Monday, December 17, 2012

Open Eyes and Heavy Hearts

This isn't a typical Monday morning for parents across the country. This morning parents will hug their children a little tighter and watch them walk into the school buildings with a lump in their throat in some cases. After the eye opening terror last Friday in Connecticut we've all had our eyes opened to the unthinkable fear that someone would harm young, innocent children for no obvious reason other than their own inner battles.

I've read status messages on Facebook all morning from friends who were debating sending their kids to school today. They wondered what more or less their kids should know. They looked at empty car seats after drop-offs thinking of parents with empty bedrooms. I look at our Christmas Tree and wonder how these parents will get through the holidays. I would crack. I know I wouldn't make it having to look at the presents and stocking and bedroom. I'd leave the decorations up as long as possible living in that eternal moment of 'the last time they were here'.

My heart breaks today for parents everywhere because we're all together in this fear today. You never know when your time will come. You never know when that last goodbye will take place or the last trip to the ice cream parlor will occur. You do all you can to keep them safe and happy and protected and prepare them for the world. You have to cherish each moment and keep it in your heart forever and trust that there is a better place waiting that welcomed all of the little angels and their guardians on that sad day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why I Homeschool. . .

*I never edited this post nor did I stop and rethink anything typed. I sat here for an hour reading posts on Facebook and email messages and watching the news and my mind was full so I did what came naturally - I wrote. I judge no one here...I'm simply speaking my mind and trying to explain why I choose to homeschool. My main point in this is that suddenly many are thinking homeschool is the answer because bad things happen and the truth is that while they do, you can't keep your child safe forever. At some point you do need to let them go with the knowledge you've given them and hope and pray they know how to handle things. Sadly there are situations where they are not in control and it can happen anywhere as we've learned this year: school, the mall, a movie theater, their own neighborhood. You need to do what YOU think is best for your child after putting all of the reasons out there. And that is what was going around my brain before I wrote the following:

Photo by WolfC ~

With the horrible tragedy in Connecticut this past week I've had people commend me because I homeschool. There was also a shooting at a local highschool just minutes from my house. I've had people ask me how I do it because they're curious now after these horrible events. It's funny how so many rolled their eyes or asked why I would do this to my child and now they're wanting to 'do it to their child' but for very different reasons.

On Friday when the news was saturated with images of crying parents and frightened children my son and I sat and watched. Yes, my 7 year old was with me because as horrific the situation it is reality and you can't live in a bubble. Details were of course not gone into. . .even I didn't want/need them but the main parts were brought up and his only reply was, "Well I'm glad I'm homeschooled so I don't have to worry about that."

The irony is that the night before I sat at a party with other homeschool moms talking about WHY we homeschool. Sheltering our kids from reality was never brought up. As horrible as this was I don't want my child living in some bubble thinking the world is rainbows and lollipops. I don't want him afraid to go outside but he needs to have a sense of reality for lack of better word. Not everyone is your friend and not everyone can be trusted. We grew up being told not to talk to strangers for a reason just as now-a-days kids are told not to put every picture on Facebook text everyone and anyone and such.

Homeschool has taken on many different forms. My son attends a cyber charter school so I'm not teaching him, just assisting and doing homework with him just as though he were actually attending. The difference? The curriculum is more challenging, we can take more or less time on subjects, we can do more with his learning. . .it gives us a freedom with his education while still challenging him and meeting requirements. I still smile when I think back to how he was helping a friend with her homework last year - she was a year ahead of him.

I homeschool my son because I want a better handle on his education. I want him to learn and be in a situation where he IS learning not where he's in a classroom with 20 other students and has unanswered questions. If he is having trouble with something we can go over it. If he's finding something easy to grasp we can run quickly through it. If I choose to teach my child something different than what the schools feel is appropriate I may do so. If my child wants to eat a turkey sandwich or peanut butter cookies or have a piece of cake I will allow him unlike schools pushing processed lunches, banning snacks due to allergies/federal guidelines.

I homeschool my son because I want him to have the same morals, manners and behavior that was expected of me. I may lay the foundation but a day with other kids certainly can change that especially in a world where parents don't care if their children use foul language. Children now-a-days scare me. They're a different breed in some instances. They're mini adults with their electronics and schedules just running around doing what they want while parents are forced to work and let them raise themselves.

I homeschoool my son because I can. I had planned to work full time once he was in school but after meeting other homeschool families I wanted what they have. I wanted their close knit relationships. We don't have the biggest house or newest vehicles. We don't eat steaks every night and wear designer clothes. We make sacrifices so that we can do this and I'm thankful for my husband's support.

I know that many families achieve what I desire for my son and send their children to school. I know that sending them to school doesn't mean they're doomed to be awful and horrible little children but I just want to be a part of his life. I want to do all I can to make this time mean something. I want him to learn and be able to do things he wouldn't be able to otherwise. He's able to be in a theater group and do amazing things for local charities. I see too many children raised by teachers rather than parents.

I homeschool my son in the hopes of raising him to be the best he can be not to keep him at home in a bubble and afraid of the 'big bad world' or too naive to know what the real world is like.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A New Past-time

We're soda drinkers. I admit I know it's bad for our teeth and I've seen what happens when you put a nail in a glass of Coke or pour it onto your car so I can only imagine what is happening to my teeth as I taste each bubbly sip. My son also loves soda but mostly the bubbly part which is why I started buying carbonated juices but $5 for 8 cans was getting to be a bit much so...I asked for a SodaStream for my birthday.

That was in July and here we are in December and I just NOW had to get a new CO2 canister! How's THAT for economic! And we ALWAYS have at least one bottle of 'something' in the fridge. Our current favorite flavors are the all natural Rootbeer and Grape.

I have to admit it's saved us money and I've been telling everyone I know about how cool it is to have such a nice selection of beverages to make at my leisure. I'm sure they're no better for my teeth considering the sugar but the selection of all natural flavors do make it a nice alternative to the usual stuff and I like to think they're a 'bit' better; meanwhile, the MyWater flavor syrups are definitely healthy. Just a slight 'hint' of flavor so I don't mind when my son ends up drinking an entire bottle. lol It's even getting me to drink more water because those syrups to flavor water are nice but as my son says, "I just like those bubbles!".

Another model with a bit more 'oomph' is the Fizz that has a gas level indicator so you're not guessing when you have to replace your CO2.

When you get your SodaStream don't forget to get extra Sodastream 2-Pk. Carbonating Bottles (Google Affiliate Ad)!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Happenings

With the holiday season upon us there are so many local festivities for the entire family to enjoy in the Lehigh Valley!! Check out what I've found and feel free to comment with any others that you're aware of or any reviews of places you've visited!

ArtsQuest's popular holiday marketplace returns for another season! Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem showcases aisles of exquisite handmade works by the nations finest artisans, the heart-warming sounds of live Christmas music, delicious food and more. Click here for a $1 off admission.

Location:  1700 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Allentown PA (see directions page for more info.)
Dates:  November 23 - 25, 2012 and November 30, 2012 through January 6, 2013 (closed Christmas Day)
Time:  5:30 to 10 PM
Cost:  $6 per vehicle in advance - $10 per vehicle at the gate

The Crayola Experience or as I'll always call it - The Crayola Factory
The following is from their website

Q: How much is admission?
A: Admission is $12.00 per person. Any children 23 months and under are free.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. No personal checks can be accepted as payment.
Q: What is your address?
A: 30 Centre Square Easton, PA 18042. To ensure your arrival via GPS, please make sure Centre is spelled correctly.
Q: Where can I park?
A: There is a municipal parking garage located behind our facility between Pine and Ferry streets for a fee of $2 per hour. There is also metered parking available on the side streets. We do not validate tickets for parking.

The Ice Cream Lab presents Sundaes with Santa!  Holiday music, games, crafts, stories and make-your-own-sundaes. Reservations required. Taking place at 1 and then again at 4 p.m. on Dec. 22. Tickets: $12, child; $10, additional child; $5, adult. Ice Cream Lab, 350 S. Best Ave., Walnutport, 610-767-3551. 

The State Theater in Easton brings a holiday classic to life with a production of the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. 

Unfortunately I'm unable to get into their website at the moment for ticket information/availability but here's their contact info:

     State Theatre Center for the Arts 
     453 Northampton Street 
     Easton, PA 18042-3562 

Phone Directory: 
     Administration Office: 610-258-7766 
     Fax: 610-258-2570 
     Box Office: 610-252-3132 
     Toll Free: 1-800-999-STATE (7828) 

Koziar's Christmas Villiage  
Exhibits featuring thousands of twinkling lights, outdoor train depot, visit with Santa, more. 6-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 5-9:30 p.m. Sat., 5-9 p.m. Sun. Through Jan. 1. Tickets: $9; $8, seniors; $7, children, 6-12; free, children 5 and younger. 
Located at: 782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville, PA.

Happy Holidays! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Shopping at Kohls

I'm not a shopper. I actually hate shopping and going this time of year while magical with the decorations at the stores and happy children going to see Santa is cute but the crowds have me wishing I would have stayed home...which is why I usually do.

I love shopping online. It's so easy and convenient and while I do 'some' Cyber Monday shopping each year you can find goodies all year if you search around a bit. If you're getting ready for the holidays Kohl's has
quite the selection.

Trees in every size, color and price range. . .

And while you're there get a few ornaments: 

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Communication Age

My little man isn't so little anymore. I admit, I was overjoyed when he began writing his name (no more signing for him on cards). I was excited when he wanted a pen pal and was able to correspond 'mostly' on his own, but now...he's asked for it...his own email.

I always hear the dangers of kids and email. I get plenty of spam messages and I'd be checking his account for him. We wouldn't give it out to many and so I don't know if I really need to be THAT concerned BUT the concern is still there. Maybe it's a 'mom' thing...just wanting to protect my kid from any possible harm.

There IS a solution though and it's rather inexpensive and free to try!

Safe E-mail for Kids! is a safe email service for kids and families. Your kids can now have a safe email account while allowing parents to be aware of any correspondence their children send and receive. You supervise your children when they go outside to play. Do you know who is contacting your child inside of your home? Let us help you keep your kids safe online! Safe Email for Kids? We've got you covered! Get a Free 60 Day Trial Now! This is for US Family Guide users ONLY! 

@kidsemail Use promo code: US Family when registering.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Okay, I'm all for reading. I love reading. I love picking up a book or even downloading something onto my Kindle and sitting for as long as possible to enjoy some literature/entertainment. I love how books give you the opportunity to use your imagination to put the words to action in your mind.

A while back....months ago...everyone started talking about "50 Shades" and even my bookclub got caught up in it. Should we read it? Is it dirty? Oooh, let's go for it. I made it through just about two chapters and only because it was a free download on my Kindle.

My first thought on the book - poorly written. I can get past that. I'm no scholar so who am I to judge. So many people were loving it so I continued...and then I finished chapter 1. How many times does this main character roll her eyes? How many times does she bite her lip?

Soon after reading those pages I told my book club that I was out - I couldn't get past the free download and there was no way I'd get through the entire book nevermind I didn't want to pay for it.

In fear of this becoming a full-fledged review I'm stopping my analysis on the book  but rather going into what really 'got' me about it. Hypocritical females.

Women all over are all giggly about reading this book. They think they're being 'bad'. They're going to slumber parties to buy 'toys' because the book gives them the courage to do things they never would otherwise dare...or never had the imagination to come up with. Honestly, the same stories are featured in a monthly magazine that's considered dirty and these same women won't allow their husbands to get a subscription. They're actually better written in the magazine and vary without using the same phrases about turning shades of red or cocking their heads to the right every 5 minutes.

What's got me even more bothered is that around the same time as this hub-bub was a certain movie in theaters...Magic Mike. These same women all went to the movies giggling and cheering but if their hubbies wanted to watch Striptease or even go to a club - HECK NO! Really? So you're allowed to read porn and look at male dancers (and never mind how women behave at these places) but your hubby can't have a subscription to a magazine because it's dirty?

In America we're so far behind when it comes to certain things and sex is one of them. In other countries they have topless beaches and whatnot but here...oh good lord that woman is breastfeeding in public! Cover her up!

As for me - I didn't read 'the book' and I didn't see 'the movie'. For my bachelorette party we went to a bar and my friends made me a shirt with candy stuck on it. You know where that leads. I also had cards with silly things I had to do/say. My hubby never got a bachelor's party because the wife of his bestman didn't ALLOW her hubby to go to such places. Did I need a book like that to even know some of the things no. Do I actually read 'those magazines with those stories'? Yes, and sometimes I even open them before my hubby.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jammies all Day and BonBons? I wish!

I love how people give you 'the look' when they find out you're homeschooling your child. I love that the assumption is that you sit around all day watching Lifetime while your child does whatever. In some cases, learning IS hands-off like that: when you go to the park or the beach or a center but usually Mom is IT.

Today really put the idea that homeschool moms not just sitting around in jammies eating bonbons all day in my head. I got up at 9 and started laundry. From there I started going through my son's school books. He does cyber school so most of the teaching is online from an amazing assortment of teachers on everything from science to math to reading and more.

After organizing 'homeworks' that need to be scanned into his teacher (yes, he has an actual PA certified teacher grading his work and overseeing me) I sent them over. I then went over his workbook to make sure we had everything completed.

He received some of his physical education materials last week so I printed out that form so we could keep track of 'gym class'. We went rollerskating last week with a local homeschool group (yes, we DO socialize our children) and just last night the family went bowling. Playing Wii Sports also meets the requirements so the little guy LOVES that he can play Wii for school. He was also playing golf in the back yard for a half hour and did cup stacking the other day for about as long.All of this needs to be documented to make sure he's meeting requirements.

I then went into his art and Spanish class folders. Yes, in first grade he not only has an actual art appreciation class but also Spanish.

Some people don't take it seriously and that so bothers me. He IS going to school and he IS learning and no I'm NOT taking the 'easy' way out but rather I'm putting MORE effort in because I'm not just doing homework with him at night but I'm also there all day while he's learning. I'm the guide who helps read assignments to him and who preps for various activities throughout his day. I'm the nurse when he doesn't feel well. I'm the lunch lady when he's ready for a sandwich. I'm the one watching him when he's playing outside and playing along in between other mom/wife stuff. Easy? No. Worth it? Yes.

Why? Honestly I just like being a part of his education. I like being there helping him learn and I love the curriculum because it doesn't limit him. If he gets stuck on something we can take the time to go over it. If he's finding something too easy we can get through it a bit faster. He doesn't get bored with school because it's constantly changing and he honestly enjoys it.

I could go on and on but another time. For now we need to get ready for tomorrow's spelling test.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

She totally called it. . .

A while back a friend told me of how she had friends who once they got into one direct sales company, they joined others. I laughed because I know A LOT of people like that. I wondered how they organized everything and still managed a life. I said I'd never do that because of the money involved and the time but yet...yesterday I did it.

I signed up for Grace Adele. They're part of the Scentsy Family and they have some really nice stuff. Purses and clutches with matching accessories AND matching jewelry. Super cute and high quality stuff so I went for it.

I love Tastefully Simple and plan to continue selling and working it. It's delicious and I'm actually bummed I signed up when I did because their current incentive rocks. You basically sign up for FREE! For more info on that check out my facebook page -

New Smoked Bacon Warm Dip from Tastefully Simple ~ YUM!

But getting parties booked and even events was so difficult. There are SO many consultants and even at events you sell stuff and then what...nothing. Maybe I needed to be more proactive? Maybe I could do more but after getting into a mini fight with another consultant over an event...I was tired of fighting so much. I joined for fun, food and spending money. I was getting upset, disgruntled and was losing interest.

The new TS Catalog comes out in a few weeks officially and I'm super excited. There are some amazing products but trying to book the parties and such to spread the word was driving me insane. Some of the girls do amazing, and others do incredible but for me it didn't come as easy. And I know nothing in life is easy but it was getting so annoying that every event already had a TS Consultant, everyone already had a dedicated consultant to buy from and friends and family were not interested in hosting.
The Mary Bag in Teal ~ So cute!

So my solution - start something new or in my case join something new. I'd love to start up making my own soaps again but that's not happening now....maybe in a few years. For now, I'm with Grace Adele. My website is officially set up. I have my first party in the works and I can't wait for the Welcome kit to arrive. I also have a facebook page -

My TS goodies arrive Monday and GA....the week after.

It's going to be a fun few weeks. :)

This though, I SWEAR is it. It's good to have a little change in life and mix things up...

Interested in checking out the new goodies from TS and GA?

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's raining...and it's to be expected sadly.

It's Musikfest time. For those in the Lehigh Valley it's 10 days of music and fun. For some perhaps....for other's it's 10 days of dealing with tourists, drunks, no parking and aggravation. Some people take vacation this time of year to get AWAY from the mess. How bad is it? So bad that it's been discussed banning alcohol from the event because people can't handle the fact that open containers are permitted in public...that and underage drinking. One of the most recent stories on Lehigh Valley News goes right along with that - Three people at Musikfest cited with underage drinking during Pennsylvania State Police patrol I'm fairly certain this happens every year but never having gone...I can't say for sure. You get a group of people and alcohol together ... stuff happens.

What's another "yep, that'll happen" moment associated with Musikfest? Rain and not just showers but flooding. Musikfest 2012 ready to resume as National Weather Service calls for heavy rain, flooding - UPDATE

You can practically guarantee it'll rain a good part of the time that Musikfest is happening. Why? It's odd actually but I wonder if anyone actually has a record kept to see if it's true that it always seems to rain during the 'fest'.

Sadly there'll be no festing for me this year as today was the only day I could go. I looked forward to the food which is what most people speak of. The music of course but THE FOOD.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Technology. . .the root of all evil

Is growing technology a positive for society? Is the fact that we can't leave home without a cell phone without feeling 'naked' just common practice anymore?

I admit. A day without my cell phone bugs me. I feel like I'm missing a text that may be horribly important when in reality it's probably just my monthly freebie code from Redbox or the weather. Facebook? I can see that on my Kindle so no worries if I forget the phone. I do worry if I have car trouble and have no way to contact anyone but the last few times I HAVE had issues I've had either concerned citizens or state troopers there within minutes.

I sometimes hate being so easily found online. I try to keep my FB page simple with no details / excessive photos but who am I kidding. I have everything and anything up there. I only accept friend requests from people I know. I delete if I don't hear from/talk to the people every few months (which has led to hate mail) and I don't post vacation info until we return home.

And stalking. Some people live to stalk ex's and family online. I did at first but then got over it. They have their lives and I mine. What happens happens and it's all good.

Sometimes I long for the days when the telephone would ring and a friend would suggest we meet at the mall. The early days of computers when bulletin boards were 'the thing' to do at night in your room and parents would yell about that beeping and noises coming from your room.

What do you think? Are we too available? Are we too 'out there'? Or is this technology bringing us closer than ever before and is it a great and wonderful thing.

Personally I think it's wonderful but over-used and too much dependence is placed upon it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

To School or Not to (go) to School

The idea of homeschooling was never on my mind when I was pregnant or even when kiddo was 2 and 3 years old. I always imagined getting him ready and sending him on the bus to start his adventure but things changed a bit and as is usually the best way to react ~ we rolled with it.

I first heard about PA Cyber School when kiddo was 4. It was Summer and a friend mentioned that she was enrolling her son for preschool. I had always done 'some' kind of school with kiddo when I was a SAHM and even when I started working part-time so the idea stuck with me. Our district didn't offer K4 and while the local church did I was turned off by them. They advertised weekly on Craigslist and a woman who must have worked there talked to me at the park one day. She said that I HAD to enroll my then 4 year old in a program so he would be properly socialized. The theme of socialization would come up many times over the next few years to the point where I cringe as soon as someone's mouth starts to form the word.

I left the playground that day slightly bitter because her 'properly socialized' child was running around like a maniac and practically eating mulch while my poor kid who was home with his parents all day was playing nicely and having a grand time. Apparently ignorance was bliss in his world since he had no idea what he was miss. Sarcasm fully intended there.

Having thought it over I decided to enroll kiddo in the PA Cyber Charter School. Why not. It was a free education. If I messed up it was 'only' K4 and it would be nice to have a curriculum to follow. Surprise surprise we loved it. I was amazed by what kiddo was learning and doing and it turned into a fantastic experience.

Soon it was time to start thinking about kindergarten and we went to the local school to meet teachers and sign him up. Kiddo was excited and as we sat there watching him color along with the other paste-eaters I was happy that I had done K4 with him - he would certainly have no trouble going to school. Then we got his schedule.

Kiddo managed to get afternoon kindergarten! Awesome for him not being a morning person. He'd leave before 8am and get home around noonish. I just had to check with my neighbor that it would be okay for him to hang at her house until I got home....that's when the 'fun' started.

First, hubby and I realized that getting kiddo TO school would require sending him to before-school care. Ouch but you do what you have to. Ugh. With nothing offered by the school we thought of our neighbor who's become a great friend and our kids get along amazingly. We found out that the bus would not pick him up from our neighbor's house to bring him to school because it was considered a 'very busy road and all bus stops along there were no longer". No kidding it's a busy road - that's why I don't want him WALKING it to get to our house in the morning so he could catch the bus. We couldn't expect her to walk him down every morning since she watched other kids and she didn't have to worry about getting her kids on the bus. We didn't know who we could depend upon to be here a few days a week to make sure kiddo was up, dressed and waiting for the bus. Afternoon kindergarten would NOT work after all

So I inquired about morning kindergarten. After a few phone calls I was finally told that it 'may' be possible to switch him to morning then I just had to worry about getting him home since I could change my schedule to get him TO school. The fun began again because this time the issue was getting him home. THERE WAS NO BUS.

So with no solution in sight to get him to school the homeschool option seemed perfect. And that neighbor didn't have to worry about the school bus because SHE TOO sent her kids to the PA Cyber Charter School.

Another awesome school year passed and kiddo did amazing. He was doing homework of peers a year ahead of him, many people who met him complimented his behavior and said he was 'really smart'. His grades were well above average and I smiled because I honestly felt he learned more than had he gone to traditional school.

But what about socialization? Oh yes, my poor child was lacking in that respect. Playdates, hanging at the neighbor's and a theater group helped with that and I dare anyone to show evidence of his lack of socialization skills.

So here we are again with another school year starting and where is kiddo going? Yes, homeschool again. I really need to stop calling it homeschool though. It's not the traditional sense of homeschool. We do classes online and he has a teacher who grades his homeworks/tests. I hate the eye rolling response I get from so many people. I hate the look people have when they ask kiddo about where he goes to school and he replies, "I don't go to school. We do school at home.". I honestly love the individualized attention he gets. If he needs help we can go slow, if he's good we keep going. Weekly homeworks sent to his teacher keep her updated on his progress as do the Dora/Dorma (Diagnostic Online Reading/Math Assessments) he takes every few months.

I feel like he has so much more opportunity and it's not like it's the easy way out. This method of education requires my participation big time. It's more than just sitting and doing homework with him at night - we do workbook pages together and projects. He'll also be taking a language this year, in first grade!!

I'm thankful that my husband is on board and happy to have so many friends who think of this form of education as perfectly fine. I see school anymore as a place to just send kids off. Like the poor little things living in day care from the time they're 6 weeks old. Parents have to work. Both parents in many cases these days are forced to head out so kids see them during the week for a few hours and maybe part of the weekend. If kids are in sports they're also being run around to practices and games much of their time. So much running around and packing stuff in. What about enjoying the day and time together? What about kids being kids. School doesn't seem like the happy place anymore. It's a place where parents expect teachers to raise their kids and hold THEM responsible when kids have problems.

Too many thoughts on this topic have led this post to go WAY out there but there are some decent points, I hope.

What do you think? IS homeschool/cyber charter school causing kids to miss out or are they gaining from the time spent with parents and like-minded families/friends?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Mail Call - freebies!

Many online sites offer free samples so if you share your's I'll share mine! :) Today I received a sample from Sam's Club.

It took less than 2 weeks to receive my 4oz ProForce Heavy Duty Degreaser, 2 oz ProForce No Rinse Floor Cleaner and 3 ProForce Foodservice Towels.

I must have missed about the towels because I only anticipated the cleaners. Not a bad surprise at all!

Life is a Circle

While watching television the other night I saw a commercial that instantly brought me back to my youth. For those reason I need to add that my youth occurred WAAAAY back in the 80's. Back before the internet and cell phones. So long ago that people wrote letters and put stamps on them and played their music on large radios they would carry around with them. Some had smaller versions that had headphones - the age of the Walkman.

Television then was different with classics such as Knight Rider, Hawaii-Five O, The Dukes of Hazzard...wait... you KNOW those shows? Even Starsky and Hutch is familiar to you and that's even before MY time! Yes, the idea of original thought in the world of entertainment has seemed to have hit a dead end.

The latest return is Dallas. Memories of kids wearing "Who shot JR?" t-shirts still come to mind as I watch a commercial for the show so many were glued to each week. Amazing how these 'classics' return. I just pray that it's a worthy return. As with most - the original has set a standard.

I admit, many of my favorite films were based on earlier versions but it's amazing how the 80's have been returning or at least attempted to return on many occasions.
Cyndi Lauper - Girls just wanna have fun
Let us just pray the neon colored clothing does NOT return though I would love to tease my hair up and get the crimper out one of these days. Totally!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mom Clubs - the return of the high school clique

I originally wrote this in 2011 after some 'drama' I was involved with in a mom club. After being told when I was taking a break that I would be welcomed back (and she told me that I had her word on that) I wrote her asking to rejoin and was told no. I was told to start my own club since younger kids were the club's future (until they grew up apparently) and the fact that I had known these women for a year and was friends online with them meant nothing. I didn't post it at the time because I wanted to stop, take a breath, count to 10 and all that. Almost a year later I read it and . . .it's not mean in any way - it's honest.

I've debated this blog topic for years to be honest. In high school I wasn't part of a clique. I was friends with anyone and everyone and was myself. If people didn't like that - so be it. Over those four years I went from a shy and quiet girl to a rather confident young lady who wasn't afraid to join a new club or do cartwheels down the hallway.

I never really dealt with cliques back then personally. I saw them of course but stayed away from that 'life'. Enter the mom years.

At first being a stay-at-home-mom wasn't bad. I liked being home and being able to get laundry and shopping done whenever rather than rushing to get it done over a weekend. I loved that I was able to keep the house tidy and spend the day with my little guy. I wouldn't miss anymore firsts. One of my saddest moments was when he was at daycare and the teacher for his room started yelling about him trying to walk and she had HER camera ready. I was in the next room and was devastated that this 'person' was there for my baby's moment. It didn't help that I couldn't stand her but it just got into my head and was another reason I loathed working while being the mom of a little one.

But happy days came when the decision was made for me to stay home because the money spent for his care was a crazy amount and I wasn't losing all that much financially for me to quit my job - and family time was so much better than money.

After a while I realized that staying home stunk. I looked into a few local mom clubs and found a few. the one was great and I ended up a manager in no time. I should have known things were too good to be true. Of course as with any time where you have too many females together you have drama and KABOOM. I was in the middle of it. I quit seeing as how we were moving anyway and made a graceful exit.

My next ventures into the land of mom clubs were just as 'successful'. The first time you host something EVERYONE comes. They want to check out your house and such. Some decide then whether they like you while others take a bit longer and actually get to know you. Some get mad when they ask a question and you're honest. Sorry, but that's just me.

I have a very laid back way of raising my son. From the time he was little I let him do things on his own. I now have a very independent 5 year old who makes me proud every day. He handles kids throwing tantrums as well as I do and homeschooling him has been amazing. I've been told the way other moms turn on me is jealousy. I have a kid but wear a size 0. I'm going to be 30-something and look late 20-something. I'm Betty Crocker and June Cleaver while they have maids and can't make spaghetti.

I'm just me. I try to be a good friend, wife and mom. I do speak my mind and have found that some don't appreciate that but I just can't bite my tongue.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Come out and support Peaceable Kingdom this Sunday, May 6th! The weather looks to be pretty nice so get the family including those fur-kids and head to the park!! 

According to Bark in the Park's Facebook page ( there ARE still spots available! Make your appointment for your little one since they ARE required!

It's Beginning to Feel a lot like the Tropics

I just can't quite get a handle on the weather lately. One week I'm covering my delicate garden vegetation in fear of them freezing to death (rip one each cucumber and broccoli plants) and the next (today) I'm looking out into a squishy yard with overcast skies and a high temperature in the 80's anticipated. All I can think is, "Thank goodness for central air. Bring it on!"

I've neglected writing for some time and have much to catch up on so today we'll talk about my garden plans for this season and maybe give you a few hints/tips for your own. Please note: if you haven't begun yours yet you're not too late. Most seasoned gardeners warn against planting anything until after Mother's Day. With the unseasonably warm/hot weather we've had here in PA I got a bit ahead of things but no worries. It may be a bit late to start from seed but plants are available anywhere from Sam's Club to Dan Schantz to Somerset Nursery.

I started my garden adventure back in January. Yes, January. I found a website where you could plot out your garden. I loved the idea and went to work adding in tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, onions and beans. I based starting seeds on the frost dates (which turned out to be wrong) and had my list all written out:

2/5 Start pepper seeds inside
2/26 Start tomato seeds inside
3/4 Start spinach seeds outside
3/15 Start bean seeds outside and plant onion sets
3/18 Start sweet and Indian corns inside
3/25 Start cucumber seeds inside
4/5 Start bean seeds inside for second batch and plant second batch of onion sets
4/15 Start second batch of cucumber seeds inside
5/20 Plant herbs

Well all of that went out the window with the weather as it's been. I did start the seeds inside but all of them...I was petrified to start the beans out there and the onions...yep, never even got them.

I currently have all corn, 1 bean, 5 broccoli, 3 cucumber and my rosemary in the garden and it's doing well. I hope to transplant tomatoes and peppers in a week or two but I need to make the garden a bit bigger since as usual I ran out of room. Yes, I plotted and used that website but when I was out getting the garden set up I realized I really needed to leave paths to walk around out there and had to replan a bit. No worries as it's a big hill with plenty of possibilities and plenty of vegetation to tackle so I can extend the garden area. Every year I say that it's big enough and every year it grows. My original 5 ft garden is now 4 times that size and will be even larger by the end of the season. Just think of all those fresh veggies though! YUM!

Photos to come of both the garden and what comes out of it. Spinach is starting to come up (yum again) and hopefully soon the other plants will take off and grow like crazy. All this rain will certainly help!