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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Watch Out For Earl!

When we think of hurricanes we don't very often think of places North of North Carolina getting affected too much. Hurricane Earl may change all that. This huge Cat 4 storm is making a beeline for the East coast just in time for the holiday weekend. Because it is still not even to the Bahamas there is plenty of time to be sure you are prepared for whatever this massive storm decides to do. Keep your eyes to the sky my friends, and family members.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Return Of Fun Friday

I know today is not Friday, but I am posting this today so anyone who wants to get in can. Every Friday, starting this Friday, my Blogging For Fun Group does a group post. Only those who want to participate do. This week is the first week, and I decided to make the topic insects. Now you can write about insects in whatever way you want. I am going to pick one from this very cool video about some strange, and wonderful insects. I had no idea there were so many weird bugs in this world. If you want to join our Blogging For Fun group, there is a sign up box right over there in the left hand column. Just type in your email address and it will take you to the group homepage. After you sign up you can add up to three blogs using the links section. We are always looking for new, active members. Members support each other by visiting, commenting, following, tweeting, or other ways we can think of.

School starts next week, so I am kind of crazy busy this week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kids Learn While They Play With Leapster L-Max

The Leapster L-Max was actually DJ's first video game system. Because it is hand held, and is all learning games I thought it was a great purchase. Now the same system is Caitlin's, so they last a very long time. We have had ours at five years, with no problems at all. Your kids can learn math, phonics, Science, art, music, and tons of other great things. The only thing I have never seen a game for is History, note to the Leapster makers. Plus games come in all your kids favorite characters like Spongebob, Dora, The Incredibles, Scooby Doo, and so many more. You don't even have to buy one new. Because they are so durable you can buy a used one for the fraction of the price and still get many years of use out of it. I love it!

The kids and Craig are off To Lowes for the Build and Grow program, and to get a box of floor tiles to repair the one my dog ate. They are making a school bus today. Caitlin got her cute little glasses yesterday, and I will post pictures soon. Her eyesight in her left eye was extremely bad, poor thing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Morning Routines

Since we will be starting back up with our homeschooling the day after Labor Day, I thought I would discuss routines. Well actually Caitlin has already started hers, because she wanted to. She can already tell you what a noun, and a verb are, and has almost all her sight words memorized. We don't do a full day of work, maybe a half hour or so.

So back to the topic. For those of you who homeschool, or even teach, or send your kids to public school do you follow a basic routine every day? For me I am a routine kind of person. It just seems to make my day flow nicer, than a fly by the seat of my pants routine. My husband is more of the fly by the seat of your pants person.

For this school year I have set up a morning routine, that we shall follow every morning at the start of lessons. Some of these we did last year, but I have added others. Our morning routine should not take us more than 15-20 minutes or it is too long.

1- Say the Pledge of Allegiance. I do this because I think it is important for them to learn it.
2- Just some simple stretching, and moving around to get the blood going.
3- Check the daily weather online and do the weather and month, and day calendar. This is actually a goal for Caitlin for the year, and this will work nicely into her learning it in a fun and simple way.
4- Review names and phone numbers of important people and places. You can make these anything you want. We do my husband's job, my job, Nonie's house, and of course our house, and 911. The only complete address I require them to know is their own, the others they just name the town.

I am looking forward to getting back to our homeschool routine. I miss it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Win A Free Weekend Stay At The Hampton!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hampton Hotels. All opinions are 100% mine.


Where would you go with a 100 friends if you could? Hampton Hotels is having a Hampton Chain of Friends Sweepstakes contest. What exactly does that mean? It means you and a 100 friends get to take over a Hampton Hotel for the whole weekend, all to yourselves. How awesome does that sound? Which Hampton Hotel would you choose and why? Who would you invite and why? Traveling with friends adds so much to your vacation. You already know them so you know what they like. Most likely you have interests in common, and they can help look out for each other for safety reasons.

For me I would pick the Hampton Hotel in Buffalo, NY. Not the most exotic place to choose, but I would choose it for several reasons.

1- We are from upstate NY originally, so most of our family and friends are in NY.
2- We could visit Niagara Falls, my kids would love that so much.
3- I am a major Buffalo Bills fan, so we could catch a football game while there.
4- If I happened to be lucky enough to win, and it was football season, and it snowed that would be awesome. Caitlin has never gotten to play in snow, and it has been five years for DJ.
5- If I happened to win, and it was snowing, and Christmas OMG awesome!
6- When Craig and I got married, we had a very small backyard ceremony here in FL. Most of our relatives and friends were not able to share it with us. If we got to have a 100 friends stay with us at the Hampton Hotel, we could so have such a huge party and pretend it was our wedding reception all over again.

Just think of the fun you could have winning a Hampton Hotel weekend stay with 100 friends included in the package. This is such an awesome contest, and I certainly would not miss your chance to win it. So don't delay in getting in your entry. Just click the link above, or the purple button below, read the entry rules, and put your entry in Click Here It says they are awarding three lucky winners everyday. Good luck, and I hope you win!

Visit my sponsor: Win a free Weekend Stay

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cook Your Eggs Completely!

If you have not heard about the millions of eggs recalled yet, then you need to watch the video below. While I will agree that the company that manufactures these eggs has had many violations, and the reports are disgusting of how their chickens are cared for, we ourselves are commiserate with getting Salmonella illness. Cook your eggs thoroughly! All Salmonella germs will be killed by cooking to completeness. That means no runny whites at all, a firmer yolk, and cleaning up any areas that raw eggs may have touched. If you make scrambled eggs and you beat them up before putting them in the pan, get a clean new utensil to flip them around in the pan. Salmonella is especially dangerous for small children, and eggs are a common favorite for them. The elderly and immuno-compromised individuals are also at higher risk. Dr Mark Seagle a Dr I particularly don't care for has said that all hens should be vaccinated for Salmonella. Really spend all that nonsense money on something you need to just cook thoroughly!!!! Plus does the vaccination cross the barrier from mother to egg, and then to us. I personally am not sure I like that idea at all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Save A Life Learn CPR

As a nurse I am very familiar with CPR. However, a lot of people are not familiar with CPR, and the fact that you can save your own child's life by learning basic CPR. If your child drowns, chokes, or for some other reason has breathing or cardiac problems, you can learn the life saving techniques to help save their life. Most towns offer CPR for low costs right at their fire department or ambulance services. You can also take a CPR course through the American Red Cross, or American Heart Association. The video below is just a sample over view of basic child CPR, and is not meant to substitute for taking a CPR class.

To me everyone should know basic CPR, not just medical workers, not just parents, but everyone. It is not difficult to learn, and you can help save someones life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

This Is Too Funny, Or Is It Too Scary LOL!

You have to read these answers from kids, that took the GED exam. I laughed so hard I cried. It is said these are real answers and not made up just for fun. I can how some of them could get confused with other things, but some were so blatantly not even close I had to just say WOW! Check it out. I have to admit my favorite is the one about benign.

The following questions were set in last year's GED examination
These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds)............and they WILL breed.

Q. Name the four seasons
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists

Q. How is dew formed
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire

Q. What causes the tides in the oceans
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids

A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs
(Shoot yourself now , there is little hope)

Q.. What happens to your body as you age
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery (So true)

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour
A. Keep it in the cow (Simple, but brilliant)

Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorised (e.g. The abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A, E, I,O,U.. (wtf!)

Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie

Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
A. Nearby

Q. What is the most common form of birth control
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium (That would work)

Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome

Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor. (Julius Seizure, I came, I saw, I had a fit)

Q. What is a terminal illness

A. When you are sick at the airport.

Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and they look like umbrellas

Q. Use the word 'judicious' in a sentence to show you understand its meaning
A. Hands that judicious can be soft as your face. (OMG)

Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight (brilliant)

Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Softer Side Of Pink

I love Pink! She is unique, and I like that. Since I have small children I try to keep up with the music that they may be exposed to. This is a softer song by Pink, and the stunts she does while performing are pretty amazing. She is quite the entertainer.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monarch Butterfly Magic

We get lots of yellow and black butterflies, and tons of fancy moths, but very rarely do we get to get close enough to the beautiful Monarch butterfly. I found this one on our screened porch the other day and snapped some simple yet lovely shots of it. Caitlin was so excited she could hardly stand it. She loves butterflies, and she stood there for a good long time marveling at it. She was afraid it wouldn't be able to get out, and would die. So we left the door open, and sure enough he was gone within a few hours. Caitlin made sure by checking the whole porch LOL! I am so glad I got to get these pictures. The book below has all kinds of facts and info about the Monarch butterfly, with cool activities your kids will love.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Are You Passionate About?

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Haagen Dazs. All opinions are 100% mine.

We all have something we are passionate about. The planet, animals, eco-friendly, children, education, human rights, woman's rights, there are so many things to be passionate about. Passion is such an energetic, and charismatic word. As most of you know I homeschool my children, and I make jewelry. Those would have to be my two greatest passions in this world, right now. Education is so important to me, in so many ways. I believe everyone is teachable, and can learn if given the chance. Life itself is about learning, and growing, and without that we stagnate and wither. We should strive to learn something new every day, or relearn something we might have forgotten. Both homeschooling, and making jewelry requires knowledge beyond what I may have already accomplished in life.

My mother was such a wonderful cook, still is. While I was growing up she tried to teach me to cook the right way, you know from scratch. Canning, making your own jellies and jams, all kinds of neat things. She even used to make pasta from scratch. I had no interest at all. I was a strong, independent girl, and cooking would serve me no purpose in life. Or so I thought. Until I had my first child, and started a family, I really did not have a need to cook. Now my passion is learning to cook. Maybe not from scratch, lets face it I am still stubborn. But I do love to cook for my family, and simple yet healthy meals that are both pleasing to the eye, and the stomach are my focus. I buy all kinds of cookbooks, and read all kinds of magazines to learn and then learn some more. Cooking is something you have to have a passion for and love. Trust me my husband would agree with that. My cooking now compared to my cooking then, HA I won't even go there. I love to make cakes too. If you have ever tried to make a fancy cake you know it is a process to learn. I have shared some of my cakes on this blog, you may remember them. I will share one of my favorite summer recipes in a minute with all of you.

Have you ever heard of Passion Profiles? It is a Canadian talk show, viewable online, that talks about the passions of some of Canadas most notorious chefs, designers and other notable personalities. You can view their profiles and let their stories inspire you to be passionate about something too. On August 25, 2010 chef Mark McEwan will debuting his Passion Profile on the show. The show hosted by ET Canada's Cherly Hickey, has been a big hit so far. They will discuss their love for their chosen career, and what inspired them to make that choice. Be sure to go to Passion Profiles to see the Passion series more in depth. They are adding new celebrity passion profiles all the time.

So what would I pick as my most favorite recipe to share? That is so hard because I like so many that I make. However, since I am very fussy about coleslaw, there isn't many I will eat, I will share my personal coleslaw recipe. It is really simple, healthy, and colorful.

1- I always use the already shredded cabbage, one bag. Hey might as well save time too.
2- If the shredded cabbage your purchase does not have shredded carrots already in it, put some in the bowl. Shred or grate them if you need to.
3- Finely chop one sweet Vidalia onion. You can use a regular onion but the sweet ones are so delicious, and my personal preference.
4- One can of sweetened crushed pineapple, drain off most of the juice, but not all. Add it to the bowl. You can of course use chunks of pineapple, I just don't care for it as much, and unsweetened if say you are diabetic or watching sugar intake.
5- After you have all that in the bowl, sprinkle on some garlic salt, just a little around the bowl.
6- Then add as much Hellman's mayonnaise as you like. I have never measured it, but probably three to four large stirring spoons worth. You will kind of know when it is enough. I never ever use coleslaw mix or whatever it is called, yucko gross. You can use light mayonnaise as well.
7- Then sprinkle around the bowl 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar. I usually use three because of the sweet pineapple. I do NOT add vinegar.
8- These last two things are my recipe secret, so you have to swear not to tell anyone else LOL. You have to let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before eating it. Everything gets so mixed together and yummy. Trust me this makes a huge difference. The very last thing I love, but my husband does not care for, so I only add it to mine is sunflower seeds. Not the whole seed with the shell and all, just the nut inside. These are so delicious and healthy, and they add even more texture and crunch. Of course you can sprinkle on salt and pepper, as desired, if needed.

If you try my secret coleslaw please do comeback and share with me how awesome it was. I would love to hear from all of you.

Oh yes, please share your passion in life too!

Visit my sponsor: Our Passion is Ice Cream

Today Is A Sad Day

Today is a sad day. Death is never easy, and it is harder when that someone is so young. A member of our family has passed. He was only 45, with a wife, and two small children. He had been battling cancer for many, many years. May he rest in peace, and his family get all the love and support they will need in these tough times ahead.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Will We Ever Learn?

When will humans learn that using animals for our own sick entertainment will only lead to more aggressive and angry animals. Seriously if you watch this same video put out by Animal Planet they explain that this bull was kept in the dark and is genetically created to have stronger hind legs than other bulls. They are egged on to become angrier and angrier, plus other genetic modifications making them more agile, and hostile. Why do we continue to support these kinds of activities such as bull fighting? I just don't understand we are not ancient societies that had nothing better to do. Disgusting if you ask me, and animals will continue to get revenge against their abusers. Watching and cheering these archaic things makes you just as much the perpetrator as the matador that stabs the bulls. This bull took his anger on the screaming crowd, all surrounded in red I might ad the color that the bull is trained to look for. By the way this one in Mexico is not the first there was another in Spain just yesterday where the bull cleared two barriers to get to the crowd. Stop the madness, seriously!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lowes Build And Grow Projects For Kids

Most places has a Lowes nearby. Even here in rural Florida we have one maybe a half hour away. Lowes offers on Saturdays a free workshop for kids. You do have to register online at the store you wish to attend, the date, and how many children. Then the day of the class the first 50 registered kids that show up at the correct time get the kit for free. You make the project right at Lowes. You do have to print a form to sign and take with you. There is a different project each time, so you can pick the ones you think your kids will like the best. We are going to our first class at the end of this month. If the kids enjoy it we will do it again next month. I can't see us doing every class, that is a bit much, and best to leave it for other kids who may want to get in. Check it out by visiting your nearest Lowes, or go to

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Conjunction Junction What's Your Function?

It has been a whopper of a day. I woke up to no internet service, and it never got fixed until around dinner time. So I apologize to all my Entrecard and Blogging For Fun friends, that I did not get to visit. I am continuing on with the grammar theme, and those of you who are my age will remember School House Rock videos.

Conjunctions are connectors. The connect individual words or groups of words in a sentence. There are three different kinds of conjunctions: coordinate conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and subordinate conjunctions. Boring I know, but the video below is fun, and teaches kids to remember these difficult grammar rules through music.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Banana French Toast YUM!

Yum, Yum, Yum! I actually got to sit and watch some Food Network channel the other night. I was watching Down Home With the Neelys and they were making banana stuffed French bread. I couldn't find a video for theirs but the recipe is on the Food Network website. I went and bought all the supplies to make it LOL! I love Paula Dean and they had a video for her making banana French Toast. It doesn't look as yummy but still delicious. This recipe is simple enough that even the kiddos can help, and learn measuring, following directions, and some basic cooking skills.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Nature Of Puberty

Puberty the topic most parents dread talking about. Our bodies natural changes turning us into men and women. DJ is ten and already showing signs of puberty. While I am honest when he asks questions, I certainly can see why a parent would be uncomfortable talking about it. This educational video is an older version, but it explains puberty for boys to boys. He stops at sperm, which I think is a good thing LOL!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Learn About Adverbs

An adverb is used to describe a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Wow sounds confusing. Not really an adverb tells how, why, when, where, how often and how much. An adverb very often will have the ending LY, but this is not always true.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lessons We Learn The Hard Way

She is a cutie right? This is Caitlin, she is six years old. She loves to play computer games, and is learning quite well. Too well! This morning I let her play her favorite animal game under my Facebook account. Normally she does not do this alone, but the chat thing was disconnected and I saw no harm in it. She was very excited about something, and I asked her what was so awesome. She got a nice new pink animal. Yay! Ugh! Somehow she managed to purchase Facebook credits with my Paypal account. How she managed this I don't know because she has never seen us do this, and I only did it once for a couple dollars. Caitlin managed to spend 86 dollars on Facebook credits. Needless to say all passwords for all accounts have been changed, and the debit card canceled immediately. Because she already spent the credits she bought we could not cancel the credits. Thank goodness we had money in there to cover it and will not incur overdraw fees, but wow that money was meant for something important not Facebook credits. I really could not yell or punish her, she had no idea it wasn't OK. Now she knows and will no longer be allowed on the games alone. If you have a child and you let them on Facebook be weary of what they can figure out how to do. People wonder why I don't let my children have their own personal Facebook accounts, need I say more?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Are Adjectives?

More fun with grammar. What are adjectives? Adjectives are words used to describe a noun or pronoun. Most adjectives are called common adjectives, are found before or after the noun or pronoun they describe, and do not need to be capitalized. The exception is if the adjective is describing a proper noun, then it is called a proper adjective and should be capitalized.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Warning From Alachua County Health Department

If you have children or animals, and live in the Alachua County Florida area, then you need to be more on alert of mosquitos than normal. The Health Dept has issued a warning for Eastern Equine Encephalitis which is carried by mosquitos. The video below is a good overview with good tips. The woman said usually only horses get infected but a chicken, horse and four humans have already died from the illness in Alachua County. Horses can be vaccinated and is highly recommended. Symptoms are fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, confusion, and headache. Similar to flu like symptoms, you would notice if your child was bitten by a mosquito might be harder in dogs. To prevent mosquitos dump standing water, don't go outside for long periods at dawn or dusk, and use mosquito repellent with DEET. Some small children DEET is not safe to use so always ask your pediatrician to be safe. I don't particularly like the bug repellents so we avoid the times of the day when the mosquitos are most active. Be informed and stay safe. To read the full story on the warning and other info you can go to The Gainesville Sun. If you have questions you can always call your local health department.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Laptop Notebooks For Back To School

If you have a child going off to college, they will definitely need one of these. Even some high schools are requiring kids have access to a computer. Either way these little notebooks won't cost you a fortune, and are perfect for school assignments without getting on your PC. We bought a laptop last year for educational software, so that the kids could use that while I was working on my computer. A lot of homeschool curriculums will include at least some computer software.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Poetry Writing Assignments

I am not big on poetry, it just isn't my thing. Most of it I find either confusing, or incredibly boring. However, it is something the kids have learn about. DJ has done some, and wrote one short poem last year called the Hot Dog Poem. It was pretty cute actually. This year, for fifth grade, I want him to write two full poems. One for the first half of the year, and the second for the second half of the school year. While I had tons of ideas for poem writing they were way too broad for a fifth grader. So between my husband and I we came up with two subjects, bees, and favorite season. I think these will be perfect, and DJ seemed please with what we chose. He wants to do the bees poem first. So the first step of the writing process has been done, picking the topic to write about. Next he has to begin to jot down his thoughts on how he wants to write his poem. Because we gave him two semesters he has plenty of time to do this. Do you like poetry? Do you write any poetry? What tips can you provide to readers about writing poetry?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

To, Too, And Two More Confusing Words

More homophones that are frequently mistakenly written by young writers, and even some of us older ones as well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How To Improve Your Writing Skills

I know this is a subject I am always interested in. I have to say of all the books I have read the best ones are the ones that make you feel like you are in the story. They describe the characters, rooms, situations, smells everything to such detail that you can really see what is happening. I think this is very difficult, and something I personally hope to expand on. Have you ever thought of writing a story? Do you think you could do it?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Free Microsoft Mouse Mischief For Homeschoolers

When sent me this email this morning I was confused. What a confusing name for something, and it didn't make much sense. The I read the whole thing. Microsoft Network contacted and is offering the mouse for free to homeschoolers that use the Miscrosoft Powerpoint 2007 or 2010 software. That is why I didn't know what the mouse was, because I do not use Powerpoint. However, if you are a homeschooler and you do use the Powerpoint software mentioned head over to and read the article to find out how you can get it FREE. If I have not said this before is the best place to find all kinds of awesome homeschool information. I use it all the time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Me 6 Years Ago, Me Today

In exactly seven days I will be 41 years old, I mean young! I can not believe I have been on this planet 41 years. The first picture was when Caitlin was only 4 weeks old. That was six years ago. The other pictures is from yesterday. We celebrated my birthday yesterday, by going to the new Panda Chinese Restaurant that just opened, because next week I work the 11-7 shift, and lets just say a hibernating bear is friendlier than me when I work the night shift. I also dyed my hair red, so I will share those pictures in a couple of days after the shock wears off. I have natural red highlights, but this is a whole other animal. I have have died my hair light blonde forever. My husband has asked me to dye it red before, and the kids say it looks cool. I will let you be the judge. Sometimes people who do not actually live with you are much more honest. Looking at these pictures I think I look the same. I am obviously not as pale, or tired as I was after having Caitlin LOL!

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