Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"The Band Plays On" by Rick Niece Book Review

"The Band Plays on...Going Home for a Music Man's Encore" is a perfect sequal in The Fanfare for a Home Series! A must-read for sure! The young boy we read about in "The SIde-Yard Superhero," is now all grown up, and goes back to his hometown of DeGraff, Ohio for an alumni band performance. Reflecting upon the people and memories from his childhood that we all got to know and love in the first book, and seeing where they are now. Entertaining, emotional, and inspirational! Rick Niece is truely such an inspiring author and person! Also...Dr. Rick Niece has launched a campaign of donating $1 of every book copy of "The Band Plays On" sold to the organization "Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation." This organization donates new and refurbished instruments to school music programs that cannot afford to purchase them. AND...An additional $1 will also be donated with each new Like on Facebook! So, not only are you reading a life changing book, but helping a great organization at the same time!

Friday, June 15, 2012

"Side-Yard Superhero" Book Review

"Side-Yard Superhero, Life Lessons from an Unlikely Teacher" by RIck D. Niece, Ph.D. If you haven't heard of this book, you need to go out and pick it up! I currently live in Ohio, so it's really nice to read about kids growing up while mentioning landmarks and areas that I am familiar with as well. While reading this, I took my time and enjoyed each adventure, each lesson learned, and each heart-breaking moment that two young boys encountered. This book truely is life lessons from an un-likely teacher, just as the title states. A young child named Rick Niece is curiously drawn to a young boy, Bernie, with cerebral palsy. This curiousity soon turns into a lifelong friendship, with endless adventures and learning. This book is one to relax and enjoy...you will laugh, you will cry, and you will love growing up with Rickie and Bernie. This book truely is a wonderful tribute to Bernie and the struggles children with cerebral palsy must overcome that many people take advantage of. A great read for everyone of all ages to enjoy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Enough is enough

When is enough enough when it comes to negativity from family? The yelling, the put-downs, the embarassment...I'm done. When I was a little girl, I remember thinking my mom was the best. I wanted to live with her forever and be just like her when I grew up...but then I grew up for real. My mother and I have been estranged on and off since I was 18. Within the past year, she has made an effort to be apart of my kids and my life, but Sunday was the last straw... Every time my 6 year old daughter visits Grandma, she comes home as an attitude-strung little girl. You see, Grandma lets her (and only her out of my 5 kids) do whatever she wants and behave in any manner. Back to Sunday... So, my mother, daughter, 2 year old son, and I went out to brunch and planned on spending the day shopping. I met my daughter and mother at the restaurant and quickly we became THAT table. You know the one with the out of control kids. Yes, it happens to everyone no matter what any parent says! We ate quickly to start shopping. From one store to the next, my stress level elevated. Four stores later, I had had it. The baby was finally sitting in the stroller, but my daughter was still not listening. Every time I would correct her, she would run to Grandma and my mother would have the nerve to tell ME to leave my own daughter alone! And she continued to be careless and not listen to me. A short while later, a wheel of the stroller ran into my daughter and the dramatic, hysterical scream soon followed. By all means, it was an accident and she was told to move before something were to happen. Grandma ran to my daughter's rescue and nastily stated that she was ready to go. As we are waiting in line, my mother reached into the basket to collect her items, when I'm assumming the baby grabbed at something she had in her hands. Suddenly she goes to swat at his hand and missed... "You better watch it, you little *ucker! I'll beat the crap out you too and I don't give a *amn who the *uck your mother is either!" Are you kidding me right now?!?! Then she proceeds..."This little *ucker can get away with murder, while your daughter gets in trouble for everything!" All I can mutter in embarassment is that he's just a baby. I calmly get out of line, return the stroller/cart, and walk out the door carrying my baby and my now obedient daughter at my heels. It's one thing to yell at ME, to put ME down, and be negative to ME...but it is NOT okay to do any of that to my kids. Enough it enough...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting" Book Review

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading an enjoyable book called "Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting" by Amy Lou Jenkins. This is not a book to rush through and tuck away in the closet, but one to lose yourself within. This book is about a divorced mother and her young son, DJ, and their journey through life while learning and growing together. Exploring the world first hand while bonding and connecting with her child on a completely different level than the typical parent. With each exploration in nature, DJ was not only learning about the nature surrounding him, but also about how to be a respectable man instead of a boy. This mother discovers how to overcome failed relationships and how to find love and real security in her own life as she is sharing her experiences with each word written. The main thing that I loved about this book was how strong the connection was between DJ and his mother. As I got deeper and deeper into the book, their bond and connection also got deeper and deeper. A great read for everyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm very excited to announce that I am officially an Independent
Consultant for Scentsy. If you haven't heard of it, it is THE
wickless candle. You simply purchase a warmer of your choice (which
comes in 3 different sizes), and a Scentsy bar with contains 8 scented
wax chunks. To use your warmer, just plug it in and the low watt
lightbulb slowly melts the wax placed on top. A half up to 2 chunks is
all you need to fill your house with one of 80+ scents to choose from.
I love it! In addition to warmers, there is also Buddys, which you
place a scented pack in the back to help freshen up your children's
room as well! The Layers is a new addition to Scentsy with includes
lotion, perfume, body butters, washer wiffs, and dryer disks. For
more information or to place an order, visit my website at
Just the thought of the little pests crawling around in my kids' hair
is enough to make me cringe. Thankfully my kids have not had it, but
I'm still constantly checking their hair, especially my daughter's
long hair, as I am fixing it every morning. There has not even been
an infestation at our kids school, which is great, but I have heard
the horror stories!
My friend's daughter had an infestation in her long, thick hair. It
spread from that little girl's hair to her bother's, her mother's, and
every one that can in contact with her. Treatment after treatment,
and those nasty pests wouldn't go away! Months went by before they FINALLY got rid of the lice. I was scared to let my daughter go over there and play, even though it was really no one's fault.
I have been trying to keep my daughter's hair in a braid or ponytail,
to avoid potential urge to borrow someone's brush...not that brushing her hair is her favorite thing, at least not yet.
Have you ever had a lice infestation? If you have, what is the best way to get rid of them and keep them away?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Internet is full of parenting websites and forums with advice, but your own childhood has the most influence on your own parenting skills. The good, the bad, and the ugly of how the people you looked up to gives you guidelines of what to do or not do. I personally strive to be a great parent and set a great role model for our kids when they become parents one day.

Up until I reached high school, I thought my mother walked on water. I just knew that we would always be close...but I was wrong. The fights, battles, negativity, put-downs...put a damper on our relationship. We have an okay relationship now, but it could be better! No matter how old I am, I will always remember things from the hateful words said, never showing up to my softball practices or girl scout meetings, pushing me away...and worst of all, not saying that she loves me nearly enough. She apologizes for the past, and tries to make up for it now..but I don't want to be like that with my kids. Regretting how I raised my kids, when I can do what is right, right now.

My husband and I are a mastering being there for our kids whenever we are able. One or both of us (usually both) go to every practice, game, girl scout meeting, parent-teacher conference, parent volunteer days, etc. Our kids remember and love the fact that we are always there. They appreciate the time we spend with them, the games we play, places we go, and affection we give them.

One day today will only be a memory in their minds to be remembered.

It was no laughing matter...

It was no laughing matter...

Friday morning was quite a busy one. I decided to get done some much needed cleaning while the kids were running around playing well together. Dusting, done. Beds, made. Bedrooms, cleaned. Laundry, in process. Dishes, done. Kitchen, clean. My husband happened to call, just to check in, right as the dog scratched at the door. As I am answering the phone, I ask our 5 (almost 6) year old to let the dog out and put him on his chain outside. As with most 5 year old kids, you can't ask them a complex question while they are trying to do something (lol), and the dog ran out before he could catch him. No big deal, he always comes back.

The kids go back to playing as I continue finishing up whatever I was doing when all of a sudden my 5 year old his yelling for me, even though I was 12 feet away. The baby (21 months old) had fallen out the back door and hit his mouth just hard enough to be bleeding everywhere. I throw the phone down, get him and grab a washcloth from the laundry. While I am at the kitchen sink getting the washcloth wet, I look outside to see my miniature poodle being chased by three big labs!
So....I have a devastated baby with a bleeding lip in my arms, and I run to the door calling the dog (which runs right in) and a 5 year old upset and scared on the couch. It must have quite a sight!!

Everything calmed down after a couple of minutes, but those 5 minutes a craziness was no laughing matter!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Having a baby can turn your entire life upside-down, for most people for the better.
Becoming a young mother myself, really made me mature and grow as a person, and as a mother. Each day I learn something new from my children while I appreciate and love them. Each day I love them more and more and that love pushes me to be a better wife and mother.
The greatest role model that I had in my life was my Great-Grandmother, or Nanny as I called her. She was so amazing, kind, gentle, loving, and she never raised her voice, no matter how upset she was. I still remember the smell of her favorite powder in her room as I used to put it on to pretend that I was my Nanny. I remember the smell of delicious pancakes shemade for me every morning. I remember making gingerbread people at Christmas time. I remember sitting on her lap when I was upset, rocking and singing to me until I would fall asleep.
These are just a few of my many special memories of her. When my children are grown, I want them to have more than a handful of special memories like these.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!
This morning I was pleasantly surprised to see the dining room table covered with Valentine's decorations complete with candy, rose petals, balloons, a card, and a cute gift bag with...what else but the latest Twilight movie, 'Breaking Dawn!' My sweet husband!
Our sugar-high kids will come home from school to their own version of Valentine's Day! Hope every one is having a great dat!
What are some special things that you haves planned for your husband and kids today?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

So...if you see a big huge Grab-my-button on the side of my page...I just wanted to say that I am learning. It's not funny. LOL. I'm working on fixing it...so hopefully it works! SOON, I will have a grabbable button for you all to grab! HOPEFULLY! :)
Our latest family outting was to everyone's very first Ice Hockey Game! As we stood in line for the longest 30 minutes in a parent's lifetime, the complaining started. It was freezing outside and we had to stand and wait. We arrived early because the first 1000 kids to arrive to this sold out event, got a free jersey. So obviously our kids wanted a free jersey! But as soon as the complaining started, the line finally started to move. As we approach the gate, we notice that the line next to us is out of jerseys...so the kids start getting concerned that we wouldn't get one. At last it was our turn and our kids excitedly received their very own jersey.

An hour of the loud music, cheering, watching the fights, endless amount of popcorn and candy later...my crew was still in full swing! Dancing around, cheering on their team, and having a blast! We all had a lot of fun and it was well worth the money spent!

The van home was a quiet one! The baby had stayed at home with Grandma, so the 4 older ones were tired, and half asleep, if not asleep, on the way home. Thankfully they all slept well and even slept in until 8:45!! It's one event we will definitely plan again!
My 9 year old son is a star basketball player! He's so excited for each game, and loves that he gets better and better each game and practice. As he blocks a shot, he excitedly looks over to the stands to see that his fans fill up half the stands! At the end of the game he simply replies, "Wow...I have LOTS of people that support me!"
It's such a great feeling to know that my kids are growing up feeling loved and supported.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cutest Thing Ever...

When your little one does something, maybe for the first time, have you ever thought or said that it was the cutest thing ever??

Yesterday we were in the van, headed out to lunch...I turned around and witnessed my 18 month baby saying, "I love you." I was so excited!! He even did the hand motions like Daddy had taught him earlier that day! Pointing to his eye (and saying I), then making 2 fists and holding them together (and saying love) and then pointing (saying you). It was the cutest thing ever!
Do you still have any of your dolls or toys from your childhood? Or maybe collect vintage toys? Or maybe your childhood toys are vintage! Several girls at work were telling me about their childhood toys that they still have...the famous Chatty Cathy was one of a kind from 1959 to 1965. This famous talking doll is going for $300-400 on ebay! If it's in mint condition, they are selling for up to $1000!!

Vintage barbies will always be a popular sell for those vintage buyers. I actually still have all of my Barbies from when I was a child, and my Great-Grandma's Barbies too! I always thought that they were so beautiful and precious...my favorite to play with!

Strawberry Shortcake Dolls first came out in 1979, and are still in high popular demand. The vintage dolls are going for up to $250 on ebay.

I still have my Cabbage Patch Kid Dolls and have passed them down to my daughter to play with. They were first invented in 1976 by a Xavier Roberts. He actually started a Babyland General Hospital where people could go to adopt their dolls complete with the adoption papers.

What other vintage dolls or toys do you cherish that you either have, remember, or wish you still had?
If it's been a while between posts, it's probably because I was working those nights, or just plain busy with my house full of kids! Last week I worked three nights in a row (12 hour shifts), and was getting maybe 5 hours of sleep between each shift, which makes me exhausted by the last night. Every morning when I get home, I pick up my Bonus child from his mom's and bring him to my house, pack up my daughter's lunch, take her to school, get the baby up, change his diaper, feed him, and then...I am able to go to bed and sleep from about 9 until about 3, when it's time to pick the kids up from school.

Working the three in a row it not only hard on me, but the kids too. (I guess I should mention that my mother-in-law lives with me and watches the kids while I sleep! Lol.) The kids beg me to stay awake and not leave them with Grandma. The baby even cries at my bedroom door, sometimes for up to 15 minutes. 15 minutes of yelling, "MMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" hitting and kicking my bedroom door, crying hysterically. It breaks my heart, but I know that I need the sleep. Sometimes I ask myself if it's really worth it. The second income helps, but I wish there was something I could do at home. I would love to be a WAHM, but not sure where to look for legitiment work from home jobs. But I'm always keeping my eyes and ears open for opportunities that will allow me to spend more quality time with all of my kids!
Have you ever had a dream about your significant other having an affair? Then wake up upset and carry it on throughout the day nit picking every little thing he does? GUILTY HERE! I woke up from my unpleasant dream, not a very happy camper. I came out into the living room to where my loving husband was cleaning up the breakfast he had made the kids...and he could tell that I was not in a good mood. Now, we have been together long enough that we both know that if the other is in a bad mood, to just walk away. First thing I said was, "I had the worst dream..."

His response? Laughter. Then continuous teasing throughout the day, even though I was in a sour mood at times. But he knew that I was just in that mood because of the dream and blew it off, and continued to tease me. Even though I didn't think it was so funny at all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Preservatives and Hyperactivity

Yesterday a friend of mine told me that she started her kids on an all natural diet to help with their hyperactivity and behavioral problems. She simply cut out everything with preservatives and dyes from their diet and already has seen a major difference in her kids' behavior! According to www.time.com younger children respond better than older children when consuming lower doses of attitives. Jim Stevenson is a professor at England's University of Southampton, led this research and stated that "kids can become more hyperactive within an hour of consuming food attitives."

So, I decided to do some more research of my own and discovered the 'Feingold Diet' which is known as being an all natural diet plan as a treatment for 'ADHD.' This diet eliminates artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. Sticking to this healthier meal plan, it helps:

*inability to sit still
*poor self-control
*unresponsive to discipline
*destructive behavior
*excessive/loud talking
*low self-esteem
*frequent crying
*dyslexia/ reading problems
*difficulty in reasoning and comprehension
*difficulty falling asleep

This is just to name a few. The complete list is www.time.com/time/health/article
Thanks to Martin Luther King Jr Day, all the kids are out of school...I expected lots of bored kids, fighting over things to do..the twin girls that live across the street came over to play also, so I had 7 kids here to play for the day. Instead of hearing arguing about who was going to play with who, all 7 kids played together...and well! Not a single fight, argument...nothing. It was a great and considerably calm day...well as calm as it gets with a houseful! The day consists of playing the Wii, listening to music and playing their PSPs, the girls played dress-up, Coloring and drawing pictures, and the day came to a close with a movie and popcorn. The key to a calm day was the variety of things to do and some new playmates! I just hope this summer is as calm as it was today!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lately I have had several people give me unsolisited advice about life, in particular...marriage. A woman, whom was ill in the hospital, gave me some very wise advice...A marriage isn't easy and it requires work. You can't work AT a marriage to make it better. If you have found someone you love, you work THROUGH your lives together as a team.

How true is that, really? When you sit and think about it, very true. You can't concentrate on trying to make the typical picture-perfect marriage, but instead live your lives together. Always count on each other and be there for one another, and that will create your own picture-perfect marriage.

Another peice of advice was given to me from another woman inwhich her husband was ill. It took a life-threatening event to make her reevaluate her marriage and what path her relationship was heading. She recalled constantly nagging at him, complaining, yelling, getting upset...all for stupid petty reasons, and now regrets it. She took him for granted, and never appreciated any sacrifices he had made for her and their family.

This new year instead of making personal resloutions, make one about appreciating your marriage. My grandparents were married for 40 long, wonderful years. I'm sure they had their ups and downs, but they made it through...together. I want my own marriage to last the next 40 years...and it will.

Your Spirit

Some days I just sit here and wait. Wait for you to come and take me to where you are, but realize you're not ready for me yet. So I wait... As I wait I realize that I am needed here more. Every day I wish that you were here...here to give me guidance, but most importantly, I wish you were here so that my children could know the best, most amazing woman I am fortunate enough to thank for my upbringing.

Your last breath is my most painful memory. My body may have been across the room, but my spirit was next to yours. My eyes may have been watching, but my soul was melting. That last, deep breath knocked the spirit back into my own body and threw me onto the floor as sorrow filled my soul. As I sat on that floor, I waited...waited for my own breath to be taken. But it wasn't my time.

Many years have past, but I remember like it was yesterday. What gives me peace is knowing that you are still here...in spirit. Your spirit watches over my family and I and protects us from harm. Your spirit shines the sun and makes the moon and makes the stars bright. Your body may have been tired, but your spirit will live on and be loved forever...

**Posted on The Columbus Creative Cooperation website.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

So, I'm still new here to the blogging world, but happy to announce that I have been learning! Learning how to link with other bloggers, what to blog about to keep my readers reading, how to draw in traffic...still learning how to beautify my site and make it look like it might be interesting, get pictures, and grabbable buttons too! If you're an expert...or even on your way to being one, and you have some tips for me, I would LOVE to hear your input!!

Happy Blogging!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

For Christmas, my wonderful husband did something so amazing and special for me. He took my Great-Grandmother's Cedar Hope Chest and got it refurbished. Over the summer, he had attempted to do this himself...however, it was a lot more time consuming than expected! He contacted a Rob Gale located in Southern Ohio. He has 18 years experience and did an amazing job on this!! Here are the before and after pictures...let me know what you think!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

From One Mom to Another Community Forum

From One Mom to Another Community Forum

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Bachelor is back Part 2

Usually when it gets close to the end of the season, I get online and see who gets the Final Rose.  This season, I decided to see if the results are out yet, and....they are!!  I'm so excited!  Now, sometimes the online leaks are wrong, and in this case...I hope they are.  As of right now, I am not a fan of "the winner."  Maybe as the season progresses, my opinion will change, and I hope so!  This is according to the information from Reality Steve...who BTW is supposedly getting sued by ABC.  I won't say who the final winner is, but I will reveal the final 4:

  • Kacie Boguskie is from Knoxville, TN and currently works at Genera Energy LLC
  • Courtney Robertson lives in Santa Monica, CA and is a professional model with an attitude.
  • Nicky Sterling is from Hurst, TX and is a Dental Hygienist
  • Lindzi Cox is from Bellevue, WA and works in sales.  Her real passion is horses and rode in on a horse during her and Ben's first meeting!!!
Which one is your favorite, and who do you think will win?  It is reported that Ben will go with his head instead of his heart...hopefully he goes with the head on his shoulders and not his other one....

The Bachelor is baaacccckkkkk!!!

The season premier of "The Bachelor" aired last night on ABC.  I don't know about anyone else, but there is just something about that show that I can't get enough of!! Picking my favorite girl/guy, and cheering them on all season long...this season it's still too soon for me to pick a favorite yet, even though there are a few I'm not too fond of.  On last nights episode, Jenna, the Blogger, was overly emotional already in the game. After spending most of the night crying in the bathroom, Jenna was grateful to be given a rose meaning she would be around another week.  The reason for Jenna's emotional evening was Monica.  Monica made it clear that she was NOT there for Ben, which upset Jenna, and then proceeded to bully Jenna, and laugh when she saw how upset Jenna was becoming.  Also Monica spent more time flirting with the ladies than spending time with Ben!  Wow! Is that a Bachelor first?!?!  Another contestant I personally am not cheering on at this point in the game is Courtney, the model.  She seemed okay when she was around Ben, and occasionally the other girls, but during her solo interviews she is overly arrogant.  She's the type of girl that thinks her sh!t doesn't stink! 

Have you chosen the girl(s) that you like or dislike the most?