October 28, 2011

Friday Fragments: Foliage & Freaky Decorations

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.


I finally got around to taking some photos of the fall foliage yesterday.  For whatever reason, I am enjoying the changing leaves to a crazy degree this year.  I don't remember ever being so drawn in by the beauty of the colors and the brightness.  The other day I drove around for almost an hour just looking at trees because they are so gorgeous.  There are these two trees in particular near the big cemetery that I've been admiring.


Yesterday we had our first morning bus stop incident of Sam not wanting to get on the bus.  He was crying and begging me to take him in the car.  It seemed to stem from him not being in line with his friends.  And maybe just being tired because it was getting close to the end of the week.  I finally convinced him to get on, mostly through bribery and reminding him about a video game we were buying for him today.  He wanted me to promise to pick him up at school, but it was my day off, so my Mom was getting him.  I talked to her, and she ended up picking him up after school instead of at the bus stop, and it was all fine.  But after he got on and I got back in the car, I cried a little bit.  I know that it was reasonable to ask him to get on that bus.  Yet, it felt so heartbreaking to me for him to be so sad.  He's been in a major Mommy phase lately, and he wants to be with me all the time.  He is such a big boy, but in some ways, he is still so young.


I started working on Sam's Halloween costume last night.  I am pretty sure it's going to be ridiculous.  Photos will certainly be forthcoming.  In the meantime, here is a photo of an awesome house in my town.  Covered in spiders.


We have 3 days of fun coming up - Halloween party Saturday night, Halloween party Sunday afternoon, then trick or treating with Sam's friends on Monday evening.  I think that we'll be all tired out before the week even starts next week!  Do you have any fun plans for the weekend or the holiday?

October 27, 2011

Writer's Workshop: Been there, done that!

I'm playing along with writer's workshop again this week, with prompt #1:Last week we wrote about what we have never done…this week write a list of 22 things you HAVE done. (inspired by Sellabit Mom)

1. Eaten pizza in Rome.

2. Walked in a 5K charity walk.

 3. Ridden a Greyhound bus.

4. Read 50 books in one year (and will again, maybe this year!).

5. Ridden on an elephant.

6. Ridden the Sling Shot.

7. Broken the most commonly broken bone in the human body -the collar bone.

8. Learned how to make stained glass windows.

 9. Read my poetry at an open mike (multiple times!).

10. Gone scuba diving.

11. Been paid to write (want to do WAY more of this).

12. Made my own pizza dough.

13. Eaten whale meat.

14. Earned a college degree in business.

15. Ridden a horse across the Welsh countryside.

16. Eaten a chocolate croissant in Paris.

17. Sneaked into a movie.

18.  Dyed my hair blue, purple, green and pink (one at at time...).

19. Bought & worn an authentic costume to the Washington State Renaissance & Fantasy Faire.

20. Picked my own blueberries.

21. Given birth to a baby in my bathroom, with only my husband there to assist.

22. Been baptized.

What have YOU been up to?

For more writer's workshop posts, visit Mama's Losin' It.

October 25, 2011

October 24, 2011

General Grievous and Generosity

Let's talk about Mom fail number... well, honestly, who is even counting at this point?  Last week I took Sam to K-Mart to get a General Grievous mask.  See, he has decided that's what he wants to be for Halloween.  And since I can only imagine the cobbled together, four armed, homemade costume he'll end up with, I figured that I should probably get him the mask so he would be in some way recognizable.  In case you're not familiar, this is General Grievous:

It figures that the first year he really chose his own costume, this is what he came up with.  I can see what I'm in for...

ANYhow, while we were there, we perused the toy section for a good amount of time, and I told him he could get something.  He could not decide, of course.  We ended up with two small Angry Birds toys.  When we got to the checkout line, he saw more Angry Birds figurine things and I gave him a choice between those or the stuffed toys we'd already picked out, and explained to him that there was a certain amount I was going to spend and he couldn't have both.

All the way back to the car, he whined and complained about how I had not bought him enough toys.  Wha?!  My immediate response to "two isn't enough" was "Well, is NONE enough, because that's what you're going to end up with if you keep acting this way!"  I tried explaining to him that he should say Thank You and be happy for what he HAS.  I told him about how we only have a certain amount of money, and that I was being nice by letting him pick out some new toys, especially since even though it's for his costume, the mask is also a toy.

It's possible that he continued to throw this little fit for most of the way home.  When we got home, I sat on the couch and mulled over the whole situation in my head.  The last thing I want it so raise a spoiled, bratty kid.  So, what is the problem?  Is he just five, and they're like this sometimes?  Do I spoil him too much?  Am I not teaching him the right lessons about how to appreciate what he has?

It's very important to me that my kids learn how to be grateful for what they have.  Yes, there is a part of me that just wants to give them everything.  But more than that, I want to teach them to be kind, generous, appreciative, and to value things.  I want him to recognize generosity from others, and acknowledge it.  Clearly, I need to do some thinking about the subject and figure out how I can teach these things to him and Danny.  I have thought about having Sam donate some of his toys to "kids who don't have as much" somehow - maybe to a local shelter or something.  Especially since we moved, he doesn't even play with half of his toys anymore.  I'm sure that I'll think of something, especially if I look for ideas online.

If you have children, what are the lessons and values you want to instill in them most of all?  How do you make sure that you help them along the path to understanding those lessons?

October 20, 2011

Friday Fragments: Deer, oh Deer

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.


I stopped by the only place I could find in town to ask about my broken camera lens.  A few months back, I dropped my camera.  I was kneeling and had the neck strap on, but I reached over to catch Sam because I thought he was falling, and the lens smacked the ground.  It was fine except now the autofocus doesn't work.  I don't mind using the manual focus in some situations, but when I'm trying to take pictures of the kids or things that are tricky or moving, I find a lot of my photos coming out blurry.  I was really hoping maybe it was just a stuck focus ring or something, but I found out this week that it's going to be cheaper to just buy a new one than try and get it fixed.  I am bummed because I want to start taking more pictures again, and we don't really have the money for a new lens right now.  I'll probably just buy a used one from Ebay, but I'm not sure when I'll be able to.  Bummer.


A couple of weeks ago, the City Council in Topeka, KS voted to repeal a law against misdemeanor domestic battery.  Did you catch that?  They decided to basically LEGALIZE domestic violence.  Why?  Because it is becoming too expensive to uphold.  DOES NOT COMPUTE.  I am sickened by this.  They are specifying that they will not prosecute cases of domestic violence.  They will presumably continue to prosecute basic assault and battery cases.  It seems to me that this boils down to condoning domestic violence, and telling people who experience domestic violence that they are not important.  As if this country doesn't have enough of a problem with this already - a woman is battered every 12 seconds.  Maybe more.  And the geniuses over in Topeka have just given people a free pass on beating their wives.  I just don't understand.


The other night, I happened to glance out my back window to see this:

I swear, it will NEVER get old to be able to look outside and see that, no matter how often it happens.

Danny was very excited about it, but the cat was unsure of what the heck those guys were doing in our yard.


We FINALLY finished moving last weekend.  It took another full day and a 10 foot truck, but all of our stuff is now crammed into the garage at the new place.  I am itching to organize it so that I can park the car in there again, now I just have to find the time to do it somewhere.


On Wednesday, I had my blog critique by Melissa from Momcomm.  It got me kind of excited, so I did some things around the blog.  Redesigned, cleaned up, and with a few new pages.  I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I am!


Well, that's about it for this week.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

I Never

I've decided to play along with Kat from Mama's Losin' It and use one of her Writer's Workshop weekly writing prompts this week.  If you've been around here, you may have noticed that I LOVE lists, so when one of the writing prompts was to "follow the template I copied from The Pioneer Woman without her permission and list 22 things you’ve never done," I was ALL OVER IT!

I'm 30 years old.

And I've never:

1. Seen all 4 Indiana Jones movies all the way through.

2. Gone bungee jumping.

3. Worn thigh-high boots.

4. Ridden on a motorcycle.

5. Eaten raw fish.

6. Been to the opera.

7. Made more than $30,000 a year.

8. Gone skinny dipping.

9. Photographed a wedding.

10. Owned any Apple products.

11. Worked in a fast food restaurant.

12. Shoplifted anything.

13. Milked a cow.

14. Read anything by Charles Dickens or Jane Austen.

15. Pulled a dine and dash.

16. Made my own bread.

17. Been to Alaska.

18. Kissed a girl.

19. Done the Charleston.

20. Gotten anything other than my ears pierced.

21. Seen a tornado.

22. Spent over $100 on a pair of shoes.


Check out Kat's blog, and the other Writer's Workshop participants over at Mama's Losin' It.

October 19, 2011

I'm at Momcomm!


Have you ever noticed that little button over in my sidebar? It leads to Momcomm, a website created by Melissa. In her words, "Momcomm gives blogging chicks practical, can-do tips for writing, blogging and using social media (and sometimes a snarky rant or two)" Melissa is also the author of a wonderful blog, Adventuroo, which is not only fun to read, but one of my favorite blogs to look at as well, I love her design! Every Wednesday, Melissa posts a critique of a blog, and I was excited when I got an email a couple of weeks ago reminding me that my turn was almost here! I'm a little scared (who wouldn't be, right?!) but am looking forward to finding out what she has to say and to the inspiration I think it will give me.  Why not head over there with me to see what she has to say - and explore a little while you're there?

October 18, 2011

Let's enjoy stuff together

I feel like sharing some things I've been enjoying.

Casey Mullins - Do you read Moosh in Indy?  It's one of my favorite blogs.  Lately, Casey has been posting about her two daughters and the relationship they have.  I LOVE sibling love, and Casey captures it so well.  I dare you to try and look at these pictures without crying.  Seriously.

This & That - My friend Liz is one of the most amazing people I know.  She is compassionate, kind, generous, and ridiculously talented at crafting and creating.  She recently started this blog, and I've found it quite inspiring.  You should check it out, it's always good to be inspired.

Girl's Gone Child - I have been reading this blog for a long time, and even got to meet Rebecca Woolf when she came to town touring for the books he wrote.  She just had twins, and it has just been awesome to read about her journey.  I think her family is amazing.  You might like her stories.

Bad Lip Reading - Brittany posted this on her blog last Sunday.  It is hilarious.  I especially like the Michael Buble video.

That's all for now.  What have you been enjoying lately?

October 14, 2011

Friday Fragments: Book Edition

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.


Today, I thought it would be fun to talk about books, since I love them so much.  I've been reading more lately, and I just love the feeling of getting lost in a good book and devouring the story.

Do you use Goodreads?  I forget when I discovered the website, I think some time earlier this year.  I LOVE it.  It's such a cool way to keep track of books that I want to read and what I've been reading.  Since I have a smart phone, if I find a book I am interested in, I can just pull my phone out and add it to my list.  It's so much easier than having scraps of paper floating around in my purse all the time.  I've had an ongoing goal of reading 50 books a year, and the last couple of years I didn't make it.  I am excited that this year, I am on track!  I got pretty behind, but I've been reading a lot the last month, and now I am only 2 books behind.  I think I might really do it this year.


I read "Divergent" this week, and LOVED it.  It was recommended by Kim (Zoot), who has similar reading tastes as me.  I kind of love young adult dystopian world books.  That's pretty specific, isn't it?  But after reading The Hunger Games books, I was definitely open for suggestions of similar kinds of reading.  Now, I just feel like I'd like to sit around my house all day reading dystopian SciFi.  I can't wait to read more from Veronica Roth, unfortunately the next book in this series won't be out until next year.  AGH!  In the meantime, I've got a good little list of things to keep me going.  I started reading "Uglies" by Scott.  Here are some others I am looking forward to reading:
  • "Enclave" (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre
  • "Matched" (Matched, #1)by Ally Condie
  • "Rip Tide" (Dark Life, #2) by Kat Falls
  • "Delirium" (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver
  • "Graceling" (The Seven Kingdoms, #1) by Kristin Cashore
  • "The Stranger (The Labyrinths of Echo Book 1) by Max Frei 
  • "Directive 51" (Daybreak, #1) by John Barnes
  • "The Maze Runner" (Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner
  • "The Predicteds" by Christine Seifert
  • "Blood Red Road" (Dustlands, #1) by Moira Young
  • "Gone" (Gone, #1) by Michael Grant
  • "Unearthly" (Unearthly, #1by Cynthia Hand
  • "Life As We Knew It" (Last Survivors, #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Have you read any of these?  Any other suggestions?


I am kind of excited that both of my book club choices for November are fiction and seem like they'll be fairly fast reads.  We're reading "One Day" by David Nicholls for one of them.  I have wanted to read it, and they've also made a movie out of it with Anne Hathaway, so maybe I'll watch it.  For my other book club we're reading "The Plain Truth" by Jodi Piccoult.  I enjoy her books, and find they are very easy to get lost in.


There are some exciting new releases out this week that I can't wait to get my hands on.  There's a new Heroes of Olympus book from Rick Riordan.  I started with the Percy Jackson books and I loved them.  I've also read his Kane Chronicles books, which have to do with Egyptian history and mythology.  One of the reasons I love his books is because there is a lot of information in them and they're actually educational, but so much fun.  I'm also looking forward to checking out "The Night Strangers" by Chris Bohjalion.  He's been one of my favorite authors since I read "Midwives."


What are you reading?  Who are your favorite authors?