Monday, March 31, 2008

Home At Last

Hark! We are home at last. After 5 days of flying and driving and more driving and more flying, we have returned. Oh, did I mention we drove a lot.

We drove up and down the beautiful, scenic, hilly roads of East Tennessee and Virginia. Not that I minded all of that beautiful landscape, but Oi! THE DRIVING! Couple that with a baby who completely and utterly DETESTS being in her car seat (her car seat that cost us muy mucho because you know, we care about her safety and comfort, but apparently the price doesn't cover the hatred of being strapped into the doggone thing!) and it's safe to say that the driving got a wee bit old.

Did I mention the driving?

I have great and wonderful bloggy things to say....just not today. Because well...

I'm pooped.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Naturally Works for Me!

Things that make me happy. And smell good to boot!

If you're wondering why I pay a little more for my body products I would suggest visiting the website and checking out some of your current body products and make-up.

Scary stuff people, scary stuff.

I buy these items at and pay considerably less than I would at drug stores or health food stores. It makes healthier choices a little more affordable.

It works for me!

For more great tips go visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How We Homeschool - To Each His Own

One of the greatest joys of homeschooling is being able to cater to each child's learning style. We are firm believers that not every child learns the same way. Some children learn by sight, some by hearing and others are kinesthetic, which is hands on learning.

Our LiverPie has a much different learning style from that of her older sister. She is a robust child with a wicked (as in very witty, not evil. Although she does have her evil moments) sense of humor. She is very much like her daddy. So with much thought and discussion, Monk and I have decided to homeschool her according to her personal style, which is very similar to her daddy's style of learning. We think she should excel under this particular tutelage. Here is a sample:

I do hope you all realize that my tongue was planted firmly inside my cheek while posting this. I don't know how you all could think we would homeschool this way.

As if.

We would never use four part harmony. Hmpf.

*Admit it. It's a catchy tune, ain't it?*

Me and My Girl

Oh look, Baby Girl is so sad. Don't cry baby.

Look me in the eyes when I'm talking to you!

Nothin' better than big, slobbery baby kisses!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Want the Gas Thankyouverymuch!

Do any of you have phobias? Do certain things just send you over the moon or under the bed when you even begin to think about them?

Me too.

I hate the dentist. Not my dentist, personally. No, he's great. It's just unfortunate he chose the career he did. It's his career I hate. Loathe. Despise. Truth be told, I'm afraid of the dentist. This is what happens to me when I have to go:

- Before I even leave my house I can fear the dread welling up inside of me. I check the children for fevers in hopes that maybe one of them is ill enough for me to stay home and nurse them to health.

- While in the car I usually pray for a minor car accident just so I can call with a legitimate excuse not go.

- When I pull into the parking lot my heart begins to palpitate at a very unnatural rate.

- I walk in the office door and the smell alone nearly sends me running from the office screaming, "you can't make me do this!". It is at this point that my gag reflex is activated.

- When they call me back, I physically begin to tremble and my mouth goes dry. Very, very dry.

- The sounds of drills drilling sends chills running up my spine and I begin to clench my teeth. I wonder if I collapse in a heap on the floor if they would consider rescheduling.

- Upon sitting in the chair, my heart shifts into high gear convincing me that I shall surely die from heart failure before one of their latex gloves even touches my dried up lips.

- By the time I have to open my mouth I have worked myself into such a dither that I start laughing rather nervously, almost maniacally, and my speech becomes rather fast and disjointed while I blather on about my gag reflex and telling them to " please do not let me swallow anything or taste anything because I will throw up on you." They love me there.

And this is only for a CLEANING!!

I had to go to the dentist this past week, so all of these things are fresh in my mind. My hygienist is usually very accommodating and tries very hard to keep my mouth sufficiently rinsed and suctioned. Because y'all, if I taste a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g I will begin to gag.

I am nothing if not lame.

Anyway, once my cleaning is complete and my dentist comes to check me out, things get a little stickier. You see, he's a guy with big 'ol sausage fingers. He jams his fat, little latex sausages into my mouth, with no regard for my terrifying phobia of him, and begins prodding around at my molars. He sticks my teeth with his little sticker thing at an alarming rate. All while talking and laughing and assuming that I'm not about to die right there in his dentified presence.

Now here's the kicker.

Just when I think it's all about to be over....he tells me I have an old filling that has some flaws and will have to COME BACK and have another filling put in it's place. Come back? (insert violent whimpering here)

Oh, the horror of it all.

I have to go back. I don't get my 6 month reprieve. I have to begin this vicious cycle all over again, but if you can believe it, on an even more psychotic level. Because after all, they will be DRILLING ON ME!!

Y'all, I would rather have natural child birth (supposing thus said child is not in the posterior position because dang, they hurt!) than to go to the dentist for a filling. We won't even talk about my neurosis when I have to have a crown.

But believe it or not, I'm good. You wanna know why?

Nitrous Oxide.

Oh yeah, baby. I signed up for the gas plan. For $35 extra dollars they can drill all the way to China and back and I won't care. I'll be thinking nothin' but happy thoughts. Am I a wimp? You bet! I want the gas!

Now if I could just get my hands on some of that stuff for the flight I'll be taking next week I would be Oh So Very Happy.

Nitrous oxide in portable form. Now there's a good idea.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Me and Martha? We Are No Longer Tight

As evidenced by my blog header, I like crafty things. When time permits, I can come up with some pretty decent crafty things. I'm not and organized crafter or a complicated crafter, but I really enjoy crafts that involve minimal effort with great results.

Many of you have seen on my blog that I will occasionally participate in Rocks in My Dryer's Works For Me Wednesday. Back in October I posted about making toddler crayons with existing broken crayons. You can find the original post here. This is one of those easy crafts with minimal effort yet great results (it really is essential that you go back and read that post).

I'm gettin' to my point here eventually y'all, just bear with me a little longer.

Well, about 3 weeks ago I picked up a copy of Martha Stewart's Good Things For Kids. It is a little mini magazine that has all sorts of neat kid friendly ideas in it. And you know I really wanted this little magazine because I was willing to shell out the $3.95 for it! $4.95 for those poor Canadians. You know, you must really love to read in Canada to pay that much because they really do get ripped.

I'm digressing again.

So I finally picked this thing up and really gave it a good thorough reading. I was enjoying myself immensely until I turned to pages 74-77. It was then that I gasped!

Martha stole.. ripped me off.. took my toddler crayon idea! Oh, yes she did!

Here is her page:

And here is one of my pics:

Can you see the similarities? Huh? Huh? Can you? Martha snagged my gig people!

So what if she has shiny, new heart-shaped pans! So what if she has professional photographers perfectly placing her color coordinated crayons! It was my idea FIRST!

But really, I'm not bitter. And my post was much funnier than her dry, crusty, old magazine any day.

Anyway, I just wanted to document it that you heard if FIRST here, at The Monk's Wife.

Oh, and Martha? If you're reading here...

It is most definitely NOT a good thing to take the ideas of middle class, suburbanite, God-fearing homemakers. And why? Well, you may have a bazillion dollars sister, but guess what?

I've got a blog and I know how to use it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It Is Finished

Sad, but satisfied and not nary a pound heavier for it. My chocolatey heart overfloweth.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And You Thought I'd Forgotten - The Last of the TV Posts

Alright. It's been a while since I've posted on this, so if you're just coming in on this thread and you need to catch up you can go here, here , here and here.

There, now you're caught up.

For those of you that have been reading, this will be my final thoughts on the subject. Final is subjective y'all, so if I am so inclined to "touch" on it again, I do reserve my right to do so.

Because, after all, it is my blog. So, nah.

Some Most of you are Happy Dancing around your computers right now, but a few may be just a wee bit sad that it's coming to an end. Okay, so maybe not. But a girl can dream, can't she?

So. Here we go.

3. The dumbed down portrayal and effemination of fathers.

This has to be one of my biggest issues with the television. Gone are the days where the father and husband are portrayed as the leader, full of wisdom and respected by his wife and children. Now we just get these dumb, unassuming dolts, who can't seem to do anything right. Whose wife leads the family because the father is just to big and stupid to do so. And whose children have zero respect for him because after all, he knows nothing.

This just SO goes against scripture! God laid out a clear, concise plan as to who is to lead the family (Eph 5:22-24) and who is head of the home. We sit and laugh at these big idiots all in the name of humor, not stopping to think that this goes completely against God's plan. Why is it that we can read God's Word, nodding and agreeing yet when it comes to our entertainment, our self gratification, everything we believe goes out the window? We find that the dumb dad's are funny, the gay characters are just hilarious and as long as it's entertaining us then it's fine. When did what Scripture says become optional (I Thes 5:22)?

2. Commercials

This again is mostly subjective, but I'll go ahead a give my two cents on the subject. I will admit that there are some funny commercials out there. But mostly...trash. It is a barrage of the latest and greatest that encourages us to be discontented with what we have. There are some that are so suggestive that they are embarrassing to me. And frankly, where my children are concerned, it is yet one more thing to encourage them that they don't have enough.

I could go on, but it is mostly just a bunch of what I've said under the previous points and you wouldn't want to get me goin' again, now would you?

And finally...the last one! Can you believe it? THE LAST ONE!

1. It divides the family.

Some of you will either get this or you won't. Most that won't get it do not look at family the same way we do. And that's fine. Remember, these are my opinions and convictions.

When there are four different televisions in the house and the parents and children are spread all over the house, it is very difficult to nurture and develop relationships. When parents are watching their show, which isn't appropriate for children, the children have to be somewhere else. When the kids are blaring Dora the Explorer and the parents want to beat their head on the wall rather than listen to "where are we going?" 3 or 295 times, they leave the room. What ends up happening is that no one spends any time together and before long television and shows become more important than family.

Don't tell me it doesn't happen that way because I've seen it happen in my own home.

I truly think that Satan loves the boob tube because if he can put enough space between husbands and wives or parents and children, then it is a little easier for him to accomplish his agenda. He wants our children's minds and he wants our marriages to fail. When we spend countless, mundane hours in front of the tube and allow our children to do the same, then guess what?

He wins, y'all!

Plain and simple, that pretty much sums up how I feel.


Now, I'm sure you're asking yourselves (or not) does she watch any T.V. at all?

Why yes I do. On a regular basis I watch one show a week. A one hour show and that's it. I will occasionally watch something on the Food Network or a home improvement channel, but really nothing else. I do not count the news in this. But I still only watch the news a few times a week.

The way I see it, T.V. reminds me of the Lay's Potato Chip advertisements. You know the one? Where they're eating the chips and they say, "you can't eat just one". Well for me, television used to be the same way. I couldn't watch just one show. It turned into multiple shows and before long, my evenings were taken up with watching my shows and not spending quality time with my family. So, my solution was to watch nothing. I then managed to do the one show a week thing and it works for me.

Now some of you might be asking, "what about DVDs?". Well, I watch them too.

But I say that with this caveat: We have purchased a ClearPlay DVD player which has made watching a DVD much more enjoyable and much easier. I highly recommend them as they can filter out violence, nudity, profanity and blasphemy, which was a really big deal for me.

They are very cool to say the least.

So, there are my thoughts on the subject. I hope it wasn't too torturous for anyone who still might be reading here. For the record, my stats have not recovered since the first set of posts on the subject, so this post might be considered suicide.

Alas, so is life.

Let me hear your thoughts on the subject. Did you disagree? Did I make you mad? Do you agree?

A rousing debate in the comment section might be fun. And to those of you (you know who you are) that want to play devil's advocate because you think its fun...

Bring it on.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

No Words

Sometimes, words are just not necessary.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Three to Zip: The Germs are Winning

Remember in this post how I said that I woke up with a sore throat and Sis had a fever?

Well, I still do and so does she.

And now, Liv has the fever too.

The germs seem to be taking over our relatively healthy household. Monk was sick a few weeks back with bronchitis that he thought was just allergies. Actually, the only reason he went to the doctor was because I lovingly told him his constant coughing was becoming annoying. Well, let me tell you...I got mine.

I went to the doctor today and guess what? Only the startings of bronchitis. That is problematic for me because the startings usually turn into the Full Fledged Plague and when that happens?

We is all in trouble then.

Because the Full Fledged Plague takes me FOR-EV-VER to get rid of. And I have places to go and people to meet! Really, I do. Monk and I are taking a trip in a few weeks and I don't want to be sick. A bona fide get on an airplane and fly somewhere trip.

Never mind the fact that I really hate cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet where if something goes wrong I will fall to the ground, crashing to my death in a fiery ball of flames. Never mind the fact that because I'm nursing an infant I will not be able to take a strong narcotic to make me forget about Fiery Deaths, but will have to face my fear head on while holding said infant on my lap.

But really, I'm good. And I digress. We were talking germs.

Sis is on day six of fever and I finally broke down and took her to the doctor yesterday. The Doc thinks it started as a virus and moved into a secondary infection. A sinus infection. The poor baby has a major sinus headache. And Liv? Well, she's only just begun her fever and if there is a pattern to be followed than she will still have fever through the weekend. Oh joy.

Let's just pray that Baby Girl is protected by the MommyMilkSuperPowers. She's been protected before and I'm really hoping for it to continue. It will hurt me terribly if I've lost some of my Super Powers.

Madgirl is starting to have a little sore throat, but is trying to cut it off at the pass. And The Boy is pretty healthy still. It's like Russian Roulette around here when someone gets sick. You pretty much sit around waiting to see if you're going to be the next one to get it or if it will pass you by all together. Don't be fooled though. Most of the time? You get it.

And what do sick children do around here?

This one plays on the computer. She's still pretty cute for being sick, huh? Messy hair and all.

This one just looks pitiful. But in a really cute way.

And what do the well children do?

MadGirl and Baby Girl (Please do not tell the MadGirl about this picture. She would not be happy about the double chinnage going on here.)

The Boy

Apparently, they sleep. Which when you think about not a bad idea.

I think I'll go do the same.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday Backwards Edition - Herbally Impaired

Alrighty people. The herbal train has come to town and I'm afraid I'm gonna miss it! I need help in the herbal-all natural-organic-essential oil kinda way. Real bad.

I've learned quite a few things about herbs/essential oils/healthy eating, etc...over the past few years. This doesn't mean I've given up my Lay's Potato Chips with Dean's French Onion Dip. It just means that I now know what kind of garbage I'm consuming and what it will eventually do to me. I also consume less of it. I do use a lot of whole wheat flour, organic unrefined coconut oil and am moving to paraben- free toiletries, does that count?

Whoa. I digress.

So, I want to learn more about herbs and essential oils and how to use them. I ordered Eucalyptus Essential Oil from Mountain Rose Herbs the other day and now I have no idea what in tarnation I'm supposed to do with the stuff. Bright, I know.

You should see my math skills.

Anyone have any cheap inexpensive ways to go about doing this? Websites? Personal blogs? Anything? Bueller? Bueller?

To offer your advice to the many a wondering throng at the Backwards Edition of WFMW, head on over to Shannon's place at Rocks In My Dryer to see the other inquiring minds. Because they want to know. You know?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Civic Duty

Today I performed my civic duty. I voted.

I'm starting to look at this duty a little differently now that I'm older and wiser. I'm also looking at it from a more Biblical perspective as well.

Voting, as some might think, is not a God-given right. In this country though, it is a God-given privilege. A privilege that so many people take for granted. I get so tired of the whining I hear from various people over certain issues and certain politicians, yet those same people rarely take the time to keep abreast of the issues or more importantly, take the time to actually vote. How can this be?

I do believe as Christians, we have an obligation to vote. If God has put us in a position that allows us to do so then by all means, we should take advantage of any situation that would allow us to have our beliefs and moral positions heard. That doesn't mean that in the end I will always choose between the final two candidates. That has been a hard realization for me this election year. I will no longer vote for the lesser of two evils. I simply cannot, nor will not, cast my vote based on this premise any more.

I will cast my ballot based on my Biblical beliefs and moral conscience. This election year, that pretty much means that my candidate doesn't have a chance. I didn't used to feel this way. Once upon a time I was determined that my Republican vote was going to be cast no matter what and for whoever the Republican on the ballot happened to be. Well, since the Republican party has left me (literally LEFT), then by all means I have a moral obligation to leave them. I no longer have a party affiliation. I'm simply ...Conservative. Very, very Conservative.

Some of you may feel as if I'm wasting my vote. And that's okay. It took me a long time to realize that voting for the lesser of two evils was morally and Biblically wrong, so I'm okay with any flack I might receive because of it. Simply put, I changed my way of thinking for two reasons:

1. In the long run it doesn't help our country


2. It certainly doesn't advance the Kingdom of Christ.

So, as I voted today I had to stop and pause. I thanked God that I live in a free country (for now, at least) and I thanked God for the privilege to still have my say-so.

But most importantly, I left the ballot box with a clear conscience.

Monday, March 03, 2008

When Good Recipes Go Bad

I'm not quite sure where to begin. I've had a string of cooking and baking mishaps lately and just when I thought it was over, Saturday happened.

I should have known better when I woke up with a sore throat (not as bad as Sis who was running a temperature of 102). This, after bragging to two different people on Friday about how well I had been in the midst of other's illnesses. I'll know next time to keep my big, fat trap shut.

Pride before the fall, y'all. Pride before the fall.

I had a list of things I needed to accomplish Saturday. Namely making a big batch of cookie dough that was to be frozen for future cookies. This little item had been on my To Do List all week long and kept getting postponed. I figured since I didn't feel too well and I didn't feel like doing the big cleaning I had planned, I could at least get the cookie dough finished.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip was my cookie of choice. I feel a little better about these because they at least have some oatmeal in them, plus I do add some whole wheat flour to make them a little more healthy. I try where I can people.

I needed to double the recipe to be able to bake some for us now and freeze some for later. Simple enough, right? Apparently not. Math is not my thing and adding fractions, as in recipes, is pure torture to me.

After I had made up the dough, I scooped 48, yes 48 dough balls out on a cookie sheet and placed them in the freezer. That's four dozen for the mathematically impaired. I left enough dough out to bake two dozen for the family for the coming week.

Oh, who am I kidding. Two dozen for the next two days.

Anyhoo, I put the cookies in the oven, set the timer for 10 minutes and set off about my business. When the timer went off and I opened the oven door, I was aghast! Something had gone horribly wrong. Horribly, tragically wrong.

All I could thing of was the fact that I had used a pound of butter. That's four sticks, y'all! Of my precious butter! And OH MY WORD, I had 48 dough balls (four dozen!) in the freezer! The horror of it all.

And this is what my cookies looked like:

Momma was not happy 'bout this. No, indeedy.

They were just...wrong! I went over and over in my head if I had left anything out. I scoured the recipe looking for things I could have missed, but I just couldn't remember. Obviously I had erred somewhere. I figured it was me and my math issue. I'm quite certain it was due to the fact that I failed my second semester of geometry in 11th grade. How could I have known that it would come back to haunt me 20 21 years later? I could not would not throw that cookie dough out though!

There was simply too much butter invested in this recipe to throw out that cookie dough! It would have been like throwing out one of my very own children over a bad haircut. I could fix it.

I called my sister and we brainstormed for a few minutes. All we could think of was adding some more flour. The cookies were not firm and that seemed the logical conclusion. So, I took the remaining dough I had and added a little flour. I baked three cookies just to see if it was enough.

Lo, and behold, we had a viable cookie! So I finished up the rest of that batch and then pulled the dough balls from the freezer. They would need doctoring as well. I certainly hope frozen dough can be unfrozen and refrozen or all was for naught. If you know the answer to this and it is not a pleasant one, please refrain from telling me so. I just don't think my buttery heart could take it.
Ask yourself. Could you have thrown this away?

Finally, after many hours of what was supposed to be the easiest task of the day, I had finally completed the cookies. This in the midst of doctoring fevers, nursing the baby, holding the baby, pulling cat hair from the baby's fingers, nursing the baby some more and doing laundry. Whew.

Ah, yes. That's more like it.

48 dough balls of deliciousness ready for the freezer

The day wasn't a total bust though. After I got the cookie situation under control and finished, I was able to give Baby Girl her bath. Then I slathered her in the delicious smelling Burt's Bees Baby Bees Buttermilk Lotion and put her jammies on her. And then the best part of all? I nursed her to sleep.

And that folks, pretty much made the day near perfect.

Oh yeah, that and the fact that Monk came home from the store with these: