Thursday Stuff

Want It? Work for It. Otherwise, You’re a Moocher.

I really admire this family. They put themselves out there for scrutiny and criticism. They blog every day and every single member of the family is open and honest.

And get this, this family has been doing it for YEARS. Every day for YEARS.

You have to admire their discipline and dedication.

And yes. They make their living vlogging. But imagine, for just one moment, how HARD it would be to vlog EVERY DAY, for YEARS, then EDIT and UPLOAD … did I mention EVERY DAY FOR YEARS??

And yet. People go nuts on them with the jealous, demeaning comments. I will never understand WHY we penalize successful people in this country. Successful people work HARD for their money. That’s not a crime. They not only work hard, they remain consistent and determined, which are really are the three main ingredients to being successful in today’s world.

Anyone can be successful. If one is willing to work hard, all the time, and be patient, it will happen. It may take longer than your peers, but it will happen, one way or another, and at some point.

I’m glad this man and his family are successful. They deserve all of the rewards that come with that success. He works really hard, and that’s a GOOD thing. No matter what you hear in the media, working hard and being successful is a GOOD thing – never apologize for your success.

If people have a problem with your success, screw ’em.

Thursday Stuff

It’s OK Thursday

IT’S OK …

~ To add an apostrophe to the word “It’s” in the above graphic … (the original graphic does not have an apostrophe – actually, it’s not OK that we have to constantly correct people’s grammar … but what are ya gonna do??)

~ To sound like a grammar snob because I’m sick of people butchering our language and not having the energy to care (but there’s plenty of energy for reality shows. *snap*).

~ To proudly use a Dell and/or a Windows product while surrounded with hard-core Apple people.
(True story: We were coming back home from our trip and was in the San Francisco airport waiting for our flight to Dallas. I pulled out my hot-pink Dell laptop and hooked up with the FREE San Fran WiFi [UM – SWEET!] and I was literally surrounded by people using Apple laptops and other Apple products to surf the ‘net. I got more than a few disapproving looks and you know what? I LOVED IT. I’m sure Apple is great and all but you know what? I wouldn’t know, I don’t use Apple products, other than my iTouch. It’s just that I simply choose NOT to use Apple products BECAUSE everyone else does and goes berserk over it. I’m not a conformer, when will you learn this??)

~ To be completely upset that it looks like it’s going to rain this Saturday and we have a band competition in Oklahoma. (Actually, I might be TOO upset; I’m sort of obsessed with these band competitions).

~ To really hate this swaying sensation that I get every time we get back from a cruise. I’m sitting here now, typing this, and my computer monitor is literally tilting back and forth before my eyes – at least, in my mind. It’s not actually tilting back and forth, but my mind is still stuck in boat mode and UGH … the swaying sensation is a HUGE draw back to cruising. (Ok fine, it might be the only drawback to cruising. I’m not spoiled, honest. Well. Maybe a little).

~ To be relieved, perhaps overly so, that Mitt Romney won the debate last night. At least, according to this CNN poll. And we all know how RELIABLE and UNBIASED CNN can be. *snort*

According to a CNN/ORC International survey conducted right after the debate, 67% of debate watchers questioned said that the Republican nominee won the faceoff, with one in four saying that President Barack Obama was victorious.

What’s really amusing about this news story is this part:

“This poll does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans. It only represents the views of people who watched the debate and by definition cannot be an indication of how the entire American public will react to Wednesday’s debate in the coming days,” cautions CNN Polling Director Keating Holland

Because if it looked like Obama won the debate instead, this same polling director would have been all like, “And this is a TRUE and ACCURATE representation of ALL American people.”

*snort* Media kills me.

~ To be ready to go back to work. I’ve been on vacation this week and I’m already itching to get back to work. I’m one of those few people who actually enjoy working. Weirdness confirmed. Heh.

~ To hope that the applications I’ve submitted this week actually land me an interview, or two, or three.

~ To hope that the applications I’ve submitted this week go unnoticed. (Because that would mean I would have to interview for a job I REALLY want – which would mean I’d be so nervous I would likely make myself sick with anticipation).

~ To try and participate in this year’s National Novel Writing Month and knowing that it’s unlikely that I will cross that 50,000 word line because this year I’m working one full-time / one part-time job and I will likely kill myself trying to succeed at this challenge because I feel SO GUILTY for not writing much this past year and I call myself a writer? (Don’t you have to write to call yourself a writer??).

~ To be stubborn enough to cross that 50,000 word line.

~ To be a complicated human being.

~ To be me.

Thursday Stuff

It’s A!! About the !itt!e Things

!!! = Intentional Happiness

Sometimes happiness comes on its own

Other times you have to make it ahead of time

And take it with you

HAPPINESS IS …

Having a (cute) place to put my nifty purple hard drive.


Throwing old school stuff away to make room for the shiny new stuff.


Taking Jazz to band camp and knowing that soon, I’ll be one of the proud mommas watching him perform from the stands.


Having plump, juicy, ripe tomatoes to cut into for tonight’s dinner.


Catching Dude’s half amused, half annoyed expressions whenever I dare to venture into his room to see what he’s up to.


Intentional Happiness

Bad Mommy Moments !!! Momalom !!!
β€’

!!! = Intentional Happiness

Thursday Stuff

If I Thunk it, Then it Must be Thursday

We pick a subject, and your job is to interpret it anyway you want. Write about it on your blog… simple as that. Maybe you can interpret it as a picture – we don’t care!

1. Why do they ask you to get on the plane? Shouldn’t you get in it? When was your last flight?

Last summer. We flew to Miami to catch our boat to the Western Caribbean.

2. Why do they call two planes getting too close a near miss? Shouldn’t it be a near hit? Have you ever been on a plane that was in trouble?

Yes. It was one of my very first flights (naturally). Kevin and I were coming home from a cruise (we really don’t cruise that often – in fact, we’ve only been twice) from our tenth-year anniversary trip and we were on a little plane flying from St. Louis to Springfield.

We reached Springfield and had to circle around several times because the landing gear wouldn’t come down. One of the flight attendants had to open a trap door, in the floor and right next to where I was sitting and HAND CRANK the sucker down.

Yeah. That was one wild ride.

3. If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap? What have you done when your child sweared?

Um. Blushed? I’m about 99% certain that my kids learned curse words from none other than ME. Um. I sort of curse, a lot. Well, actually, before you go and think badly of me, I go in spurts. I can go for MONTHS without one curse word and then *POW*, it’s like I’m channeling a sailor or something. It gets pretty bad.

So bad, in fact, that my boys actually have to ask me to stop cursing.

I know.

So when they curse? I just give them a dirty look and say something along the lines of, “Hey now. Watch the language.” Other than that? What can I do? It’s like calling the kettle black.

4. How about a restaurant for anorexics? What would you call it? The Empty Plate? When was the last time you went out to a fancy restaurant?

Uh ………………. I honestly don’t remember. I hate spending money on food, especially “fancy” food, so we avoid fancy restaurants at all costs.

HOWEVER, our 20th anniversary is coming up next month so I’m betting we bite the bullet and actually go to one.

5. Where do forest rangers go to ‘get away from it all’? What do you do to get away from it all?

I grab a book. It’s cheap and effective. πŸ™‚

6. Why do people who know the least know it the loudest? What do you do to get a know-it-all to shut up?

Prove him/her wrong. Know-it-alls are usually blow hards, meaning, they bluff their way through life and most times have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s pretty easy to trip them up, it’s even more entertaining to see them try and recover.

(Yes I know – I’m mean).

7. If a man speaks in the forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong? Men: does your woman (or most recent) think that you are always wrong? Women: Do you believe that men are always wrong?

Always wrong? No. Usually wrong? Yes. πŸ˜€

8. If a turtle loses his shell, is it naked or homeless? Tell us about a time when you were caught naked.

Uh … never? I have been known to walk by a window or two in just my underwear though.

That can’t be proven of course *cough*, but I believe it’s been rumored a time or two.

9. Would a fly that loses it wings be called a walk? How badly do flies annoy you?

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst? A 17.

NOTHING annoys me more than trying to go to sleep and having a disoriented fly buzz by me a gazillon times getting so close that I can feel the tickle of it’s wings against my cheeks.

Flies must die.

10. Why do they report power outages on TV? When was the last time that you went without power?

Voluntarily? Because I’ll be honest. I’m not a green-sort of person – I like my modern conveniences, the least of them being electricity.

The last time I remember losing electricity was during an ice storm in 2007. We were without electricity for ELEVEN days.

I was Laura-freakin’-Ingalls.

It was not a fun experience, let me tell you.

11. If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat? Have you ever been or considered to be a vegetarian?

Actually, I could probably easily become a vegetarian. I’m not a big meat lover, though I do enjoy chicken and fish.

I could probably adopt the lifestyle – but I live with three guys who REQUIRE meat and potatoes at every meal, so I don’t see that happening any time soon.

12. If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent? Tell us about a time when either you were arrested or came close.

Well………………… there was that time I was nearly arrested for shop lifting. Luckily, I was able to sweet talk my way out of it (and forced to promise to go out with the officer’s brother).

What did I try and shop lift?

Nothing. I’m totally scamming you. *grin*

13. Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food? Have you ever owned a cat?

We did. When Kevin and I lived in our apartment, we had a kitten. Her name was Roxy. And things were good, until Kevin got a wild hair up his butt and thought it would be funny to spin her round and round really fast on the kitchen floor and it was if her sweet personality was jarred loose releasing a feline from hell in it’s place.

She was MEAN after that. She would claw our furniture and hiss at us. We finally had to give her up.

Kevin is really not mean and I bring the Roxy story up to him ALL the time, so trust me when I say, he is sorry and he’s been punished a lot over the years.

Thursday Stuff

Girl Talk Thursday (GTT): Parental Punishment


Parental Punishments (What you Endured, Hated, But Would Use Now!)

This post is in no way meant to spark a debate or incite anger, it’s simply an informative post to let you know what I did, and how I handle, disciplining my children. I’m not suggesting that my way is best for YOUR family – everyone is different. All I’m saying is that it worked for OUR family and considering our boys are pretty decent, respectful human beings and have stayed out of trouble thus far (knock on wood), I’d like to think our discipline methods have been successful.

Either that, or I’m completely delusional and my boys have in fact, completely and totally pulled the wool over my eyes.

I’ll stick to my version – ignorance is bliss, yaddayaddayadda.

I grew up with the “spare the rod, spoil the child” mentality. My mom used a fly swatter on us when we misbehaved. My dad didn’t have to do anything, I was terrified of him. All he had to do was raise his voice and that caught my attention.

Kevin said his mom used a coat hanger on him (ouch! I bet that hurt), and his dad used a belt.

Neither one of us really remember getting spanked very often when we were kids. (Which is really weird for me, considering what a brat I was. Seriously. It’s amazing my folks didn’t ship me off to Antarctica. I would have. They probably WISHED they had).

We used a wooden spoon on our boys. I remember reading, in one of the HUNDREDS of parenting books that I devoured in the boys’ early years, that using an instrument, other than your hand, would help make the discipline a little less … personal? I’m not sure that’s the word I want, but it seems right.

Whenever I had to get the wooden spoon out, I would only give them one or two swats on the leg, not the diaper (it was like swatting a pillow, they didn’t feel it) and that’s all it took to get their attention to show them that I meant business.

I always gave them one warning. And if they continued with the behavior after that warning, I simply got the spoon out and swatted them.

I was consistent. And I think that’s CRUCIAL when you’re disciplining your children. Kids are smart little buggers. And they will push your buttons and see how far they can push you – it’s human nature to stretch boundaries like that.

I honestly don’t remember having to swat them very often. Again, I was consistent with them, so they knew I meant business and I wouldn’t hesitate to take out the wooden spoon. I didn’t put up with nonsense – period. They knew the rules. They knew what was expected of them. Period.

It’s so important to make sure kids KNOW what the rules are to begin with. You would be surprised how many parents I’ve observed that didn’t tell/teach their children what the boundaries were to begin with and just sort of dived into a disciplinary action. (Speaking about my experience with play groups.)

“Tommy. If you leave the yard, you will get into trouble.” And then walk little Tommy around the yard and SHOW him where the boundaries were so he would know what constituted punishment if he didn’t comply.

I also made very sure that my boys understood WHY they got into trouble. After they calmed down (and I calmed down), I sat them down and asked them why they got into trouble. I was shocked that there were times when they didn’t know. We would then talk about why they got into trouble and what they could have done differently to avoid getting into trouble in the future.

I think, all too often, parents (myself included), just assumed the kids knew what they did wrong. That wasn’t always the case.

When the boys started school, and were too old to be swatted (I knew this by the smirk on their faces, which only served to make me even more angry – and they knew that), I started sending them to their rooms. I know experts say you really shouldn’t do that because then they associate their rooms with punishment, but I had to get them out of my sight. I have a pretty hot temper, and I found the best thing for both of us, was separation. Out of sight, out of the crosshairs.

They found something in their rooms to calm them down and I had the silence needed to get myself under control. Again, after we both calmed down, I would talk with them about what made me angry and what they did to get into trouble.

Sometimes (and more often than I would like to admit), it was a misunderstanding on MY part. I jumped to conclusions and jumped down their throats when they didn’t deserve it. When those times happened, I owned up and apologized. I think it was important for them to see that I was human and made mistakes, too. I also learned to cool my jets and not jump to conclusions.

Too often.

When they reached middle school, (and even now), the most effective way to get their attention was to take their computers / video games away from them. They have both put that punishment to the test.

And it wasn’t because they misbehaved, per se, but rather because they started blowing off school.

School, in our household, is number one priority with us. It’s their job. And we fully expect them to give 110% of their attention and efforts into doing the best they can. (Which I’ve learned, the hard way, doesn’t necessarily mean straight A’s. Some subjects … well, we can’t all be experts at everything, right?)

When they started middle school, they blew off assignments. This lowered their grade. And because they blew off their assignments, they didn’t know enough to do well on the tests, so they flunked tests and that made their overall grades go down even further.

They tried to use the whole, “but my teacher stinks at his/her job!” and various other excuses and though that may have been the case (in fact, it was a few times), it was no excuse. There would be times when they would be forced to work with someone who didn’t explain it well enough. Or wasn’t knowledgeable enough or … whatever. They had a brain, they could figure it out on their own. They just had to take the initiative and do it. AND ask for help when needed.

“Life is hard. Get used to it, kid. No one is going to hold your hand through this stuff.”

Harsh? Perhaps. But it’s reality. And we’re nothing if not realistic.

Dude’s grades got so bad, that simply banning him from playing wasn’t enough. I suspected he was sneaking onto his computer at night, so Kevin and I removed his computer from his room. We took the whole thing out.

He was without a computer and wasn’t allowed to play video games, (he wasn’t even allowed to watch TV, our rationale being, now he had plenty of time to study and bring his grades up) for eight weeks. That’s the amount of time it took him to get his grades back to an acceptable level.

And that was the ONLY time we’ve had to physically take his stuff away from him. He’s been grounded from the computer and video games a few times since then, but not very often. That eight weeks were HELL for him – he’s been an excellent student ever since.

We’ve had to ground Jazz from the computer and video games a few times, but he saw what Dude went through and didn’t want the same thing to happen to him, so he never allowed himself to reach that level.

But again. We were consistent. The computer and video games were meant to be entertainment – NOT their life. They were more than welcome to use them when their real life work was done.

And we still hold true to that mantra now.

One last bit of advice – watch the yelling. When you yell all the time, the kids simply ignore you. Try and keep your voice at an easy, normal level (I know, easier said than done) so that when you do yell at them, it really gets their attention. It also shows that you mean business.

Again. All of this is meant to inform you. I’m not suggesting you do what I did, I’m simply saying these methods have worked for us. Children are different; kids respond to different tactics. The challenge, of course, as a parent, is to find the method that works for you, and your child.

Good luck.

Thursday Stuff

Girl Talk Thursday (GTT): Pet Peeves

Oh HO BOY, do I have pet peeves.

Ready?

People who don’t know the difference between LOSE and LOOSE.

People who really don’t know the difference between:

You’re going to have to work harder at your grammar if your goal is to impress me:

It takes a lot to get me riled up but this error could get me started:

In addition: people who curse WAAAAAY too much on either their blogs and/or Twitter.

How much do you cuss on Twitter?

Created by Oatmeal

I mean come on, why? Is it to impress us? Are you trying to a bad ass? Do you think people like a lot of cursing? Seriously, WHY?

MY theory? Because you may not be all that interesting without the colorful language?

Hey, it’s just a theory. *shrug*

And finally …

Even though I’m a writer, that I graduated with a professional writing degree, DOESN’T mean I don’t make mistakes. I will, occasionally, let a word slip by me and NOT fix it. (Though it’s unconscious because I’m pretty anal when it comes to editing myself … and others, apparently).

And I’ll prove it by taking this quiz:

The Twitter Spelling Test

Created by Oatmeal

See? Told you.

So please, take a few minutes and make sure you’re typing the correct word/usage because when you don’t? People think you’re an idiot.

Or at least, I do. πŸ™‚

(And by the way, this whole post was meant to be taken with tongue-in-cheek – however, if it applies, well ……….)

(Oh, and you can find the comics above, and many more, at The Oatmeal. Hat tip to Jen from Momma Blogs A Lot for pointing these out).

Thursday Stuff

Girl Talk Thursday (GTT): Crafts

Yes, this is late. Hush. Balloon boy distracted me, the little stinker.

You say crafts, and I actually shudder.

It’s not that I hate crafts, I don’t, in fact, I enjoy looking at them quite a bit, but to actually get in there and DO crafts?

Um, no.

And I’ve tried. There was a time period when I worked on crafts and put my work in my mother’s craft booths. My mom used to participate in Wal-Mart’s craft fair every year (they’ve since discontinued it), and I would put some of my piddly/pathetic stuff in to try and sell something.

I did worked mainly in plastic canvas – which, no offense to those of you out there that like plastic canvas, but I think is totally cheesy.

I really enjoy cross-stitching and it’s really relaxing to me, but I haven’t actually picked up any sort of cross-stitching project oh wow, five/six years?

The only reason I got into crafts at all was because of my mother. I was hoping to use that common ground to get closer to my mom and we certainly had some fun times. In fact, I remember making some Y2K bugs in 1999 when everyone was convinced that our digital age as we knew it was going to come crashing down around our ankles. (Remember the panic?!) They were made out of clay and the bugs hugged small pieces of old, smashed up motherboards within their wire arms and legs.

They sold like hot cakes in our craft booth that year. I wish I had a picture of those bugs. I probably do somewhere, but I haven’t been able to find it.

No, I’m afraid my mother is the real crafter in our family, though my sister is also really talented, especially in paints.

gingerbread

But that particular craft gene passed me by – I’m all thumbs when it comes to working with my hands.

The only thing I can do with my hands is type and even that is questionable at times.

I think it’s fascinating that people can create something out of nothing – that they can take random elements and somehow tie them together and make something beautiful and memorable.

MVC-014S

Me? I’m not that literal. I prefer to string a bunch of words together and weave an imaginary world.

I wish I were crafty in the literal sense. I’m afraid my level of craftiness comes in other forms.

And that’s not necessarily a good thing. 😐