream... but it was a quick treat.) I have been squeezing things in... we did roast marshmallows the other night... and the whole time I was stressed: watching the clock and thinking about all that baking that I would be doing and getting the kids into bed.

ALL THIS in the mountains of laundry that litter my house. Yes... it's clean ~ the laundry, not the house. Nope. It's not folded. The table can't be used, because it is being used. The couch has clothes (and kids) on it. The bar has remnants of everything from Thursday night. (My dear hubby worked his tushie off wrapping dozens of millionaire squares and cleaning the kitchen before I attacked after my Thursday night party.)

My hubby comes home Monday night. (Here's hoping he treats me to some Chipotle... but I digress.) Wednesday, we need to go to Oklahoma to see my 102 year old grandmother. Then, we are in Christmas. My parents will come over on Christmas Eve. We will open gifts here. We will eat soups and sandwiches. My hubby and I are going to start a new tradition of reading the Nativity Story from Luke THEN watching "The Nativity Story."

What does this mean? I have today, part of tomorrow, part of Monday and Tuesday. That is all to finish up the candies for friends tomorrow (need to finish some truffle pops, candy some more pecans and make some more white chocolate bark and probably bake some bread), finish up last minute shopping (stockings), pick the soup and sandwich I want, clean the house for company, get the laundry DONE, and reflect on the blessing God has given me ~ think about the fact that God doesn't want me to go through life as fast as I can, with barely the time or energy to see people.

For this new year... this new decade... I resolve to pray more. To trust God more. To continue to learn from His Word.

I resolve to be aware of the changes and stages my children are going through. To remain aware, and become more aware, of the fact that they are growing up and away. To be sensitive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit in dealing with my children... to make sure that they are armed and trained for the quickly approaching day in which they cannot wait for me to step in and fix the situation.

I resolve to get rid of junk.

"HI! I'm ~LL~ and I am a pack-rat."

"HI, ~LL~!!!"

I am tired of the clutter. Some things that I keep don't get put away... they are just out. I could be a talk show topic.... almost. OK. Not quite. But, still.

I resolve to take a break every now and then. Not long. Thirty minutes will do. Just something where I sit and NOT DO SOMETHING.

In short, I resolve to enjoy my life. My kids. My hubby. My house. My time. My friends.

Here is to enjoyment and to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

May God bless you richly.

And please, remember that



"Boys and girls and music. Why do they need gin?"

Annie from It's a Wonderful Life

Thursday, December 17, 2009


"I have since heard of people under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues. I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed."

Ralphie from A Christmas Story

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


"Fluctuate? You make it sound like I'm retaining water! I've gained 45 pounds in a week."

Scott Calvin from The Santa Clause

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


"Please note the size and color of each item, and send as many as possible. If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself: just send money. How about tens and twenties?"

Sally from A Charlie Brown Christmas

Monday, December 14, 2009


"First, we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat an entire roll of Toll House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we'll snuggle!"

Buddy from Elf

Thursday, December 03, 2009


The kids still don't know.

I have no idea how we kept it from them.

That's right. We have managed to keep them in the dark about our Disney trip.... that starts TOMORROW! ;)

Tomorrow, we will take the boys to school, as usual. We will pack and send their lunches, as usual. They will go through their morning, as usual.

THEN, at about 10:30, they will get a call from the office saying something like this: "Mrs. D.... please send DS #1 to the office. He is leaving for the week and going to Disney World."


We thought about not telling them until we were actually on the road. But, we want them to have that few seconds where all eyes are on them and every kid thinks about how lucky and cool they are. EVERY kid needs that at some point in his or her life, don't you think?

So, today, we are running around like crazy. Hubby is making sure the FTU is in good repair and cleaned out. We have snacks.... LOTS of snacks. We are doing laundry. We are packing. I am trying to get the rest of my cards out. :-s

I need to bake some bread that I'm selling. Clean out the fridge. Wipe down the bathrooms. Clean the kitchen. Gather all the trash. I do NOT want a stinky/smelly house. You never realize how stinky/smelly the house is until you leave it locked up for a few days... or in our case, a week.

I will not be doing my "Christmas Quote of the Day" until the 14th, probably. We get in on the 12th, but I have a party that night... don't even know if I will make it home before that. Then, the next day, I have church and 2 parties. THEN, we start to recover from our trip... actually, no. DH will help with kids and I will work on getting my candies made for my gifts and put the finishing touches on the Kindergarten Christmas party.

Please pray for us for travel mercies. DH is taking his computer, but for reservations and such. I am going to try to stay away from blog, Facebook and email. To my friends who may need me, you have my cell number. Call and leave a message and I'll get back with you.



"It's just like Santa's Workshop! Except it smells like mushrooms... and everyone looks like they wanna hurt me... "

Buddy from Elf

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Patty: "Try to catch snowflakes on your tongue. It's fun."
Linus: "Mmmmm. Needs sugar."
Lucy: "It's too early. I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January."
Linus: "They sure look ripe to me."

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


"Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man."

Ralphie from A Christmas Story