Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Morning Protein Drink!!

Every morning I start my day with a powdered protein drink. I mix mine with yogurt and frozen berries, and even though I'm not a huge fan of the powder flavor-I have managed to camouflage the flavor better than most. I really can feel the difference in my day if I make my drink and if I don't. There are many different flavors and brands in these powders and a new one out claiming to be muscle milk. I would be interested in finding what other benefits this powder may offer. Since I'm working to lose weight and gain energy--Muscle Milk may be just what I need! If it is something more than just protein powder-I really wouldn't want to give it to my kids, I'm not sure what hormones or enzymes they might use in them--but for me...I'm game for anything!

Without Further Ado!!

After the trauma of last Friday afternoon, I have been terribly remiss in my promise to acknowledge all of my recent voters with some "Link Love"! Google-bots are coming--so in an effort to get them up in time for the update--I'm going to be sure to get the links in first! Then, after they are on all blogs--I will try to make it back for your write up--because that is the fun part!!

Head In Knots
Mad Doll Doctor
Geeky Housewife
A Little Bit Of Everything
Investing Adventures
BeccA's Buzz
Key West Or Bust
Eternal Flux

I will try to get back and get the write up written--but if anyone else would like the share in the "Link Love" just click on the card below and vote!! Once a day----that's all we ask!! ;)

A Quick Update!!

It's been nearly a week, and I'm feeling a little better after having put our puppy down. There are still some really bad moments here and there, but I think that is to be expected. Brownie is still not happy with me. I have actually gotten a few kisses from her over the past few days--but for the most part, she's still ignoring me.

We are not looking at new puppies right now--but I have decided (I don't know why) our next puppy will be named "Chutney". I guess I have this thing about naming dogs after food. Brownie, Beans, and Chutney. Mojo is still Grayson's favorite name--so we will have to see.

Our house passed it's inspection with flying colors, and according to the home inspector guy...we are getting one beautiful home. Yeah, I knew that! But it's nice to hear. There are a couple of issues with front pavers and back pavers--a couple are settling while the others aren't. The attorney is bringing it up to the sellers, but honestly if they don't do anything about it--I'll go lift the settling ones out and add a bit of dirt under them to level them off. The front set are in the flower garden, and I probably won't even be out in the flower garden until "bulb" season.

As for the flower garden, I have mapped out the arrangements I want. Using only those flowers that are indigenous to Illinois, and sprinkling the colors and months of bloom throughout, I can have flowers in bloom from early March through the end of October. Plus, since they indigenous to this area--they should require minimum amounts of labor from me! Yeah, I know--I sound like a pro! Soooo totally not--but with a semi-shaded yard, it will be easier for me to stand the heat of being outdoors more than usual.

I guess that is about it! I've started packing. We are still kind of far out, so I'm kind of in a quandary about what exactly to pack! We get home from Wisconsin right at our 30 day mark--and then my schedules, lists and calendars kick in! I can't wait!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Text Me!! Text Me!!

Over the weekend we were over at my in laws house--and I ran to the store with my niece to pick up some supplies for dinner. I was amazed as I drove with this young woman--she was text messaging while she drove. Now--I am basically pretty inept when it comes to that type of thing. I've sent a couple of text messages-I've received a couple of text messages-but to live in a world of 'texting'? I just don't get it!

Apparently everything is text messaged to her. I didn't know this, but there are sites where you can Get alerts to your cell phone now! Texts about anything! Stock quotes, job postings, Craigslist--anything you need or want to stay up with everything around you during your day! What makes this site even better--it's totally free!

I'm going to have to check into it and see if there is anything available to keep this 'old broad' ahead of the game!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm Finished!!

I told you I was going to be gone for two days! I was finishing my new Harry Potter book. I purchased it on Saturday--and a mere 36 hours later--I said my final goodbyes to the "Boy Who Lived". I had originally planned to read one chapter a day--you know, extend the process--but honestly--is there a "Potter-head" among us who can truly read just one chapter??

I found the book to be slightly predictable at times, gripping, exciting and all around a great read. I however, did not like the very last "chapter" (epilogue)--lame, lame, lame!! Not to worry--there will be no spoilers in this post--but lame all the same!

I would like to point out that ALL of my predictions about the final book were true! Vindication, 7th Horcrux, the Victor--and I must say--I got all of my Dead People wrong!! I think Jo mentioned that only 2 main characters die--HA!! Not according to my count! I guess her definition of "Main" is slightly different than mine!

All in all--I'm going to miss the Boy Wizard and honestly--just looking forward to a good book to read.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Can Anyone Tell Me...

Yesterday I had to take our dog Bear in to be put down. It was a very hard decision that even 24 hours later--I'm regretting. Here's my problem...We had two dogs, Bear and Brownie. Bear was 3 when we brought Brownie home as a puppy, and she grew up with him as a constant companion. Yesterday she was asleep in the playroom and I told her to go say goodbye to Bear Bear--which amazingly enough--she did. Shortly thereafter I took Bear to the vet. When I came home Brownie was very different! She didn't greet me at the door, she just lay on my bed. So I went to greet her and get some comfort "lovin' on her". As soon as I was finished petting and snuggling her-she jumped down and went back to lay down in the toy room. She never came back out to greet me. We left to a Harry Potter party for a few hours and again, there was no greeting when we got home--for me. The kids got the tail wagging and interest, but she turned back around when she saw me and headed back to the toy room. When my husband came home, she was thrilled. Jumping up on him, tail wagging--the normal Brownie. Last night she snuggled up next to him (usually it's me) and this morning I went into the kids room where she was, and sat down on the bed--she hopped down and went and laid at the door with her back to me!

So here is my question...

Has anyone had this happen to them? She's obviously not happy with me at the moment, probably lonely---but holy cow--she's literally showing signs that she's very aware of what I did, and she's mad at me! But she's a dog--is this possible? According to the Dog Whisperer--Caesar says they live in the moment without too much thought of the past--I'm not so sure at this moment in time. I've decided to give her her space until she wants to be friends again--but now it's like I've lost two dogs instead of just the one that I really am mourning over!!

Friday, July 20, 2007


This is my Bear! Some of you may recognize the picture from the video just below this post. I made it yesterday of him eating a cell phone. Before I started the video, I took this picture to use as his introduction. After the movie was finished, every time this picture would pop up it made us all giggle. But now--24 hours later--it makes me sob!

I took Bear Bear in this afternoon to have him put down. I feel tremendous guilt over this but it needed to be done. He was getting older and starting to get aggressive. He is a Rhodesian Ridgeback--and they are known as African Lion Hunters--and let me tell you--I could totally see my Bear taking down a Lion. That's why his aggression started to worry me. I currently have a 6 inch bruise on my leg where he bit me--and I have 4 kids. So it really had to be done, he was losing bladder control, bowel control, he had cataracts and I think he was starting into arthritis which was making him a grouchy dog.

As much as I keep saying this--it is still the hardest thing I've ever done. He died in my arms--and honestly--I know where he is, I know he is happier there, free and finally getting to run.

I just read over at Amy's blog about her having to do this very thing today, and she wrote such an amazing tribute. I'm not able to write that yet--I'm still feeling tremendous guilt. But hopefully soon, I will be able to sit and pour out my heart about what a wonderful, sweet pet he was--because as hard as he was--he was loved. And best of all--he had people who will cry over his loss and will miss him!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What Good Is Your Old Phone??

Have you seen the new iPhone Review and Video going out recognizing the release of the new iPhone?? I have--and I have to say...they are GREAT!! This one is my favorite-although they are all good.

I can't wait to see the new iPhone personally--we are desperately in need of a new cell phone--here's why!!

An iPhone?? Oh yeah, that one would be safe for many years to come!!


It is a bad day! My brain is just not functioning very well! I'm in a funk--and everything is swirling around my head in utter confusion! I've tried to help a couple of people--but honestly---I have to say...I'm lost!

My kids are driving me crazy, and it's raining outside and they can't go out-so although they do not deserve something special...we will be heading to the movie theater to see Harry Potter. Grayson and I saw it opening night--but the others haven't--so I thought it would be a nice way to spend a rainy--confused day!!

I'll let you know how it goes!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Queen!!

Last night, well, early this morning I watched the movie "The Queen". Starring Helen Mirren as the Monarch. First off, I have to say they did a remarkable job with Mirren's makeup to look like Elizabeth II, and James Cromwell as Prince Phillip was a very good shot. Even Michael Sheen as Tony Blair turned out to be a great choice--although he took a while to grow into the role--by the end he really was a very good Tony Blair look alike. That being said...Who in the world would think of Alex Jennings for Prince Charles? I mean, in Alex Jennings looks the part of the Crown Prince of England--but Puh-Lease!!! He's far more handsome than the real Prince--I absolutely could not go with them there--every time he was on screen--the movie lost me. Another distraction was Sylvia Syms as the Queen Mother. It was actually a rude way to have the Queen Mum portrayed--this character was aloof and 'dumb', yet every account you read of the real Queen Mum--she was smart as a tack with a quick humor. This was just some dumb, aloof old lady nearing senility--and that was wrong.

I thought this whole movie was a slam on the Monarchy, and then to find out that Helen Mirren was unable to re-arrange her schedule to have dinner with the Queen--let just say--had I just played her in a movie where she came off looking more sympathetic to a dead deer than she did her former daughter in law---I think I would be uncomfortable sitting in the same room with her either--the Queen is very gifted with a shotgun after all!!

After everything going on in my family with a Soon2BX sister in law--I can understand a little more of the situation that the royal family was thrown into--and there was a quote in the movie given by Tony Blair that summed it up perfectly.

You know, when you get it wrong, you really get it wrong! That woman has given her whole life in service to her people. Fifty years doing a job SHE never wanted! A job she watched kill her father. She's executed it with honor, dignity, and, as far as I can tell, without a single blemish, and now we're all baying for her blood! All because she's struggling to lead the world in mourning for someone who... who threw everything she offered back in her face. And who, for the last few years, seemed committed 24/7 to destroying everything she holds most dear!

Now, if this was your daughter in law--tell me...would you be jumping through hoops to throw her a State Funeral either? I think this movie, which was all around Diana and rarely anything to do with the Queen herself was defamatory and very insulting to people that no one really knows. I'm not sure it will be watched again--but I honestly think the Oscar belonged to the make up person who could turn Helen Mirren into Elizabeth--it was an amazing likeness.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Movin' On Up!!

My second day of voters find me in third place! That is so amazing to me! With all the comments I get about getting votes--I'm curious about just how many votes the first and second one have! But I shall persevere! Here are my new voters--head on over to their blogs and check them out!!

Up first is my friend Julie! She lives in the Chicagoland area part of the year, and Japan during the school year portion of the year. One of her blogs is The Chronic Consumer. It's a great site that helps spread the word on neat products and finds--that I would never come across myself! There is a "House" t-shirt on her site that says "Everybody Lies"--I have to tell you---I WANT IT SOOOOOOOO BAD!! If you've been keeping up with the drama on my other "Genki" blog--you'll know just who I want to give this shirt too!! There are a ton of other blogs that she writes--I will add them in over on the sidebar under 'Friends Links'!

You know how you have those bloggers that you are just drawn too--whether it's similar things going on in their life that parallel your own or just a kinship of sorts. To me, that has always been Lisa. She is a fellow Chicagoan with a little girl the same age as my little girl--and a brand new baby boy. I think we got to follow her entire pregnancy online-how fun is that! She has a new site chock full of great product reviews--it's over at Lisa Reviews. Busy Lady!

Elizabeth is a bloggin' machine! She is one of my newer finds--but I enjoy all of her blogs on a daily basis! Mom Cooks, Table 4 Five, Mom Reviews and
Getting My Blog On. On her Mom Reviews Blog-she actually gets to "test drive" a new touch screen computer! How in the world do I sign up for that job????

Justin's Weblog is up next. I am a big fan of riddles and am racking my brain trying to figure the latest one out!! Four Brothers and all!! I've missed every one that I've tried so far on his blog. Plus, there is even a video of a gruesome find in a box of McDonald's chicken! Buyer beware--yikes!!

The Milk Bar is chock full of cute babiness! Aaron is her sons name and he is a cutie. Learning to talk and probably growing up too fast in his momma's eyes!! It's really nice to read blogs from far off countries--kind of like a quick day trip--this one to Malaysia!

Jade over at Sweet Catastrophe is up next! Like me--she's a momma's girl who is addicted to Coke! Diet Coke for me, but Coke none the less! She also seems to be a Harry Potter fan--Did you like the Order of the Phoenix movie as much as the book? Just curious!!

Dragonfly is up next-and she is a self described Pagan and practicing witch! How cool is that? So many questions are now flooding my mind-intrigued I must say!! She is a multiple blog blogger--and I do believe even her husband authors one. Very cool!! You can find her over at Quietly Into The Night, The Crazy Cat Woman, The Traveling Man and Witch On White Mountain. I do just have one question...what is an "Earthbag" house?? I will definitely be reading more!

Another multi-blogger is up next--I have to tell you--I have multiple blogs--but one definitely lags behind when I'm posting on another--but you guys are posting regularly--and about cool and interesting things--I'm just amazed--Keep it up!

Stitch-n-Stuff's own Kim is up next-and after I write this post--I'm heading over to the BCA's to vote for her blogs. She's got two blogs in the running--this one and Thinking Outloud have both been nominated for Best Blog About Stuff! That leaves her Life's Like That out in the cold! Maybe while I'm there voting--We'll nominate this little blog for something too!! Poor little left out blog!

I love anything that will show me how to make money while sitting on my tush--so the aptly named Making Easy Money Online looks like a winner to me. Best Webmaster Tools is another needed lesson--I still have to figure out how to create my own template from start to finish--and that isn't happening soon!! There are also CWhyte For President and Funny in his arsenal--all really great sites!

Another of my long time reads are La Vie de Laurie and Laurigami. I love that her husband wrote her a song--I love that she is a 'Coach' purse addict (and not even trying to quit!!) and I can't wait to see what the studs will become as her new house is completed!! All in all--a very good read!

Ok--I think I just mentioned the fact that I want to figure out how to put together a template all my own--well, I just found a site to walk me through it!! Hidden Council looks to offer just the info I need--I can't wait to dig in more!! It goes through style sheets and all! And if you head on over to Rogue Idea there's a recipe for a Jamba Juice Orange Dream Machine--and I can tell you--my husband would LOVE it!!

The last few votes I've gotten were from my Sister Steph over at Mustard and Catsup and Savvy Mom, and my Aunt Peggy-- Peg's AZ Life and Enuf Kids 10. Then there is always my mom--but she isn't a blogger--so I just have to send out a special --Thanks and Loves to her!!

Thanks again everyone--I couldn't have gotten into second place without you all!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

You Voted!!

If you look over there in my right sidebar, you will see the cutesy "Diva" credit card. I designed that for a competition over at the Pay Jr. website.

I'm offering a post link as well as a link in my sidebar under "Friends Links" on this blog (PR3), my Genki blog (also a PR3), Cheffin' It (PR2), and even a commandeered post on Wild N' Crazy (PR3). That's hopefully a lot of bang for your vote!!

I'm currently in 5th place--and you can vote everyday!! You can click on the sidebar picture or below!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vote For Me!!!! PLEASE!!

A few days ago I took the opportunity to design a credit card for a company that I think has a really great idea. It's a way to help 'tweens' and teens learn about credit cards, savings and basically--how to spend smartly!! Anyway, the winner of the design contest wins a laptop--yes, I'm drooling!!

If you could take a moment to click on the picture of the card or click here and vote for me--you can vote once per day--I would ever appreciate it!

If you do place a vote and would like some link lovin'--I've got 4 blogs I can hook you up on!! So leave me a comment--and I'll get you your link!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Score Reading!!

I keep forgetting to update everyone on Blake and her reading camp. I signed her up with Score Learning Center clear back in May--and she's been going to summer camp. She is amazing! They are currently using a mixture of phonics and sight words--which makes me happy. I've found and have heard that pure phonics instruction isn't nearly as good--kids will read a book with just phonics, but not have the ability to decipher what they've just read. As reading comprehension is just as important as the ability to read--that doesn't fare well later on. But with her sight words and phonics instruction and with the help of Score's reading tutors she is really progressing well! She will be in Pre-K this school year-and will most likely be checking her own books out of the library. We are very proud of her!!

Cleaning And Packing!!

The plan on tap for today?? Cleaning! I now--when is it not the plan for the day! I really do need to get going and really just thin out. I don't want to be packing and moving the junk that we have coming out our ears! I have to go sign the contract at 10:45 am, and then I will bring boxes home from the restaurant and start getting things that aren't in use packed up. Hopefully then things will start to stay put and stay tidy. It really is hard to keep house when everyone lives on top of each other and out of 6 people--only one person is doing all of the cooking, cleaning and laundry. Yes--It is what I signed up for as a stay at home mom--but my kids really do need to be taking up some of the slack--and they are totally digging in their heels!

Little do they know that when they have their own room--they will be required to keep it neat and tidy. That will be a shocker-they've never had their own room-and have never tried to keep it clean. That's always been my job!! Jake and Grayson will even be responsible for their own laundry (Jake is now) and vacuuming their own rooms once a week. I think they will do great!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gettin' Down!!

Who knew life could be so crazy??? I have gone into great details on other blogs--and I really am soooo not in the mood to rehash the entire 'sordid affair' other than to say--I'm amazed at how homesick I get for my family in Utah when things with my husbands family get so dysfunctional!! I've been in a bit of a stupor/depression over the past couple of days. Good news all around me--new house, new beginnings, vacation coming in 2 weeks--but all in all--I'm just down!

I'm hoping to get everything moved in and settled really quickly so that we can plan a quick trip to Utah to see my parents! All of my life I've been cheered up just by hearing my mom's voice! So how much better is a hug!!

Monday, July 09, 2007


Well--it is officially time to start packing! This is going to be a "new" kind of move for us and one that I'm kind of struggling a little with. You will never find anyone as "nostalgic" or sentimental as me--trust me--it isn't possible--this will be the first time in our married life that we are moving but staying in the area. Our first move was from Utah to Arizona--then from Arizona to Chicago. Now we are moving from the Chicagoland area to the Chicagoland area! I've never done that--if I want to visit one of our old homes-I have to take an airplane. This one--I just have to drive up the street! The hardest part of any of our moves was getting the extra car here. The company that we were using didn't offer auto transport and with a two car family and a moving van--we weren't quite sure what we were going to do! We have had it pretty easy though, friends of ours from the Hotel have moved to Germany for two years--can you imagine having to set up international shipping? Customs and documentation has got to be crazy with that!

With this move we are looking to do most of it ourselves--and then find moving companies that we can hire movers for just the day to come and move all of the heavy stuff. My poor husband certainly can't do that--and there isn't anyway that I could do it either!

We do have to talk to the bank today about the mortgage application that we've turned in. We should be able to get the pre-approved letter tomorrow--and we will turn our offer in tomorrow after we see the house we want to buy tomorrow morning. Then all of the fun starts! Now that we will have a contract and and address, I can start looking into home owners insurance. I've been pricing some--but with no home to really insure--it was kind of a waste of time!

As things pan out more this week--I will fill you all in on what is going on! Oh--and I'll put pictures up too!!

Friday, July 06, 2007


I think it's so funny how everything can change so quickly when you are looking to buy a new home. We have been in the "looking" field for 3 weeks--and have found so many beautiful homes--anyone of them would be a great place to raise a family. Last week I had my heart set on one home--and we found out that it was under contract already. I was heartsick, and spent the week trying to find a way to get it back! Well, here we are at the end of the week and we have decided to let that house go-and my heart is now set on the first house we saw! It's only $2,000 more than the one I had wanted--same basic floor plan--but really--so much better! We are going to go see it--and put an offer on it--I'll let 'cha know!

My Canvas On Demand Portrait Came!!

I dropped the kids off at camp and when I came home my front door had been left open--Whoops!! As I was walking into the house a little miffed at my children-I noticed a box had been delivered and placed just inside the door. I have been excitedly awaiting this box for several days--and I was so giddy to see it. I ripped it open--and here is what I found!!

Now you have to understand--it's hanging on the wall (already) and with the black background it's really hard to avoid the glar from the flash--so this is my best shot--but I have to tell you ... IT'S PERFECT!!

You may remember when I posted originally about this on June 25, and it's here--and hanging on my wall already! Really--my picture of my picture just doesn't do it justice--maybe I'll take it outside for a show with natural lighting!!

My parents anniversary is coming up on the 15th of this month, and I'm thinking something like this--a work of art with their grandbabies on it, would be a perfect anniversary gift!

This beautiful portrait turned out so perfectly, that I think I will find some of my favorites and have them done for my new house--what better way to decorate!! My sister has always loved my portrait of my kids dressed up in their dad's chef jackets with Blake in the pot--so she had that one made for her kitchen--I think I'm going to have to follow suit!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Miss Utah Is A Medic In The National Guard!!

I just read about a little girl from my hometown--mind you--she's 24 and could kick my butt-literally!! I say little because she's a lot younger than me! She graduated from my high school -- and is in the National Guard. Earlier she spent a year in Afghanistan as a Medic--and last week she was crowned Miss Utah! In the newspaper article she talks about feeling so strange having to wear a swimsuit as a sign of fitness--with all of the troop love going out--it might have been fun to have her come out in her fatigues during that portion--I don't think there would have been a girl there who could compete physically with her!

Apparently Rosie's video has it backwards---Soldier first--Princess second! ;)


I don't know if I've mentioned it lately--but I LOVE redesigning templates on blogs! I have done all of mine--and my sisters--my aunts--and you know--it never gets old! It's like redecorating with no money! My favorite is my Scale Hopper blog--but I get to redesign another over the weekend--so it may not last! I'll check back in and let you know the link to the new template--if I like it!!

No Summer Camp Blues!!

Ok--chalk this one up to a "Bad Mom" moment!! The last three weeks--my kids have been signed up for 5 day summer camp! It cost $800 for 3 kids to go to camp all day for three weeks! Well, yesterday was the first day of session 2--and I have to say--I wanted to save some money--and maybe sleep in a couple of days a week-so I only signed them up for 3 days. This cost $555 for three kids to go to summer camp 3 days a week for 3 weeks.

Today was day 1 with no camp--and, erm...I'm DYING!! All I've had today is: I'm hungry! I'm bored! Can I play playstation? Can I play on computer? I don't want to do my chores! Oh my heavens!! They don't have camp tomorrow because of the fourth of July--but I'm thinking come Thursday morning--I will be heading to the community center to pay the difference between what I paid for 3 day to move them back to 5 day!

I know--bad mom! But at least with 5 day--their day's are filled with fun--and they come home exhausted from all of the adventures they had that day! Here--they are just bored and driving me crazy!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

My Big Man!!

Can you believe this!! This is my little man--my 7 year old Grayson decided a 2 weeks ago that he was big enough to jump off of the diving board. Grayson has always been really special to me--not because he's my son (that too) but because we almost lost him when he was born. I always use the word "almost" and that probably isn't correct. Because of a few incredibly LUCKY happenings after he was born--we weren't close to losing him--had we not been so lucky-he would have passed away. 7 1/2 years later--and that statement and the memories of that night bring me chills and make me very teary.

If you want the full story--you'll have to go back to the Grayson's Birthday post--but long story short--before anything critical was found-we were told he had a heart murmur. Now the only thing I knew of a heart murmur was that my mom had one and had to take antibiotics before she goes to the dentist, and a girl in my 7th grade class. She got out of gym class because of it. I remember sitting in the hospital so sad for this new little boy because his big brother was Mr. Sportsman--and I knew it would be a heartbreak for him to watch his older brother play sports and not be able to participate.

After everything critical was healed-Grayson's heart is 100% perfect and sports are his mission in life. So today as I watched him--looking so little on the diving board--my mind flashed back to the thoughts of him never being able to do things like this--and a huge sense of relief and peace passed over me. Grayson is perfect--and sadly---growing up really fast!