Friday Follow Blog Hop

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Follow
Hi there,
I'm joining in the Friday Follow fun again this week. If you are new here, welcome to my little spot in the sun. I blog about my life as a homeschooling mom and military wife with three kids, a baby on the way and a goofy great dane puppy. As you can imagine, all of those responsibilities keep me pretty busy, and blogging is my "me" time. Of course, there is often little time left over for me, so this blog is definitely a work in progress. I like to share homeschooling resources and experiences, crafts and family fun ideas, recipes, frugal living tips and occasionally do product reviews and giveaways. You'll find my follow and subscribe links in the right sidebar, as well as links to some of my favorite educational resources, and blogs I like to visit often.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy your visit, and I look forward to visiting your blogs and getting to know you better!


MckLinky Blog Hop


Aloha Friday

Aloha! And happy Friday. Geez, I wish I were in Hawaii :) Yesterday we had the strangest weather: clouds, then sun, then snow, then sun, then lots of wind. At least today the skies are blue, so far, but we do have a wicked wind whipping about.

My question for today is: If you could drop everything right now and take off for a long weekend, where would you go and who would you take with you?


Thanks for stopping by and playing along. Visit An Island Life for more Aloha Friday Fun. Have a great weekend!

A Life Lesson From A Mayonnaise Jar

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When things in your life seem, almost too much to handle; when 24 Hours in a day is not enough; remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly,
He picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar And proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students, if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured
them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open Areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things - family, children, health, Friends, and Favorite passions - Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, Your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else --The small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' He continued, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, You will never have room for the things that are important to you.

So...

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play With your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

'Take care of the golf balls first --
The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled.
'I'm glad you asked'.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'

I received this in an email from my dear husband. I don't not know who the author is, but I love the sentiment. If anyone knows the original author, please let me know so that I can give proper credit. Thanks ;)

A Thousand Words Thursday

A couple of weeks ago my MIL brought her new 6 week old puppy to visit. Bella wasn't quite sure what to make of this little fluff ball. She really wanted to play, but their size difference proved a bit akward, lol.

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

Yummy Healthy Pancake Recipe

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yesterday was National Pancake Day or IHOP day or something or other. Since we don't need much of an excuse for a celebration (or feast) around here, I decided we'd have breakfast for dinner.

I love having breakfast for dinner for several reasons: it tastes great; we don't have to bribe or beg the kids to eat what's on their plates; and it's a cheap way to have a healthy meal. Plus, it's just plain fun and easy.

I threw together a fresh fruit salad, made pancakes, turkey bacon, and some savory scrambled eggs (just add your favorite spices, a little sharp cheddar and some Durkees Famous Sauce - yum). Since we were all starving last night and hubs was in a hurry to hit the gym, we ate quickly and I didn't manage any pictures to share. Sorry :( But, I did want to share this recipe from Kiwi Magazine for whole wheat pancakes. They are delicious and they passed the kid test!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Blueberry Pancakes:

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
3 tbsp veg oil or melted butter
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cups pureed blueberries (or 2 small mashed bananas if you prefer)
Cooking spray

Put dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. In a separate medium bowl whisk egg until well blended, add oil (or butter) buttermilk, and vanilla. Add pureed blueberries (or mashed bananas) to the egg mixture and stir. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle coated iwth cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon batter onto pan and let cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles form and edges are dry. Flip carefully and cook another 2 minutes or so (they should be golden brown). Transfer to a plate and repeat until you've used all the batter. Serve with your favorite syrup or jam.

P.S. There are also a couple of delicious recipes for pumpkin and gingerbread pancakes over at The Simple Gourmand. Check them out...you won't be disappointed!

Wordful Wednesday

This was Aiden's first season of basketball. He had such a great time playing and we really enjoyed watching him improve. He did really well and is excited to play again next year. The league we joined just has a short winter season for kids his age, but it was a really positive experience for all of us, and we'll definitely be back next year.

The highlight of the season was the second to the last game when he really got "in the zone"...he had two blocks, a steal and made two baskets, one of which was a free throw. It also happened to be the night his Dad returned home from Haiti and headed straight to the game. He was determined to make his Daddy proud! Needless to say he succeeded :)

Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun:
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Momdot

POM Wonderful Review

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You've probably heard of the stuff, but have you ever tried POM Wonderful juice? I was sent a few bottles of POM Wonderful to try with my family. While I do like pomegranates, I know they can be tart and even a little bitter sometimes. I was expecting the juice to be similar in taste to cranberry juice. Cranberry juice tastes great when mixed with grape, apple or other juices, but is pretty bitter on it's own.

I was really surprised at how drinkable POM Wonderful was. I really enjoyed it straight from the bottle and so did my kids. It has a sweet fruity taste that we loved. It even helped settle my stomach through my early pregnancy nausea. And the best thing about it? Just four ounces a day provide more antioxidants than a serving of blueberries, red grapes, cranberries, coffee or green tea. POM Wonderful is the wonderfruit!

While it is pricier than most juices, ounce for ounce, the health benefits of POM Wonderful far outweigh other products on the market.

You can check out the POM Wonderful website and blog for more info on it's health benefits including scientific studies, plus find great recipes. The folks at POM have several flavors of juice as well as other products on the market.

*I was sent three bottles of POM Wonderful Pomegranate juice to sample.  The opinions in this post are my own and reflect my personal experience with this product.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.

Quotable Sunday - Quotes on Government

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion. ~Lewis Mumford, in Anne Chisholm, Philosophers of the Earth: Conversations with Ecologists, 1972

It might be more worthwhile if we stopped wringing our hands and started ringing our congressmen. ~Author Unknown

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. ~Winston Churchill

If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops. ~Kelvin Throop

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. ~George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, "Maxims: Education," 1905


The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy. ~Woodrow Wilson

In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery? ~St. Augustine

Democracy: The state of affairs in which you consent to having your pocket picked, and elect the best man to do it. ~Benjamin Lichtenberg

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. ~P.J. O'Rourke

If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion. ~George Bernard Shaw

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away. ~Barry Goldwater

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb. ~Benjamin Franklin

Christmas is the time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell government what they want and their kids pay for it. ~Richard Lamm

The Lord's Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words, there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence, but government regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words. ~National Review

For more Quotable Sunday, visit A Daily Dose of Toni.
Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Aloha Friday

Friday, February 19, 2010

I can't believe I missed a couple of Aloha Friday's after going strong for several months. But, I've found lately that I just don't have as much time for blogging as I'd like. At least Hubbie is home from Haiti now, so I'll have a little help around here :) We missed him tons, and we're thankful he returned home to us safely.

My question for the week is: Have you ever used an all natural or organic hair colorant? After reading an article in Kiwi Magazine about the carcinogens in hair dye, especially the darker colors, I have been reluctant to color my hair during this pregnancy, even though I'm in the 2nd trimester now. Still, my grays are driving me nuts and I'd love to give them the boot!

Woo hoo, it's Friday! I hope you all have had a great weekend! My simple question of the day is:

February Is Pet Dental Health Month, Celebrate with Dentastix from Pedigree

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I’m not sure if you are aware, but February is Pet Dental Health Month. Since doggie dentures aren’t an option, Pedigree wants you to take a moment to think about your canine’s canines.
The “Dentastix Denture Your Dog Contest” will make you and your dog smile. All you have to do is upload a photo of your dog www.dogsrule.com/oralcare and “denturize” it by adding the smile, words and voice of your choice. The winning dog will be featured in an advertisement in People magazine. The contest runs from February 11 to April 30, 2010.


**This is not a paid review.

Wordless Wednesday

I'm so ready for spring...but somebody likes the snow!


Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun:
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Momdot

Quotable Sunday

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. ~Eric Fromm

Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~Kahlil Gibran

Infatuation is when you think he's as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he's as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford - but you'll take him anyway. ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975

Let your love be like the misty rains, coming softly, but flooding the river. ~Malagasy Proverb

Do I love you because you're beautiful,
Or are you beautiful because I love you?
~Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Cinderella

Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. ~Author Unknown

Love - a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker. ~Author Unknown
Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. ~Peter Ustinov

Hate leaves ugly scars, love leaves beautiful ones. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig

Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame. ~Henry David Thoreau

To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn't put there to stay -
Love isn't love
'Til you give it away.
~Oscar Hammerstein, Sound of Music, "You Are Sixteen (Reprise)"


For more Quotable Sunday, visit A Daily Dose of Toni.
Mothers Day Gift Ideas

A Thousand Words Thursday

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Ok, everybody pose" ... "Cheese!"
Don't you wish you were a kid again?

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

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Unfortunately Bryn's stint in ballet was short lived. She has already given it up after just one semester. But, not before we got this super cute photo. I hope maybe one day she'll give it another shot. Her teacher said she was doing really well. Bryn didn't like that she couldn't have a snack or leave class when the "younger kids" got to go, lol. Funny, I remember my ballet moans having more to do with aching muscles and blistered feet. Ah well, perhaps she has a future as a princess.

Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun:
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Momdot

Be Mine Valentine Craft

Check out these cute little bugs. What a great idea for unique Valentine's Day cards, from Family Fun. I love the idea of making a magnet out of them...they'd be a cute reminder that spring is on the way. I also found some great printable games and jokes that I plan on using for our Valentine's Day party. Plus, there are loads of recipe ideas.


Quotable Sunday - Random and Mildly Humorous

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Welcome Sunday visitors! I hope you have all managed to stay warm and dry this weekend. We awoke to a frozen lake in our backyard. But, we escaped a big snow. Our friends to the north we not so lucky. I love the beauty of a winter wonderland, but we've done that, and now I am ready for spring!

My quotes for this week lack a coherent theme, but I hope a few of them at least make you laugh...or chuckle..a little.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. ~Author Unknown

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off. ~Author Unknown

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together. ~Carl Zwanzig

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends? ~Author Unknown

When somebody tells you nothing is impossible, ask him to dribble a football. ~Author Unknown

Eagles may soar in the clouds, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines. ~Attributed to both Jason Hutchison and John Benfield

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia. ~Charles Schulz

A gentleman is a man who can play the accordion but doesn't. ~Author Unknown

And finally, a few quotes on football:


The reason women don't play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public. ~Phyllis Diller

Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field? ~Jim Bouton

One of the great disappointments of a football game is that the cheerleaders never seem to get injured. ~Author Unknown

Football players, like prostitutes, are in the business of ruining their bodies for the pleasure of strangers. ~Merle Kessler

Speed, strength, and the inability to register pain immediately. ~Reggie Williams, when asked his greatest strengths as a football player


For more Quotable Sunday, visit A Daily Dose of Toni.
Mothers Day Gift Ideas

A Thousand Words Thursday

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A rare snow storm in coastal VA...a borrowed sled...and they didn't even fight over it...much. Priceless!



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

February Learning Links

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I've collected some links for our homeschooling activities this month and I thought I'd share them here. We plan on exploring Valentine's Day, The Chinese New Year, Black History Month, The Winter Olympics, as well as keeping up with what's going on in Haiti. Plus, I threw in a couple of extras, just for fun  ;)   I hope you find some useful stuff here. And, if you've got something to share, please leave a comment :D


Valentine's Day
:
Cute games and activities for kids
Crafts
Links for kids: history, crafts, games, cards and more
About the human heart

China links:
Worksheets
China study: topics ranging from the chronology of dynasties to women, education, population, economy, etc.
China history for beginners
This student-created site covers four periods of Chinese history: The First Emperor, The Great Wall of China, the Ming Dynasty, and the Handover of Hong Kong to China. Includes a quiz. This site is geared toward elementary students.
Walk the Great Wall: Students may view sections of the Great Wall through black and white photos and interactive panoramas.

Black History:
Biographies, videos, quizzes and more.
Activities and links from Family Education.
Time for Kids has featured stories and articles for review.
Find Free Powerpoint presentations here.

Winter Olympics:
Create Mascots and Cards
Online games
Printables and activities and more printables
Unit Study links
Olympic history
And test your knowledge with this Olympics Quiz.

Find news on Haiti and here and info on how to talk to kids about Haiti here.

Learn about Thomas Edison here (his birthday is this month). And, did you know February and March are National Birdfeeding months? Finally, here's some fun for baseball fans.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My first taste of snow...


Thanks for stopping by today!
Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun:
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Momdot

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