Thursday, May 27, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 57

I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.
I really liked the clouds on Wednesday.  OK, so I like the clouds every day, but…
Those are really pretty, aren’t they?  I took the first pic from my back deck, looking across the neighborhood.  Then Jeffrey and I went out that evening to go see a movie.  We saw Date Night.  Before the movie we went to Home Depot, because we needed compost and mulch.  If I lived on a farm like my brother, we could make our own compost, but we don’t, so we bought some.  I need to get the garden going – now that all danger of frost has passed.

After we Jeffrey loaded the compost and mulch into the back of the van and went to take the cart back, I took a couple shots of the sky over the parking lot while I waited for him.
Then we went to the movie and to Dairy Queen afterwards for ice cream.  It’s fun to have a Date Night every once in a while!

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Book Review: The Last Christian

The Last Christian
by David Gregory

About this book:
In the future, it’s possible to live forever—but at what cost?

A.D. 2088.

Missionary daughter Abigail Caldwell emerges from the jungle for the first time in her thirty-four years, the sole survivor of a mysterious disease that killed her village. Abby goes to America, only to discover a nation where Christianity has completely died out. A curious message from her grandfather assigns her a surprising mission: re-introduce the Christian faith in America, no matter how insurmountable the odds.

But a larger threat looms. The world's leading artificial intelligence industrialist has perfected a technique for downloading the human brain into a silicon form. Brain transplants have begun, and with them comes the potential of eliminating physical death altogether—but at what expense? 

As Abby navigates a society grown more addicted to stimulating the body than nurturing the soul, she and Creighton Daniels, a historian troubled by his father's unexpected death, become unwitting targets of powerful men who will stop at nothing to further their nefarious goals. Hanging in the balance—the spiritual future of all humanity.

In this fast-paced thriller, startling near-future science collides with thought-provoking religious themes to create a spell-binding "what-if?" novel.
View the video trailer
From the time I started reading this book, I had a hard time putting it down. I didn't want to do other things - I just wanted to read the book and see how it all turned out.  Read the first chapter for yourself and see if you don't get hooked!  I thought the book was really well written and kept you guessing until the very end.  It was easy to read and fast-paced, and I really enjoyed it.

I love science fiction, and especially when it doesn't feel so much like fiction but more like possibility.  The future David Gregory pictures in The Last Christian may not be so far-fetched.  How long until technology and science promise eternal life, and how long until people no longer see a need for God?  Unfortunately, there are a lot of trends in our country today that can lead to exactly that.  Some of the technology in this book sounds fantastic - virtual reality, cars that drive themselves, robots that perform surgery - but The Last Christian will really make you think about the possible consequences of all these advances.

The Last Christian is available now from Waterbrook Multnomah.  Here are a couple giveaways, if you'd like to try and win a copy:

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Mirror Ball Trophy Has Been Awarded Again

Tonight was the Dancing with the Stars finale, and as I started watching I realized that I didn't vote all season.  Usually I pick a favorite or two and vote online, but this season I didn't really care that much.  I think that the right three couples made it to the finals and that the right couple won, but I wouldn't have been too disappointed if it had turned out differently.  Except if they had kept that annoying Kate Gosselin any longer than they did.  She could not dance at all.

And Niecy and her 'jiggly parts' - whatever.  Most people who go on the show talk about how good the whole dancing schedule helps them to how to lose weight fast, and they really get in shape.  It makes me think we ought to take up ballroom dancing so we can get in shape, though I doubt it works as well if you're not training intensely for hours every day.  Jeffrey did start walking with me again this week, so hopefully that will help him get in better shape.  That will have to do for now, considering he doesn't have time to devote hours to ballroom dancing.  It does look like fun, though - doesn't it?

Monday, May 24, 2010

What Kind of Pajamas Do You Wear?

There are so many styles of women's pajamas, it would be hard to pick just one, wouldn't it?  I remember having a flannel nightgown on some of those winter nights when I was growing up, but what I really wanted was some super-warm footie pajamas - the kind babies and toddlers wear.  Do they make those in women's sizes?  
I was thinking a different material, but these flannel ones would be nice.  I found them at where you can buy women's pajamas, and only womens' pajamas.  Men have to get theirs somewhere else.

Speaking of men, my husband probably wouldn't like these flannel footie things, but I'd only need them for those nights he's not home.  The bed is a lot colder when I'm the only one in it.  Of course, now that the winter is over, that really isn't an issue.  Now I need something a whole lot cooler ( has those too), that is, if I'm going to wear womens pajamas at all. 

How about you?

Cory's Shoes

Practically from the time he bought these white Converse, Cory has wanted to paint them. Tonight he did it, and they turned out AWESOME:

The boy is so talented and creative! And now he has these one-of-a-kind shoes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Web Hosting for Only $10

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


It looks like now is the perfect time to try paid web hosting, if you aren't using it already.  Or a good time to change hosts if you're not happy with the one you have.  Why?  Because Nexx is offering Unlimited Web Hosting for only $10 for the first year.  (Use Code SPARK10 to get this deal)

Each $10 Nexx hosting plan includes:
  • Diskspace: Unlimited 
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited 
  • E-mail: Unlimited 
  • Free Domains: 1 
  • 24/7 Customer Support 
  • **Google Adwords Credits: $50 
  • **Facebook Ads Credits: $50 
  • One-Click Wordpress and Blog installations.
Why such a great deal?
“We’re committed to providing customers with affordable solutions to establish and grow a web presence. At just $10 for the first year, this unlimited hosting package provides a great opportunity to those who have not yet experienced our state-of-the-art technology and top quality customer service,” says Suat Alaybeyoglu, Director of Marketing. “On top of all the included rich features, we’re also providing a money back guarantee to all new customers.”

I'm thinking it just might be time to move from Blogger to self-hosted Wordpress - because everyone says it's the only way to go.  I'm not sure how to go about installing and maintaining Wordpress, but I guess I have to start somewhere.  The Nexx control panel is supposed to be very easy to use, allowing users to install Wordpress and other apps like Joomla, Drupal and Zen Cart at the click of a button.  So how hard can it be?  They offer 24/7 customer support, so should be able to help with any problems.

Considering that registering a domain name alone usually costs around $10 a year, this is an amazing deal.  Like all amazing deals, though, it won't last forever.  Offer ends June 30, 2010.

Visit my sponsor: Unlimited Web Hosting + Domain Name for $10 @ Nexx
Enhanced by Zemanta

New Music: One eskimO

Thanks to One2One Network, I got the chance to check out the new self-titled CD by One eskimO.  One eskimO is a critically-acclaimed English band fronted by singer-songwriter Kristian Leontiou and includes musicians Pete Rinaldi (guitar), Jamie Sefton (bass, horns) and Adam Falkner (drums). I hadn't heard of them, but enjoyed the sound of their hit song 'Kandi' which you may have already heard since it's the most played song on all adult rock radio 4 weeks and counting.  You can watch the video on YouTube, in case you're like me and hadn't heard it.

The album release comes in tandem with a full length animated film.  “Hometime”, one of the tracks that an animated short was first done with proved to be quite a sensation.  It received numerous honors at film festivals around the world, as well as a 2008 British Animation Award.  I'm not sure if they're talking about this track or not, but I enjoyed the animated version of 'Kandi' so thought I'd include it:

One eskimO - "Kandi" - Animated from Shangri-La Music on Vimeo.

Cory ran off with the CD as soon as it came in the mail and ripped it to his Zune.  Since then we've been listening to it in the van every time we go anywhere.  Both Cory and I are enjoying it quite a bit.  It's not like anything else I listen to, so I can't really compare it to anything.  Billboard Magazine calls the album "...catchy, ambient pop." and Los Angeles Times Magazine hails the song "Kandi" “a beautiful, aspirational track.”   I'm not sure exactly how I would classify it, but overall I find it easy to listen to and several of the tracks are quite catchy.

Will it become one of my favorite CDs?  Probably not, but it is one that I will continue to listen to.  I especially like that I can share it with my teenage son.  Have you heard some of the music teenagers listen to nowadays?  This is nothing like that.  It's easy on the eardrums and doesn't seem to have any objectionable lyrics.

The CD is available now, and One eskimO will be on tour throughout May, June, and July.  Check out the One eskimO website for more information and tour dates. You can also find the band on facebook and get a free download of the song 'Astronauts' by sharing on twitter.  Enter to win a copy of the CD as well as a One eskimO t-shirt over at Oh hey, what's up.

Thanks to the One2One Network for sending me this CD for free. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% mine.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, May 20, 2010

$5 Movies

Jeffrey, Cory and I went to see Iron Man 2 this weekend.  We went Sunday evening, early enough to still get matinee price.  I guess it's been a while since we've been out to see a movie, or we just weren't paying close attention to the ticket price.  It costs $7.50 to see a matinee now!

Last summer I signed up for the Marcus Theatres Spotlight movie club.  Every week, they choose 4 movies to spotlight and send out a coupon.  With the coupon,  admission to any of those movies is only $5, any time on Wednesday and Thursday.  It's not always convenient to go to a movie in the middle of the week, and these are movies that have been out for a little while, but $5 is a pretty good deal. 

Jeffrey and I saw several movies last summer and then just didn't have time to take advantage of them all winter.  Now that school's almost over and summer's almost here, I think we'll have to start seeing some $5 movies again.  If you've got a Marcus Theatre in your area, be sure to check out the Spotlight movie club.

Do You Like Your Milk Raw?

A bottle of green-top (raw, unpasturised) milk...Image via Wikipedia
I was looking up a home insurance quote and watching the news this morning when I saw that the governor vetoed a bill that would allow raw milk sales in the state of Wisconsin.  I'm not sure what the big deal is.  If farmers have cows and people want to buy the milk, why shouldn't they be allowed to?  People were drinking raw milk way before the whole process of pasteurization and homogenization became the norm, right?  But the government is concerned about the 'health risks' and of course the public, and the dairy industry, must be protected.

Yeah, right.  How about educating the public and letting them make their own decisions?  Maybe there's some kind of small business insurance farmers could have that would cover things, just on the off chance someone does get sick from drinking raw milk.  Then the government wouldn't have to butt in interfere be responsible.   The farmers in Texas could get Texas business insurance. Wait - are there dairy farms in Texas, or do those farmers just sell raw beef?

What do I know?  I just grew up drinking raw goat's milk. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

CSN Stores Giveaway

I'm excited to announce a really great giveaway! The nice folks at CSN Stores have offered to give one of my readers a $60 gift certificate to use at any of their 200+ stores.  Here's a little introduction to CSN Stores:
What is a CSN Store? Service. Selection. Price That's what makes a CSN Store. For years, we've grown our specialty stores in areas where we can offer superior service, selection and low prices for our customers. We've built a huge offering of home and office products for everyone, from the budget-minded shopper to the luxury-seeker.
Whether you'd like a new sleeper sofa or a pet bed, you can find it at CSN Stores.  What do you need?  Bar stools, bedding sets, barbecue grills, baby accessories, bookcases, or something else?  Whatever you need, you can shop at any of the CSN Stores and check out with one shopping cart.  The hardest part will be deciding what to use your $60 gift certificate for if you're the winner, because there is so much to choose from.

Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Aren't those just the coolest drinking glasses?  I had to make myself stop looking or I'd never get this post up!

Anyway, here's the part you want to see - 1 winner will receive a one-time-use $60 gift certificate to use at CSN Stores.  You can get something $60 or less, or apply your $60 to something more expensive.  The choice is yours - and did I mention that there are so many choices?   This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.  Please note that there may be shipping charges or in the case of Canadian readers, international fees, for certain products.

To enter:

  • Visit CSN Stores and have a look around.  Come back and leave a comment telling me what you'd use your $60 for if you win.  Don't worry, you can always change your mind later!  (This must be done first for any additional entries to count)

For additional entries: (leave a comment for each one)

  • Follow me on twitter (@bcmom) and tweet the giveaway link, you can tweet once per day and leave a separate comment for each.
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post.  Leave me a comment with your url.
  • Subscribe to my blog in a reader or by email, or Follow this Blog with Google Friend Connect.  Let me know which way you subscribed - or let me know if you're already a subscriber.
  • Link to Beth & Cory's Mom on your sidebar or add me to your blog list or blogroll.
  • If you can think of any other creative way to spread the word about this giveaway, go ahead.  Just leave me a comment letting me know how and where you shared.
Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.  All entries must be received by 11:59pm Thursday, 6/3/10.  Winners will be randomly chosen.  If you're the winner, you will receive all the gift certificate information via email, so be sure I have an email address for you.  Good Luck!

In and Out

It figures.  Today, when I actually get to be home and have lots to do on the computer, my wireless connection won't behave.  It keeps dropping and re-connecting and dropping and re-connecting.  I don't know why it does this every once in a while, but it makes it hard to do anything.  Web pages won't load, or they take forever.  It's getting very frustrating.

I may have to give in and reboot my computer if it doesn't improve.  I have no idea why it helps, but sometimes it does.  And, if that doesn't help, I'll have to run down and re-boot the router and maybe even the modem.  It's just frustrating because I want it to work, without a bunch of rigmarole.  Then I can get straight to writing posts, checking credit reports, paying bills, and all the rest that needs done.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

There's Definitely Something Wrong with Me

I had to vacuum again today.  The little Weasley brat got into my plant.  Again.  There was dirt everywhere.  Again.  And I had to clean it all up.  Again.

And while I was vacuuming all that dirt up, Weasley was right there watching me.  And when I looked down at him, all I wanted to do is pick him up and squeeze him.  He was having none of that because I just got after him for messing with the plant, but seriously, what is wrong with me?  Does his cuteness really mean that he can get away with anything?   I'm pretty sure that if he takes up smoking Davidoff cigars that will be the last straw, because nobody is cute enough to get away with smoking anything in my house or anywhere near me.  But, other than that, Weasley seems to be able to get away with all kinds of stuff.

I mean, he gets in trouble, but it doesn't seem to phase him for long - and I just can't stay mad at him.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Wasn't Planning to Vacuum Today

Jeffrey mowed the yard today and then said he was going to turn the dirt in the gardens over.  So I went out and pulled as many of the weeds as I could, to get them out before he worked up the dirt.  While I was pulling all those weeds it struck me as very unfair that we have to wait to plant the vegetables until the danger of frost has passed - but the weeds have no such restrictions.  They just grow and grow and grow.

Anyway, after a couple hours working on weeds and playing in the dirt, we decided we'd done enough.  So I came in, washed my hands, and got Jeffrey some water.  I took it to him out on the deck, where he was doing something else that I can't remember now, and turned around - and that's when I noticed dirt all over my living room floor.  Not only dirt but part of one of my plants.  The little brat cat who lives here had been playing in the dirt, too.  He'd dug up the plant and scattered dirt, not only in the middle of the floor, but all over and under the end table the plant was sitting on and under it and in my computer bag which was sitting next to it, and all over newspapers and magazines - and just everywhere.

So, even though I wasn't planning to vacuum today, I got to pull the vacuum cleaner out and vacuum dirt off of everything and out of everything.  As I was cleaning it up, I found even more dirt and realized Weasley had gotten into several other plants, too. 

Oh, if the little brat wasn't so cute....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Choosing the Wrong Friends

I was just reading this website on teen drug treatment and saw where it says that peer pressure is one of the big reasons why teens start taking drugs.  It seems to work that way, because from some of the things Beth has told me about her friends, even the best kids can get in with the wrong crowd and make a whole lot of bad choices.  One of her friends who seemed like such a nice guy back in high school has apparently been in jail for drug possession and maybe even dealing.  And it sounds like so many of her other friends have at least experimented with drugs, and some of them could really benefit from teen drug rehab.

I don't know all the teen drug statistics, but on the surface it would seem that teens living in a small town would be less likely to get addicted to drugs than teens in the big city.  Apparently that's not the case - teens from anywhere can be at risk.  Thankfully, even though she hasn't always made the best choices when it comes to friends, and other things, Beth has avoided drugs.  At least I choose to believe her when she says so, especially when I see how upset she gets when Tim's so-called friends want him to smoke weed with them.  Maybe his 'friends' should look into teen Marijuana rehab?  Except that they're no longer teens, and they don't seem to want to quit.  This is, apparently, what they want to do with their lives.  Sad.

Unfortunately, as long as Tim considers them friends, Beth is going to have to deal with the whole thing.  She's not really having to deal with her high school friends and all their issues because she doesn't see them much anymore, not since she started dating Tim - but that's a whole other issue.

Camera Critters (#110)

When Beth moved out, she took the scratching post with her.  Since Weasley still has his claws and is used to having that scratching post, we thought we better get him one quick.  When Cory and I went to Walmart to find one, he found this Cat Condo on clearance for $9, so we thought we’d try it.  We put it in the same place as the scratching post had been, hoping he’d figure out this could be used for the same thing.
Cory put both the cats into it.

They weren’t too sure about it, and crawled right back out as soon as he let them. And then Weasley decided to climb back in – only he wanted the bottom hole, where Tillie had been.
Every once in a while, he climbs back in, but I still haven’t seen him scratch on it. We also bought him a carpet scratcher that hangs on a doorknob. It has catnip in it, and he loves that, so he’s done plenty of playing and clawing with that one.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, May 14, 2010

They Grow Up Fast Enough

Did anybody see this story on GMA this morning?  Apparently there's a video spreading like wildfire around the internet.  It features little girls, 8 and 9 years old, dancing the the Beyonce song Single Ladies.  These girls are dressed in skimpy outfits and dancing in a way that seems completely inappropriate for their ages, or any other age for that matter.  They'll grow up soon enough and be learning to drive, looking for the best acne treatments, and worrying about boys.

Honestly, I don't even like watching Beyonce and her girls dancing to this song, but at least they're adults.  The parents of these girls don't seem to have a problem with it - except for the fact that the video has gone viral and there has been taken 'out of context' instead of just being part of a dance competition.  I just think it's really disturbing.

What do you think?
Enhanced by Zemanta

The Broken Ones

For some reason, when I'm eating tortilla chips, I just can't stop eating the broken ones.  It's like I'm trying to clean up the bucket of chips.  (We buy the big box of chips at Sam's Club and empty them into a big container)  I keep eating broken chips thinking I'll stop when there are no more broken ones.  Except, it seems, there are always more broken chips.  Who broke these chips, anyway?

Eventually I just have to make myself stop and put the lid on the container.  Sometimes, though, I take the lid off again and start picking broken chips out.  If I don't get over this obsession with the broken chips, I'm going to have to find a quick weight loss diet because even the broken ones have have calories.  And they definitely have a lot of salt.  Eating all these chips is making me thirsty.

Does anybody else have this problem?

(BTW - leftovers from this Southwestern Shepherd's Pie make a great dip for those chips)

Mommy Rhapsody

One of my friends shared this on facebook, and I just had to pass it along.

Mommy Rhapsody from Church on the Move on Vimeo.


Is this the real life
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see

I'm just a mom
I need no sympathy
Because I do it all
On the go
Poopy pants, runny nose
Kitchen, kids and laundry
Everything is dirty
No sleep, no sleep.

Momma, I puked in the van
Momma, there's gum stuck in my hair
I just pushed Lucy down the stairs (she's bleeding)
Momma, where did I come from?
Better ask your daddy that when he gets home

Momma, oooooooh
I don't wanna die
Well, you should have thought of that before you broke my lamp!

I smell a little bit of poopy in the van
Sarah move, Sarah move
Get your butt in the Durango
Daddy's coming home late, better fix a hot plate NOW!

Fettucini Alfredo

I'm just a poor boy can I have some money please?
What do I look like? Money doesn't grow on trees!
Maybe if you ever picked up your things!

Party at Stevie's house will you let me go?
Joshua, we will not let you go!
Let me go!
Joshua, we will not let you go!
Let me go!
Joshua, we will not let you go!
Let me go!
Will not let you go!
Will not let you go!
Let me go!
No, no, no, no, no!
Oh mamma mia, momma mia, let me go!
If you ask me one more time I'll scream!
I'll scream!
I'll scream!

So you think I don't care if you stay up and cry?
So you think I don't need any sleep tonight?
Oh, oh baby
Please just go to sleep baby!
Just gotta get out
Just gotta right out of here

In the end it's worth it
Wouldn't change a thing
In the end it's worth it
In the end it's worth it to me 
Gotta wash the kid's clothes 

Last Progress Report

We got the last progress report of Cory's high school career yesterday.  I've been doing that - last play, last concert, last whatever, as we count down to the end of school.  It's an exciting time, but sad all at the same time.  With Beth, it all just kind of sneaked up on us, mainly because she was finished with school after first semester, and she only went half days while she was in school.

With Cory, he's going the whole time and involved with everything.  Well, maybe not everything, but plenty.  With so much going on and all the things coming home about graduation and activities, it's a lot easier to see how this whole high school thing is coming to an end.  All those years of pencils and notebooks, lockers and school furniture, bells, hallways, teachers and friends are coming to an end.

I'm excited to see what life holds in store for him, but I also know it means he'll be moving on and moving out when he starts college in the fall, and I'm gonna miss him.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 56

I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

Clouds and light – I never get tired of looking.

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Just a Little Caffeine

Well, I didn't get a nap. Instead I had a cup of coffee - I tried making this cold brewed coffee yesterday, so I had to see how it turned out.  It wasn't bad at all, though from what I've been reading, there isn't as much caffeine in cold brewed coffee, so it probably didn't do much for me.  It was the idea of it, I guess.

It was enough of an idea that I got Cory's shirts ironed - both the white one and the black one because he's not sure which one he's wearing to prom.  It depends which one looks best with the bow tie.  Then after the ironing, I cleaned our bathroom, which really needed it.  And for dinner?  Grilled cheese and turkey salad on homemade sourdough bread - easy but yummy.

By the time the dishes were done after dinner, I was more than ready to sit down.  My head doesn't really hurt any more, but I am so tired.  I really don't want to move until it's time to head down the hall to bed, but Beth wants us to go over to her apartment and see her new table and how she's got her tv stands and other furniture arranged.  It sounds like they're pretty much unpacked and settled in and even have pictures hung on the walls.  Just the fact that she wants to share it with us is enough to make it worth getting up and going over there and going up all those stairs...  She's so excited to have her own place, the least we can do is go visit when she asks us, right?

I wonder when she's serving us dinner on her new table?

I Need a Nap

For some reason I woke up with a headache this morning.  Combine that with the fact that I didn't get to go walking this morning because it was raining, and I just don't feel good at all today.  I've been slowly trying to accomplish something today, but the list just seems way too long.  I wonder, will I ever get caught up?  I've got emails to respond to and send, posts to make, charts to convert and get uploaded, bathrooms to clean, dinner to make - once I figure out what to make, and I'm pretty sure there are a bunch of other things on there that I'm forgetting.

I should probably start with making an actual list, so I don't forget anything and so I can cross stuff off as I get it done.  That will make me feel like I'm accomplishing stuff, right?  Though I honestly don't feel like doing any of it - not talking about life insurance rates, ironing Cory's shirts so he has something to wear to prom Saturday night, or any of it.  Mostly I just feel like curling up and taking a nap.

Do You Have It?

Life Insurance is not something any of us really want to talk about.  We want to believe that we'll always be around to take care of our families.  Hopefully that's the case, and life insurance is something you get but you or your family never have to use.  I know I never want to collect - though Jeffrey and I joke once in a while about how rich the other one would be if anything happened.  I'd much rather have him around than be rich - and really, I wouldn't be rich, but I would be able to continue paying the bills.  Without that insurance, I don't know what I'd do.  Losing a loved one is hard enough, without having to worry about how you're going to stay in your house.

Even though it sounds like another monthly expense that you don't really want, the peace of mind is worth it.  Also, the sooner you get Life Insurance Quotes the more affordable it will be, because rates just seem to go up the older you get.  You can check around with different insurance companies to find something that works for you.  Maybe start with a little coverage and increase it as you can. 

If you don't feel that you can afford a life insurance policy, you might want to consider at least getting Funeral Insurance to help cover the cost of a funeral.  An average funeral can cost more than $6000, which just seems like adding insult to injury.  As if it's not bad enough that someone you love dies, you get hit will all these extra expenses.  It would certainly be nice to have some help with that.

It's also a good idea to discuss your coverage with your agent once in a while to be sure the coverage is still what you need - not that we've been taking that advice recently.  Our agent's office keeps calling trying to set up an appointment, and Jeffrey is just so busy with work that he can't commit to a meeting time.

- and who really wants to talk about life insurance?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Music and Ice Cream

We just got back from a very enjoyable evening.  It was a night filled with good music, and yes, ice cream too.  The high school choir, jazz band, and jazz choir each performed some really fun songs, and ice cream sundaes could be had for a song.  OK, not a song - for a suggested $2 donation, which was a good deal for a bowl of ice cream with as many toppings as you wanted.

The choir performed first.  They sang a really enjoyable song called Disney Dazzle which is a bunch of Disney songs.  Cory had a solo in this one, which made him very happy - and he did an awesome job.  The boy can sing, and he has so much fun doing it.  Besides the Disney song, they did a Phantom of the Opera medley, a song from Wicked, and some other ones.

After the choir it was time for the Jazz Band to play.  They also did several songs, and Cory played the Bari sax as well as the Soprano - and he enjoyed that quite a bit, too.  Jazz Band is always a lot of fun to listen to.

The Jazz Choir finished out the evening with a few songs, ending with All That Jazz from Chicago.

I wish more people had been there, but the ones that were seemed to have a good time, and it sounds like they'll be planning another one of these music-filled ice cream socials next year.
Enhanced by Zemanta

I Finally Got One

...and I sent one to my mom, too.

I've been wanting one of these Butter Crocks since I wrote a post about them ages ago.  I just never got around to ordering one, until now.  I started looking on eBay and found a really good deal, so I ordered one for myself.  I've been using it for about a week now, and I'm really liking it.  It makes me wonder what I was waiting for.  It keeps the butter at a nice temperature - so that it's spreadable but not too soft.  It's supposed to keep it good for 30 days, and with the weather getting warmer (AHEM! Weather, pay attention here!) it's nice to have.  I hate to keep the butter in the fridge where it gets too hard to spread, and I hate to leave it out on the counter where it gets really soft - and I'm sure it isn't really a good idea.  This seems to solve the whole problem.

So, after I used mine for a few days and decided that I like it as well as I thought I would, I ordered another one and had it sent to my mom.  It's perfect for her with the blue stripes.  I would have preferred red stripes on mine, to go with the strawberries in my kitchen, but I'm not complaining - because it works!  See HOW it works (video)

Have any of you tried these?  If you're looking for a good deal, check eBay.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

She Doesn't Live Here AnyMore

Beth finally did it - she moved out, as of the first of the month.  She didn't move far, though.  It's only about 1/2 mile from our house to her (and Tim's) new apartment.  So it's not like we'll never see her.  Sometimes I think we've seen her more since she moved out than we used to when she lived here.  One morning last week she even got up in the morning and went roller blading along with me while I walked.  She hasn't done that since 6th grade!  Of course it was only one morning.

They've got a small one-bedroom apartment, but it ought to work just fine for the two of them, and the cat.  They don't really have that much stuff, so that's good.  She bought a couch and chair for the living room - from an actual furniture store.  They've got a bed and a couple dressers for the bedroom, and that's about all that will fit - but there's a really nice walk-in closet.  The kitchen doesn't have many cabinets, and the stove and refrigerator are tiny, but there's a nice little pantry.  They found a table and chairs at a garage sale this weekend and someone sold them a very large TV for about $20.  She needed her dad to help carry that thing up the stairs.  Did I mention that this apartment is upstairs?  I'm sure moving everything in was lots of fun - going up those narrow stairs and around the corner to get in the door - but they did it and mostly by themselves.

This was probably the easiest move they will ever make - except maybe the fact that the apartment is so small will keep them from accumulating too much stuff, so whenever they move out of there it won't be too hard.  Now, if we ever have to move, that will be a whole different story!  Where does all this stuff come from?  We'll have to be looking for someone to help us, not Movers NYC, but maybe we can find some good info and recommendations on movers in the Milwaukee area, and hopefully get a good deal.  Either that or I will be sorting and packing and sorting and packing and tossing and sorting and tossing and packing for ages and ages and ages.  Just the thought of it makes me tired!

Maybe I can get Beth to help, since she's the expert on moving now.

How Times Have Changed

Just sharing something from my email:
When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning....Uphill... Barefoot...BOTH ways. yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But, I hate to say it, you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our butts! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car... We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OMG !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-finks!

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!  And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before!

And the over 60 crowd could tell you horror stories that would make you cry.

Yup, kids today just don't know how good they've got it.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Who Said He Could Grow Up?

Cory went to prom last night.  He asked a young lady to be his date, got all dressed up, went out and had a good time.  Before they left the house, I had to take a bunch of pics - of course.  Then, when I posted them to facebook, I got comments like, "our Cory is all grown up!"and "Are you sure that's Cory? Looks too grown up to suit me."  I have to agree.  What happened to my little boy?  Where did this handsome young man come from?

It seems just yesterday that he grew out of toddler clothing and had to start wearing Boys' sizes. I remember he was such a skinny little guy that I always had to buy him the Slim sizes.  He's filled out a bit now and shops in the Men's Department, and he's been taller than I am for a while now.  So I suppose it's a little hard to ignore the fact that he's all grown up, no matter how much I might like to.  Typical child - no matter how many times I told him to stay little, he just refused to listen!

Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way.  From the time he was a little bitty baby, his job was to grow up, and he's been doing that ever since.  He used to need me to feed him, dress him and read him children's books (a lot of the books listed here) - but he learned to feed himself, dress himself, and read, and he didn't need me for those things any more.  I like to believe that no matter how much he grows up that he'll still need me for some things - like loving him, supporting him, hugging him when he needs it, and just being proud of the young man he's become.

And if he doesn't need any of that, at least I can take the prom pics.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Book Review: Radical

Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream
by David Platt

About This Book:

It's easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily...


In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple--then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a "successful" suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus.

Finally, he urges you to join in The Radical Experiment --a one-year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring.
I don't necessarily agree with everything David Platt has to say in this book, but it definitely gets you thinking.  I think he is right on when he says that the American Dream gets in the way of our faith and often keeps us from doing what God wants us to be doing with our lives.  We get comfortable, we see the people around us doing the same things, and even in our churches we have a watered down faith that isn't remotely what Jesus intended.  I kept thinking about how Jesus kept getting after the Pharisees when he was here on earth and how their religion was nothing like He intended it to be.  I think he'd be saying the same things to us today.

This is not an easy book to read and not a book that you can read and walk away from.  It's a book that makes you take a hard look at your life and realize there are changes that need to be made.  David Platt has issued a challenge to all of us to take back our faith from the American Dream.  What will we do with it?  You can read the first chapter of his book here and request a free copy of the companion booklet The Radical Question.  (no strings, no shipping, but only while supplies last)  If these leave you wanting to learn more, and I think they will, you can get Radical here.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Field Trips for All

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

I always took field trips for granted.  We always took at least one or two field trips a year when I was in school, and my kids have always gone on field trips with their classes. I went on as many of those as I could, too, because field trips are fun.  The kids enjoy getting out of the classroom and being able to experience some of the things they've been learning throughout the school year.  I'm realizing now that we've been some of the lucky ones.

One of our friends was teaching summer school last year and decided to take her class on a field trip.  Most of these students were seniors in high school, and they had never been on a field trip!  This was their first one ever, and those students were so excited.  Those kids aren't the only ones, because according to a 2009 report from The American Association of School Administrators, it’s estimated that over the course of the current school year, the number of school districts eliminating field trips will increase by 56 percent. That’s more than 30,000 schools.  Those darn budget cuts again!

Are field trips really that important?  Some people might think they're just a waste of time or an excuse for kids to get out of school.  I don't think classes should take field trips just for the sake of taking a trip or just for fun, but if a field trip gets students excited about something they are learning, it's invaluable.  Field trips to museums to see things they've been studying in science or art class, field trips to the State Capital to see government in action, field trips to historic sites to see where the things they've been studying in the classroom actually happened - you just can't get that from a book.

Check out the faces of these students as they experience something no one else has:

The Lunchables Team believes so strongly in the importance of field trips that they've started a program called Field Trips For All. Through this program 50 classrooms will be selected to go on an inspiring, educational experience.  Anyone, ages 6 and up, can nominate a classroom.  Simply go to and click on the "LUNCHABLES Field Trips for All: 50 Field Trips" icon to register and submit an application.  Applications must be submitted by June 1st, so if you know of a deserving classroom, be sure to nominate them right away.  Since I won't have a kid in school next year, and my kids have been some of the lucky ones, I really don't know who I would nominate.  I really hope some students who have never had the opportunity to go on a field trip get to experience something great.
Click Here

Visit my sponsor: Field Trips For All

State State Play Prom Prom

... with a few concerts and awards nights thrown in for good measure!

Cory's been pretty busy recently.  It seems every weekend there's something, starting with State Forensics a few weeks ago.  Then he had State for Solo & Ensemble the following weekend, and the weekend after that was the Spring play.  Now, this coming weekend he's going to his school's prom.  He's going with a young lady from another school, so he had to get permission slips signed - and have dinner with her family since they hadn't met him yet.  I guess they liked him OK, because they agreed to let her go to prom with him.  Then, the following weekend, he's going to her prom with her.

In between all the busy weekends, he's busy finishing up his last semester of high school.  Last night was the National Honor Society banquet where they inducted new members and honored current members and outgoing seniors.  It was good we got to go, because we missed his first two - because he was busy preparing for plays.  Thankfully this year it was after the play was over.  Next week there's a Jazz Band and Choir concert, and then the week after that a Symphonic Band Awards concert and Senior Honors Night and a trip to Six Flags for choir and band performances and a little fun.  He's hoping the weather is nice and warm so he can spend the day at the water park, since he doesn't want to ride any roller coasters.  I still can't believe our kids don't like roller coasters!

I'm sure there are other things in there that I forgot or don't even know about yet - or there will be in the next couple of weeks, the last two weeks of school.  And then, graduation!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Since I've Been Gone

I'm going to pretend I have a really good reason for not blogging in ages.  I guess I do - there's always something going on.  Last weekend it was Cory's play.  The last play of his high school career, which is kind of sad if you think of it that way.  But I'm sure he's going to go on to bigger and better things.  There will be opportunities for him to act in college, and maybe he'll go on to be a famous actor someday.

Whether he's a big time actor or if he sells Kohler toilets for a living, I'll still be proud of him.

For now Jeffrey and I are trying to decide when and where we're going if we decide to go to Vegas, so hopefully I'll have time to catch up soon.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Camera Critters (#108)

Weasley looking out the window again, or actually the sliding door out to the deck.

Shortly after I took this, he curled up right there on the rug and took a nap.  He looks really interested here, but I guess the birds weren’t entertaining enough to keep him awake.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.