Sunday, November 30, 2008

advent conspiracy



It is that time.

Conspire with me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

bear returns

Continued from: Simply Bear

The Momma checked her email and checked her email again and again to track the precious box that was being shipped across the country. Finally, the tracking site said that the package was delivered.

The Momma eagerly walked down to the mailbox and unlocked the small door. The box sat there in all it's freezing splendor. It was shoebox size and the Momma instantly imagined the two brother bears tumbling about inside together. The package was light and she quickly carried the box back down the street.

At home she sequestered herself in her bedroom and locked the door. She quickly opened the box and peered in. Bear was sitting right there on top. His rear end pointed up. She pulled him out and held him at arm's length to be sure it was really the sweet bear come home. She determined that it was, save that ribbon that he must have lost in his travels.

The new friend bear in the bottom of the box was sweet and soft and had a blue satin ribbon around his neck. The Momma reflected with a smile that he must have adopted another brother for the family.

When she thought of keeping this bear from The Girl all the way until Christmas, she felt like a idiot and so she decided to let The Girl have Bear. But how? The Momma straightened the bed and carefully placed both bears back in the box the way they had traveled.

She skipped down the stairs and found The Girl painting at the kitchen table, "Come on upstairs, I have something that you need to see!" Momma also motioned for the brother to follow.

The kidlets, with excited faces, raced up the stairs and into the bedroom with the box.

The Momma directed the Little One to the box, "There is something in this box that I think you should see." The Girl looked up at her Momma puzzled and the Momma's heart swelled just a wee bit. The Little One started opening the box as she said, "What is it? OH! BEAR!" She pulled the floppy bear out and instantly hugged him to her chest. After a moment she pulled him off of herself and held him at arms length and looked at him hard. She studied his fur and his face and her brow wrinkled up when she noticed the missing bow.

Momma interceded, "He must have lost his bow in his travels. He was gone so long, who knows what happened to his bow." The Girl tucked Bear under her arm in such a sweet familiar way and she looked in the box again. She gasped slightly and reached in to pull out the second bear. "But Momma, where did this bear come from?!"

"Oh, I think Bear decided that he needed a brother, so I think he adopted him." The kids were later known to argue over where the brother was adopted from, they couldn't decide whether he was from China, or from Asia.

Momma continued on, "Perhaps since Bear needed a brother, perhaps your brother could be the new owner of this bear." The Girl instantaneously agreed and handed her brother the new bear.

The first thing she did was take Bear down to the Book Nook and read him a story while he was snuggled on her lap. The Momma watched this take place and tears welled up in her eyes. The sweetness, the specialness of the Book Nook had just grown by another ten fold. Many times what children are really trying to say comes out so much more profoundly in what they do.

After the Book Nook, the Girl decided that Bear needed a new ribbon and that he needed some clothes. Some pajamas perhaps? The Momma promised to sew some up soon.

The rest of the day and the next couple of days Bear could be found snuggled up very close to The Girl at all times. He was once again the constant playmate for the Little One.

The brother bear became known as Carmel because of his Carmel color and he soon had a fast wrestling friend in The Boy.

The first night that the bears were both home, the Momma went and checked on her children as she does every night and she found both of them hugging the bears so close, so snuggly and tight, the way bears are meant to be held and snuggled.

For the next several days Bear was constantly attached to the girl, whether playing or eating or doing school Bear was there with her. He was christened with soy milk on his head from breakfast and later smelled like Labrador drool from the cleaning he got from the dog.

One night though, after the Momma had taught Cub Scouts and drove home with the Boy, she found the house in a mild panic. Bear was missing again. "Was he taken anywhere today? Did he go into any stores? Where was he last?" The sweet Girl was concerned, but not upset. She was optimistic, but slightly worried. She couldn't remember if she had taken him into the store. She thought the last place that she had him was inside the tent she had made in the living room. The house was searched from one end to the other. Blankets were shook out, beds were peered behind. Sofas were searched under, laundry baskets were ransacked.

No Bear could be found.

Finally, after much thought and concern, The Momma decided to check the back yard. Even though the weather was cold The Momma often would send her children out to run and play and imagine and she thought she vaguely remembered Bear going out to play as well. She decided to do a quick scan of the yard. She walked towards the play house and peered in. An empty doll stroller stared back at her. She looked up in the fort and nothing but a freezing spider caught her glance. She walked past the empty swing blowing in the breeze and she peeked in to the wagon and saw a small fuzzy brown shape tumbled in the bottom.

The Momma pulled the cold bear up to her and hugged him close and breathed in the sweet smell of much playing. She carried him up to a restless Little One who quickly pulled bear to close to her under the covers to warm him up. Her smile could have lit up the dark room. Bear grinned as he was slowly lulled to sleep by the steady breathing of a warm cozy companion.

Ah, the adventures that bears have.

not me


Just participating in Not Me Monday here folks. I will tell you it has been an interesting day already.

I did NOT forget to brush my teeth last night upon going to bed, and previous to that I did NOT have chips and salsa. This morning I did NOT wake up to the sound of the trash truck outside my window and I did NOT jump out of bed toss on my husbands huge-on-me green fleece and some slip on shoes and run out waving to the trash man who was working now on the other side of the street. He did not look at me disgustedly as I grabbed my trashcan and run across the street. He did think I was a nut case and he did ignore the fact that I was not an apparition, an imagining of his poor crazy dreams.

I did Not run back inside hoping that my neighbors did not see me but knowing that at least one did as he drove to work.

After that, I did not get quite snippy with my children as they both seemed intent on eating but not on helping me get food on the table for them. Instead of helping me get things ready, they did not just slink into the livingroom into my praised book nook and I did NOT want to scream and take all the books away. I do not get really weird before my morning coffee. I Don't. Really. Stop looking at me that way.

I did not then just sit down and decide to do a Not Me post so that I could vent and drink my coffee and have a nice normal day. Nope. NOT ME! Cause I am always pleasant and sweet, I never greet a trash man in my pajamas, with horrid ate-salsa-the-night before breath and I NEVER get snippy with my kids.

I do NOT want to crawl back into my warm bed and pretend I didn't wake up to a dark overcast trash day morning.

To read more insane Not Me Monday posts, click on the Not Me box at the top of the post!

(Post on Bear coming up soon!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

widgets

~~~Update~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, I figured out how to do it, cause I am really smart and I know how to use Google. See how special I am!

So, these are the instructions for changing your template without losing your widgets.

Does anyone else think that "widgets" almost sounds like a naughty word? Please tell me I am not the only one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, blogland, I have a dilemma. I really enjoy messing around with my template and changing it and I was all set to do so, and hit save and guess what? It informed me that I would lose all my widgets, even ones I thought I wouldn't. Those of you who are my Follow Me space? It said I would lose that.

Now, I really thought I would only lose those widgets from outside of Blogger, my widget from Compassion and my widget from the little tracker thingie that I can't remember the name of right now. BUT that isn't true. I will lose even the followers that I have now and so, I didn't change my template. There has to be a way to do it.

Can anyone tell me how? Do any of you know?

Please help me... I really wanted to put up a fun Christmas template.

Friday, November 21, 2008

freebie friday: jelly telly

So, some of you know who Phil Vischer is and if you don't, then you know what he is most famous for. Veggie Tales. If you don't know what Veggie Tales are then you need to stop right now, and get out of your mom's basement and come into the light and have a little chat with me.

About two years ago Phil Vischer started a new company, since he no longer owns Big Idea (and therefore does not own Veggie Tales) and this new company is called Jelly Fish. There is an interesting reason for that, which once again, I am not discussing today. Hehe... just to keep you guessing.

Now, if you want to hear Phil's take on Jelly Telly this is it. He speaks better for himself and his new ministry then I ever could here, so I will let him take the mic for the moment, while I go chase down crazy children of mine.



Alright, so now you have an idea of what Jelly Telly is. If you want more information go check out their site. You can sign up the first month for free and check it all out. My kids really enjoy it. I do find that portions of it feel contrived and as of yet they are not up to the standards that Veggie Tales were BUT... if you look back at the beginning Veggie Tales you will see how far a dedicated creative Christian ministry can come. The important part? My kids like it.

I am not getting anything from them for talking about it here. I just wanted to pass on this neat info! So, go on and check it out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

bloggy bluggy give aways

I have this problem. I keep entering blog giveaways and I never, ever win anything. I also think it is pathetic that I keep trying, cause well, some of them have thousands and thousands of entries, and yet, I put my comment on there and hope for the best. THEN the saddest part?! I am actually slightly disappointed when I do not win anything.

I think that above paragraph could make me certifiably weird. I mean really.

So, once again, here I am. Entering a Blog give away. This one requires me to post about it here on my blog and there are very few things that I would do this for. I am not even sure that I would do it for a Kitchenaid Mixer... and I did recently hope and hope I would win one of those and of course I did not. Nope. This blog give away is for something that I hold even more dear... Don't giggle... I am sure that you wouldn't realize this in a million years... The give away is for...

BOOKS!!! She is giving away books.

So, if you like books, and if you have been reading here for long you will know that I have an obsessive personality problem with books, then head on over to Owlhaven and check out what she is giving away.

She is my hero and she doesn't even know it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

my first tag! should I cry or cheer?

So, I have been tagged and I decided to go ahead and take the plunge! My wonderful friend M at Faith, Hope and Love tagged me. The process was rather amusing to me, as I had watched this tag float around a few blogs I read and finally it came to rest here on me. I really thought I had dodged the bullet, but the bullet has come home to rest.



The Rules: In order to accept this Bloggy Award/Tag, you must do the following.....
  1. Write a post showing it, together with the name and link of who has given it to you.
  2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in their content or design.
  3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Honest Weblog’.
  4. List [if you can and/or dare] at least ten honest things about yourself. And then, pass it on.

10 Honest Things About Me! (does it get more egocentric than this?)

1.I love the smell of babies. I think that the smell is second only to the smell of coffee. No, really, I don't know anything better then the smell of babies. Actually, I don't think there is anything better then that baby smell. I will be down visiting my friend again soon and I will be frantically sniffing that baby every chance I get. My friend will have to beat me off with a wet burp rag.

2. I am pretty good at many things, but I don't feel that I am VERY good at too many things. I feel that while I can do art and I can do a bit of writing and I can do a bit of speech stuff and I can do a bit of decorating and a bit of gardening, I don't feel that I have any one area that I am stellar in. I am not complaining... I just feel like I am good at many things, but not amazing at any of them. I am content with this.

Isn't he a cutie!!!

3. I love my husband more then I probably should. He is my rock and I stand amazed by him everyday. He is strong and patient and loving and kind. He has a very common sense outlook on life and he sees things for what they are. He is able to be to the kids what I cannot be. He relates to them in ways that I cannot. One of my favorite things is watching him play with the kids and watching him read to them or watching them and their love for their daddy. He balances me and I do need that. I can be very artistic and spontaneous and flighty and forgetful and he is able to bring balance to my force... sorta like Anakin Skywalker.

HA! He would be so proud of my Star Wars reference!

4. I do not eat breakfast unless I actually cook something and I certainly do not cook breakfast everyday. I do however drink coffee. Everyday. Without fail.

5. I love my life as an Air Force wife. I am very proud of my husband and I enjoy being a military spouse.

John in Iraq.

I like talking to people about the military and what is is like being part of that culture.

The garage door decorated for a homecoming from Iraq.

I remember what is it like being civilian looking in and I understand the questions that people have. I have no problem answering them, actually I welcome them because if anything, the military needs more people to understand what is going on now in our little culture bubble. We need people to understand how to help military families as our spouses are deployed again and again.

You see my kitty keeps trying to grab me in this picture. She likes me too!

6. I like animals a lot. If I had my way I would have a small zoo here. Fortunately, like my earlier post stated, John keeps me in check. He allows me to have the one beautiful puppy and the one sweet kitty and the one boring sucker fish. If it were up to me, I would have another 4 or 5 pets. Then I would start going crazy cause I can't bring balance to the force of the litter boxes and the tanks and whatnot. It would get scary people and that is why we have Anakin... er... I mean, John here.

7. I have this really weird tendency. I talk for things. Things like animals but also things like tea kettles. My tea kettle doesn't just whistle it yells. No kidding. The tea kettle will be whistling away on top of the stove and my kids will yell at me to let me know, cause obviously I cannot hear the screaming tea kettle in the room with me and I will start talking for the tea pot, "HEY! I'M HOT!!! TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF! I AM HOT!!!" I will also speak for animals that are in videos or pictures or just out. I am afraid it is a sickness. I will talk for our pets. For example, the dog will be looking at me and her eyebrows are dancing and I will be saying something like, "Are they talking about going for a walk? I can't tell cause they have learned to use that code word. Maybe they are! I would love to take a walk, but then again, I would love to snuggle them. I love everything cause I am a goofy Lab and I just love life! I love my pillow and I love my dog dish and well... I love my toy! Yippie! Mommy is getting out Peanut Butter! My favorite!" Do you see how this is a disease?! The problem is when I do not feel like doing this and the kids really think I should. They ask me constantly, "Mom, what is that bird saying?" If I am tired of it I will reply, "Nothing. The bird is saying nothing." They beg. They just know that the bird is saying something SO funny in their momma's head.

"Nope, I don't hear the train coming, but I may or may not hear a herd of buffalo."

7. My husband is helping me out here, so for this one, he says that I need to put down that I talk in a very "theatrical way." He says that I sound like I am narrating a play when I talk all the time. Maybe I should ask him what that means? Does he like this? He has never mentioned it before? Does it grate on his nerves and he feels like he finally got the chance to tell me? Who knows... I am not going to risk asking him. He will just have to deal with the narrator's voice for the rest of his life, cause I do not think I can change that.

8. I love my coffee. I have teased you all here in the past about me quitting my addiction, but I do not think it is going to happen anytime soon. I have even bought that Teechino stuff and I have not brewed ANY of it. It is supposed to help me break my coffee addiction and it was expensive. It is still sitting on the shelf in my kitchen. I have contemplated brewing some in the evening for a nice warm drink, but I haven't even thought seriously about brewing it in the morning. That is crazy! I stumble into the kitchen and start my coffee making and I have never contemplated brewing Teechino for my morning brew because at that point my body needs only one thing. Caffeine. My body needs it bad. I know my whole house will be happier if I just have my caffeine, SO I just have my caffeine. Ah well. Anyone want a full bag of Teechino?

9. I am Obsessive about things. I am not OCD... I am just obsessive about things. When I get interested in something, I get REALLY interested in something. When I want start learning about something new, I mull it over in my head constantly. I dream about it, I watch information on it. I read about it. I check out books from the Library on it. My friends have to listen to me talk about it constantly. I am sure it is a chore for them, but they must be good friends cause they are still around. My poor friend Kristen has seen me through many of these obsessive times with me. I am sure she was ready to pull her hair out during the WoW faze. I am sorry Kristen. What can I say? My husband was deployed?! I don't know. I am hanging my head in shame. Honest.


K10 and K26 checking out a brand new egg!

When I was going through a Bald Eagle Obsessive time, we were watching the Bald Eagle web cams and reading up on Eagles and we went on a field trip to a Birds of Prey sanctuary and one morning My Girl came in to ask me a question when I was stil mostly asleep. She asked, "Momma, who are Doodle's parents?" I replied in my sleepy stupor, "K10 and K26 of course." Then I stopped and paused and woke up slightly and said, "No, they aren't. K10 and K26 are EAGLES and Doodles is a cat. We don't know Doodles parents." My daughter went away confused. Poor girl.

10. Sometimes I take really, really random pictures.

It is sorta scary,

but you never know when you are going to get a really great shot.

Right? You just never know.



Now, I am supposed to tag 7 people. Are you worried? Oh, come on, this is fun!

Anyone and everyone who reads this blog is tagged. That should be about seven! hehe... Now, all of you, go out and type up ten true things and hit publish on your blog. If you don't have a blog, make one. If nothing else, it is therapeutic and a great way to waste time on the computer!


Monday, November 17, 2008

not me!!!! my house is always sparkling!




I never, ever leave toys out on the livingroom floor from one day to the next. I ALWAYS pick them up every night. I did NOT leave these out last night.



My post last week made one of my dear friends question my book nook practices and she was floored that my book nook always looks perfect. The books are always lined up nicely on the shelf. They are NEVER EVER out of place.

I would never, ever polish a book shelf and carefully line up the books and carefully adjust the lighting in the room to get great pictures for a blog post. Nope never.

This is obviously NOT MY Book Nook.



We never leave books on the floor, or on top of the shelves, or anywhere but where they belong.



AND speaking of that Works for Me Wednesday Post of mine. I did NOT post the wrong link initially to Shannon's blog. I did NOT post my last NOT ME monday link to it. I did not also post a second link on Mr. Linky to the correct post to my blog, then email Shannon asking her to delete the wrong one. Shannon did NOT delete the correct post, nope... then I did NOT ask her AGAIN to delete the wrong post, she did NOT delete it. Then when I posted the correct one AGAIN... she did not read my comment about the problem and without realizing it... She DID NOT delete my link... again. ALL BECAUSE I AM NOT A TOTAL AIR HEAD SOMETIMES. NOPE.

I did NOT stay up WAY too late last night searching Ebay for a bear my daughter had lost. I did NOT enlist the help of numerous people on a forum to help me. One of those blessed people did not have to listen to my screams as I did not thank her for her help in locating said bear.

I did not let my children continue to make a mess of my livingroom this morning when they should have started school work. They did not take all the cushions off my sofa again and make islands to have air fields on.

Nope, we don't live on an Air Force base.
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simply bear

This story starts actually four years ago with a Momma who was desperately trying to potty train a two year old boy, who was frankly not ready to potty train. You may guess that she had never had a little boy before this one and she was a bit caught up in that whole momma mess where we are judged by what our children do developmentally. This young momma promised this little boy many things if he would just go potty ON the potty. He was doing pretty good with peeing on the potty, it was that other large annoyance he was having problems with. Finally his sweet little momma promised him that she would buy him a Thomas The Tank Engine train if he would do his big job on the potty.

One unforgettable day the little boy did this! The world cheered and the sun shone and the birds twittered, (not so unlike how bloggers twitter now). The young momma instantly decided that they needed to run out immediately and purchase this train, so she quickly strapped in the little two year old boy and the little seven month old girl and she headed for the village limit. THEN she had a thought... what if the small gift store that is actually located in this minuscule town carries Thomas stuff? She pulled her car right into a front parking spot at this small store and saw the Thomas sign in the front window. She strapped the baby girl in her stroller to contain her and she led the little super excited boy into the store full of collectibles and breakable things.

They headed right around the corner to where the Thomas stuff was and the little boy set right to playing with all the trains on the table. The baby girl was getting bored so the silly, young momma picked up a nice little bear that was handy and tossed it into the stroller for the baby girl to play with while the Momma searched for the coveted train.

The train was found! The boy was thrilled but he still continued to play with the trains on the store's train table. The momma turned to check on the quiet baby girl to find her with the tag of the bear in her mouth. The Momma's eyes got big and she carefully took the bear from the little girl's grip. The tag was completely mauled and unfortunately was one of those tags that people actually care about. The small red heart shaped tags that we are all so familiar with.

The young Momma's budget was tight and she wasn't planning on buying a bear and a train, but buy it she must and buy it she did. She planned on putting the bear in the baby's Christmas stocking because the baby would never know the difference and on Christmas morning the baby didn't.


As the years passed the bear was slowly toted around more and more. He was taken out to the yard where he had the pleasure of eating sand.

He was left on the floor to be tumbled about.

He was dressed up as a knight with his friends in the Girl's room.

He was snuggled in bed until he was quite smooshed. (look right down by her feet)

He was loved and loved and he was always called Bear. Simply Bear. Nothing fancy, nothing too haughty... just Bear.

Then the dreaded day came when Bear couldn't be found. He was missing. The Momma's head spun as she tried to think of where Bear could be. She tried thinking back to where Bear could have been taken and left and she couldn't remember where Bear had been last.

The, now five year old, girl and her now seven year old, brother and the, not as young, Momma asked everywhere they frequented if Bear was lurking in the lost and found bin. The Librarians were quite excited when they thought they had found the owner of a bear they had hiding in their bin, but it turned out to be someone else's bear waiting for their own owner. The other bins? They turned up Bearless.

The girl made Missing posters for Bear. She drew his picture on them and drew on his sweet green plaid bow and his sweet fluffy fur and she cried. Tears slid down her face and the Momma looked on worried. Anytime Bear was mentioned the Girl's eyes got large and started to well up with tears.

Finally, after Bear was not turning up by asking around lost and found boxes, the Momma took to the computer and started looking for Bear. Perhaps he was hanging out on that ebay place. Perhaps someone had located a long lost twin brother of bear somewhere else.

This Momma looked and looked and asked questions and searched. Finally one night, with several of the Momma's friends also looking, a sweet helper sent a link with a picture and the Momma's eyes lit up with such joy that she nearly fell out of her desk chair! She studied the face, she studied the body and she studied the price for flying Bear home and she pushed the little Buy It Now button.

Momma is now awaiting the arrival of bear and if it is indeed the one and the only Bear, then this sweet Bear will once again grace a stocking hanging carefully waiting for a little girl to find him and give him those hugs that only a little bear-struck girl can give.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

book work nook work it works




My kids are addicted to books and they have been since they were incredibly young. There are lots of things that I need to improve on in my life, but my kids love of books is not one of them. Their skill in reading is another story, and if you want to read a little bit of it you can do so here.

I started reading to my kids when they were beyond little. Just days after we were out of the hospital and I was finally getting over the fog of my C-section meds, I started reading to my son. I started off with books like this and this and this.


We slowly moved on to other books and more books and more books and more books and more books.

My wonderful husband thinks I have too many books. I tell him that we just don't have enough bookcases. I have seven bookcases. Can you ever have enough?

When the kids were little though, I didn't have anywhere near this many and what I did have wasn't of the same quality. I really picked up any book I could afford and most of my books were used and most of my books are still used. I would get them at thrift shops and used book stores and places like Airman's Attic which is a free thrift shop for Junior Enlisted in the Air Force.


As I have slowly been able to afford more books, I have slowly become more and more discriminating. I have slowly passed more of the just OK books on to others at Airman's Attic and I have slowly picked up more books that are more then just OK books.

The one thing that has never changed though in my house is that we read... many, many books a day. I have read to my children for unlimited amounts of time and have yet to find their limit on my reading books to them.


The second thing that has never changed in my house is that books are always available for the kids to get to. I have had book baskets beside comfy kid sized chairs since my kids were just a year old. In the beginning the baskets were stuffed full of fun board books that they could sit and look at when they needed some quiet time. Or when momma was making dinner and couldn't read and cook at the same time, or just whenever. Often times they would be sent to the book nook to settle down. It was not even a time out and it works wonderfully as a quiet area for them.


In our old house, we called the book space with their little chairs and baskets the Library. It was really just a little corner of our living room. Here in our new home, the name has slowly morphed into "The Book Nook." The kids voluntarily head over there MANY times a day. They pull book after book off the shelf and they look at pictures and they study the details and they check it all out.

I have tried to organize it by subject matter somewhat, but that only sorta works. They love just about any kind of book out there and you will find every genre of book on these shelves. I do have the Magic School Bus books pretty much in one spot and the Early Readers pretty much in one place. I have the very early phonics readers in a separate place and the fiction and non-fiction is mixed all over the place. The picture books are down lower and the kids chapter books are up higher. We mainly read the chapter books in the evening, but we have been known to sit down and devour a nine chapter book in an afternoon. None of use wanted to stop reading... we all wanted to find out what was going to happen to Little Bo.


What works for me is having a kid's book area. This is a place that my kids can go that is theirs. When they were young they would mainly just pull books from their baskets and not the shelves as much, so I would rotate different books into their baskets. Now I do not have to use the baskets as much.


What works for me, in this spot, is having small kid size comfy chairs. My kids are about ready to grow out of these guys and I have been considering a couple of high quality comfy bean bag chairs. I do think the chairs and the comfiness is important. They will stay there longer and look through more books if they are comfortable.


I also have this crate. It is full of library books and this is where they all must go back to. Library books are not to go upstairs (this rule was instituted after I found some overdue books under a bed). This entire crate goes to the library with us once a week and then it stays right here in the Book Nook and they pull books out all through out the week.


When I find books that my kids LOVE we actually follow those authors. We check out their websites, we find out when their new books will be released and we show up at the bookstores on those days to have a snack and to read our new book.

I have had friends over and my kids have sat glued to books in the book nook the entire time. People are amazed and I am frankly thrilled! This has slowly evolved for us into such an awesome thing! I am SO grateful that it has become such an important part of our home and of our lives.

What works for me is fostoring a love of all things books!

Check out more things that work for others at Rocks in my Dryer's Works for me Wednesday!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Liberty and Justice For All!


My dog is named Liberty. This is her, the sweet goofy spastic Labrador that she is. It is VERY hard for me to take pictures of her because as soon as I pull out the camera and point it in her direction she comes over to see what is going on AND she gets all excited. I was sitting on the floor when I took this one and when I laid down on the floor to get a different angle she had to come over and give me kisses, regardless of my asking her to stay. She kissed my filter on the camera lens. Wasn't that sweet?

This is the best picture that I have ever gotten of my dog. Let me see if I can find some others... you will see what I mean.

Ah yes, you see this is a perfect example. This is what I normally get. Now, I do need to tell you that this picture below was taken with my old camera. My old camera was dropped and it didn't work great, so you get to look at this fuzzy picture BUT this is what she normally does. She runs over as soon as the camera is pointed at her and she looks up at me in her sweet adoring way. This just does not make for the best pet portrait.


This is another example of the same trick she plays. This is when she was younger, she learned this trick pretty early.


This is another little thing she likes to do. She likes to simply roll over on her back and beg me to rub her tummy. She really doesn't care about my picture taking at all. It is all just about her and her tummy needs. She is just so selfish. Man.


Now, this is yet another problem I have taking pictures of Liberty. She is a very dark chocolate brown. She is nearly black and in this picture you basically just get an outline of her on the white snow. Liberty? Are you there or is that just your shadow. Liberty? Well, the shadow sure is moving around fast like her. Who knows, but look at those ears! She looks like she is trying to fly like Dumbo!



Now, the following is a wonderful portrait session done when Liberty was just a puppy. John was deployed and Libby was about seven months old. I had a two year old, a four year old, a spazador chocolate puppy, a teen cat having kittens in my garage and yes, my sweet husband was deployed. My wonderful love was playing over in the Sandbox and he requested that I send pictures of the puppy so he could see how much she had grown.


I had a very good friend of mine assist in taking pictures of the crazy puppy. I need to let you know that my friend spent most of the time cackling with laughter and snapping away. Many, many funny pictures came out of this photo session and I felt that they were very telling of my dog's personality.

Notice the grip I have on her collar. That should tell you something right there.


This is where things started to get a little crazy.

Do you see my eyeballs popping out of my head? My friend was still laughing by the way. Some friend! HA!

This next picture is when the kids came out of the door. Liberty took one look and then all Hades broke loose!


WATCH OUT! YIKES! I think she ripped my arm off in this picture. She probably only weighed about 40 lbs here, but I am telling you what, it was 40 lbs of muscle. Every last ounce.

My Liberty can still be a crazy dog. She can still go ballistic at a plastic bag blowing across the field behind our house. It could be an enemy you know. She still gets outrageously excited when people come to the house. She still LOVES, LOVES to play with kids and she still does find occasion to nearly rip my arm out of socket. She has come a long, long way though and she mainly lays around on her pillow like she is at the top of this post.

That is actually a new pillow that I picked up for her. I brought it home the other night and moved her old worn out pillow and put this one down and she was excited to see me, but she hadn't realized what I was doing. I patted her pillow and told her it was hers and she started wiggling all over and smelling it all over and then she kissed me. She wasn't going to get on that
pillow until I told her it was hers and her expression and her excitement were so telling of what was going on in her head.

She is such an amazing dog and though I will never forget what a challenge it was to have a puppy with everything else going on while John was deployed, I could never ever regret having this super sweet, super dedicated, super personalitied dog.


Just look at her. She is mournfully looking at me because I am making her stay on her pillow. She desperately wants to get up and wiggle herself over here and kiss my lens. Sweet puppy, I can't imagine life without this spazzy sweet puppy.



Thursday, November 6, 2008

Penguin Polls

Just to name a few... things we did on November the fourth.

We saw Math Blocks and we saw how the Penguins like Math U See blocks. Penguins make math more fun too.

We voted and saw what a ballot looked like and we discovered that there was little of the fun in it no matter what their momma said. The Girl dressed up for this event and was even found to be chanting, "USA, USA, USA!" All around the house.

I was voter 204 at my polling place. It was an exciting thing for me, even though my kids just looked at me when I was done and asked, "Was that it?"



That night we did count up some of the states electoral votes and were tallying up the points for the different candidates. At every state one of my kids cheered and one was booing cause they were rooting for different parties. It made the night much fun! We did put them to bed though before the night was through. They may have loved to stay up, but we had a big day the next day.

This day does have another segment for those of you on the family blog list. I really wish I could share the other pictures here but somethings just don't work out that way.

Blogger was acting strange with these pictures tonight, so I hope they turned out.
 

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