Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ever wonder what the hubster does all day? This is his office:

Needless to say, the kids love it when Daddy takes them to work!

Happy WW to all :) Thanks for stopping by today. Your comments make my day!
Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun:
Before you leave, be sure to enter my awesome giveaway for a $50 gift code to NOVICA.com!

Hey Mom, Feeling Stuck? A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Monday, June 28, 2010

Anybody in this bloggy world feeling stuck? Unfortunately getting stuck happens frequently to Moms who are trying so hard to be all things to all people. One big reason is that we start to let ourselves be defined by our roles. Think of all the roles you play – mom, wife, housekeeper, chef, taxi driver, financial manager, gardener, medic, school teacher, disciplinarian, etc., etc., etc. You are all of those things and more.

We get stuck when we allow ourselves to be defined by the various roles we play rather than by who we are at the core. Each time we make a mistake or fall down in one of our roles we feel defeated – like a failure in all things. That simply is not true.

We also get so caught up in trying to do all things well that we begin to feel like a piece of Swiss cheese with everyone taking a big bite out of us all the time. No wonder we don’t feel whole or centered! We are stuck trying to be everything to everybody and that is just not humanly possible.

Take a step back. What have you lost of yourself trying to be Super-Mom? What kinds of stresses are you letting yourself experience? You have a choice. You can opt for the run-full-
out-exhaust-yourself Mom role or you can adapt the I-am-fullfilled-and-centered-relaxed Mom role.

Here are some quick steps to take to get yourself back in control and out of stuck places:
1. Check those should, oughts and musts. Don’t let them rule your life.
2. Practice “How can I?” not “I can’t!” thinking.
3. Identify and stick to your core values.
4. Decide what can be done 80% and let that be sufficient.
5. Set boundaries. What are you willing to do? What will you give up? What will you gain by setting boundaries? How will you keep your boundaries intact? What will you do when your boundaries are crossed? Who can support you in keeping your boundaries?

 These are just a few steps you can take immediately. Next week I will take you a bit deeper into getting unstuck. In the meantime, if you are interested in pursuing this, you can get my ebook, “The Top 5 Ways to Quickly Get Unstuck” at http://stores.lulu.com/store.phpfAcctID=52435493.

Until then, be good to yourself –you are worth it!
Lynn Banis
The High Performance Coach

Lynn Banis is a professional coach dedicated to helping people make their work and lives work for them. She is passionate about people living lives of power and passion. Her clients call her The High Performance Coach and she specializes in helping people get unstuck and moving on to greater success. To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at: www.discoverypointcoaching.com/blog

Quotable Sunday - Butterflies

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. ~Rabindranath Tagore

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Butterflies are self propelled flowers. ~R.H. Heinlein

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. ~Richard Bach

But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.
~Robert Frost, "Blue-Butterfly Day"

They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods. ~Edith Wharton

With the rose the butterfly's deep in love,
A thousand times hovering round;
But round himself, all tender like gold,
The sun's sweet ray is hovering found.
~Heinrich Heine, "New Spring"

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Anderson

Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes. ~Author Unknown

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ~Jeffrey Glassberg

For More Quotable Fun visit LT at A Day With Two.

A Day With Two

Before you leave, be sure to enter my awesome giveaway for a $50 gift code to NOVICA.com!

Cool As A Cuke Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I love a good barbeque, but let's face it, some days it's just too hot to grill. That's why I love having recipes for fresh salads and simple sandwiches on hand for those hot summer nights when grilling just seems like punishment. And, after a long day on the beach when everyone is wiped out, having a cool  salad waiting in the fridge can keep the crankies at bay.

I'm more of a throw it all together kinda gal, than a recipe follower. I like to look at a cookbook or website for ideas and then make my own concoction. I've come up with some great dishes this way...only problem is, sometimes I can't replicate them exactly, lol. Still, it's the method that works best for me, and I try to write down the good ones before I forget. Here's a recipe for a cucumber pasta salad that I whipped up last week. It got two thumbs up at our house, so I think it's a keeper. Keep in mind that I eyeball rather than measure, so less is more if you are unsure of proportions. It's always easier to add then take away!

Cool As A Cuke Summer Pasta Salad:
1 box of your favorite pasta, cooked according to box directions, drained and cooled
1 med cucumber, diced (I like the English variety)
1 small or half a large sweet red pepper, diced
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced and sauteed in your favorite Light Italian dressing (about 1/2 cup tossed over chicken) then drained after cooking
1/2 cup bacon pieces (I use Hormel's)
1/3 cup light mayo (I like Duke's)
2/3 cup Creamy Cucumber salad dressing (This can be hard to find. Kraft makes one and so does Kroger Brand.)
1/3 cup light sour cream

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and chill for about 1 hour before serving. This can be made a day ahead and will taste even better the longer the flavors blend. I realize in the photo my cuke's aren't exactly diced, more like a chunk...feel free to improvise :)

I hope you enjoy this summer salad. Let me know what you think! If you like this one, check out the  Perfect Potato Salad recipe at The Simple Gourmand. It's a fave of mine.

Aloha Friday

Friday, June 25, 2010

Aloha bloggy friends! Welcome to this edition of Aloha Friday fun! I hope that you have all had a great week, and managed to stay cool. It topped 105 degrees here yesterday, yikes!

On to my question of the week...I recently discovered Hendrickson's Original Sweet Vinegar and Olive Oil Dressing & Marinade and I'm totally hooked. This stuff is soooo good and virtually fat free! It's the perfect topping for a fresh summer salad, and a great marinade for cucumbers & tomatoes, pasta salad or even grilled chicken. I just love it. It's my new favorite thing. Have you ever tried it? It's been around for years, but I just happened upon it at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. Where has this stuff been all my life? Think of all the calories I could have been saving on Reduced Fat Ranch, lol!

My question to you is: What's your new favorite thing?

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today! Your comments make my day :)  Before you leave, be sure to enter my awesome giveaway for a $50 gift code to NOVICA.com! And, don't forget to visit An Island Life for more Aloha Friday fun.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just a little summer Fun...

So, how's your summer going?

Happy WW to all :) Thanks for stopping by today. Your comments make my day!
Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun:

Constituting America Contest for K-12

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The contest gives kids grades K-12 the opportunity to submit a cool song, entertaining short film, Public Service Announcement, holiday card, poem, or essay, all with the theme "How the United States Constitution is Relevant Today." Entries are due July 4th!

Prizes for high school kids include $2,000 scholarships, a trip to Philadelphia, national exposure at the Constitution Center, and a possible appearance on a major television show. Younger kids can win gift cards and other cool prizes, and will receive public recognition! Details and contest rules are available at: www.constitutingamerica.org

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge of the people.”
~ John Adams

Have You Seen Novica?

I was recently introduced to Novica and their beautiful world of artisan products and gifts. If you are looking for a unique gift for someone special, Novica has you covered. They offer a range of beautiful, hand crafted quality items from artisans around the world. With everything from fair trade corporate gifts, and green gifts to gifts for your home and for the animal lover, you are sure to find the perfect item for any occasion.

Here is more info about Novica and their mission, as described on their website:
We want to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. And, we want to provide you with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow.

At the deepest essence of our philosophy, we want to create a bridge between you and the many talented artisans across the globe.

We want you to know about who you're buying from. We want you to feel that attachment to the product and to the hands that created it.

In the spirit of the Internet, let us bring you together.

NOVICA. The World is Your Market.

I have explored Novica and fallen in love with their array of beautiful gifts. I encourage you to do the same!  And good news, my bloggy friends. I have been offered a special gift code to giveaway to one of my lucky readers! Stay tuned this week for an upcoming giveaway for a $50 gift code. Anyone up for a little shopping???

Rayovac Powers Your Summer!

Gotta love those gals at 5 Minutes for Mom. They've got it going on. Currently, 5M4M is hosting a fantabulous Rayovac Powers Your Summer Bloggy Giveaway and Twitter Party.

Here's How to Enter for a Chance to Win Fun Summer Prizes and $50 Gift Cards:
Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion

Moms and kids just want to have fun and Rayovac has the power to make it happen!

From June 21st through July 20th, we are empowering families to have fun through the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion.

First, "like" the brand and products on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rayovac and together with expert moms at 5MinutesForMom, we will offer up great daily summertime family tips and a chance to win great prizes.

Then access and complete the entry form on Rayovc's website at www.rayovac.com/PowersYourSummer. Simply tell us how you'll power your fun this summer each day for a chance to win prizes ranging from Cameras and Bikes to Camping Supplies and a Summer Supply of Rayovac Batteries! No trick questions here! There is no correct answer to how you and your family add the Power of Fun to your summer! Must be a US resident and 18 or older at the time of entry to enter this Promotion, the Twitter Event or the Blogger Promotion.

More on the Twitter Party:
Rayovac Powers Your Summer Twitter Event
Join Rayovac and 5MinutesForMom for a Twitter Event to support the exciting Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion. The Twitter Event will feature more than 20 fun giveaways from Rayovac ranging from a summer supply of Rayovac Batteries to $50 Target Gift Cards.

Rayovac Powers Your Vacation Summer Promotion Twitter Event
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Time: 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. CST
Location: #rayovac
Follow: @Rayovac_Battery, @5minutesformom, @CirclePRMary

Rayovac Powers Your Summer Blogger Promotion
First 99 Bloggers to Receive a $50 Wal-Mart Gift Card and Rayovac Batteries!
The blogger promotion begins June 22, 2010 and will end on June 25, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. (CST).
Want to enter for a chance to win fun prizes to Power Your Summer? The first 99* posts that follow the posting requirements to support the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion, will win a $50 Wal-Mart Gift Card from Rayovac and a summer pack of Rayovac batteries worth $35 ("Prize Package").

Be sure to Visit 5 Minutes for Mom and Rayovac for more info.

Quotable Sunday - Father's Day

Saturday, June 19, 2010

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." ~Harmon Killebrew

One father is more than a hundred Schoolemasters. ~George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby

Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name. ~William Wordsworth

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father! ~Lydia M. Child, Philothea: A Romance, 1836

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons. ~Johann Schiller

A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~Author Unknown

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

Dad, you're someone to look up to no matter how tall I've grown. ~Author Unknown

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes. ~Gloria Naylor

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. ~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge. ~Phyllis Diller

Are we not like two volumes of one book? ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!
~Author Unknown

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. ~Red Buttons

Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again. ~Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich. ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever. ~Author Unknown

Happy Father's Day!!!
For More Quotable Fun visit LT at A Day With Two.

A Day With Two

Aloha Friday

Friday, June 18, 2010

Aloha everyone! Happy Friday :) I'm excited to have a big weekend ahead. My niece is graduating from high school Saturday and we'll have lots of family in town visiting. And let's not forget Father's Day...this year I'll actually get to enjoy time with my own dad and my hubbie on the same day! I don't think I've ever spent a Father's Day with the two of them together before.

So, my question for today is: How do you plan to celebrate Father's Day?

Whatever you do, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by. Check out this post for some Dad's Day ideas. And don't forget to visit An Island Life for more Aloha Friday fun.

Make Something Special for Dad for Father's Day

Thursday, June 17, 2010

First, a little history (I am a homeschool mom after all!): Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a "father's day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington.

Father's Day is just around the corner. Do you have a special day planned for Dad?

I've gathered some fun ideas for getting the kids involved in making Dad's day a big hit! You'll find crafts, cards, recipes and more at these sites:
A Kids' Heart
Kaboose - love the trophy :)
Family Fun
The Holiday Spot
Activity Village - love the oragami :)

And here's a link to Presidential Father's Day Proclamations from 2009, back through the year 2000.

What Makes a Dad?

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagles in flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
And there was nothing more to add,
He knew his masterpiece was complete,
And He called it – Dad.
Author unknown

A Thousand Words Thursday

For more Thousand Words Thursday stop by Cheaper Than Therapy
Cheaper Than Therapy

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Someone had a birthday...
My big 5 year old:

Now she's a whole handful!
Happy WW to all. Thanks for stopping by today. Your comments make my day!

Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun:

Celebrate Flag Day June 14th

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Flags have powerful connotations. The colors of a flag and symbols on a flag have great meaning for those who proudly fly it.

Called the "Stars and Stripes," or "Old Glory," the American flag is one of the most complicated in the world. Did you know that is takes 64 pieces of fabric to make an American Flag? The current flag has 13 red and white alternating stripes which represent the original 13 states and 50 stars which represents the states of the Union on a blue background.

Another interesting fact about the American flag is that it has changed designs more than any other flag in the world. The first flag, called the Grand Union, was flown at the headquarters of the Continent Army on January 1, 1776. Betsy Ross is said to have contributed to this design. The legend goes that she showed George Washington how to make a five-pointed star and suggested thirteen stars in a circle for the first flag.

National flags are not merely symbols of a country. Flags have powerful connotations.
We Americans take the treatment of our flag seriously. There is a code of ethics for the use of the American Flag that includes rules such as:

The national flag cannot be used for advertising.
It must not be folded while being displayed.
The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
No one should write on an American flag.
It cannot cover a monument or any ceilings.
The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress proposed that the United States have a national flag instead of the British Union Jack. Until 1877 there were few public ceremonies honoring the Stars and Stripes, when on, June 14, it was flown from every government building in honor of the centennial of the adoption of a national flag. In 1890, North Dakota and New Jersey made a law that required schools to fly the flag daily. The first official Flag Day was observed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1893. New York also proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day 1897, though other states were slow to follow.

In August 1949, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day. From then on the President has proclaimed the commemoration yearly. Many Americans display the Stars and Stripes outside their homes and businesses in honor of Flag Day.

Our Pledge:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Want to find out more about our flag and Flag Day?

Flag Timeline
The Betsy Ross House
Francis Scott Key and The Star Spangled Banner
Education World Flag Day Lessons

Hot Chalk's Flag Day Lesson Plans

And just for fun, try these Red, White and Blue recipes!

Now don't you feel like a Yankee Doodle Dandy?! (which by the way, has quite a story behind it)

Quotable Sunday - On Housekeeping

You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping. ~Rudyard Kipling

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. ~Erma Bombeck

Nature abhors a vacuum. And so do I. ~Anne Gibbons

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints, 1966

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~Author Unknown

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy. ~Author Unknown
I think housework is the reason most women go to the office. ~Heloise Cruse

I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on. ~Roseanne Barr

Housework, if it is done right, can kill you. ~John Skow

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. ~Nancie J. Carmody

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance. ~Author Unknown
I like hugs and I like kisses,
But what I really love is help with the dishes!
~Author Unknown

For More Quotable Fun visit LT at A Day With Two.

A Day With Two

Do I Smell Peanut Butter and Chocolate?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

According to the National Food Holiday Calendar, tomorrow is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. I wouldn't want anyone to be left out of the yummy goodness, so here's a recipe for delicious PB and Chocolate Chip Cookies to help you celebrate.

Peanut Butter Cookies
From the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern, but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Aloha Friday

Friday, June 11, 2010

Greetings bloggy friends! I hope today finds you well.
My question today is simple: How long have you been blogging/reading blogs?

My Answer: I've been blogging since April 2008 with lots of ups and downs. I really hit my stride last summer and my stats went way up. I felt giddy. But it was rather short-lived as my family and homeschooling responsibilities were difficult to keep up with while I devoted all that time to blogging. Lately my blogging has been put on the back burner, and my blog is limping along. How I wish there were more hours in the day...but for now, I have to focus on my families' needs and settle for blogging occasionally. How about you?

Be sure to visit An Island Life for more Aloha Friday Fun. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

Explore The Arts

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I love PBS! They offer such wonderful resources for parents, educators and kids. Looking for some summer fun? Why not explore the arts? Get creative, let your imagination soar, let the kids have fun expressing themselves. Check out the PBS Activity Pack to get started: Explore the meanings and moods of color through art, music, vocabulary, dance and cultural activities. Examine how the arts are used to portray personal feelings and depict social protest in society, and research the artwork of Norman Rockwell.

A Thousand Words Thursday

For more Thousand Words Thursday stop by Cheaper Than Therapy
Cheaper Than Therapy


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