Monday, February 28, 2011

Less THAN Perfect

I do not claim to know everything about the English language. With all the rules of proper grammar, it is easy to get confused. I also realize that everyone, including me, makes mistakes. With that said, I will share with you something I have become increasingly aware of and that's the misuse of the words than and then. I have seen the two words confused on blogs, YouTube, song lyrics and even my post yesterday by Erma Bombeck. In one of her paragraphs, Erma says, "There is a woman I will bless with a child less then perfect." I didn't change then to than, because I was quoting Erma, but I saw the error right away. I also saw the irony in her less than perfect sentence. Then I began thinking, if Erma Bombeck is capable of confusing the words then and than, do I really know how to use them properly? I decided to search Google and found a few websites that have worksheets and quizzes. I've included one of the links, if you would like to test your knowledge of the then and than rule.

In Erma's defense, because it's an uplifting piece of writing and has been reposted many times over the years, the mistake most likely was made by somebody other than her.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

God Chooses Mom for Disabled Child

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.

Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments forpropagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth; son; patron saint, Matthew.

"Forrest, Marjorie; daughter; patron saint, Cecelia.

"Rudledge, Carrie; twins; patron saint.... give her Gerard. He's used to profanity.

"Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped child."

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But has she patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it."

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence. She'll have to teach the child to live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, there is a woman I will bless with a child less then perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says "Momma" for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations." "I will permit her to see clearly the things I see---ignorance, cruelty, prejudice--- and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in midair.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."
Written by Erma Bombeck
September 4, 1993

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cody the Cat Hater?

Cody was keeping me company as I attempted to make cinnamon rolls this morning. He told the following story:

Johnny McDonald lived a long time ago.
He was born in his house.
Johnny McDonald burned his house down,
and then he shot his cat.

I don't know quite what to make of this. Perhaps Cody does not like cats? After all, last month he had the neighbors cat dying of cancer. Just in case you didn't read that post, I've included the link...

It's a good thing that Johnny McDonald, the homeless man, lived "a long time ago". Nowadays, he'd have to do time for animal cruelty.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dining in the Dark

Patrick Neil Harris was on Ellen today and they were talking about restaurants. Katelyn was watching with me...well, Katelyn was watching, I wasn't really paying attention until she got excited about something Ellen said. Here is the conversation that followed...

Katelyn- They have these restaurants where everything is dark. I want to go to one. The waitress seats you and you can't see a thing! It would be so fun.

Me- Eew. You wouldn't know what your eating. There could be hair or a fly in your food and you'd never know. They could serve you weird stuff like fish legs or something.


Me- Oh. Wait a minute. Fish don't have legs.

(This is where we crack up.)

I was thinking of fish eggs and frog legs, but that's not what came out of my mouth.

Then Katelyn said, "Mom. You should try to find a clip of a dark restaurant on YouTube", so we started looking.  Katelyn spotted something and said, "click on that one". I read what she wanted me to look at and said, "No. This can't be the one. This one says blind people serve your food." Katelyn replied. "Ya. That's the whole point!"

She neglected to tell me that important piece of information. Now it all makes sense!

Kind of cool, huh?!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Penny Candy Nostalgia

Penny Candy Store, Boise, ID by John Collias

Penny Candy Store by John Collias

The picture above reminds me of Bill's Market, a small store in the community where I grew up. I have fond memories of my mother taking me and my younger sister, Teresa, there to get penny candy. The candy was kept behind the clerk's counter which made it impossible for children to see ( I'm sure that was the whole idea). I remember my mom lifting Teresa and me, so we could look at the candy over the counter and tell the clerk exactly what we wanted. He would then place the penny candy in little brown sacks, one for my sister and one for me. Here are a few of the sugary treats I'd choose...

Bazooka Bubble Gum


Tiny Wax Bottles. The liquid inside was pretty much tastless.

Jolly Ranchers

Tootsie Rolls

Smarties. For some reason, we liked to dissolve these in water.

Licorice. My sister liked black licorice. I hated it and stuck with red.

Candy Necklaces...loved these, but couldn't figure out why our necks got so sticky.

To see more of John Collias's artwork, visit his website at .

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Imitation Marijuana

Chase left his mark again... this time in my spice cabinet. He thinks he's sooo funny.

It's dried basil from my garden.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ah-la-la-la. I Can't Hear You.

Those of you that have been following my blog for awhile know that Chase, my son who is three years younger than Cody, is a tease. The two boys have a one-of-a-kind relationship. When Chase comes to our house, he almost always talks to Cody first. Then the teasing begins. Chase knows exactly what to say to get Cody worked up. For some reason Chase finds this amusing. (I, however, find it rather nerve-racking.)

Today was no exception. Chase came to our house right after lunch and walked over to where Cody was sitting. He started to talk to him, but Cody, anticipating Chase's inevitable teasing, reacted differently this time. The conversation (or lack thereof) went like this...

Chase- How was

Cody- Ah-la-la-la. I can't hear you.

Chase- Cody, I said how was

Cody- Ah-la-la-la. I can't hear you.

Chase- Why are you

Cody- Ah-la-la-la. I can't hear you.

Chase- What are

Cody- Ah-la-la-la. I can't hear you.

It appears that Cody has found a new way to deal with Chase's teasing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dr. Jean's Banana Dance

This week our Kindergarten class was introduced to Dr. Jean's Banana Dance. You've never heard of it? That's okay. Once you listen to it, you won't forget. The song will be stuck in your head for a good, long time!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Clapping in the Bedroom

I asked Don to move the treadmill into our bedroom, so I can watch television while I work out. The only place it fits, however, is between my side of the bed and the nightstand. Now, if I want to read before I go to sleep, I have to get out of bed and climb over the treadmill to turn off the lamp. One night last week, I felt too tired to get back out of bed, so I mentioned to Don that we should put our lamps on a clapper. He laughed at me and said, "That would really be aging us, wouldn't it?"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weight Loss Procrastination Tips for Every Month of the Year!

I come up with excuses to procrastinate losing weight. For instance, I can't make a New Year's resolution to diet when Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I'll want to devour scrumptious chocolates. Easter comes soon after Valentine's Day, so that's no good. How can I not eat sweets when our family does a big treasure hunt with loads of candy? After Easter...well, I'm sure the kids will give me Turtle's for Mother's Day. They know how much I love those chocolate covered caramels with pecans. Summer time rolls along and it is so hot that it would be foolish to give up ice cream. Besides that, three of my four kids and I have birthdays in the summer and that means cake, cake and more cake. Before you know it, Autumn is here and caramel apples are terrific...oh, and apple pie and apple crisp (with ice cream). Then it's Halloween and simply unrealistic to think of losing weight when loading up on candy is what Halloween is all about! November and December bring with them my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's a given that nobody starts a diet during this time. To do so would be just setting myself up for failure, right? Now I've come full circle and back to New Year's again. It's a vicious cycle.

(Sigh) I might suck at having self control, but I've got procrastination mastered!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Berry and Cream Cheese Cake

1 package white cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces Cool Whip
3/4 cup powdered sugar
cherry (or berry) pie filling

Mix cake as directed on package, using the egg white directions instead of the whole egg. Pour into a 9"x13" glass baking dish. Bake then let cake cool completely.

Mix softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and Cool Whip. Spread onto cooled cake. Top with your favorite berry pie filling. Refrigerate.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love and Sex

I knew I was in for an interesting Valentine's Day when I walked into the living room this morning and the first thing out of Cody's mouth was, "Today on Oprah they will be talking about love and sex." He made sure to enunciate the "sex" part, then he kept repeating it until I finally said, "Okay, Cody. I heard you." He chuckled, somewhat mischievously, then dropped it.

Cody has no idea what sex is, but something tells me he knew saying it would make me a little uncomfortable.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gag Me!

Today, instead of surrendering to Cody's request to eat Kraft Easy Mac for lunch, I baked him a Marie Calendar's Chicken Pot Pie. That's when I decided I'd share with you the following memory:

When Cody was a baby, I tried introducing him to food that wasn't pureed and he would gag when anything remotely lumpy was spooned into his mouth. To solve the problem and get him to eat more of a variety, I bought an amazing little tool called a Food Grinder. It was easy to use at home and convenient to throw in his diaper bag when we were on the go. It looked exactly like this...

One evening, when Cody was around two, I baked some Swanson Chicken Pot Pies for dinner. (I was young and hadn't perfected my cooking skills.) Anyway, knowing Cody would gag at the first hint of a pea or potato chunk, I put his pie through the grinder, minus the hard crust around the top edge. He loved it and polished it off. I ground up another. He downed that too. Hesitantly, I ground up one more and he ate it as well. Three! Cody, at age two, had eaten three pot pies for dinner.

I don't remember when Cody finally got over the lump issue, but he never did polish off that many pot pies again and I doubt he ever will.

Friday, February 11, 2011

11 Things You'll Never See Me Wear

I promised an 11 Things post on the 11th day of each month in 2011, so here goes...

11 Things You'll Never See Me Wear

#11- A Tube Top. They may be the fad, but when I see them, I think of white trash and episodes of 'Cops'.

#10- A Mini Skirt.

#9- Fish Net Stockings. Try not to even imagine this.

#8- A Nose Ring. Hello Nose! No thanks.

#7- Wrangler Jeans. Might as well be 'Mom Jeans' or 'Pajama Jeans'.

#6- Bows in My Hair. I don't think I even wore these as a child. Did I mom?

#5- A Thong Bikini (not even in my own pool). Let's just move along...

#4- A Leather "Biker" Jacket. If you ever see me in one of these, get help. I've gone off the deep end.

#3- Socks with Sandals. I saw this a lot in Eugene.

#2- A Turtle Neck Shirt or Sweater.

#1- Anything Red. Redheads shouldn't wear red. I won't even buy a red car because it would make my hair look bad.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quadriplegic Sues the Happiest Place on Earth

Quadriplegic Sues Disney After Being Trapped on 'Small World'�Ride

This story intrigued me for a couple of reasons.

#1- Our family has a vested interest in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

#2- I have been stuck on 'It's a Small World' and am pretty sure listening to that song, over and over, elevated my blood pressure.

Katelyn and Beverly

Good Times! I can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cody, Valentines and Love Songs

Do you know how hard it is to write a blog post while Cody's sitting in the same room singing, over and over again, the words, "Happy Valentines Guys" to the tune Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney? Holy crap! Give it a try.

And you thought the title of this post sounded normal enough for this time of year, didn'tcha?

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Chase wanted me to find a picture that I have of him wearing MC Hammer pants. Apparently, he is trying to prove to one of his friends that he actually owned a pair. Why? Who knows with that kid; I didn't even ask. Anyway, as I was digging through the box of pictures,  I came across this priceless moment in time...

and I remembered EXACTLY why I don't have family photos taken!

Casey is cheesing. Chase just looks sad. I am not sure what Katelyn is doing, but definitely giving us attitude, and Cody is turned the wrong way! You'd think he was blind or something. ;-)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are There Really Cons to Teaching Character Education in Schools?

Like everything else under the sun, teaching character education in public schools is a controversial issue. Some believe that all schools should implement some sort of character education program, saying that it can help decrease violence, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, etc. They also reason that character education in schools will teach values to children whose parents, for one reason or another, don't.

Then there are others who feel it is not the school's place to teach what is right and wrong. They feel it should be the parent’s sole responsibility to teach their children how to behave and make ethical decisions. Yet, because many children are not being taught basic morals such as the value of life and property, and the value of respect and honesty, character is being set aside and in it's place we see anger, jealousy, hatred, and selfishness.

For years, my husband and I have worked in the public school system. It is our personal feeling we should teach character education in schools. Where is the character in intentionally urinating on the bathroom floor, rubbing soap on mirrors, stealing toys out of the treat box, taking markers from the teacher's desk and purposely making black marks on the waxed floors? These are just a few of the things my husband and I have witnessed this past school year. (And I am not even beginning to touch the lack of character we, as a society, are subjected to outside of our school system.)

Parents and educators should be working together toward a functioning society of self-controlled, respectful individuals, who not only think before they act, but consider the consequences of their actions. Doing so will benefit everyone.

Are there really any cons to teaching character education? What are your thoughts?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blogging - Exercise = Weight Gain

My new found addiction to blogging
is causing me to gain weight.

Instead of doing this...


or this...

or this...

or even this...

ALL I want to do is this...


One exception, instead of sipping a cup of coffee, I will be enjoying this...

Valentine's Day Treats

Cute, aren't they?  You can find these delectable chocolate pretzels and more clever ideas at The Idea Room. Go to the following link:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Angiogram: A Child's Perspective

John, a co-worker of mine in his early sixties, was recently assigned to work with a boy in 4th grade. A couple of days ago, John told his 4th grade student he wouldn't be coming to school for a couple of days because his doctor wanted him to have an Angiogram. The little boy looked at him sympathetically and said, "'re going to have your uterus taken out?"

John called me this afternoon to let me know that the
procedure went well. He said, "I'll be back tomorrow, uterus intact!"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Playful Prankster

Chase, my jokester child, is three years younger than Cody and, at times, can drive me just as nuts. He is much like the Tasmanian Devil. Everyone knows when Chase walks into a room.

I found myself thinking about the many times Chase has played jokes on me. Here are a few things that come to mind...

I came home one time to find a trail of Skittles leading from the garage door, through the kitchen, down the hall, to a note he'd left on his bedroom door.

More than once he set the alarm clock in my Coca-Cola collection to go off during the night!

Another time, upon arriving home from work, I found everything from the toaster to the television, labeled with Post-it Sticky Notes.

Not too long ago Don, Cody, Katelyn, and I came home from church and found all of our kitchen cupboards wide open and the drawers pulled out. Chase had left his mark.

Several times Chase made his handwriting look so much like mine, I didn't notice until I got to the store that he'd added to my grocery list items like Oreos, ice cream, doughnuts and Cheetos.

He did the same sort of thing when I would write out menus for the week. He'd cleverly sneak in the junk he liked to eat such as: cheeseburgers, nachos, and cheesy fries.

When he was sixteen, Chase called me from his vehicle and lead me to believe he was going be late getting home because he was behind a horrible wreck (as he walked through the front door).

These are just a few of the things that come to mind. Chase makes up stories a lot! A few years back, he had his co-workers believing some sob story about me being an alcoholic and he had to take care of his siblings because he found me passed out all of the time. ( FYI- I do not drink alcohol.)

His most recent attempt to drive me crazy can be seen in the picture below.

I found this CD in my car. Like I listen to rap! Gimme a  freakin' break child :)
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