Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coffee Talk

Good Morning! Come on in and help yourself to a drink! I wish I could join you, but I have just dropped off all my sickly children at my MIL's and have jutted off for the day and night with my sweet Tigerfan!

After weeks of sick kids and 3 with ear infections right now, this is a much needed getaway (although I will owe Nana BIG!). We plan on shopping, eating well and enjoying one another's company without having to dose out medicine, change diapers, cut up anyone's food or break up any fights! I can't wait!

Bear with me! I probably won't be by to visit until Sunday but I look forward to catching up with everyone then! Have a great weekend. I plan on it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What is Your Love Language? Mine is Chocolate!

Have you read that book...The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? I actually haven't, but I totally know a lot about it!

Anyway, I am not sure why, but for some reason it has been on my mind a lot lately. I would really like to know the Love Language of my husband and children. So, I have been doing a little research (the online favorite!). Of course, if I was doing this right, I guess I would just go get the book and read it...but where is the challenge in that, really?

Okay, so in my online explorations, I read that you can take a test to figure out your love language. So, I clicked on it. And my answer...YES!

I mean seriously:

I like to spend one-on-one time with you.

I feel loved when you give practical help to me.

Is there really a choice there? I like them both. It was totally like that with the whole test. So basically, in a nutshell the languages are:

1. Words of affirmation-I like those

2. Quality time-of course!

3. Receiving gifts-who doesn't like an unexpected prize now and then?

4. Acts of service-Love 'em

5. Physical touch-especially with no "expectations", Yeah!

So, do you see my problem? I have no idea my love language...I kinda like 'em all!

I also read that you should see how your mate expresses love to you and that is an indication of their love language. So, in the past week, Tigerfan has left me two sweet little notes, bought me my favorite "gourmet" ice cream and took me to breakfast, helped me with undone chores, hung out with me in the evenings after the kids went to bed, and rubbed my neck and shoulders, just because.

See, that is a problem...he does them all! That means he likes them all, too!

Now, I know Dr. Chapman is a renowned speaker, author, counselor and all, and I think this whole love language thing is a great idea. I just think that sometimes you can improve on a good idea.

For instance, in MY love language is chocolate. Yep, chocolate and if ya throw in a diet soda, I'll be yours forever! Now, Tigerfan...he can take or leave the chocolate, but bake him a good ole apple pie and he is IN LOVE! And...the test works! Because what do I love to give more than anything? Chocolate...that is why I am forever making chocolaty, delightful desserts only to have them snubbed by Tigerfan because deep in his inner self, he just wants apple pie!

It totally works for the kids, too!

Football boy loves him some Pizza and Dr. Pepper. Nothing says "I Love You" more than some pepperoni and sugary, caffeine laden bubbles!

Baseball boy? Well, give him some salty chips and some fruit...with ketchup (ewwww!)

Dancer-Chocolate and Peanut Butter people...She has a lifetime commitment with Reeses. Throw in a little chocolate milk and it is the REAL THING-FOREVER!!!

It even works for the baby! Yep, give Tigercub a puffy Cheetoh, and all is good in the world!

So, I'm not sure if I'll ever figure out what Dr. Chapman would say my love language is...but as for my family, I totally have them figured out...I just need to go to the grocery store and probably plan to spend the latter half of our lives at a fat farm!

But at least we will be feeling the love!

Monday, February 23, 2009

What I Learned This Week

I hope you'll stick with me. This week has been educational but only in the "we have been plagued with sickness and that is all I can think about" sense.

First, I have learned that no matter how many times you spray your house down with Lysol, somehow the germs remain and spread. According the our Dr. even seclusion cannot keep the pesky things at bay this year. Save your money from Lysol, your gonna need it for drugs!

Second, I learned that while they are sick, I allow my children to watch entirely too much unsupervised T.V. which is evidenced by the conversation I had with Dancer last night. I had cleaned out my jewelry armoire and brought her some necklaces to add to her dress up bag. She came running back to my room holding one. She was terribly excited. "Momma," she said. "I have seen another necklace that looks almost just like this on's on Cash for!" Why do I suddenly have the need to lock up all my valuables?

Finally this, and it is less than profound, people! But it is the best I have this week. In this less than stellar economy, I have often wished I could do something to bring in some extra cash. Unfortunately, I have no talent. At least none that people would pay for. So, in my time at home...and there has been A LOT this week, I suddenly came up with, what I feel, is a profound business opportunity!

I totally think that I, and other moms like me should rent our lives out to young, impressionable teens. I am telling you, this is birth control at its best. What better way to promote abstinence than to allow a teenager into my home this week. They can be an intimate part of the chaos that ensues when an entire house is plagued with illness. Imagine the possibilities as they participate in late night escapades like temperature taking, screaming, uncontrollable crying and countless nighttime visitors. Then, they can wake up at some ridiculous hour to begin caring for the pitiful bunch. Soothing, laundering, preparing food no one will eat and, of course Lysoling everything and chasing people down with germ gel only to get one child well as another goes down. They can experience the cries of missed activities, the joy of the Dr.'s office and the thrill of an overused pharmacy that can't keep up!

I figure I could earn a little extra OR they could pay me in help around the house and they get an education unlike any other...we all know experience is the best teacher. And let's face it, real life is nothing like the flour sack experiment from high school!

So, what do ya I on to something?

For more What I Learned this Week, go to Musings of a Housewife!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Coffee Talk: Needed, Computer Specialist

Okay, Company Girls, grab a drink, come on in and HELP ME!

This whole linking, grabbing the Company Girls thing is driving me crazy! I had a whole post for today. I thought I would outwit my computer (Ha!). I grabbed the code from the Home Sanctuary page. I pasted it in HTML code thing and then instead of going back to compose, I typed the whole post right there. I previewed was perfect. I saved it. Then I went to Compose to do spell check.

All I could see was the Coffee Talk picture and the very last line of my post, highlighted in blue. The rest...gone. I went to where I had saved it, gone. I am not computer literate, earlier this week, I deleted all my comments from a giveaway post, so I am totally aware that this is probably user error, but it is making me CRAZY!

Someone, please be a bright spot in my day and help me.

I tried to do it again. Went to the Home Sanctuary page, copied the code, put it into Html code, changed to compose...gone. when I go back to Html, it only says this:

okay, this is where I try to show you what it says...but I can't, because it keeps disappearing...html, you are dead to me!!!

Why is it that everyone else can do isn't rocket science. Is it?

If anyone can help me and solve this mystery for me, you will be my best friend...hey, I might even do my second ever giveaway and not even delete all the commenters!
***three cheers for Kerri---I don't know if this is the "right" way to do this...I don't think you can click on it and go to the Home Sanctuary page, but it is at least here and gives credit where credit is due. There is much rejoicing going on in the Tigerden right now! Who knows what I may do to celebrate...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And the Winner Is.....

I had big, elaborate plans for a drawing and pictures and lots of hoopla. Unfortunately, a house filled with flu, ear infections and upper respiratory crud has sapped all my "hoopla" strength. So, I went to the random number generator instead.

Which, is actually a little funny...I wonder if 7 is the smallest minimum it has ever had to do? Anyway...the magic number is 4.

So, congratulations to my 4th commenter, Aimee, at the Mother Load! I'll be sending you an email this afternoon to find out your shipping info!

In the meantime, I am going to go nurse my babies and my own head that feels like it was run over by a "snot bus" that left its cargo as a parting gift!

Have a great day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What I Learned This Week

1. If you are doing your first ever bloggy giveaway and you moderate your comments, be VERY CAREFUL because if you highlight all said comments and then accidentally press erases them. All of them. FOREVER! If you are reading this and happen to be one of those unfortunate commenters who was forever erased, you might want to go back here and re comment before Wednesday so I will include you!

2. Apparently kindergarten cheer leading can be a very lucrative business. Friday, Dancer announced that she couldn't wait until Saturday! I, of course, had to ask why.

Dancer: very matter of factly, "Tomorrow, I get paid!"

Me: "And what are you getting paid for?"

Dancer: "Cheering."

Me: "You are getting PAID to do cheer leading?"

Dancer: rolling her eyes and looking at me as if I am the stupidest person ever, "No, Mom, Papaw pays me for GOOD cheer leading!"

So, there ya go...something you might want to check into in this repressed economy.

3. And on a more serious note, I am doing a great Bible Study written by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore and Kay can that NOT be a good Bible Study!?! Anyway, I have done a lot of soul searching and have really tried to apply the study. Maybe no one else has the problem I do...but I LOVE to do Bible Studies, love to learn and grow, but often when they are through, I find myself right where I was before. I am really trying to not do that this time. To dig deeper and do it more for me than for checking it off or so I am not embarrassed because I didn't get my homework done. So, this week, my AHA! moment came when thinking about where I have been, where I am now and where I want to be.

We talked about times when we have been angry or afraid with God and how we have to make the choice to move beyond those moments. I wouldn't say that I am angry with God...but I think I often question why. Why do we struggle financially when so and so doesn't? Why does that person seem successful in everything and I just struggle to make it through a day with clean clothes and safe children? Why is one person good at everything they touch and I am 36 and still haven't figured out what I am good at? Let's just be honest...why is she skinny, pretty, outgoing....when I still need to lose 10-15 pounds of "baby weight", my hair is stuck in 1990 and I freeze and want to run into a closet in any new social situation?

But this week, what I am learning is that I have allowed myself to become stuck in the why's instead of moving beyond them. I also realized that ultimately, I am terrified of failing. As a result, I have chosen not to do so many things I wish I would have done because I don't want to fail, don't want to see someone else do better, don't want to be heartbroken if I don't succeed. I often wonder how God is going to use me, what can I do...and this week I wondered...has He planned something for me that I have missed because I was too afraid to trust Him with it.

David wanted to build a house for the Ark, but God promised David to build a house for him instead and David praised God asking, "Who am I?" Have I missed that Who am I moment out of fear or busyness or lack of trust? I pray I haven't. So this week, I am going to try not to be afraid, to take a risk, to put myself out there and not wonder "what if" but rather "what if I don't?"

A Valentine's Day Report

***You still have time to enter (or re-enter if I happened to erase your entry)my first ever giveaway! Right now, your odds are freakishly good so go here and comment!***

Now, onto Valentine's Day! We don't normally go overboard with the Day of Love around here. Usually we have a little surprise for the kiddos on the table in the morning and if I am feeling wild and crazy I'll put a little food coloring in the pancake batter and make heart shaped pancakes so I can hear phrases like, "ewwww, why is it that color?" "I like round pancakes better" or "Can't I have cereal this morning?"

Then Nana comes through with an elaborate bag of "treats" that totally put us to shame and provide the children enough sugar to fuel them to the moon and back.

This year, both Nana and us decided to scale back on the chocolatey goodness a bit!

Now, another little thing about me is that I HATE large crowds. They make me very nervous, which is why I start twitching if my Christmas shopping isn't done by Thanksgiving. Anyway, this phenomena rings true for entering into restaurants on V-Day as well. I just do not find it enjoyable to wait 2 extra hours with a million other people to eat in a crowded joint with stressed out, overworked waiters! So, this year I offered to make Valentine's dinner here at home and invite Nana and Papaw to eat with us. I told the kids they could choose any meal they wanted, they all just had to agree.

So, what would your kids choose? I thought spaghetti, maybe tacos, my kids even like Manwich...I was totally expecting some kid-friendly meal...they chose pork loin. Pork loin? What kid chooses pork loin? But that is what they asked for, so that is what they got and the adults got to enjoy it as well!

We had grilled pork loin, Caesar salad, green beans, roasted red potatoes with bacon and cheese and some home made biscuits (heart shaped, of course!). And might I was WAY better than any meal we could have gotten out and there were NO CROWDS...well, except for mine, which is big but doesn't really count!

And, it is a really good thing we cut back. Because right now, in this house, 2 days after the big V, we have a batch of homemade fudge (heart shaped of course), a batch of heart shaped spritz cookies, a package of iced sugar cookies with valentine sprinkles, a giant Hershey bar with almonds, each child has their own, personal 5.3 oz pack of M&M's, a box of Lindor's Truffles, a giant Hershey kiss, the kids have heart shaped Reese's and the candy bucket is OVERFLOWING with sweet goodness! I hope we can find a little something for dessert today!

So, how was your Valentine's?

P.S. Guess what my Valentine gave me? A night in Nashville with NO KIDS! He is the BEST!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why Rejection Should Never be an Option

Okay, so my lack of technological expertise has returned to bite me in the...again! I am SO excited about my first ever giveaway that as I was moderating comments...I deleted them. ALL of them. One little misstep and "publish" became "reject" and POOF, they were gone.

And so, I apologize to all you anxiously waiting to receive word of the contest. If you had commented before Sunday Morning, please go back and comment again! I promise not to delete you this time!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My First Giveaway

**UPDATE: If you commented before Sunday Morning, please comment again...I may, possibly have deleted all the original comments!**

Yep, you read correctly! I am hosting a giveaway.

Now, think of the odds! With an average readership of 8 people per day...your chances of winning are pretty dad gum good!

This is my little way of saying thanks for sticking with me the past few weeks. I know I have been in a slump. I have whined. I have complained. I have been silent for days on end.

And you, my faithful few have been there. With kind, encouraging words. Words of hope, humor, and love. And I thank you.

I wish I could do more...but I am pretty excited to do this one little thing. are the rules. Just leave a comment. That is all. Just one little comment by, oh...let's say Wednesday. For those who are wondering, that would be February 18. I will randomly draw one name...and that is it. My only requirement is that you live in the U.S. not that that should be a huge problem or anything since I am pretty sure you all do. Except my friend, H. And I will totally get you a prize of your own when you get back to the states...hopefully this summer? will be playing for this lovely necklace from Premier Jewelry! Aptly named "Shine" because your friendship makes my heart shine, your being makes my God shine with pride, and your comment makes my smile shine. Oh, I can be SO corny at times!

Good luck!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Coffee Talk

I would like to offer you some coffee, but I don't drink the stuff. How about some water, or a Diet Pepsi, maybe a nice cup of hot chocolate?

This has been another week of just keeping my head above the water. However, on Wednesday, I was DETERMINED to get my "small thing" in. Believe me, getting in a small thing was a pretty big thing this week! Anyway, Wednesday's assignment was to get to know someone a little better. I really planned on doing this assignment with Tigerfan, unfortunately ridiculous winds and uncooperative trees, buildings, etc. kept hubby from leaving his job with the phone company and so, on the way to church, I found myself "getting to know" my kids.

We actually had a blast playing a game where I would ask them questions like, "What is your favorite ______________?" or "If you could only go one place but there were no cost/time restraints, where would you go?" The kids had fun trying to figure out their answers and kept begging to play more.

The funny thing is, I really thought I would learn about my kids, get to know them more deeply, but what I discovered is that the vast majority of the time...I was pretty sure what their answers would be...and I was usually right. You see, as a home schooling mom, I spend A LOT of time with my kids. I know their likes, their dislikes, their friends, their interests, even the things they THINK they are keeping from me.

So, my first deep thought with that was that that is just how God knows me. I am His child and He knows my deepest self. The things I say don't surprise Him, He knows my thoughts, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. He knows the good...and the bad...and the embarrassing (I know that about my kids, too!) and He still loves me. He still desires to know me, to spend time with me, to have a relationship with me. Okay, not real profound, but so comforting.

But my next thought, well frankly, it bothers me a bit. Because that is how God wants me to know Him. He wants me to KNOW Him. To know Him like I knew the cries of my babies. To recognize His voice like I recognize my children's in a group of kids. To be able to read His hand the way I can read the writing of my child and know whose it is. To KNOW Him.

But really, I know about Him. I like to tell myself I know Him. I read my Bible, I go to Bible Study, I make my kids memorize scripture after scripture. I have a list of do's and don'ts that I just know He would approve of. But do I really KNOW Him? Do I really know that when I pour out my heart...he hears? Do I really believe that when I lay my requests out to Him, he cares? If He were to call out to me would I hear Him, would I recognize His voice, would I obey? The truth is, I don't know Him like that. But I want to. I want to be passionate for Him. I want to be hungry for His word. I want to mimic Him the way my daughter mimics me when she plays house.

Honestly, I will probably never know Him as deeply as I would like. I will never be able to comprehend all He is and does and says. I am not sure if I will ever totally embrace the fact that He knows MY name, knows the hairs on MY head. I am not sure that I will ever let go of my fears (and I have a lot of them) and just allow myself to be who He created without worrying about what others are thinking. I'm not even sure how to begin. But what I do know is that one "small thing" has got me thinking and hopefully it will change my relationship with my God forever.

So, I encourage you to go to Home Sanctuary and see what Small Things can do for you. I would love to put up the little button thingy...but it continues to elude me. I would like to KNOW about that too!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Post In Which I Do Not Whine!

Okay, whining aside, We have had a couple of small victories this week!

A cause for celebration! Yipee!

First, WE ARE DONE WITH SCIENCE FAIR! Can I get an amen? In class, I had the best projects ever turned in to me and Football Boy's turned out great as well. He didn't win but got some great feedback from the judges and, frankly, not winning means we are through till next year! Hooray!

Now, for the second piece of news, subtitled: The Death of a Mullet, Tigercub got his first haircut Friday! My MIL resisted, didn't want him to look like a "big boy", but boy am I glad we did it. Here are a few pics. Before, during and after!

As you can see, he was as thrilled about his first haircut as he was about his first snow!
And as the last piece of news, Tigercub also found a great way to entertain himself after breaking into the laundry room and finding the Sunday School candy stash:

In case you are wondering...this would be my clothes dryer full of candy!
Sucker anyone?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Teaching a Child to Read....In 10,000 Easy Lessons

Okay, I am trying to get back into the whole blogging thing but am still not feeling a lot of motivation or inspiration. So, I am just going to share a little more in depth about some of the stuff going on. Today, Dancer, tomorrow....???

I was always a "natural" scholar. School came easy for me. I taught myself to read when I was four and read EVERYTHING I could find from then on. Through high school, I NEVER had to study. I heard something...I remembered it. I had a great G.P.A. without ever trying and if I had actually, you know, put forth a little effort probably could have done even better.

I never developed study skills (never had to) until college. Do you know that in college, the professors will actually assign reading, never discuss it and then TEST YOU ON IT! Oh, yes they will! I even had one who would test on the captions beneath the pictures...of course he also had about a 30 point curve on his tests...I actually got an A on a test once with a low 7o because of the huge curve (I'm not complaining!).

Anyway, one of my greatest struggles in home schooling has been learning to teach things in a way that my kids grasp. Sometimes, I just don't understand why they don't "get it", it is so simple! I totally understand struggles with math...that is the area that has always drug me down, but reading??? It is just a bunch of letters and sounds.

Football Boy was a little slow picking up reading, but not bad. And now, he is a GREAT reader! Baseball boy never missed a beat, he HATES to read, but he can do it! Dancer....oh Dancer. I think part of my problem has been expectations. I read easily. I am a girl. Dancer is a girl. Girls tend to do better at language arts. I just expected that she would be my "easy one". I was wrong!

She even did great last year. She knew all her letters and sounds and by the end of pre-k was blending small, one vowel words without problem. And then, we began kindergarten. It has been like she has forgotten everything. She regularly does the regular switching b and d, but she has also totally lost e and i. I know, the sounds are similar, but she knew them last year. Now, they may as well be Greek. I knew she was struggling a little and had talked to her tutorial teacher and was told not to worry, she would get it.

Then, came Thanksgiving. We went to Disneyworld without ever opening a backpack. Little did I know that her teacher had sent 10 (yes 10) lessons home to be done over the break. Apparently, her class is so smart that they were just skipping ahead to long vowels after the break...only I didn't get the memo! We worked hard to get caught up and were plugging away when Christmas came and I got her progress report. I literally cried. Every single thing had a mark or comment about how she was struggling...I have never seen so much red ink...and I was a teacher back in the day. Anyway, her teacher graciously volunteered to meet with her in the mornings before school after Christmas and I gratefully accepted! Over Christmas, we tried to read as much as possible but mostly I began to realize how many times we push her school aside or say we will read later and never get around to it. After all, it is just kindergarten and the big boys have all these hard lessons...and the guilt began. Of course, I should have been reading with her, making her school a priority, letting her read with the boys...but I didn't. So now, here we are.

To make matters worse, after a few sessions with her tutorial teacher, she came to talk to me one day. Now, let me say, I love Ms. S, she is precious and I appreciate her so much! However, the conversation went something like this:

"Dancer is so sweet, all the kids love her! They fight over who gets to sit next to her and everyone wants to be her friend. She is so helpful and sweet and respectful and has such good manners! She is doing better and I can tell you have been working with her. So, she will probably never be at the top of her class, but she has so much else going for her!"

Ya'll I am not lying...that is what she told me! NO PARENT wants to hear that! Tell me she is improving, tell me how I can help, tell me to work harder, but DO NOT TELL ME IT IS HOPELESS! Now, I totally know she meant this well and did not mean to be offensive, but my nerves are raw and I am tired and I just don't want it to be a struggle all the time, so I probably overreacted! I was nice, I thanked her and smiled and didn't even cry. In front of her. But that is where we are.

I am still tired, still frustrated, and still struggling to not push off reading until later. This week we even had an assignment that involved poster board. Maybe it is just me, but poster board assignments should have at least a week due date. I don't happen to have a stash at my house. Unfortunately, the project was assigned Tues. and was due Thurs. The same day F.B. was supposed to turn in his Science Fair board. The day after I was to make snacks for Bible Study. So, Wed., I had to go to the grocery store, do school, help with Science Fair, make snacks, assist in a poster board project and be at church at 5:30 and to top it off, F.B. ended up sick. Guess what we didn't do? Read. I am so mad at myself. I should have read, I should have said no to the poster board, called the Bible Study leader, something, anything...but I didn't.

So, there is that struggle in a nut shell. I am sure she will get it eventually. I am sure the days will get better and the struggles will subside. I am just not sure how much counseling it will take to get over it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reasons I haven't been blogging

For the precious two of you who asked:

Why haven't I posted in a week? Well, remember the old saying, if you can't say something nice...That is where I am this week.

It isn't any one thing. It is a hundred little small things that on their own are no big deal, but all bottled up in one moment in time...they are kickin' my tail.

Here is a little sampling:

1. Science Fair week. Not only am I teaching 15 5th graders how to do a project for the very first time, I have a child who has to do one as well. I have not been as organized as I should and have not been as "hands on" as I should have been with Football Boy, thus making the past week a little crazy. I take full blame, it is my own fault.

2. My home organization dreams in theory are going well. I am planning, doing my house blessing, doing a "small thing" each day...and still, my house is in total chaos. I am not sure why, but I am pretty sure it is my fault.

3. Son #2 is screaming for attention as is evidenced by his almost non stop recitation of every show and commercial he has seen on T.V. ever! I should take time for him, I should listen and laugh at his stories, I should enjoy his humor...instead, I brush him off or pretend I am listening by inserting the occasional "Oh!" or "Uh huh..." and walking away without a clue about what he just said. He is showing signs of middle child syndrome. It must be my fault.

4. Dancer is struggling with reading. She just isn't "getting" it. I have had nine hundred thousand conferences with her tutorial teacher. I am her home school teacher. I cannot seem to help. She is losing confidence, I am losing confidence (this is a post in itself!). Instead of spending extra time helping her, she keeps getting pushed aside because of Science Fair, big kid tests...I am failing her...and when she can't read, of course it is my fault.

5. I hurt my ankle a few weeks ago and took an exercise break while it healed. I used that opportunity to eat anything that couldn't get up and walk away. I have now stopped drinking my water, messed up my diet, and can't seem to drag my hiney out of bed to get up and get back into my routine. I have no fault.

6. I am doing an incredible Bible Study with a group of incredible ladies and yet I feel like I am just going through the motions. Merely studying so I can check it off my to-do list and pat myself on the back, but I have no passion, I cannot seem to have a complete conversation with My Heavenly Father without my mind wandering off to who knows where. I am in a slump, and I KNOW it is my fault.

7. I have a head full of questions and conflicts about sermons, Bible Studies I have been a part of...things that seem to contradict one another, and I can't seem to figure out what I really believe and where I stand. I am right in the middle of one of those "I need to find myself" moments, but seem to be frozen in the "Maybe someone else will find me and tell me where I am" stage. I feel sure that all this confusion is all my fault and would be all cleared up if I would pray more, study more, read more, talk more...

You see, it is nothing, really, and yet it seems to be everything and while someday soon I am sure I will see funny moments in all this, right now, I just can't. Right now, I am tired, I am sad, I am frustrated, and all I can do is whine. I have done enough online whining in the past year and I really do not want that to be what this blog is. So, I have been quiet. Truly, I have been so busy that I haven't had time to even sit and think about what to post if I did...but I know this, too, shall pass and thank heavens that "joy comes in the morning."

Thanks for letting me vent...I promise, no more whining. I'm still trying to visit your blogs and I'll be back when I can play nice!