Monday, June 28, 2010

Tonight, I made $2 for filling out a simple survey that took only a few minutes. Survey Savvy is a survey site that sends surveys based on your profile, then pays you when you complete a survey. Once you get money in your account, you simply go in and request payment & they mail you a check.  You won't get blasted with emails.....  I receive maybe 2 emails a week, if that. 

If you make handmade items, you can sell them at for FREE. Shop Handmade doesn't charge you a penny to sell your items. It is all paid for by advertisers.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


We're so excited about our pumpkins this year.  We have about 5 pumpkins like these growing!  These are Sugar Pie pumpkins and very easy to grow in containers.  If you look among the vines, you'll see my trellis.  If you'd like more information on how to grow pumpkins in a container, you can read my article here: How to Grow Pumpkins in a Container

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Free Printable paper Site

More than 740 papers you can download and print for free. We've got graph paper, lined paper, financial paper, music paper, and more.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dove Deterrent

A friend of mine told me that I needed to post these pictures to my blog.  With so many things stressing each of us out in life, it was nice to get a good belly laugh one night as they were leaving our house.  This is a friend whose husband passed away on Christmas Eve last year..... and who has a fourteen year old daughter who will grow up without her dad.  None of us lives in the elusive land called "perfect".  We all need to laugh about the crazy things in life or else the bad things will REALLY get to us.

A bit of background on this dove deterrent of mine.  Every year, the doves like to nest in my hanging baskets.  They kill my flowers.  Once they lay eggs, I can't exactly kick them out.  After 5 years of this, I set out to keep them away BEFORE they laid their eggs.  After many atempts, this is what finally worked-- a big green plastic pipe and a cone I made from cardstock.  After a few weeks, I removed the green pipe, and the dove came back to try and build a nest!  I put it back ....and she has not returned.

We have a yard full of trees and even have bird houses and feeders all around.... no need to use my hanging baskets!  What would St. Francis do? 

Baseball, bunnies and boys

Sean had so much fun at baseball camp!  He learned so much this past week.  A lot can be said from getting different perspectives and techniques on baseball.  Somewhere in the middle, Sean will perfect his own style and become a great ball player.  His piano teacher is such an excellent example for our family.  She will have other instructors instruct Sean just before competitions so that he can get another perspective on his competition pieces.  I think this is a good thing in all areas of life-- even baseball.

Sean has been practicing with the pitching machine his grandparents bought him for his birthday.  Every day he goes out and hits the wiffle balls for hours!  I think his practicing paid off-- we think he did a great job at the tryouts Thursday night.  It wasn't a full tryout because he was the only boy to show up that evening, but what he did do, he did well (at least WE think so! ~smile~). Matthew decided not to tryout for the team.  He wasn't willing to give in based on principle.  He doesn't think men should yell at women and treat them the way the coach treated me that night.  He refuses to play for a coach who would behave that way and has been very verbal about it.  He had friends with him the night of the incident, unfortunately. We were all saddened that so many had to witness everything that happened.  I am proud of him for sticking to his guns, though.  While he wants to help his brother and the team, he won't cave.  I am also thankful to the parents and boys who came up to me at the next game to say they were sorry about what happened.  We DO have parents raising young men with Christian character. 

Not to say Sean is not of good Christian character!  He has spoken and he knows it is wrong.  Sean has been looking forward to the high school team with this guy for over a year.  I think he was shocked, but because of his having more at stake in the game, he was more willing to be forgiving.  Even without an apology to me (yes, I am working on my pride!  Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has held my mouth shut because I have a lot I would LOVE to say, as you can see here!).   A friend made a god point one day.  The coach should apologize to me, personally, as loudly as he yelled at me both times at the game AND in front of all the people who witnessed it.  It could never happen exactly that way, though....but it makes sense.  Just as the Church teaches us that when we sin, we affect the entire body of Christ, the entire Church, this also affected many other people.

This is a lesson I often try to get across to my boys.  Our actions and words affect more than we often realize.  Witnesses are also affected.  We must also count the total effect-- when we say false things, yell or demean someone's character in front of people, we not only damage the person, but we damage their reputation and our own reputation.  As adults, our actions also teach the children. 

We've made it through and I won;t bring it up here again!  It was difficult, but we are through it.  If the team moves forward, we will see what life brings then.

I was unable to get pictures of camp this week.  I was there the entire day Monday and read an entire book as I sat and watched the boys have fun and learn.  By the end of the week, I was making vet runs!  Henry is sick again.  Oh My!  He had been on oral antibiotics for a month and, while he improved a bit in the beginning, he began getting worse again.  The vet did a chest x-ray to rule out fungal infections and cancer.  We are now (read: mom, me-I) giving Henry antibiotic injections and he is getting nebulizer treatments twice a day!  We rigged up a special device for Henry.  Here is a picture of Henry getting his nebulizer treatment:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Opened Shop!

Not sure how successful this will be...but I opened shop!  I am selling my hand stamped cards at Shop   Check out Pattie's Cards if you are interested.  We've come to a point where we have to do something, so I decided to see if my hand-stamped cards might sell!  The Mito Cocktail costs a fortune, and I figured I might be able to help out a bit! 

I'd love to know what you think!

Baseball, Baseball, Baseball

It is the theme of the week: BASEBALL!  Sean has been going to baseball camp every day this week! On Monday, a friend went with him.  As Chris described it, "It's the year of the Sean."  Not really, but he enters high school next year and like Matthew before him, that is when they get more interested in their sports!

Still have not figured out the coach issue.  Excuses were plentiful when hubby spoke with him about his inappropriate behavior (yelling at me in front of players and parents!).  No matter how angry we become, yelling at someone just isn't acceptable. I certainly did not do anything worthy of being yelled at (two different times that night!).  Speaking up about unsportsmanlike conduct does not justify such craziness!  Of course, I just took it as a sign that I was right on the money in bringing up the bad behavior on all fronts, right?

At the last game, while I hated that it all had happened, it felt good to know others had witnessed the entire night's events and knew word for word what was said.....  and that my words and actions were kind and appropriate.  Holy Spirit, thank you for holding my tongue!

St. Josemaria has several writings on this very subject that I have been reading and praying over in the last few weeks. 

"Yes, that abuse can be eradicated. It shows lack of character to let it continue as something hopeless, with no possible remedy. Don't shirk your duty. Carry it out conscientiously, even though others neglect theirs."

"As long as you are so afraid of the truth you will never be a man of sound judgement, a man of worth."

"Excuses. You will always find plenty if you want to avoid your obligations. What a profusion of well-thought-out nonsense!"

""You will gain more by one friendly word than by a three-hour quarrel. Control your temper."

"Say what you have just said, but in a different tone, without anger, and your argument will gain strength and above all, you won't offend God." 

Aren't these great?  Quotes that we can all use in our daily lives.  I love St. Josemaria Escriva -- what a holy example for us all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We are Children of God

Today, I am reminding myself that we ARE children of God.  We deserve respect and do not need to settle.  Over the last week, my middle son has been especially heartbroken over events he witnessed Monday night after his baseball game. My other two boys and their friend are not as affected, but they weren't in the center of the whole ordeal.

This week, we have prayed and tried to make sense of  events.  In the end, we will never know what makes some folks angry when we, as parents, take on the role of primary educators of our children. Pope John Paull II, spoke of this often.....and he wasn't referring to academics alone, but education in the Catholic faith and in everything our children do.  We, as parents, are the primary educators!  When coaches or other outside influences become upset that we are coaching, teaching and training our childen, there is nothing that we can do about it.  God has entrusted these children to US and not to anyone else!

It still hurts.  The anger and yelling, the craziness over a game -- the game of baseball.  Last I looked, baseball doesn't get you to heaven.  In our world, baseball and sports really are not that important.  When we juggle cathing, bone marrow biopsies, infusing blood products weekly and the lot, sports just aren't that important.  While we want our children to strive to do well in sports and all of their activities, a season like this where they have only won one game, it just is not a big deal. 

As we head out to the field for the last game of the season (there is talk they may have two more games next week), we hope that all will be well, adults will behave as adults and that we can move forward from this life lesson with clarity of heart and mind, knowing that we ARE children of God and do not need to settle -- that we do not need to allow ourselves to be spoken to in a manner that is not fitting for a child of God.

Hold tight to your faith and your children!  Do not let distractions keep you from your role as primary educator!  God is with you on this journey and He will never lead you.  I believe that satan wants us to give up our God-given parental duties -- it would make it easier for satan to slip in the door!

May the Holy Spirit guide me in word and deed today and always!

Free History DVD Set!

Get a free 12-DVD set "The History of US."

They really are free to all schools including homeschools ! You do have to list school name, principal name

etc. but it says homeschools are eligible for the free DVD set.

From the site:

America The Story of US – premiering on HISTORY™ April 25 at 9pm/8c – is a six week event that provides a fascinating look at the stories of the people, events, and innovations that forged our nation. It will provide you with an unprecedented opportunity to bring our nation's history to life for your students. This 12-hour series will be supported by educational materials tied to curriculum standards and is copyright cleared for Fair Use in the classroom by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities.

* HISTORY is offering America The Story of US on DVD to every school in the United States. School must be an accredited public, private or home school, grades K-12 and college. In order to receive your school's DVD, your school principal (grades K-12) or Dean of Students (college) should fill out the request form below. HISTORY strictly limits each school to one request. DVD requests must be made prior to July 1, 2010. DVDs will be mailed around August 2010, and free shipping is included in this offer.

After you fill out your request form, you get this message:

You're all set!

Thank you for registering. Make sure to watch America The Story of US on Sunday, April 18th. You will receive your free AMERICA DVD later this summer in time for your fall semester.

- The History Classroom Team

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sean Pitching

The last game of the season and the coach let Sean pitch for the first time.  We think he did a great job for the first and only time he pitched the entire season!  Great job Sean!   No one scored!  He pitched an inning and a half -- the inning he pitched was the only inning that the other team did not score.  Below the video clip are a few still pictures of him pitching.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baseball- Our Switch Hitter

Sean hit a nice line drive as a left-handed batter tonight00 I caught it on camera... love that you can see the ball just before he hits it. 

Broken, broken, broken.

Over the last six weeks both air conditioners have gone out.  We had one is currently broken again. We waited about 4 weeks to get it fixed!    Our gas gauge broke on the old truck I tootle around in--I ran out of gas because I wasn't used to keep track of mileage! Sean was a trooper and didn't complain as we sat in the hot truck and waited for a friend to rescue us!  A large tree split in two-- had to have it removed.  Our septic had problems and our oven died two weeks ago.  We got our new oven delivered here today.  Hoping we have no issues with hubby installing it.  OH...and our printer broke last night!  Kodak is sending us a new one-- Kodak is great!

How do we deal with chaos and brokenness in our lives?  I just have to laugh when things break.  God certainly has a sense of humor, that is for sure.  Between all the medical issues we deal with daily, there are far too many more important things to deal with. I think God has been trying to teach me a lesson...not to worry about the unimportant things in life.  I have to say, the new oven is awesome, but when replacing a 24 year old oven, it would be pretty hard not to be AWESOME when in the running, right? As St. Julian of Norwich says, "all will be well."  These annoying things are only a blink of an eye compared to all we just have to laugh and keep plodding onward! I was thinking about all these broken things and it is kind of like us --- we are broken. When we get to heaven we'll be upgraded to a new model! For all eternity-- no more brokenness!  Alleluia!

Two pictures for today-- our house with the missing tree-- it completely changes the landscape--still not used to the tree being gone! The tree blocked the view of our house from the street...... thankfully, nothing was damaged.  And a pic of the new oven.  I love to cook and it has been two long weeks waiting!    I have what some would call a boring life.  I like my garden and I really like my new oven!

Art Camp

Tomorrow is the last day of Sean's art camp.... he's painting oil on canvas.  He even learned how to stretch canvas!  Here are a few pictures from when I picked him up today. The top picture is him with hsi art teacher and his completed oil paintings.... the bottom is the one he is still working on.

More from the Garden

Pictures from our garden today.....I love magnolias.  God's creation is awesome!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Inspired by Nature

I am going to make cards inspired by the blossoms in my garden.  The pumpkin blossoms and other blooms are amazing!!!!  I'll try to post my card creations and scrapbook creations tomorrow!  For now, enjoy God's beautiful creation in these pictures.

Last Day of Art 2010

The boys had their last day of Art class during the last week of may. Sean started an art camp this week, so he's excited!