Monday, December 10, 2012

Money Saving Tips for Christmas

Guest post written by Laura Crimmons.   For more information on this kind of post, please read my disclosure statement.

There is so much you have to spend money on for Christmas, from the decorations, cards, presents food and new outfits for the festive parties; it’s no wonder we save all year for the event. But no matter how much we save, it always seems like a stretch and just when you think you are done shopping, you realize you have forgotten something.

Here are some great tips to help you on your way to a more frugal Christmas but not one that is without buckets of Christmas cheer!

1)      Internet Shopping – Not only can you save money on gas, parking or public transport, not to mention saving on the stress levels, you can also save a lot of money on your presents too. Everyone knows about the big online auction sites and there is no secret about the really big savings you can make if you are a savvy bidder, but there are also loads of online discount codes you can take advantage of such as the discounts at Netvouchercodes.co.uk

2)      Homemade – Loads of things can be homemade and once you realize the skills you didn’t know you had, you will never go back to buying on the high street again! The first of your crafts could be homemade decorations. You should definitely make an attempt at the Christmas wreath, as they are so easy and look so much better when they are made by hand. Once you have got the hang of that, you can start making handmade gifts too. Try your hand at anything from homemade chutneys and jams to knitting or crocheting gifts!

3)      Baking – It may take a little longer but doing your own baking and cooking in general is a real money saving idea. One great example is Christmas mince pies. From one bag of flour, some butter and water for the pastry and one jar of mincemeat, you can often make between 20 and 30 pies. Or you could get 6 for the same price in the shops. Not only have you saved money but your pies will taste so much better!


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Friday, November 9, 2012

You like my new look??

So....you're probably noticing things look a little different around here, right? 

Well, it's no lie to say I've been MIA for awhile.  Posting when I can....promising to comment on your blogs when I can.  I've tried...really, I have.

Somewhere I simply lost my passion for writing. 

It's not that I don't have a lack of subject matter.  Oh no, quite the opposite.  You know my kids and Tim are always good for a funny story or two.

It's just that I wasn't enjoying it as much as I used to.  It was time for me to step away and focus on taking better care of myself.

Now that the little twins are in kindergarten a few hours a day, I've been spending that time working out. 

Jillian Michaels and I....we're total BFF's now.  She kicks my ass on a daily basis and I love it.  Oh and Shaun T's been helping me get some hard-core abs and getting my disco groove on.

But there was part of me that missed blogging....and writing, in general.  I just needed something to light a fire under my ass....something that would get me excited about it again.

A new blog design...that was it!!  It was exactly what I needed to get my mojo back!

I had the pleasure again of working with Laura at Likely Lola Design!  You may recall she's the graphic designer who did my wonderful blog makeover last year!

Laura is super talented and has awesome ideas when it comes to blog design.  She's also eager to please and wants her customers to be happy with the final results.   I showed her several blogs featuring either fonts or designs I admired and she was able to come up with the perfect look for me!

Please check out some of her work by visiting Likely Lola.  You can also like her on Facebook (Likely Lola Design) and follow her on Twitter.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

If you're comparing your husband to a soap opera character, you'll only end up disappointed

Way back in the day....like, 17 years ago back in the day....when Tim and I were simply boyfriend and girlfriend, I used to watch all kinds of soap operas.

Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital.  You name it, I probably watched it.

And after almost every episode, I would frown and ask Tim, "How come you're not romantic like the soap opera characters?"

He'd chuckle and answer, "Sweetie, they're actors.  But if you want to write me a script, I'd be happy to say the same shit.  I can memorize lines just as well as they can."

Yeah, so the hot, sexy actors were following a script.  And, yeah, chances are they weren't really that romantic in real life but a girl can dream.

So it got me thinking....after all these years of marriage....that perhaps writing a script for my man wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Generally, this is how our conversations flow...but I've added in a script (in italics) of what he SHOULD say.

Me:  Ugh, what a day.  I'm so tired.
Tim:  So.....am I correct in assuming that I won't be getting a piece of ass tonight?

Tim:  Aw, sweetie.  You've been working so hard trying to keep everyone happy.  You just sit down, relax and put your feet up.  I'll take care of dinner and put the kids to bed.

Me:  I would love some help doing all this laundry.
Tim:  My mom never asked my dad for help with the laundry.

Tim:  Don't worry about the laundry.  You must get tired of always being responsible for everyone's clean clothes.  Let me take care of it.  You go read a book.

Me:  I've been dying to see that new movie starring Mark Wahlberg!
Tim:  Well, it'll be out on DVD before you know it.  After all, it is a Mark Wahlberg movie.

Tim:  I'll call the babysitter and arrange for us to have a date night.  And I'm happy to sit through a 2-hour movie, even though I think Mark Wahlberg is an asshole, simply because I love you.

Me:  How many times do I have to clean off this kitchen counter?  Doesn't anyone in this house know how to put things away?
Tim: But that's your job.

Tim  You're right.  The kids and I have been so irresponsible and disrespectful.  We know how many times you have to clean up after us.  We'll make an honest effort to keep the house clean.

Me:  So, did you like the chicken I made for dinner?
Tim:  It was okay.  You should find out how my mom makes her chicken.

Tim:  It was delicious, sweetie.  Best chicken I've ever tasted.  Even better than my mom's.

And, finally, in a perfect world....where unicorns fly freely through the crisp blue sky on a daily basis and bright signs point the way to the end of every rainbow, where a huge pot of gold awaits us, Tim wouldn't even need prompting from me.

He would see me standing in the kitchen...looking as exhausted as I feel...stirring a pot of spaghetti while balancing one child on my hip and helping another child with his homework, while the other kids run around the house naked, chasing one another with scissors.

My romantic husband would come up behind me and (instead of rubbing his crotch against my ass), he'd whisper ever-so-softly in my ear, "Have I told you how beautiful you are?  Have I told you how much I love and appreciate you?  You are my world.  I couldn't imagine my life without you."

Sigh....

I guess for now, until I have spare time to write these scripts, I'll have to settle for, "Hey, sweetie, I know it's been a long day for you but I'm super horny.  Do you think  you can manage staying awake for another 7.6 minutes....please??"


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Monday, October 8, 2012

Never say never....

I begged, I pleaded....I offered my soul to the devil (what's left of it, anyway) but it was to no avail.

"Please, guys....let's just get an ice cream cake this year for your birthday.  I'll make sure it's super cool and any flavor you want," I offered.

However, my appeal for mercy had fallen on deaf ears.

Cole and Bella, my first born twins, had already made up their mischievous little minds.

"Mommy," Bella announced.  "Your cakes are so awesome, though.  Plus, the people who make the cakes at the bakery don't care about us the way you do.  When you make our birthday cakes, it shows us how much you care!"

"And," Cole added.  "You're always saying you want to create happy childhood memories for us, right?"

Sighing with abandon, I realized they had me exactly where they wanted me.

The little shits.

They had guilted me into baking them each a birthday cake....again.....this year.

How many times had I said I was done making cakes?  Too many to count, probably.

"If I agree to make you each a cake, it's going to be something very simple and small!" I stated.

They both nodded their heads in agreement.

Simple and small, my ass.

Do these cakes look simple and small to you??

Justin Bieber iPod cake


Shark cake 



And yes, it was Cole who requested that the shark on his cake chow down on Justin Bieber....gory, dripping blood and all.

Bella's just a little bit traumatized after seeing me rip the head off of her beloved JB doll.  I promised I could put it back on.

If I'm struck down by lightening tomorrow, you'll know why.

So, one day in the future, if my children should ever accuse me of not caring or never doing anything special for them, you can bet your sweet ass that I'll be shoving these pictures in their adorable faces, while screaming, "Would I spend 78 minutes carving a damn shark out of homemade rice krispy treats for you if I didn't care?  Would I spend almost half a day cutting out itsy-bitsy black zebra stripes for a freakin' Justin Bieber iPod cake if I didn't care?!  Would I spend 4 precious days to up to my ears in cake mix, buttercream frosting, fondant and baking tools if I didn't care?!"

Really....what could they say to that?

Never mind.

We are talking about MY kids, after all.  And everyone knows they always seem to get the last word.


**  Now that I have my life back again, I'm looking forward to visiting your blogs and getting caught up on the latest in your lives!!


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Monday, October 1, 2012

And so it begins....

8 years ago today, I was laying in a hospital bed, bigger than a beached whale.  Hooked up to all kinds of monitors, praying that our miracle babies stayed in my womb just a few more weeks...blah, blah, blah, blah.....

You all know how it goes.

Right about this time of year, I have to give Cole and Bella the play-by-play of all the events leading up to their birth at 32 weeks at 12:27 am and 12:29 am on October 2, 2004.  

They always love to hear the story and each year I become a little more animated, based on the fact that they can understand more of the details now.

Basically, I make them feel guilty for what I had to go through to bring them into this world.  Oh, and let's not forget the fact that they pretty much ruined my body.

Who said guilt isn't a beautiful thing??  Doesn't every mother want to hear her child finally apologize for turning her body into a scar-ridden, saggy-skinned milk machine??

Or maybe I'm the only one who's willing to admit that.

Regardless, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.  There is no doubt in my mind.

Every 22-gauge needle in my ass was worth it.  Every shot in my belly, all the Heparin bruises, all the ultrasounds, all the tests and procedures, the weeks of bed rest, all the magnesium sulfate and nifedipine....all the tears, heartache and grief....it was all worth it, a hundred times over.

Hell, even allowing perfect strangers to stare at my vagina was worth it.

 Cole, you are my first born and my first love.  I will never forget how tiny you were at 4 pounds, 8 ounces....bigger than your twin sister....but still so incredibly small.  My heart grew larger that day, for sure...and it continues to grow and grow with each and every day that passes.  

You have grown up so much over these last 8 years.  Not only are you breathtakingly handsome, but you are intelligent, gifted in so many ways, creative and thoughtful.  You can light up an entire room with your bright blue eyes and your wide smile.  Your laughter is like no other sound I've ever heard and it makes my heart happy to hear it.  While you are very sensitive and strive for perfection, you know that whatever you put your heart and soul into will be good enough.  

May you continue to grow up and happy, healthy and strong.  And I pray that your dreams always come true.


Bella, you are my only daughter and truly my best friend.  At a mere 3 pounds, 6 ounces, you resembled a tiny doll when you were born.  Your head fit in the palm of my hand and I will never forget how fragile you seemed.  But even then, as I watched you take every single breath, I knew the days would come when we would enjoy pedicures together and long bike rides.

We love so many of the same things and that is what connects us.  You have my sense of humor and my dark sarcasm.  But you also have sass and attitude, even at 8 years old...which honestly frightens me because I know one day you'll be a teenager and it won't be as cute anymore.

You tell me all the time that I will always be your best friend and I pray that that statement always stays true.  You are stunning to look at, with your curly blonde hair and sparkly green eyes....but you are also sensitive, thoughtful and so bright, so witty.  Your self confidence blows me away and, to be honest, there are times when I'm envious and wish I could have even just 1/4 of your confidence and belief in myself.

My hope for you is that you always strive to reach your dreams and that you always believe in yourself.

Happy 8th birthday to both of you!!  I love you both with all my heart and soul!!  And I am blessed to be your mother!


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In need of a good laugh? Well, you've come to the right place....

I've got 3 words for you....Facebook Status Updates.

Need I say more??


Just now, Landon demanded that Garrett go upstairs and get him his pillow.

Garrett:  Uh, dude...unless you just deposited a check into my account, I don't work for you.  Get it yourself.

Landon:  (marches upstairs to get his own pillow)

Garrett:  Hey Mommy, I just said to Landon what you always say to us and it worked!

Not sure if I should be proud of this moment or not but I simply can't help beaming with pride right now.

=======================================================

Mom Fail #3,102..... 

I told Garrett and Landon this morning that I would have their heads on plates if they woke Cole up this morning. 

So then, I go to the let the cats outside and....bam.....set off the burglar alarm. 

Cole comes downstairs all sleepy-eyed and says, "The alarm woke me up." 

Garrett says, "Good going, Mommy". 

============================================================

I just had the following conversation with Bella: 

Bella - Mommy, what does IDK stand for?
Me: I don't know 
Bella: No, IDK!! 
Me: I don't know!
Bella: No, what does it stand for?
Me: I'm telling you, I don't know!
Bella: How come you know what LOL stands for but IDK?
Me: I do, it's I don't know.
Bella: No, you just said you don't know. 
Me: For the love of God!! I - DON'T - KNOW. That's what IDK stands for...I don't know. 
Bella: Gosh, you don't have to get all mad about it. 

 I'm so glad God blessed me with a sense of humor because it's moments like this one that makes me want to pierce my eardrums with a toothpick.

 ===========================================================

This is what Garrett said to me today: 

"Mommy, it was fun when I was in your belly for those 17 years but, next time, I think I want to be in Daddy's belly because he eats junk food and drinks soda." 

Pregnant for 17 years? In Daddy's belly next time? 

What planet is this kid from? 

 ===========================================================

OMG!!! 

Bella just asked me, "Mommy, back in the olden days, when you were alive, was there a such thing as color?" 

Seriously, how old does she think I am?! 

(this status prompted one of the funniest comments from Karen..."Sounds like she doesn't think you're old. She thinks you're dead.")


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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pouring My Heart Out...The Scars Remind Me That I am a Survivor



**  Before you read this post, I just want to put a warning out there that this is about self-inury.  It includes details that some may find disturbing.

The massage therapist frowned as she touched the 4 dark, yet smooth, scars along the inside of my left forearm.

"Got a cat?" she inquired.

"Uh, yeah....three cats," I answered.

She smiled.  "Looks like one of them has quite a mean streak."

A brief wave of shame crept over me as a mental image formed in my brain...the image of me sitting on the edge of the bathtub on a cold, blustery day last December with a small paring knife in my hand, while the kids were downstairs yelling at one another.

"It's my turn to choose the next Wii game," one shouted.

Another one shrieked, "NO!  You already chose one!  I'm telling....Moooommmy, Mooooommmmmyyyyyy!!!"

The only thought in my head was, "Make it stop, dammit.  Do something to make it stop".

And that's when I did it.

I pierced the sharp blade of the knife into the skin on my forearm and watched in silence as a thin stream of blood seeped out.

With a sigh of relief, I focused on the delicious combination of pain and release.  A euphoric feeling pulsed through my veins, as I continued to cut again....and again....and again.  I imagine it would be the same type of high a drug addict feels immediately after shooting up.

All the stress, chaos and negativity flows directly out of me and I'm left with a numb sensation for only a few minutes.

I crave that detachment at the most desperate of times, like when my head is cloudy and I can't think straight.  Or when I'm on overload and feel like I may crumble into a million pieces if just one more person needs something from me.

I simply want to be free from any emotions.  I don't want to hurt any more.

Yes, I realize that seems like an oxymoron.  I don't want to hurt any more so I cut myself.  It's a strange and mind-boggling coping mechanism.  I get it.  And I don't expect others to understand, unless they've been through it themselves.

Most of my scars are in places which are hidden, where no one else but me can see them.

To this day, I can't explain why I chose my forearm to cut myself....a site that is so easily visible to the world.

However, this was the very last time I self-injured.  Almost 10 months ago.

I like to believe it was my inner conscience pleading with me, "This isn't healthy.  You need to stop hiding and ask for help."

December 12.  That was the day I reached out for help, in the form of a despondent tweet to a fellow blogger whom I adore.

"Hi, Kim.  Are you there?"

And she was.

I also sought the help of a new psychiatrist, to whom I came clean about my unhealthy means of coping with the stress in my life.

You might wonder how a post like this with such graphic detail wouldn't cause a relapse.

You see, the scars on my arm remind me that I'm a survivor.  I'm resilient and so much stronger than I give myself credit for.  I can be in the depths of hell and still claw my way to the top, to enjoy the sunlight on my face.

Now, I find healthy ways to deal with my stress.  I take a few minutes to myself and take deep breaths.  I work out almost every single day, reveling in the positive focus and energy that exercise provides for me.  And I remind myself that nothing is so bad that I can't deal with it, just like every other normal person on this earth.

Oh, it's not easy.  It's definitely not an easy task to focus on more wholesome forms of coping  But all I have to do is look down at my arm, at these four scars, and remind myself that I can do this.  Life is full of ups and downs...that's just the way it is.

There is no reason for me to hide anymore.  There is no reason to lie about it any longer.

I don't need to feel ashamed.

"Well, truth be told," I said to the massage therapist, who was now working her magic on my shoulders, "I used to cut myself."

She was quiet for a moment and then responded, "I've never told anyone else this but I used to do the same thing when I was younger."

"I use to feel such shame and disappointment in myself," she admitted.  "But now, it seems like it was so long ago, know what I mean?"

"Yes," I answered.  "It certainly does seem like a long time ago....another lifetime, in fact."


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

These are the sure things in life...

It's kind of like Murphy's law, you know.

** There's a time and a place to give your kids positive praise.  Like when they've remembered to wash their hands after going potty or they clean up their room without being reminded 32,487 times.  But not when they're all quietly (and nicely) playing together.

Because the minute you say, "I love the way you all are playing so nicely together", shit WILL hit the fan.

Do yourself a favor...take a mental note that your children are capable of such good behavior and leave it at that.

**  Telling your kids to stay away from the hot stove will prove to be too much of a temptation.  It's as if you're practically begging them to touch it so you can enjoy the rest of your day with them in the emergency room.

From now on, just tell them the boogie man lives in the oven.  That will keep them far, far away.

**  Don't  bother threatening your kids with the overused (and ignored) threat, "You all better be on your best behavior while we're in this store".

Why, oh why, would you even allow these words to come out of your mouth?  You are simply inviting trouble.

Just do what I do and say, "If any of you acts like a jerk while we're in this store, I will get on the loudspeaker and sell you to the highest bidder.  Believe that."

**  It's pointless to get excited over the beautiful eggplant that has finally come to life in your container garden.  

Why?  Because just as you're about to tell your kids it's not ready to be picked yet, one of them will violently rip it from its vine and proudly announce, "Mommy, it IS ready...see, I picked it for you!"

** Never ever throw away any paperwork they bring home from school.  Unless you plan to shred it into a million pieces first and shove it to the very bottom of the trash.

Because they will notice it immediately when it's in the garbage can...even though you were pretty sure they had no clue where the garbage even was since none of THEIR trash ever seems to make it in there.

** Buying them expensive outdoor equipment to play on, like a huge trampoline or an awesome play structure, is a complete waste of your money.  Not to mention a huge waste of your time, since most of these things require 2, 188 hours to assemble.  And trust me, people, you will never get back those precious 2,188 hours ever again.

Your kids only think things like this are super cool to play on when it's in someone else's backyard.

Case in point:   We gave our fabulously amazing play structure to a friend of ours because, of course, her kids loved it.  When we went to visit her, one of my spawn actually whined, "That's not fair.  I want a play structure like this!"

It took sheer willpower to stop myself from smacking him upside the head and screaming in his face, "Uh, HELLO....this WAS our play structure and YOU never played on it!"

**  Your kids will pretty much ignore you until you're involved in a gripping novel.  That's when they'll want to have endless discussions with you about some of life's biggest mysteries, like why blood is red, why God didn't give rabbits any vocal cords and how come earwax tastes funny.

**  Boys will be boys.  You might as well give up that pipe dream that all of their pee will miraculously end up in the toilet and that their rooms will smell as a fresh as a summer breeze.

It will never, ever happen...not in your lifetime, anyway.

These are the same creatures that think farting in one another's faces is the ultimate in hilarity.  And successfully burping the entire alphabet is everyone's goal in life.

Just leave well enough alone because it's ingrained in their DNA.  I'm sure your MIL would agree.

**  Never give your kids choices, especially when it comes to food.

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You:  "Johnny, do you want an apple or grapes with your sandwich?"
Johnny:  "I'll have a banana"
You:  "We don't have any bananas.  Your choice was an apple or grapes."
Johnny:  "Okay, then I'll have a plum"

Need I say more?  Just give the kid whatever damn fruit you want and call it a day.

Anything else you'd like to add to the list???


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Monday, August 27, 2012

And then they just had to suck the fun out of it....


It was the 3rd day of summer vacation and the kids were already driving me crazy.


"We're bored," they complained endlessly.

Rolling my eyes in defeat, I sighed, "Really?  You have enough toys and games to stock an entire Target store and you all can't find one thing to do?!"

Suddenly, I remembered an article I had seen in Family Fun Magazine about geocaching.

"I know what we can do...let's try geocaching!" I suggested.

"Geo...what?" the spawn replied.  "What's that?  It sounds stupid."

Cole, being the financial whiz in the family, said, "Did you say cash?  There's money involved?!"

I explained to them, "Basically we go in search of hidden outdoor treasures that other people have hidden!  Doesn't that sound like fun?"

Oh yeah, they were so on board now.  "Hidden treasures!  That is SO cool!!" they shouted in unison.

Armed with my iPhone, a few coins and trinkets, 4 sippy cups full of water, sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, visors, and snacks (whew.....), we hopped on our bikes and began our adventure.

I figured our first geocache should be relatively easily....you know, to get them pumped up and excited.

As we neared the exact spot, the kids spotted a bird feeder hanging from an oversized tree.

Landon shrugged his shoulders and inquired, "Where's the gurgle-catch?"

I pointed to the bird feeder and said, "You mean, geocache. That's it, right there!"

Judging from the looks of disappointment on their tiny faces, I could tell they were not impressed.

"Really?" Cole mumbled.  "Is this seriously it?  This isn't a hidden treasure!  Oh my God, this is so lame!"

Little pessimists.

I lectured, "It's all about the journey, guys.  Isn't it fun to imagine what we might find?"

They all shook their heads....violently, I might add.

Melting in the hot sun, I suggested we move on quickly to geocache #2.  This was not going exactly how I had planned.  But then again, does it ever?

Unfortunately, geocache #2  was nowhere to be found, no matter how hard we searched and compared the compass to exactly where we were located.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

The spawn weren't just irritated...they were downright pissed off.

"You know what I think?" Bella said.  "I think you just were trying to find a way to get us out of the house.  You don't have a clue what you're doing!  There are no treasures anywhere!"

I had to restrain myself as I spat through clenched teeth, "Oh yeah, you are SO onto me now.  I mean, it never occurred to me to just ask if you guys wanted to go to the park.  Instead I had to come up with this huge, ridiculous wild goose chase just to get you out the front door!"

We stared one another down for what seemed like an eternity when I finally said, "Okay, let's cut the bad attitudes and focus.  We can find the next one."

I put my hand out in front of me and shouted, "All for one and one for all!!"

The stillness in the air was deafening.  And then the spawn each hopped on their bikes and one of them casted a loud, "Whatever" in my direction.

Geez, I should get paid for the shit I put up with.

The next location was called "Ocean Ballet", which the spawn deemed downright ridiculous because we don't live near the ocean.

"Let's think creatively," I hinted, as we got closer to our final destination.  "The tip says the location is out in the open but the geocache itself is camoflauged among the scenery."

Garrett clucked his tongue.  "What the heck is that supposed to mean?"

Suddenly, Cole shouted with glee, "I know!!  I know what it is!"  He pointed to a beautiful statue of dancing dolphins located on the edge of the lake.

Sure enough, the statue was named, "Ocean Ballet".  The kids all high-5'd one another and whooped it up.

"We found it, we found it!" they exclaimed.

Now, we just had to locate the geocache itself.  Instead of getting frustrated, the kids were now determined to find the hidden treasure, as was I.

There was something extremely rewarding about the process.  Kind of like getting an invisible thumbs up from God himself when you follow the right path...not that I've experienced that very often or anything.

After 10 exhausting minutes, we still hadn't located the geocache....even though we were literally standing in the exact spot where the compass had pointed to.

I frowned, "I don't get it.  We're standing right here in the spot it says it's at.  We're not looking hard enough.  It's got to be here! Someone just found it yesterday so I know it's here!"

Landon sat down and took a deep breath.  "I'm tired.  I want to go home," he complained.

"We are not going home until we find one of these geocaches!" I protested.

Right then, I spotted what looked like a drain on the ground, partially hidden amongst the bushes.  Cole followed my eyes and pointed, "Do you think it's part of the drain?"

I smiled and we both ran for it and grabbed at the drain.  The top came off immediately and, along with it, came attached a long cylinder-like tube filled with colorful trinkets and toys.

"Awesome!!" Bella screamed.  "This is hecka cool!"





She spilled the contents out onto the grass and they sorted through it until they each had found something they wanted.

Then we added our trinkets to the tube and replaced it back in the ground.














From this point, a new obsession had begun.

Every morning the spawn would wake up and shout, "Let's go find some more hidden treasures!"






















But just like every other activity I engage in with the spawn, all good things must come to an end.





"I found it first," one of them screamed.

"No, I found it first.  Get your dirty hands off of MY treasure," another one whined.

"Mommy," yet another screached, "tell her it's MINE!"













And just like that...they had managed to suck the fun out of it.

Did I mention that we were only ONE week into summer vacation?

Sigh.....


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer vacation is O.V.E.R.


Well, people, the Summer of 2012 has come and gone....in an instant.

So, as I get back into a routine again and try to tap into my creative juices, I'll happily share our summer experiences with you in pictures....

Danced a hip-hop performance to a Justin Bieber re-mix (of course) at her recital

Swam with friends

Went geocaching (this experience alone deserves its own blog post)

Hung out at home (much to the cat's dismay)
 
Kicked butt in karate

Learned the meaning of respect (sort of)

Learned how to fend off Ninjas

Saw creepy, crawly creatures at the Serpentarium
 
Hung out at the bowling alley with friends

Swam, annoyed people swimming nearby, swam

Played with fire....uh, I mean, fireworks

Swung from a rope into the freezing lake

Dug a fresh grave for Mom 


Added yet another cat to the family

Took gymnastics lessons

Did silly poses with friends while swimming
 
Attempted a professional photo shoot

Discovered a super awesome pool nearby

Relaxed in the super awesome pool

Toured the Jelly Belly Factory (and ate our weight in sugar)

And guess what??
Totally kidding, here.
Just needed to make sure you're still paying attention.

And, finally, Mom and Dad enjoyed a vacation ALONE in Hawaii

Now if that wasn't the PERFECT way to end summer (all 86 days of it...or 2,064 hours if you really want to be specific), I don't know what is!!!


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Monday, June 18, 2012

Can you hear the crickets chirping??

School let out 3 weeks ago.  The last time I updated my blog was.....uh, 3 weeks ago.

You seeing a pattern yet?

A few days ago, I sat at my computer and tried to come up with something.

Really, I did.

But my mind was nothing more than a blank slate (cue chirping crickets).

I desperately wanted to write something....anything.

The. words. would. not. come.

I came to the conclusion that it's time for me to take a break...just for a little while.

I need to spend time with my kids this summer because....well,  I'll never get this summer back again and either will they.

The summer of 2012 only happens once in a lifetime and I want to spend this time creating new memories with my kids.  I want to truly be present in every moment...and not wondering how I can spin the latest hysterical adventure into an entertaining blog post.

We've been spending time swimming in our new pool....


Swimming with friends at the neighborhood pool....


Swimming at the grandparents' pool....


Running through the sprinklers....


Hanging out at the park with friends...


                                               
                  Geocaching (outdoor treasure hunts - google it)...SO much fun!!!




We've gone bowling, to the movies, on long, relaxing bike rides, perusing the farmers market for tasty summer fruits, tending to our summer garden (we have grapes, lemons and peaches galore!), playing the Wii, engaging in popsicle eating contests and water balloon fights.

We are having the time of our lives.

So, my friends, I will be taking this time away from blogging to relax and enjoy the lazy days of summer with my family.

I still plan on visiting your blogs when I have time because I want to stay up-to-date on the latest in your lives.   And, of course, you'll still see me on Facebook from time to time so I hope you'll keep in contact with me.

And, who knows....I may not be able to stay away for very long.

Blogging is one of my biggest passions...I love what it does for my soul.

I love what YOU all do for my soul.

All that's left now is to wish you all a happy and wonderful summer....and I'll be back, sooner than you know.



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I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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