Blogger's Best

Last Chance to Submit to the May Blogger’s Best Carnival!

LAST CHANCE to submit a blog post (new or from archives) to the Blogger’s Best Carnival for May!

What is the Blogger’s Best Carnival? It’s a chance to showcase the posts that you’re most proud of, to share the best of YOU with the rest of the blog-o-sphere.

It’s also a chance to find, and keep track of, some really GREAT bloggers.

Have you read a blog post that touched your heart? Tell me and I’ll include it in the “Reader’s Choice” section of the carnival!

Friday Fun

Seven Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 9)

7_quick_takes_sm Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted at Conversion Diary.

Let’s get started …


Kevin just emailed me – he is filling out our dental insurance form for this next year.

We currently don’t have dental insurance. *gasp*

When he canceled our insurance this time last year, I was a bit upset with him. One, he didn’t consult with me first and Two, we didn’t have dental insurance!

What if something catastrophic happened, like one of us would need a root canal, or a crown, or a filling …

Oh wait. We did. All three of those things happened to Kevin this past year (karma baby, karma) and hey! We’re still here! And even though we ended up paying for all of that, out of pocket, we still didn’t spend as much money as we would have on our premiums.

Hhmm …

I was beginning to see why Kevin canceled our insurance.

Nevertheless, it’s really not a good idea to not have insurance, so, we’ve decided to cover just him and me. If the kids need anything done, like a cleaning or (God forbid) a filling, then we’ll pay for it. And our insurance never did pay for Dude’s braces (which have been paid off for nearly a year now) and when I take Jazz in to get his teeth worked on later this summer (if the kid will stop being so stubborn and pull those last two loose teeth), our insurance won’t cover that orthodontist visit either.

So why have insurance on the kids? It seems like a waste of money.

Now us, on the other hand, we have bad teeth and we’re constantly having to have our teeth worked on, but the kids – well, let’s hope their teeth stay in good shape.


T-minus three weeks before we catch our boat out of Miami. Holy freaking COW, I can not wait. It’s all I’ve been thinking about lately (which might explain my lack of productivity …………. okay, so it doesn’t, I’m just freaking lazy).

I’m feeling pretty good about fitting into my form-fitting t-shirts (I can’t say “tight” that image freaks me out for some reason) and shorts. Of course, I always say that before a vacation and I’m always disappointed when we get back and we’re looking through vacation pictures and I’m all like, “MOO.”

I still have some things to buy before we can go. I need a pair of white shorts (that I can actually breathe in), but I’m having trouble finding a pair that doesn’t advertise my underwear to the world.

I need to buy one (two?) party dresses for formal nights. (The only semi-formal dresses I have now are the crushed velvet kind and come on, they might be back in fashion someday, but that day ain’t now). I should have bought these dresses before now, but I was waiting to lose a little weight and knock my fat rolls down from ten to about three-ish and now that I’m (somewhat) there, I can begin looking.

Nothing squashes a body image QUITE like trying on party dresses.

The boys need new dress slacks. Well, Dude never had them to begin with and Jazz’s pants are now too short for him. (He was complaining of his legs hurting last night. When that happened to Dude, he shot up about two inches and a whole pants size overnight. I’m thinking this is going to be a big growth-spurt summer for Jazz).

Dude also need a dress shirt. And both boys need ties.

I’m not sure what I’m looking forward to more – stepping onto the boat and drinking margaritas flavored tea, or seeing my teenage boys all dressed up.

It’s a serious toss-up.

And speaking of vacations – one of the biggest reasons we are able to afford vacations like this is because we use one credit card and one credit card only – American Airlines’ AAdvantage Mastercard. (No, I didn’t get paid to say that – simmer down). We use this card because we earn award points with our purchases and we are able to cash those points in every other year and fly all four of us to fun places … for like $40 bucks. (Seriously, it cost all four of $40 bucks to fly to D.C. last summer).

But now, I’m reading articles like this stating that due to new regulations, that are set to implement in about nine months, credit card companies may not have a CHOICE but to recoup losses from these new regulations and take reward programs from people who, you know, actually PAY THEIR FREAKING BILLS.

Oh. My. Gosh. This makes me angry. JUST how many times will the responsible, hard-working, successful, law-abiding, “sterling” citizens have to pay for the people who CHOOSE to live a life below their potential?


I swear, if we lose these reward points, the points we earned by PAYING OUR FREAKING BILL, DOING WITHOUT AND WORKING HARD, I’m going to be seriously pissed off.

Irresponsible people seriously piss me off, especially when WE have to pay for their irresponsibility and their poor life choices.

Tell me, how the hell is that fair?! Why would ANYONE be motivated to live within their means if the government just swoops in and penalizes them for being responsible each and every time?

End rant.


I totally need to do this:

But I totally won’t.


Do you know what I’m looking forward to this summer?

NOT having to stand in Dude’s bedroom doorway every week day morning to wait for him to sit up in bed and start waking up for the day. Now I can let the boy sleep in as long as he wants …

As long as it’s not past 9:00 a.m.

There HAS to be a boundary in there somewhere!

If I let him sleep whenever he wanted to, his schedule would look like this:

Awake until 4:00 in the morning.
Sleep until 2:00 in the afternoon.

I can’t even tell you the level of hell I would have to go through to get him back on a normal schedule once school started back up in August if I allowed him to set that sort of schedule.

Real life sucks, Dude. Get over it.


And speaking of schedules …

This is likely the last summer the boys will have total freedom.

Next summer, Dude will get a job (yes, we’re making him get a job next summer because he needs to grow up and it’s TIME to start doing something with his life. More on that issue later)

and Jazz will be required to take a summer class. I actually had to sign a form stating that I would enroll Jazz in summer school next year.


Because my youngest son wants to take a jazz class next year and because it’s an elective class and taking a time period from one of his required courses, he’ll have to make that course up during summer so he doesn’t fall behind his peers.

So, between working around Jazz’s summer school schedule and Dude’s job schedule, who knows what sort of family vacation we’ll be able to plan next summer.

I’m all about the summer vacations, folks. Why? Because my boys? Are growing up and life will REALLY change when Dude graduates in two years. I’m taking advantage of them being home now, before I lose them to reality and their own independence.


I noticed that Jazz’s hair was pretty greasy the other day. So, I asked him about it.

“Jazz. Why is your hair so greasy? In fact, why does it ALWAYS look so greasy? Are you not scrubbing your scalp when you wash your hair?”

“Yeah,” he said and then lowered his eyes to his dinner plate, a slight blush staining his cheeks.

“So, why the greasy look?”

“The girls won’t stop touching it,” he said.


“Oh. Okay.”

Because really, what ELSE can you say?

This kid has girls falling at his feet NOW? Before high school?

I see some serious romantic trouble on our horizon with this kid.



I just wrote out some bitchy snarky mean thoughts about some blogger issues just now …

But then promptly deleted them.


Because I refuse to contribute to the craziness, that’s why. And besides, who cares what I think.

But I will say this – just because a popular blogger gives his/her opinion about an issue doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the RIGHT solution or the CORRECT interpretation of the issue.

The end.

Summer Fun

Summer Fun Activities: May 29th

Are you ready for some fun ideas of things you can do with your child this next week?

Here are five ideas to get the creative juices flowing (and please, take these ideas, build on them, make them your own, use them as a springboard for bigger and better ideas):

One – Make a trip to the craft store and buy a fun memory book to keep all of your summer photos and crafts in. If you can afford it, buy your child(ren) disposable cameras (or give them a camera they can “use” all by themselves) to use this summer. Allow them to take pictures of anything they wish. (You’ll put some of those pictures into the album at the end of summer).

Two – Share family history, photos with your child.

Three – Watch an educational television show with your child and discuss it.

Four – Pick up a library reading list appropriate for your child’s age and help your child get a library card.

Five – Read a newspaper article about the environment with your child.

Crafts for the Kids (by age)

Featured Craft of the Week:
Glueless Collages

4 to 5 year olds
Mailing Tube Rain Sticks

6 to 8 year olds
Backseat Box

9 to 12 year olds
Aboriginal Clap Sticks

Here is a fun activity from the book, “A Lithgow Palooza!”:

groovy-face2 Author, Author

Kids are constantly making up stories, whether it’s about a trip to the beach or a favorite stuff animal’s fantastic adventures. And when two people alternate telling one story, with multiple doses of creativity at work, you never know quite how the story will end. Collaborative stories, part creative endeavor, part keepsake, can be kept on the bookshelf with the other books you read at bedtime.

arrow-right-side What to do:

Write an ongoing story with an adult or another child. You can wrok on the book side-by-side or mail it back and forth — especially fun to do with grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. Start with a blank book — a small scrapbook or a blank journal. (Or bind the book together, if you prefer).

This project is all about collaboration. Each author takes turns adding to the story, following up on what has already been written. The work can be split sentence by sentence or page by page. It’s more fun not to plan out or discuss the plot in advance. Instead, be as random and freewheeling as you want.

The book can be about anything. Dream up an imaginary character or cast of characters, or base them on friends, pets, or toys. More ambitious writers might choose to write several chapters, each one a different adventure. Create a sequel or a prequel to a children’s book you love. Or tell a real-life adventure that you have had together. Then again, it can be an ongoing daily log, like a two-sisters-reporting-from-the-front-lines-of-camp journal.

Experiment with embellishing the format of the text. Different emotions can be about in different colors, and perhaps different characters talk in different fonts. You’ll probably want to illustrate what you write. You can also create a comic book together, complete with frames and speech bubbles, telling a story more with pictures than with words.