Tuesday, July 31, 2007


True to form, the first week of band camp, in this case, the only week of band camp, is hot, hot, hot and sunny! All those sunburned band members! It really has me wondering - why does band camp not start until 10am? Wouldn't it make more sense to start early and try to get some time in before it gets too hot? I suppose, we are talking about teenagers here. It's hard enough getting them out of bed in time to get them there at 10am (or 9:30 in our case - Mr. Drum Major has to be there before the band) - getting them going any sooner would take a miracle. It is summer, after all.

My day is...

Click here to read my rating!I just signed up for an account at I Rate My Day. It looks like fun, and handy. Some days I just don't have time for a long drawn out explanation of how I feel, and this lets me do it quickly and easily. Then I can place this widget on my blog to let everyone know at a glance - yeah, it doesn't look like I'm feeling too good today. I woke up with a headache. I hate that!

While I was over there signing up, I also entered the contest to win a Zune. 30GB with video. I would love to win that! Today's your last chance to enter - but if you don't, I have a better chance to win.

Monday, July 30, 2007

An Extra Son for the Week

Cory has band camp this week. 10am to 5pm Monday through Thursday. Reward trip to Noah's Ark on Friday. The past two years they have had two weeks of band camp, with the second week 10am-2pm. This year, there's only one week. I guess it was just too tough on those poor kids! So the band teacher had pity on them. It works out well for Cory because it means he can work at the State Fair. We have an extra son in the house this week because it didn't work out so well for him. His family always goes on vacation this week - every year. In the past he has just missed the first week and been there for the second week. This year, he's the drum major. That means he has to be there, or at least he really should be there. So I told his mom that we would take care of him for the week. We let him sleep in the basement and make sure he gets back and forth to band every day - oh, and feed him. He can run home every day and take care of the cats and check the mail and stuff at his house, so it works out pretty well for everyone. Except Thursday I won't be able to pick him up (probably) because the kids will be leaving around 1pm or so to get down to the fair. If Jeffrey rides his motorcycle, we won't have to worry about that, but it shouldn't be an issue anyway because there are plenty of people coming this way after band. Someone will give him a ride.

Jeffrey took the two boys to look at a car tonight. He's narrowing it down so eventually we will have another car. Then we won't have to juggle our transportation. Today worked out because Jeffrey rode the motorcycle to work, so Beth took the car to work at 4pm, and I could pick the boys up with the van at 5pm. Otherwise I was figuring I would have to hang out in Palmyra for an hour, and then someone would have had to go pick her up at 9pm when she got off work. She works again Wednesday, so we'll see how that works out.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Free Stuff for Your Blog

I can't always come up with something important to say when I sit down at my computer and I'm all ready to post something on my blog. When I'm away from my computer doing other things, I can think of all kinds of things I want to say, but then I forget. What was it I wanted to say?

How do I keep up with it? How do I keep my blog fresh and exciting and make people want to come back? Good question. I just found out that I can add some current and relevant content to my blog that will update daily with thousands of articles, photos and videos. I signed up, and now I'm waiting for the information on how I can add it here.

If this sounds like something you can use, then, by all means, Get Free Articles, Photos & Videos to Your Blog! Did I mention it's free? Oh yeah, right there where it says, "Get free articles, photos & videos to your blog!"

Clean Bathrooms

I cleaned my bathroom today. That's a big deal, because I don't clean the bathrooms as often as I used to. Seriously, not as often as I should. When the kids were little, I cleaned both bathrooms every Thursday. I'm having a hard time figuring out how I managed to do that. I'm thinking the fact that I didn't spend nearly as much time online probably had something to do with it, but don't tell anyone I actually admitted that.

I am thinking that some more online time when the kids were little would have been beneficial. Maybe there weren't so many of those mommy bloggers I mentioned earlier out there, because that was before blogging was so popular and so many people were doing it. It's so nice that moms today have that kind of resource - even if it's only to share their experiences. It's nice to know you're not the only mom who's kid threw up in the dentist's office, for instance. I'm reading some of these blogs and wishing I knew some of the things these moms are writing about back then. Oh well, live and learn. In the meantime, I'm really happy to have found my friend over on LiveJournal, bojojoti. Her kids are grown. They turned out great, but she's been there and done that with the whole teenage attitude thing. She gives me hope!

So, you never know, maybe there's something I can offer to those moms with younger kids. I've been there and done that. Hopefully I learned something along the way!

What is Affiliate Marketing?

The Internet is BIG! Have you noticed? It's almost like, if you don't have a presence somewhere on the Web, you're nobody. Businesses have websites. Individuals have websites. You can make money on the Internet. What about people who have no technical skills whatsoever who want to start making some money on the Internet? SiteMighty makes it possible. They make it possible for anyone to make a nice looking website quickly and easily. Then, when people click from your website to, say fill out a credit card application, you get credit for it. It's something called affiliate marketing. What's nice about affiliate marketing is that you can make money for the sale of products and services without having to worry about things like inventory and shipping. You just have to get people to go through your website to buy!

Right now they are just doing the credit card apps, but they are looking to expand. Sign up now, for FREE, and soon you will be able to do all kinds of business through your website - remember, it was easy to create. Make it your own. If you'd like to know more, you can watch the video: What is siteMighty? where the sign up process is nicely explained.

We Need Our Sleep

I've run across a couple blogs recently written by mothers of young children - babies and toddlers. Reading their blogs brings back all kinds of memories from when my kids were little, memories of breastfeeding and diapers and not getting enough sleep. This description of pumping breastmilk while at work, really made me laugh. Yep, I used to do that - though I didn't need power because the electric pump never worked for me. No, I just had to express by hand sitting in a bathroom stall. Hey, you do what you have to, right? Who needs to eat while on break, anyway?

Also, speaking of not getting enough sleep? My kids aren't little any more. They sleep through the night. Reading the experiences of some of these other moms makes me realize I was really blessed in that area. Both my kids starting sleeping through the night quite early - 8 weeks and 5 weeks old. I am thankful for that! Now, however, they are teenagers, and that means they don't want to go to bed at night. Ok if they're home, but this week Beth has had her boyfriend over, and we didn't make him leave until 11:00, which means we can't go to bed. You know, just to be sure he does leave when he's supposed to. Then last night they decided to go see a movie. The movie was supposed to start at 9:00, and Beth said it was a short movie - only an hour and 35 minutes.

She was supposed to call when the movie was over. When she didn't call, I went online and looked the theater up. The movie didn't start until 9:25, and it was 135 minutes - meaning the movie didn't get over until 11:40. We went ahead and went to bed. She called at about 11:45. Then, of course it was pouring out, so it took longer than the usual 30 minutes to get from there to here - and I couldn't go to sleep until I heard her come in.

Yeah, she's a teenager. She doesn't have to get up in the morning - though I do go in and wake the kids up around 9:00 or so because I don't think they should sleep all day. But, even though she doesn't have to get up, we do. Tim has to get up and go to work in the morning, too. I don't think she should be doing this again, at least on a weeknight. We'd like to get some sleep!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dirty Dishes

Dirty Dishes
Originally uploaded by joshbriggsphoto.
Update on those dishes:

I knew there was no way Beth got the dishes clean in 10 minutes. When I went back upstairs for something, there was a whole pile of dishes that she had left dirty, as well as a sink full of nasty water. But she's not home any more. She left to go to a movie with her boyfriend before Cory had finished drying them. Why she was allowed to leave before her job was finished is beyond me. That was part of the deal - do the dishes first. Like I said before, if she'd just do them right the first time, they would be done. Now she will have to wash them again tomorrow, along with any additional dishes that get used.

And I still have a dirty kitchen.

Get Them Clean!

I wash dishes. I know it takes a certain amount of time to wash those dishes and to get those dishes clean. I don't really mind doing dishes, but I don't want to spend all my time doing dishes, so I wash them as fast as I can. Still, it takes a while. Tonight Beth had to do dishes. There was quite a stack - the counter was full, and there was not room for anything else. Ten minutes later and she is supposedly finished. Yeah. Riiight. And the dish water? Nasty. No soap. What was supposedly getting the dirt and grease off of those dishes?

Of course, when I mention to her that it takes a certain amount of time to wash those dishes, and 10 minutes is not long enough, she gets all uppity. Maybe it takes me a certain amount of time, but that doesn't mean it takes her that much time. Yeah, that explains why she rarely gets them clean the first time. Sometimes I just want to throttle her. What is the point of doing them, if you're not going to do them right? Do you really want to do them more than once?

I really don't know how many were dirty this time because I came downstairs before Cory dried them and checked them over. Just, please - these are dishes. We have to eat off them.

Lindsay Lohan, Again

What is with this girl? She just got out of rehab and already she's in trouble again. This is really not hard to understand, is it? When you have a problem, with alcohol or drugs or whatever it may be, you do not come straight out of rehab and put yourself in a position where you will be sorely tempted to take up your addiction again. What was she thinking having a party immediately after coming out of rehab?

I want to see Lindsay as that cute little girl in Parent Trap, but she's growing up, and not doing a very good job of it. I hate the bad examples all these celebrities are setting for my kids - especially my daughter. I mean, yes, she's got friends who do things that are just as bad so she doesn't need celebrities to set the bad example. Every time we talk about the choices these kids are making and the messes they are making of their lives, Beth is sure to tell us, "It's their choice." Well, yes, it is their choice, but is it a good choice? She's rather non-committal on that one. She doesn't want to say that they're doing something wrong.

Is it written in stone that teenagers have to mess their lives up before they finally grow up and get it together? I just keep hoping that Beth can learn from their bad examples - both from the examples of her friends and also from the examples of these so-called celebrities, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and the likes. Don't do stupid things! It could mess up your life forever.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Cat Came to Stay

In other news:
Beth brought home a kitten tonight. She begged and begged and promised that she would pay for everything and take care of it and everything. I hope she does because, against my better judgment, I said she could keep it. We haven't had an animal around here since fall, and it has been really nice. Hopefully she will do her part and take care of it and clean up after it and all that stuff. Otherwise, we get to get rid of it. Tim said it could go live at Jesse's house and be an outside barn cat. If we could have an outside barn cat, that would be good - no cat hair in the house, no cat litter, no mess. Well, Beth promised to clean up after it, so I'm not going to do any of that - and she better not wait until it is driving me crazy before she does it!

Blogs I Visited Today

My bookmarks aren't behaving, and I'd really like to go back and read more! So I'm listing them here.


I suppose you've noticed that some of my posts are sponsored posts. (If you haven't already, go ahead and read the disclosure notice on the sidebar) July has been a rather frustrating month for me in regards to these sponsored posts. For the first couple of weeks, I just wasn't seeing any available opps. Of course, my blog doesn't rate very high, so there were plenty of opps I didn't qualify for. I just wasn't seeing any that I did qualify for. During this time, I got this blog here approved. Prior to that I was using my blog over at LiveJournal - A Mind Forever Voyaging - as my only paid blog. Adding this one opened up a few more options. Then last Friday more opps started appearing - Yay! Friday and Monday were good.

Today I finally caught an opp - 50 words, should be pretty easy. I posted it over on LiveJournal and then went to submit with PayPerPost, and they wouldn't take it. It kept telling me that the link code was wrong. I recopied, re-pasted, re-submitted - several times - to no avail. I finally reported it, and they are checking on it. In the meantime? LiveJournal went down. So, even if the link code issue gets fixed, I can't submit. I'd just throw it over here, but blogspot.com is excluded from this opp. I suppose it doesn't help to pull my hair out?

Yes, there will be other opps. It's just that I was getting used to being able to take at least one every day, and then July came. Probably just a dry spell. Things will get better. It just seems that some days everything conspires against me, huh? I still have about half an hour to hope LiveJournal comes back up and I can resubmit this thing. Otherwise? I'll just hide the post and save it for next time. Surely this advertiser will need posts again - because PayPerPost is a great way to advertise!
Advertisers: if you'd like me to blog for you, be sure to click the "Hire Me" badge.
Bloggers: Click that PayPerPost badge and get paid for blogging about the things you love. You know you want to - despite my frustration with today. It's usually pretty awesome getting paid to write blog posts. Besides that, I've found all kinds of interesting things by doing it.

Ok - going to try to submit my post again - just in case.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Yelling in the House

I just got this in my email:

Pregnancy Insurance

When I had my babies all those years ago, we had good insurance through my husband's job. Our insurance covered the doctor visits and the hospital stay and all the other expenses of pregnancy and childbirth. We also had insurance to cover doctor visits and checkups for the babies once they were born. I think that Pregnancy Insurance was an extra option on our insurance that we actually had to choose. It wasn't just an automatic coverage. What if we had decided we weren't having kids and didn't need that maternity coverage, and then, "Surprise!" - along came Beth? I don't know what our options would have been then. Fortunately, now MaternityCard is available to help pregnant women cover all of the costs related to their pregnancy, even if they didn't have insurance when they became pregnant.


We stopped at Walmart Saturday morning to pick up the book. Yes, that's right. We had to get Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because Cory's been dying to read it. Me too, but we're going to blame this on him. So, he got the book about 7:30 in the morning. That was early enough - no need to go out at midnight just for a book. Anyway, all that boy did was read all day, until he finished the book around 4pm. Yes, this boy of mine is a very fast reader, and he remembers everything he reads, too. I wish I could read as fast as he does, but I can't. I did manage to finish the book this weekend, though. As soon as we got home Saturday night - around 8pm, I think - I took possession of that book. I read for a few hours Saturday night before going to bed, and then spent most of the day Sunday reading and not doing much else. There were breaks in there, but it really did take me most of the day and into the night to finish. Like I said. I wish I could read as fast as Cory does.

Now, today, I've had to actually do stuff, and make up for all the things I neglected yesterday. At least it was the weekend.

Got Pain?

my Freeze It samplesI received some samples in the mail last week. They were samples of a product called Freeze It. I read the enclosed letter and glanced at the sample packets, and my first thought was that I was supposed to put them in the freezer and freeze them. Then apply the packet to the pain? Of course, then I read the instructions and realized that these packets contained a pain relieving gel that is to be applied directly to the skin. The name Freeze It refers to the way the gel makes your skin feel when you put it on.

Ok, so I have these samples, and now I need to use them. Do I have pain? Does anyone else in the family have pain? Luckily, Beth had spent the night with her friend Kayla, and sleeping on Kayla's couch had caused her neck and shoulders to be really sore. Not that I wish pain on anyone, especially my kids, but I needed to try this stuff! I rubbed it onto her neck and shoulders and told her to tell me how it felt and worked. It was a nice green gel with a very pleasant smell - not perfumey or anything, but menthol. It was easy to see where I was rubbing the gel, and then it dried quickly so I didn't have to worry about Beth leaning back and getting any on the furniture. The label says greaseless and non-staining, and I say that's very important!

More important? Does it relieve pain? Beth said that right away it got really cold, which felt pretty good. I guess that's where the Freeze It name comes from. She said it helped with her pain and made her feel better, so that's good. I didn't wash it all off my hand right away after rubbing it on her, and my fingers ended up feeling cool and tingly for a while. It was kind of a neat feeling, but since I didn't have any pain, I couldn't tell how it worked for pain. Since then I have read some of the Freeze It web site and noticed that someone is using it for Restless Legs Syndrome. I'm not sure I have RLS exactly, but sometimes my legs do some strange things. I'm looking forward to trying Freeze It for that - next time my legs start acting up.

We got a couple applications from one sample packet, so I think a little goes a long way with this. I think I would like to have the roll-on application. That just sounds ideal to me - I would be less likely to squeeze too much out like I did with the sample packets. Freeze It is available at many retailers and looks like a good value for the money. Affordable, convenient pain relief. I can appreciate that.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

School Schedules

The kids got their school schedules in the mail yesterday, in preparation of school registration. They just don't let them forget that soon it will be time to go back to school - and here Cory's only been out of summer school for a week! Cory is taking French after all. Originally he had thought to take Spanish. But then he decided to take French because he likes the teacher. I guess that's as good a reason as any, but I think Spanish is probably more practical. After all, Spanish is on track to become our national language at the rate things are going. Kind of irritating, really, but that's another discussion.

Beth is taking some interesting classes this year, one of them being sign language. I personally think that should be offered for four years and qualify as a language. There is more of a chance that someone could use that for job purposes than some of the other languages. Oh well, she's more interested in interior design nowadays than in being a sign language interpreter. She used to be interested in that. Maybe taking the class will rekindle her interest. Or not

Thursday, July 19, 2007

To Learn German

Cory was trying to figure out which language to take in school next year. Our school only offers two, which is one more than my school offered. The kids can take French or Spanish. If he was able to take German, I think signing up for the German Word Daily would be a fun way to learn some extra words or to reinforce the ones he learns in school. He could learn a new word every day with a fun video slideshow with pictures and pronunciation. Even if he can't use it for school, it could still be fun. Living this close to Milwaukee, it certainly couldn't hurt any of us to learn some words in German.

The Kids are Away

Cory is down the street practicing his band music with his friend Pam. We have a hard time getting him to practice on his own, but the two of them really seem to enjoy practicing together. Of course, there's the added benefit of Pam's cat, so Cory enjoys going there. The kids keep begging us for a cat, but we really don't want any more animals. They are more trouble than they are worth.

Beth is at Cristina's. She called a few times trying to figure out if the two of them could go to a movie and what car they could take and how they would pay for gas. Her dad is tired of her always wanting to go places and no one is paying for the gas. Once she actually starts getting paid, she should have gas money. The girls ended up staying home, because Cristina couldn't go after all. There are some cats over there, too. Beth was trying to convince us at dinner that she should be allowed to adopt one of their new kittens. She promised to pay for everything and take care of it and everything or we could get rid of it. Still, we really don't want any animals in the house.

So, the kids are away - and we don't even get to enjoy it. Jeffrey's on the phone with Linksys getting more and more frustrated all the time. Customer service? Yeah. Right.

Ask Jud

Check out this website! Ask Jud any question and get the answer. It's amazing. How does Jud know the answer to any question? Well, there is a secret, and you can only fool your friends if you don't tell them. Here's how I fooled my friends and made sure Jud answered all of their questions the way I wanted him to answer:
When you are typing in your "petition" press the period key (.), this will activate the "answer", now type in the answer to the question you are about to ask. The letters that you type do not appear on the screen, instead, the phrase "Jud, please answer" is printed in the input field. When you are done typing the answer, press the period key (.) again to return to normal typing. Finish the phrase "Jud, please answer:" Be sure to include the colon (:) and this will allow you to type your question. As soon as you put the question mark (?) in, Jud reveals the answer!
There's a rival site to askjud.com where, instead of asking Jud you ask peter - but you're going to have to find that one for yourselves!


Cory called to set up his appointment at Kelly Services so he can fill out his paperwork and be all employed - at least for a few days. He's on the phone, and comes out to ask me if 9:30 is alright. 9:30am? Tomorrow. I'm running things through my head trying to figure out any way to possibly make that work. Cory's not even usually out of bed by that time. Never mind. I can get him up earlier. But tomorrow is Friday. I can't take a quick shower. I need to shave my legs, and that's not quick. So, if we need to be like 45 minutes away at 9:30am, what time do we have to leave? I guess I could take him before my shower, but I really don't like going out in public like that. Yes, I go out walking like that, but that's excusable. Actually going somewhere? Not so much.

So he asked if we could go sometime in the afternoon. Anytime before 3pm. That works.

Travel Plans

I've never done much traveling. I've been to Mexico a few times and to Canada, though I don't remember that. Maybe someday - when the kids are grown and gone. I'm thinking traveling around Europe might be something the kids will decide to do. We knew some young people a while back who packed their backpacks and traveled Europe by rail. It sounded like so much fun and had me wishing I was young and could go along with them. I just never thought of doing anything like that - until they did. Of course, when I was younger, we didn't have the Internet to help plan a trip like that. Having the Internet and being able to look up stuff like France Rail Pass Information and being able to check prices and schedules ahead of time makes planning a trip so much easier - and makes the parents feel more comfortable, too. Rail Shopper explains everything, like which pass to get for going where and lots of other useful tips for traveling by train in Europe. I think it would take a while to read through all this information, and I would love to see a map of the train routes or something a like that because it would help me picture it better.

Wouldn't it be fun to map out a tour of Europe? I'll have to get the kids started planning, and saving.

The Kids are Gonna Work

It sounds like the kids are going to get to work practically every day at the Wisconsin State Fair. They're pretty happy about that, because they will make quite a bit of money. I can't remember how many days Beth worked last year, but she's getting more this year. Cory has band camp the first week of August, so he'll miss the opening day of the fair, but after that he's working too. At first Beth wasn't thrilled at all about her brother working too, since they will have to work together. It just doesn't make sense otherwise or there would be a lot of driving involved. This year, since Beth can drive, it will be nice. Last year, Jeffrey had to leave work to take Beth and Cristina to the fair and then pick them up after work. This year it sounds like they will be working the afternoon/evening shift, so Beth can drive down there and drive home after work. Cristina's working again this year, too, so the three of them will be working together.

We took Cory and got his work permit yesterday, so today he has to call Kelly Services and get an appointment set up to go fill out his paperwork. The girls already did that last year, so they're taken care of.

Beth is also working this week and next at the Italian/pizza place in Palmyra to cover for her friend Ali, who is on vacation. Last night was her first night. She was a little worried about not knowing what she was doing, though she did go in a couple of times with Ali to get some training. It sounds like she did fine, and the owner/manager (I'm not sure which) of the place offered her a regular job, two nights a week. So far she doesn't have anything else lined up, so this will be good. Two nights a week is better than nothing, and maybe plenty when school starts. Another good thing about it is, that if she's still working there during school, she can walk to work after school and doesn't necessarily need to drive. Yes, someone will have to pick her up after work, but that's ok.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Grades Are Important

Beth used to be a good student. She got good grades, and then came 8th grade. Suddenly she was barely passing some of her classes. Did my smart daughter suddenly become dumb? Did the schoolwork between 7th and 8th grade suddenly get harder? Her teachers all believed she could do much better, but she didn't seem to want to put forth any effort. Having friends and being popular seemed to be more important than doing her schoolwork. Every time we offered to help her, she made it clear that she did not want our help. Now I'm thinking that we probably should have done more. We kept trying to come up with the right incentive to get her to work harder, like the need for good grades so she could drive. That didn't work. Maybe we should have found her an innovative tutor who could have helped her, someone who could have made learning fun and engaging, something.

She's got two more years of high school. Maybe it's not too late. If only she could get excited about something besides hanging out with her friends. What about the rest of her life? We just can't convince her that what she does now will affect what she can do for the rest of her life.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cell Phone Changes

You know how I was frustrated a while back because Beth was always running off with my cell phone and 'playing' with it? Now that phone is pretty much hers. Technically, the phone now belongs to both of the kids, but you know Beth has claimed it as her own. Still, if Cory needs a phone for any reason, that is the one he's going to take - unless, of course, Beth is out driving somewhere. I really don't want her driving without the phone - just in case something would happen.

Since Beth had done something to my cell phone, so that it was all chewed up and scratched up, we decided she would continue using that one, and I got a new one. I also got a new number because there aren't that many people who even know my cell phone number, but Beth's friends are always calling my old number. Somehow she forgot to mention that it was my phone and not hers. Anyway, I have a brand-new, unscratched phone, and a brand-new number all for me, and already today, I got a wrong number call. Oh well, at least it wasn't a call for one of Beth's friends.

I'm still not going to be happy if Beth is on the phone all the time. There's really no need. If calls at all hours of the night start showing up on the statement, no matter that they don't cost anything, she will not be taking the phone in her room at night. The first morning after she claimed it? She slept with the phone on the pillow next to her. Me thinks she's a little attached.

My Kids Call Me Cheap

Yes, they do - especially my daughter, and especially when she wants something or thinks she needs something, and I say NO. I'm good at saying no when it comes to money. I grew up poor, and it's still hard for me to spend money on anything we don't really need. Believe me, I can usually come up with a reason why we don't need something, too, and be able to figure out how we can live without it.

While Beth calls me cheap sometimes, she also seems to have a good understanding of the importance of handling money wisely. She is especially adamant about never wanting a credit card. Though it seems you need credit cards for certain things in today's society, and she'll probably end up having at least one, I hope she continues in her determination never to go into debt. We have started giving her money each month for her needs - clothing and health & beauty items - instead of just buying her what she needs. We opened a checking account for her, and she has a debit card to use. She really didn't want that to start with because, in her mind, it was too much like a credit card. When we explained that she only has that certain amount of money, and she can't spend any more than that, she felt better about it. She's been doing really well keeping track of the money in her account, though she does get her balance down pretty low by the time two weeks is up. (I deposit money into her account every two weeks.) Yes, cash would be better, but the checking account makes it easier for me. I don't always have cash on hand.

Once her balance gets low, if she wants something else before the next deposit, she has to do without a particular item of clothing that she wants because she doesn't have enough money to pay for it. So far she hasn't had to go naked or not been able to brush her teeth or wash her hair for lack of toothpaste or shampoo, and hopefully this is helping her learn some budget planning. She knows how much money she has and how long that money has to last, and has to make the appropriate decisions about what is important and what isn't. I think it's really important for her to learn this now while she's young so she doesn't get herself into financial trouble later on.

Cory's old enough for an account now, and I think it's about time for him to start handling his own expenses, too.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In Honor of Cory's 15th Birthday

I uploaded some pictures of my wonderful son and created a slideshow from them. I'm new to PhotoBucket so this is my first try. I was hoping to use more of the pictures in the slideshow, but they limit it. Ideally I would find pictures from each year of the boy's life and put a slideshow together with all of them so we can see how he's grown and changed, but that would mean I had to scan in some old pictures, and I would need to be able to use more pictures for my slideshow. Let's just say that he used to be much smaller! He's still the wonderful, loving, fun son he's always been. Now he's just taller than me. I'm really proud to know him!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2 Things

  1. I hope I didn't treat my mom this badly. I seriously don't remember, but I don't even remember it being an option. Why is it an option here? How do I get her to be nice?
  2. At least one kid loves me.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Paintball, Anyone?

The kids are getting older. We used to do all kinds of fun things together, but now they don't like the same old things. I think it's time for a new activity, and I'm thinking, "What about paintball?" I've seen it on television, and it looks like fun. You get to play with guns and shoot people, after all, and it's legal. I think we'll have to start someplace where we can try it for a while to see how much we like it. After that, it's time to get all our own equipment, right? First, we'd need some Spider paintball guns. The Spyder VS3 looks pretty deadly. It shoots up to 30BPS. Or we could start with the Spyder Pilot and get a whole package that includes a mask, battery, and spare parts kit to name a few of the things included in the box. I'm not really sure how to pick the best Spyder paintball guns, but I do believe the idea of buying a complete kit sounds like a good way to start.

I will have to browse around the site at Ultimate Paintball to see what looks good. They say that the Spyder Pilot ACS is one of their top selling guns, so that may be the way to go. But then again, I may find something I like better. Either way, Ultimate Paintball offers the best prices - and FREE shipping - so, if I'm going to be buying paintball equipment, from guns to safety gear to air systems to paintball tubes and paintball gloves (Wow! I'm gonna need a lot of stuff!) - they're the place to buy.

This post was sponsored by Ultimate Paintball, but they've asked to have all links removed.  If you're interested in any of their paintball equipment, I'm sure you can find them with an Internet search.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Cory Left Me

When I got out of the shower, I found a note on my computer. Cory ran off to the library while I was in the shower. I had already told him he could go, but it was very thoughtful of him to leave me a note. Besides, we've been struggling to get his sister to understand the importance of always letting us know where she is and who she's with, so it's good to see that at least one of the kids gets it. Anyway, people are supposed to come into the library today and play games - from noon to 2pm. Since I hadn't gotten in the shower yet, and wouldn't be ready to go, (since I hate going anywhere all scuzzy if I don't have to) I told him he should go anyway. It would be fun to play some games, but who really has time? I have way too many things to do, and I'm not getting them done - so I guess it wouldn't actually hurt anything to go play. Yesterday we went to the beach and just left everything. Cory took back the stuff that was due today, so I don't even need to run to the library today. We usually do go on Fridays. We're usually there at least twice a week - more if they get something in that we just can't live without.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Call Us

I think I mentioned that Beth is gone for the week. She went "Up North" with a friend. Our cell phone plan does not extend that far north. If she took one of our phones, which, at this time, would be mine, she may not even get a signal. If she did get a signal, every minute she used would be roaming, and that can cost plenty of money. So, we didn't send a phone with her. There is a land line in the cabin, and she was supposed to call Tuesday night when they got up there so we would have the number - just in case we would need to get in touch with her. She didn't call, until 6pm today, Thursday. All right, maybe she forgot. Then again, maybe it was a long distance call and she felt funny using their phone. Here is where a good online phone card would have come in handy. By using the phone card, she could have known that she (well, we) would be paying for the phone call. She could dial the access number and PIN and the minutes would be charged to the account. The rates are good, too - as low as 1.8¢ per minute. Pingo will even give us $5 in calls just for signing up - that can be up to 4 hours of international calls, because even the international rates are good. Not that we need international calling, but you never know.

Using Pingo sounds really simple, and we wouldn't even have to send an actual card along with Beth. All she'd need is the toll-free access number (so it wouldn't cost anything to call from any phone) and the PIN. I think it is a good idea for next time. The thing is, with this kind of call access, she'd be calling the boyfriend instead of calling us!

For more free call credit, users can create their own Usermercial, too.

This post sponsored by Pingo

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

She's Gone

Beth ran off and left us. She's going 'Up North' with Kayla and her family to play on the lake and go 4-wheeling in the mud and stuff like that. She won't be back until Sunday sometime. It's probably good for Kayla's family that the kids get to take a friend. They probably get less of the whining about being bored and such. How they could actually get bored, I don't know. It sounds like there is plenty to do, but I don't know if they have Internet at that cabin 'Up North' - and you know how important the Internet is to teenagers. Look who's talking. The Internet is pretty important to me, too.

Having Beth gone ought to save us some $$$, though. She's been running all over the place. Now that she can drive, she thinks that she should be able to go places all the time. Last week she wanted to see a movie with a friend, and we charged them money for gas. But, she has been running over to pick up the boyfriend multiple times. He's staying with a friend right now, and I had her check to see how many miles it was last night - she had to see him since she's going to be gone all week - and she said it was 10 miles. So, figure 10 miles there and 10 miles back, twice, since she picks him up, brings him here, and then takes him home after. That's 40 miles total and uses about 2 gallons of gas - that's $6! That girl had better get a job quick! She did have an interview at Culver's last week, so she's waiting to hear from them. Also, she's supposed to work a couple of weeks at the pizza place in Palmyra while her friend Alli is gone on vacation, covering her job. She had to go in for a couple of hours on Sunday to get trained there.

Besides just paying for gas and stuff she wants and wants to do, it will be good for her to have a job. She just doesn't seem to have anything else going in her life. The only thing she seems to care about is 'hanging out' with her friends. Nothing else matters. Nothing else is worth putting any effort into. It's really frustrating. Hopefully the incentive of being paid will at least give her a reason to do something. Also, it will keep her busy so she doesn't have so much time to just do nothing and complain about how there's nothing to do around here. Though, when I offer her things to do, she doesn't want to do that.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Disclosure Policy

Disclosure Policy
This policy is valid from July 1, 2007 (and updated 12/01/09)

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I do accept forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions, free samples in exchange for my opinion, or other forms of compensation.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog, but the opinion will always be mine. If I don't like something, I will let you know or simply not talk about it - and definitely not recommend it.

I am compensated, and willing to be compensated, to provide my opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though I may receive compensation for my posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog may contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified. I mark all my paid posts, whether just a link or a full review, with the month and year, (01/09, 02/09, etc.) I started doing that because Google was penalizing bloggers for accepting paid posts and being up front about it. Since then, they have completely taken my PageRank anyway, so I suppose it doesn't really matter any more, but it also gives me a good way to keep track of all paid posts each month. If you have a question about whether or not I have been paid to write about something, please ASK.

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