Monday, March 29, 2010

The Little Engine that Could

I feel like all last week I had to keep chanting, "I think I can. I think I can". It is down to the home stretch now. Just a few more days. One foot in front of the other. We have been super busy this past week, this week is busy, too. But Easter not only means new life in Christ, it means that we can finally take a breath.

This past week has been a whirlwind of meetings and prep work and in the van on the go. We did the visit to the Children's Home last Saturday, church and youth on Sunday. Book club for the big girl and dance on Monday. Educational co-op on Tuesday and a meeting at church. Wednesday is Wednesday and all that entails. Thursday was veggie co-op until 12:30 then time at church sorting candy and plastic eggs. Friday was stuff Easter eggs and goodie bags and park day and replace the water softener day. Saturday was our Easter egg hunt. Sunday was church and youth. Next week is a little slower, but busyness is still part of every day.

The big girl is part of a book club at one of our local libraries. It's mostly girls, and she's alright with that. A friend of mine has suggested that we start one for our boys since they won't participate with the girls. The boys seem pretty excited about it. We're going to get them together when the girls have their meetings. That's an extra that is very convenient. The club only meets once a month. If it met every week, I might have to hurt someone. The girls in the club participated in a "Meet the Author" event at the library. The big girl got to meet the author of a series of books that she just started. That was very cool for her.

I've been staying a little longer at veggie co-op. The woman that runs it, Sherri, has become a very good friend of mine. I started helping out because of the discount, but I keep helping out because of the company. The women that work in the morning have become a very tight knit group. I digress, again, but you should be used to that by now. I stay to help her out with the steady stream of people that are there to pick up their orders. I like the interaction and conversations. That throws our schedule off quite a bit, but we get it back eventually. And if we take that Thursday off, we make it up Friday. Sometimes we Saturday school.

Our church's Easter egg hunt was Saturday. There is lots of prep work involved with that. Friday morning was stuff eggs and goody bag day. We got there early and got it all done within a couple of hours. There was also the decorating and rearranging. We put stickers in all the eggs, and coins in some of the eggs. The kids loved the money part. There were three prize eggs. My boy won one. He is a little sneak, that one. He was helping hide the eggs. I didn't realize until the hunt was on that he had helped with his age group. He knew where all of the eggs were. See what happens when I get busy? Our friend Mr. B read the Easter story. He told it, actually, with his puppet friend Hairy, and brought it to kid level instead of church level. I think he did a great job. And grilled hot dogs after the hunt. I love hot dogs on the grill. We had lots of volunteers and lots of kids. There is so much candy left over, I'm going to put together goody bags for kids to take home after Easter service.

The bulk of our activities for Easter are over. There are still some things that we need to take care of this week. Then of course, the family gathering for Easter. We'll see how that goes. Sometimes, I just want to be in Texas already. Still no word about the job. Hopefully soon, though. This morning, we are taking it slow. No rush. One thing at a time. I think it's the only time this week we get to take it easy. I might get another cup of coffee and hunker down in my bed for a little while longer. Or I could clean our bathrooms and fold the laundry and do the dishes. I'm thinking coffee.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boing! Boing! Boing!

This is one of the things that the baby got for her birthday. You make your own bouncy ball. I thought it was going to be time consuming and a pain in the butt. Hubby told the kids after they pestered me half to death that he would help them. Turns out, it's a 4 minute process. It took longer for the kids to pick out the colors they wanted and get them mixed than it did for the actual making. The kids have been bouncing the little suckers around the house for days now. You do have to keep them in a plastic bag so they don't dry out too much. Once they dry out, they don't bounce anymore. The best part is, if they do dry out, we can make more.
It was fun. It was quick. It was easy. And the kids have loved ever minute of it. If you are looking for a great gift, this would be it.
Have a great day!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's in the HealthCare Bill

Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self-insure!!

Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill: THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.

Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!... See More

Page 42 of HC Bill: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!

Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

Page 58 HC Bill: Govt will have real-time access to individuals' finances & a 'National ID Health card' will be issued!

Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer.

Page 65 Sec 164: Is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations.

Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the 'Exchange.'

Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans -- The Govt will ration your health care!

Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services.

Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups (i.e. ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.

Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. (AARP members - your health care WILL be rationed!)

Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid.

Page 12 4 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt monopoly.

Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/ American Medical Association - The Govt will tell YOU what salary you can make.

Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan.

Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees ANDtheir families.

Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option will pay 8% tax on all payroll! (See the last comment in parenthesis.)

Page 150 Lines 9-13: A business with payroll between $251K & $401K who doesn't provide public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.

Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.

Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.) (Like always)

Page 195 HC Bill: Officers & employees of the GOVT HC Admin.. will have access to ALL Americans' finances and personal records.

Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax."

Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors.

Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors: It doesn't matter what specialty you have trained yourself in -- you will all be paid the same!

Page 253 Line 10-18: The Govt sets the value of a doctor's time, profession, judgment, etc.

Page 265 Sec 1131: The Govt mandates and controls productivity for "private" HC industries.

Page 268 Sec 1141: The federal Govt regulates the rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.


Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever the Govt deems preventable

Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors: If you treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission -- the Govt will penalize you.

Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment.

Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion.

Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input is required.

Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: The Govt mandates establishment of=2 outcome-based measures. (HC the way they want -- rationing.)

Page 341 Lines 3-9: The Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc.

Page 354 Sec 1177: The Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of 'special needs people!'

Page 379 Sec 1191: The Govt creates more bureaucracy via a "Tele-Health Advisory Committee."

Page 425 Lines 4-12: The Govt mandates "Advance-Care Planning Consult."

Page 425 Lines 17-19: The Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc.

Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: The Govt provides an "approved" list of end-of-life resources; guiding you in death.

Page 427 Lines 15-24: The Govt mandates a program for orders on "end-of-life."

Page 429 Lines 1-9: An "advanced-care planning consultant" will be used frequently as a patient's health deteriorates.

Page 429 Lines 10-12: An "advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans..

Page 429 Lines 13-25: The GOVT will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order

Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life!

Page 469: Community-Based Home Medical Services = Non-Profit Organizations. (Hello? ACORN Medical Services here!?!)

Page 489 Sec 1308: The Govt will cover marriage and family therapy.

Page 494-498: Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services

I thought this was important enough to post on both my blogs. For those of you that say you aren't political, now is the time to be. This is about freedom being snatched away. Be aware of what is in this legislation and how it relates to you and your family. There is not very much in this that is good. This is government controlling us, not working for us.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Update

It has been a while since I have done an update post. I'm hoping I haven't forgotten how. Yeah, like I could ever forget how to talk. So here we go.

Some of my friends are curriculum reviewers for a homeschool magazine that I subscribe to. It is a fantastic thing. They receive curriculum in exchange for their review being posted on their blogs, chat groups, facebook, and whatever social media outlets they participate in. I had signed up to receive a couple of unit studies to review to become a reviewer myself. I have since decided that if I did that , it would add one more thing. One more thing that would take my focus away from our family, one more thing that would take my focus off what our goals are, one more thing to add to our list of things to do. As much as I would love to do that, I just cannot justify the time. I think the constant reviews and changing curriculum or adding curriculum would not benefit my family at this time. Maybe in a couple of years it will be feasible for us, but not now. To my reviewer friends, party on. I enjoy your reviews and have benefitted from many of them. Thank you for the time you take for the rest of us.

The baby girl had her very first birthday party. She normally gets a special day, but this year was different. She wanted her friends to come over. She gave me a list and I invited them. We had such a good time. The kids ran around and played, we ate cake and ice cream, we beat a pinata half to death, and she opened presents. I'll post pics later. It was a fantastic day and she was surrounded by the people that are important to her and that she loves and is loved by.

Our family took the opportunity yesterday to attend an open campus day at the United Methodist Children's Home. We went with a group from our youth group that inlcuded 12 kids and 5 adults. We got to see our former associate pastor, who is also a great friend to our family. We were served lunch and got to take a trolley tour of the campus. It was bigger than we all thought it was going to be. We were able to tour two of the houses and given insight on how they live and what their daily routines are like. The tours were given by the kids that live there and were very well presented. We were part of the traffic and clean up crew. Our older kids went and directed traffic to make sure that cars and trolleys and golf carts were all going the right way. The rest of us on clean up were given a gift. Every place we went to clean up had already been done. Ok, and thank you for that. It was a beautiful day.

The weather here for the most part has been crazy. We are used to a few days of cold, usually a couple of days at a time, maybe a week, then warm. Not this year. This year has been cold and rainy for months now. We're so water logged we squeak when we walk. Hopefully, our aquifers are full and the lakes are up. Even with all the rain, because it was so windy, we had a high fire index. Our sinuses have been overly active and have made for some miserable days. Our saving grace has been the neti pot. If you don't have one, get one. It has done wonderful things for the boy's nose. His allergies are even worse than mine, if you can believe that. They have gotten better with the introduction of organic produce and the supplements and herbals we take. But the neti pot has been fantastic for cleaning out all the extra gunk. Even the big girl, who has the least active allergies in the house, has needed it. It was a little weird for the kids at first, hubby, too, but they sure liked what it did for them. Clear breathing and less snoring has been happening here, and that is a good thing for all of us.

We had to buy a new water softener system. Ugh! Ours has finally given up on us. The bad thing is that it is still sitting in front of the washing machine, which is where hubby put it for now. He was going to install it today, but it rained. Our system needs to go outside where the other one was. Rain was not in the plan for installation. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day. We did test the water coming from the well, and it's good water. All the levels were well into the acceptable range. The only problem is in the softness. I'm ready for this to be done with. We just replaced the pressure gauge on the well, so I'm all done with water problems for awhile. We love being homeowners.

No news on Texas. The interview went well. Now we are waiting to find out if hubby got the job or not. The limbo status we are in is torture. We are living our lives as normally as possible and are trying to take one day at a time. A soon as I know something, you will, too.

Coming up we have an Easter egg hunt at church, a youth sponsored dinner, and Easter. It is going to be busy for the next couple of weeeks, so we'll see how high the stress level gets. I am trying to take one activity at a time. You know I'll be there with my trusty Kodak taking as many pics as I can.

That's the run down. I'm sure there are things that I've left out. I will also post about our field trip and then some pics of somethings the kids made that are really cool.

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Safe for the Little Ears, In Pictures

This is our co-op group. We all met at a local radio station for a tour. It's a Christian radio station that we all listen to. We were so excited about this trip. It was a ton of fun and we got to see one of the DJs that we hear every day. I'll post about the actual trip and put more pics up soon.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some Favorite Pics, Part 2

I love catching the big girl unaware. This was at our Barberville field trip where we learned all about Seminole Indians. She's trying some gruel like stuff made out of corn, if I remember right. She isn't really drinking, though. She is normally very brave about trying new foods, but this was just a little more than she could handle. Her brother saying it was gross didn't help, either. It was, but that's beside the point.
This is the baby at the Barberville field trip. She had borrowed sunglasses from one of the older girls. She is so cute, she usually gets what she wants from other people. Not so much from mama, but she tries.

This is the boy with his friend H. The boy thinks H hung the moon. He is a pretty great kid I must say. They hung around all day, laughing and playing. The boy is around women so much, it's great for him to get some time away from the estrogen.

This is not the best Christmas picture ever. Hubby could have moved the easel behind us, but he doesn't think about stuff like that. I don't think self portraits are easy, but add tired kids anxious to open presents and that just adds points for a high difficulty level. It got done, gifts were opened, and a good time was had by all.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Some Favorite Pics

This is the boy last Christmas. He is the world's biggest ham. He loves to have his picture taken. He loves to be on stage. He always has to be the center of attention. He has so much natural charm, it's crazy. And he knows how to use it. I love him. Isn't he cute as all get out?
This is the baby with her Whoville look. She learned to put ponytails in her hair when she was four. I got tired of puttting her hair in pony tails, at her request, and then she would almost immediately take them down. I told her she would have to learn how to do it herself, and she did. One day she was messing around, and put her bangs in a pony tail. We laugh everytime she does this. She looks like Cindy Who and she loves it.

This is one of my favorite pics of my big girl. This was taken at a local Christmas parade the kids participated in. She got to be a dancer and not a float rider this time. She loved it. This is her trying desperately not to smile at her camera happy mama. Good grief, she's beautiful.
These are just some of my favs of my babies. I was downloading pictures onto my lap top and I had almost 400 on my camera. I realized I hadn't put them on the desk top either. That's one reason I would love an external hard drive. After I got them all downloaded, I decided to share some of them with you. I'll be downloading more as I watch some shows I DVR'd, so be prepared.
Have a great night!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lightning and Lasers

The boy got dumped on for his birthday. Usually, it's the big girl that happens to. Lucky her had a water slide and a sleep over for her last birthday. We got to keep the water slide for 4 days and only paid for one. I love deals like that. The boy was supposed to have a party, but wouldn't you know, hubby and I dropped the ball. At the time we were super busy, but I'll be darned if I can remember what we were busy doing. Then we decided to do a special day. Whoever's birthday it is gets to dictate the family activities for the day. That got pushed back and pushed back until it was the baby's birthday. We certainly couldn't have a birthday party for her without having the boy's day. Tomorrow is her party, and last week Thursday was the boy's day.

Our first activity was a movie. We went to see Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. We had seen the advertisements and the kids wanted to see it. When I found out the movie was based on a book, that meant we had to read it first. That's the rule. We did it as a book on CD. I love those. I have to say it was a really good book. We have also read the second book in the series and another series by the same author. The movie started out close to the book then took a turn. I don't usually go to a movie expecting it to be similar. It was a really good movie as well. At one point the baby did come jump in my lap. I tried to cover her eyes at a different part, but she was having none of it. The boy loved it.

Our next activity was laser tag. The boy and the big girl had played at different birthday parties. I was a little leary, but that's what the boy wanted to do. My gun didn't work. I was a little disappointed, but when we told the owner, she let us play another game for free. That was nice. Know what? It was awesome! We had the best time. The lights are low, they have fog and loud music, bases you can destroy, and lots of obstacles to run around and hide behind. Too much fun. We were sweaty, tired and hungry. That meant lunch. Good thing we were still at the mall.

The food court is where we ended up. I like the food court because we get to all choose what we want and still be together. I can't stand the food court because it's too expensive. What are you going to do? We also ran into some friends while we were there and ate with them. They are a fellow homeschooling family and in our co-op, and we attend church with them. We like to tease when more than a day has gone by and we haven't seen them that we are going into withdrawals. We had great company and that more than made up for the mediocre food.

Then it was back to laser tag. They give you a discounted rate when you play to come back and play again. we had the place to ourselves both times. That was cool, too. I was a little more savvy about the game this time and was able to get some really good shots off. I was able to sneak up behind the boy, who is pretty crafty at this game. The first time we played girls versus boys, but this time it was parents versus kids. I like that very much, thank you.

Bless the boy, our next activity was coming home and taking a nap. He loves his mama and his mama loves him back. After our hour nap, we got up and played the Wii. We must have played for a couple of hours. It was pot luck for dinner, which the kids like. It works out great with a fridge full of left overs and a tired mama. He wanted to watch a movie after showers, but it was late by then. We were all tired but happy. It was better to end the night on a good note.

We all had a great day. The boy got to be the boss, which he loves. We got to do some really fun things, spend time with some friends, and spend time with each other. Tomorrow, we party for the baby. Yea, that means cake. I love cake.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Indian Pow wow, In Pictures, Part 2

That would be my babies at the archery lesson. The big girl wasn't going to do it until I whined at her. But really, a mama has to do what a mama has to do. She loved it. I knew she would. Her first shot sailed over the target and we teased her about getting the distance award. They all hit the target on the second and third shots, though. One of the best things about the whole day-it was all free. Except the kettle corn. I don't mind paying for that though.

Have a great day!

Pow Wow 2010, In Pictures

This was our field trip today to the Thundering Spirits Family Pow Wow. We had gone last year as well, and had a blast. When it came again this year, we had to go.
This year, they did things a little differently and we got there a little earlier. We missed the parade of dancers last year (bottom photo) but managed to get there in time this year. There are more dancers that arrive tonight, but we won't be there for that. It is still impressive to see the dancers from many tribes in their finery. We love the music, too. The big girl and I had decided that we were going to get a CD, but we forgot. I didn't forget the kettle corn, though.
This year the kids got kits to make a dream catcher. We are going to put those together tomorrow. I'll try to post the pics of that. They also got an archery lesson. They were able to use a bow and arrow and shoot at a target. It was fun to watch their first shot go long or wild. The second shot was much better. I'll also post those pics in another post.
As a native American from a people that shares their history and culture through dance, this is always an opportunity that I look forward to. The music tells the story just as the dancers do. They work together to paint a picture of life from long ago. Glorious and beautiful.

We got to watch the tepee demonstration again this year. It amazes me that the ways and technology of people from long ago has not been improved upon. Their way of living and surviving and making a life for themselves and their families is truly inspirational. My friend Melissa said, "I think they were alot smarter than we are." I agree, M, I agree.
If you get a chance to go to a pow wow, I would highly recommend it. We love the pageantry, the music, the culture, the atmosphere. And of course, the kettle corn.
Have a great day.