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Friday, December 31, 2010





From the Swizz Household

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


May your day be filled with reminders of
our Savior, who came in the form of a newborn baby.

Thanks be to God for His gracious gift!

JMonster is SO excited for Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cleaning out my closet

I'm still here, people!  Sorry for the lack of communication.

No excuses!  Just busy...

The Rev asked me months (okay YEARS) ago to clean out my closet.  I own clothing I've had since I cannot remember.  Maybe middle school? :o)

I've noticed that most of my clothing goes unworn, because I'd rather grab a comfy dress or a pair of comfy lounging pants and a comfy shirt.  

Are you catching on to the trend?

I'm not a slob, but lately (okay, most of my adult life other than when I was working) I've taken to dressing like one.  I tell myself it is out of comfort, but why must I let myself go?


I'm guessing that is part of it.

Low self esteem?

Why go there?

Mostly it is just easy.

And mindless.

(And oh so comfy!)

And I tell myself I'm trying to not be vain.

But does fixing yourself up to look halfway decent fall into the category of vain?

I'm learning it doesn't.

Why should my husband look at someone who is sloppy?

I don't have to put on make up, but shouldn't I at least do my hair?

And by do, I mean more than pull into a ponytail.

How about you?

Do you dress for the day?

Do your hair?

Maybe put on some makeup?

Or are we most likely to catch you in a pair of yoga pants with a ponytail?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Infertility Journey...a brief update

Somehow I haven't felt much like writing lately.  I've been busy, it's true, but I also haven't had a lot to say.  Life is moving forward, sometimes quickly and sometimes agonizingly slow...

We're homeschooling.  Barely.  We do our reading lesson and reading every day, but other than that I've been a slacker in that area.  I'm giving myself some grace here...he's 4 1/2 and already reading.  We're still ahead of the curve!

I'm trying to organize the house and get it cleaned.  I mean DEEP cleaned.  And ready for us to move this summer.  Which means I need to slowly start packing.

Did I mention JMonster went through a HUGE growth spurt and has outgrown a lot of his clothes?  So, not only are we doing a seasonal closet change, we have to go through every piece to figure out what still fits.  I despise doing this!

(Of course, I also have bursitis in my shoulder.  VERY painful.  VERY limiting!)

And CHRISTMAS is coming!  
I've been finishing the Shutterfly book I do every year.
I've been shopping.
Did I mention the Shutterfly book?
Which takes HOURS?

And in the midst of all of that, we're discussing whether we should try and get pregnant again.  We have 2 more frozen embryos, remember?  And I'm not getting any younger.  And no one has jumped up and shouted that they would be a surrogate for us (okay, 2 people did but both of them promptly got pregnant!).

So, we're discussing doing a transfer in the next couple of months.

But to do so we'd have to add maternity coverage to our health insurance.

Which would cost BIG bucks.

As would a transfer.

And what if it fails?

What if it SUCCEEDS?

What about my trip to HAWAII?

I need a vaca!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I thought I killed the fish!

Yesterday I decided that it was time to clean the fish bowl.  I mean...REALLY time to clean the fish bowl.  It had white gunk floating on the top.  A sort of crust.  This has never happened in the 3+ years we've had a fish so I'm still not quite sure what went wrong.

I did as I normally do and put Dorothy, the betta, in a separate cup.

I boiled the water.

I scrubbed all of the stones.

I scrubbed the bowl.

I scrubbed the plants.

I then put spring water (yes, I purchase spring water for the darn fish!) in the bowl.

Sparkling clean!

Back in went Dorothy.

(Dorothy is a MALE fish, by the way.  And is Dorothy the 2nd.)

Dorothy I

Dorothy immediately started gasping and went straight to the bottom of the bowl.

Where he stayed for almost an hour.


And causing JMonster to be very concerned that he would die.

We got on the internet and looked up fish illnesses.

By the time we finished that, he was better.

Go figure.

Dorothy lives!

Will watch out for white gunk in the future.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sorry I've been silent for so long...

I've been helping my younger sister, HA out.

This morning, at 3am to be precise, she had her 4th child.

A beautiful, healthy baby girl.

And I was there!

I promise next week I will be better about posting.

In the meantime, enjoy time with your family.

I intend to immerse myself in mine.

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons!

I haven't talked much about JMonster's learning...

I've mentioned we LOVE homeschooling!

When we started this whole homeschooling thing, JMonster couldn't read.

Not one word.

He knew his letters.

He knew the sounds they make.

(Thank goodness for LeapFrog videos!)

We have been using the MOST fabulous book to learn to read.

After 20 lessons, JMonster could read a short book.

He absolutely LOVES the program by the way.

And BOB books.  We LOVE the BOB books.

We are 30 lessons or so in.  Yesterday I was making my grocery list.

"I'm going to get a piece of paper and make a list, too, Mommy!"

Off he went to get paper.

I figured he'd draw pictures and scribble a little bit.

"I'm going to add tomatoes to our list."

A minute goes by.

"See Mommy?  Tomato!"


The scanner didn't do it justice, but he wrote TMATO the first time, and when I told him he left out the O after the T he wrote it again correctly.  On two lines, but spelled the right way!  Pretty darn good for a kid who has been reading for barely over a month!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Still Working on Blog Design

Played around today with a new software called allows you to design a custom header for your blog for FREE!

Except you have to learn to use it.

And it is NOT user friendly.

I did a "quick" one to see if it would even be worth playing around with.

Here is my first attempt:

Just used pics I had easily available.

It's NOT what I want.  There are so many cute headers out there that look oh so professional.

I'll keep plugging away...

What style of header do YOU think I should design?  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blog Template Mishaps


Okay, I thought that would make me feel better.

It might have if everyone in the house weren't already ASLEEP and I could have REALLY screamed!

No laughing...

I'm trying to do my own design for my blog.

Try a few things out to see if they will work.

So, being smart like I am, I started a whole NEW blog to test on.

Would hate to have this one get messed up, ya know?

I'm trying to learn how to put a background picture in.

Something cute.

Maybe a photo I've taken!

The one I'm practicing with is an adorable angel blogging writing...appropriate, don't you think?

(wink, wink!)

Except it's head is cut off.

Go check it out for yourself!

Then come back and laugh.

It's okay, I'm laughing, too...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dear Mr. President,

Dear Mr. President,
When it was announced that Barack Obama, a black man, would be running for the next President of the United States, I was THRILLED!  What an exciting time to be alive, when we can put aside our differences and elect who is truly the best person to run for leader of the free world.

I had never been very interested in politics, but I made the decision to really dig into the issues for this election and research the candidates.  That's just how I am...when I do something, I try and go big.  I looked into both of your voting records (Really!?! 130 present votes?  Really!?!).  I looked at your backgrounds.  I asked other people lots and lots of questions.

I wanted to vote for you.  I really did!  But you made it absolutely impossible.  I won't go into all of that...the election is behind us and you are now POTUS.  Let's move on.

I would like to challenge you, though, to live the life you are "leading" this country toward.  If you truly believe what you espouse, you will do the following:

I challenge you, President Obama, to change your salary to reflect the median salary of your constituents...the people of the United States.  Put the rest of it toward balancing our budget.

I challenge you, President Obama, to require Congress to make the same change. 

I challenge you, President Obama, to utilize Obamacare.  To wait in the same lines, use the same doctors, try and pay for the same prescriptions with your median salary, and not have any special treatment because you are the POTUS.

I challenge you, President Obama, to require Congress to do the same.  If it's good enough for the rest of Americans, it's good enough for them.

I challenge you, President Obama, to continue to write books and make lots of money....and then give it ALL to the government to put towards our deficit.  Remember you make a salary?  You don't need the rest.

I challenge you, President Obama, to require Congress to do the same.

I challenge you, President Obama, to protect the innocent.  Abortion kills.  Especially late term abortion.  Support adoption reform and help make it more affordable.  A woman's right should not supersede the right of another human.  Especially an unborn, innocent one.

I challenge you, President Obama, to return to the church you were a member of for so many years.  Teach them that the stance they are taking in race relations is hurting, not helping.  If we want to really move forward we need to do so.  Together.

And while I'm at it...let's cut our budget of all of the fluff.  You ever see the movie "Dave"?  I believe it can happen!  We are getting more and more in debt to foreign countries; I don't want to see our Land of the Free and Home of the Brave taken away by debt holders.

I'm praying for you, Mr. President.

An American Citizen,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Sun and the Moon

I've been contemplating lately.

I know, dangerous, huh?

What I've been contemplating is a bit...deep.  So if you're not ready for deep you'd better stop reading.

If you ARE ready, grab a cup of coffee and let's chat.

As most of you know I am living with my identical twin sister.

She moved to town almost 2 years before I did.

She built her house in our neighborhood and got established almost a year before I moved in.

She has roots.  And friends. 

We all live in our own little solar systems.

Did you know that?

We all have our families, our friends, our jobs, our places of worship...

And most of us think of ourselves as the sun in our little solar system!

Our solar system may not be the same size, made up of the same types of planets, but it involves us and "revolves" around us.
Lately I've been a moon.

A moon doesn't produce it's own light.  It REFLECTS the light of a greater source.

I've been reflecting the light of my sister.

Now, that's not a horrible place to be, but it isn't where I was MEANT to be.

Her light is not MY light.

I'm beginning to remember that now.

I am, however, not aiming to become the sun in my solar system anymore.

I've decided to stay a moon.

I will not be reflecting the light of my sister...

I will be reflecting the light of a much brighter sun!

The Son.

Are you a sun or a moon?  
What do you want to be?

(Image courtesy of

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aggies Hockey Game!

You know when you have Texas A&M Aggies (WHOOP!) versus University of Texas in ANY sport, it's gonna be a showdown.  

When it is an ice hockey match?  It's bound to get ugly...

We met up with some other hockey fans...families we know whose kiddos also take hockey lessons...and had an early dinner.

Luke and JMonster
Dave, The Rev, and Steve..."The Guys!"

The computer is downloading the pictures slllooooowwwwllly, or I would show you a pic of the ladies and "Big Frank".  It was a HUGE hot dog.  Seriously!  Over a foot long!  And my friend Wendy ate an ENTIRE ONE!  So did her husband, but he's a guy. 

The game started innocently enough...

But soon the noise became overwhelming.  Notice the fingers in the ears?
Not the greatest photo...JMonster wouldn't stop moving!

The Aggies played an AWESOME GAME!  We scored, and scored, and scored.  

Poor longhorns.  They didn't.

The highlight of JMonster's night was seeing his coach, Nathan, play in the game.  

Or it might have been this:

Either way...we had a fabulous evening!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I voted...Did you?


I went to vote today.

Gave the woman my driver's license.

No name in the book.


Called the judge over.

She called voter registration.

Not listed.


Didn't they ask me if I wanted to register when I got my driver's license?

You may vote...provisionally.

Your vote may not count.

But, you will be registered to vote.

However, it would be a good idea for you to fill in this form to register...just in case.

Bureaucracy at its best.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preschool Calendar time

Have I mentioned we LOVE homeschool?

In my last post I showed how to make a homemade wall calendar.  If you haven't read it, go check it out!  We'll wait...

How to do calendar time

1.  Remember I told you to get two colors of numbers?  Choose a pattern for the month using the two colors.  Have your child choose which number and what color goes up next.  (sample patterns: ab, aabb, abb, aab or you can get more complicated as they start to "get" it!)

2.  Put up the current date and say what day it is:  Today is (Day of the week, the date, of the month, in the year).  Let them help you say it!

3.  Count up to the number of the current date.

4.  Sing a song about the days of the week.
      We sing: "Days of the week. (snap, snap) Days of the week. (snap, snap)
       There's Sunday and there's Monday, there's Tuesday and there's Wednesday,
        there's Thursday and there's Friday, and then there's Saturday.  Day's of the week. (snap, snap)
        (which is sung to the tune of The Adams' Family theme song)

5.  Sing a song about how to spell the current month.  (I made up most of these, but some are songs you hear in most preschools.  You can always make up your own!  If you do...let me know by writing them in the comments!)

       S-E-P-T-E-M-B-E-R... S-E-P-T-E-M-B-E-R,
       If you love the sunny weather, then let's spell it all together...
       (tune of If you're happy and you know it...)

       Spell October, Spell October!
       It's the month of Halloween.
       (tune of Clementine)

       November has Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
       November has Thanksgiving.
       (tune of the Wheels on the Bus)

       December!  December!
       Spell it all the way!
       D-E-C-E-M...B-E and R!
       (tune of Jingle Bells)

        January!  January!
       Brings a New Year!  Brings a New Year!
       Spell it to remember!  Spell it all together!
       (tune of Frere Jacques)

       February, February
        February, February
        February, hearts and lovin'
        Let's all spell it, now Keep hummin'!
        F-E-B-R-U-A-R..and Y!
        (tune of She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain)

       There was a month with lots of green and March was it's name-o!
       M-A-R-C-H! M-A-R-C-H! M-A-R-C-H!
       and March was it's name-o!
       (tune of Bingo)

       Oh, A-P-R-I-L,
       It's April, It's April!
       Oh, A-P-R-I-L,
       It's April, dear friends!
       Spring showers, bring flowers
       Spring showers, bring flowers
       Oh, A-P-R-I-L,
       It's April, dear friends!
       (tune of The More We Get Together)

        M-A-Y spells May!
        M-A-Y spells May!
        M-A-Y spells May!
        M-A-Y spells May!
        (tune of Happy Birthday to You!)

        J-U-N-E...that spells June!
        J-U-N-E...summer's coming soon!
        (tune of Baa, Baa, Black Sheep!)

       J-U-L-Y spells July!
       Fireworks, fireworks in the sky!
       America's Freedom, big and strong
       With God's blessing will be long.
        Let's spell July!
        Let's spell July!
        Let's spell July!
       (tune of Jesus Loves Me)

       I'm a month in summer!  Hot and dry...
       Swimming pools and popsicles and apple pie.
       When my days are over
       Summer's gone!
       A-U-G-U-S-T...poof, it's done!
       (tune of I'm a little teapot)

6.  Sing the "what's the weather" song and decide what the weather is today and what it will be tomorrow.
     "What's the weather?  What's the weather?  What's the weather like today?
       Is it sunny?  Is it rainy?  What's the weather like today?"
       (tune of Clementine)

7.  Talk about what day it is of the week.  Then go over what yesterday was and what tomorrow will be.

8.  Say The Pledge Of Allegiance.

9.  Sing a patriotic song.

If you have any questions, or suggestions, please share!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to Make a Wall Calendar for Preschool: A Homeschooler's Project

When we decided JMonster would be homeschooled, we talked to him about what HE wanted homeschooling to be like.

“Carpet time, Mommy!”

Carpet time?  What does THAT mean?

We talked about it some more and it came out that
carpet time = calendar time. 
And the weather. 
He loved the songs. 
He loved counting!

So I went about making a calendar space for us in our “classroom”.

I’ll show you


if you promise to not laugh at my drawings. 


          Before you get started:

 Gather/Purchase or make the items you will need to make the calendar and go on the calendar. 
  • Large versions of the twelve months of the year.
  • A blank calendar with the days of the week at the top.
  • Two sets of numbers in different colors.
  • Weather chart...there are many designs for this.  Be creative!
  • Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow signs with days of the week.
(I bought all of the above items at Dollar Tree.  
You could easily print them off of the computer...
or hand draw them.  
If you have the ability, LAMINATE it all!  
You’ll be happy you did!)
  • Velcro and/or magnetic tape to hang the items on the wall calendar felt, as well as to attach numbers directly to calendar.
  • 2 (or 4 if you make 2 of the wall hangings like I did) wooden dowels the width of your hanging.
  • A length of rope to hang the calendar by.
  • A large piece of choose the color!  Make sure you have enough extra to make your pockets out of.
    Getting Started:
  • Sew a pocket hem at the top and a pocket hem at the bottom of your felt.  I left our sides unfinished.  The pockets need to be large enough to place a dowel inside.
  •   Decide the placement of your calendar, the month, and where you will need pockets to hold the “extras”.
  •   Cut out your pockets.  I chose to make mine with deep sides, this is YOUR project so you get to choose the style!  Do be sure your pockets are deep enough and long enough to hold what they are supposed to hold.
        (To make pockets that look like mine, make a parallelogram...the bottom edge should be just wider than the items it will hold plus 2X the depth front to back you are wanting:)
        • Sew along the length where you want the fold to make the depth:
        (Fold the pocket along these lines and sew about 1/8” in to make this fold stay.)  
        • Place the outer edge of the pockets on the main piece of felt exactly behind the folds you made.  Sew around the edge about 1/8” in.  Don’t worry!  It will look “finished” when you are done.
        (Sew these edges on the big piece of felt behind where the folds are!)
        • Get your length of rope and tie it to either end of your dowels.
        • Put your velcro/magnetic tape on your items and attach to felt.
        • Put your velcro/magnetic tape on your numbers, months, days of the week, weather items depending on how they attach.  Some of ours don’t need these items because they slide in.  
        • Place all of the extras in the pockets you just made!
      If you have any question, please, please feel free to ask!  I made this by trial and error...let MY errors be yours so you can learn from my mistakes and not have to make your own.

      Very soon I will post about how we USE our wall calendar! 

      Stay Tuned!

      Sunday, October 24, 2010

      Bloggy Boot Camp

      Quick update...

      Went to BLOGGY BOOT CAMP in Austin this weekend.  

      It was FABULOUS!

      I met a ton of wonderful women...beautiful women...

      I learned an amazing amount!

      These next few weeks I intend to use what I learned and make a few changes.

      Right now I'm exhausted.


      Thursday, October 21, 2010

      It's a slow fade...


      Be careful little eyes what you see
      It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
      Be careful little feet where you go
      For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

      It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
      It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
      Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
      When you give yourself away
      People never crumble in a day
      It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

      Be careful little ears what you hear
      When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
      Be careful little lips what you say
      For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

      It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
      It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
      Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
      When you give yourself away
      People never crumble in a day

      The journey from your mind to your hands
      Is shorter than you're thinking
      Be careful if you think you stand
      You just might be sinking

      It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
      It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
      Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
      When you give yourself away
      People never crumble in a day
      Daddies never crumble in a day
      Families never crumble in a day

      Oh be careful little eyes what see
      Oh be careful little eyes what you see
      For the Father up above is looking down in love
      Oh be careful little eyes what you see

      Wednesday, October 20, 2010

      A pitched idea gets...pitched

      I pitched an idea this week to a company 
      (who will remain nameless at this time because I'd love to work with them in the future) 
      and it didn't work out.

      They didn't say a permanent no, just a for now no.

      Feels permanent in the moment.

      I've been approached a couple of times by different companies to try their products and blog about them.

      Each time I've said no because that isn't really what my blog is about.

      I found this company, though, and fell in L-O-V-E with their product.

      I want their product.

      I want MANY of their products.

      Despite my sadness at not "making the deal"...

      I will still praise Him.

      For He is taking me out of my comfort zone.

      He is growing me in ways I never even thought of.

      I cannot wait to see what He has in store next!

      Thursday, October 14, 2010

      Website layout

      I'm contemplating changing my website layout/design.  Any suggestions?  I mean other than the obvious of STOP USING A BASIC BLOGGER LAYOUT? :O)

      Hit me with your best ideas!

      Wednesday, October 13, 2010

      Anjelah Johnson...comedienne extraordinaire!

      I'm SO behind the times when it comes to entertainment.  I never know who is who.  What shows are "in" on HBO.  (Is there still HBO?)

      But recently I saw one of the most HILARIOUS videos I think I've ever seen.  You just have to take the time to watch this.  And afterwards, take a few minutes and click on a few of her other videos on You Tube.  I don't mind!  We'll wait...

      What did you think?  Funny, huh?

      Tuesday, October 12, 2010

      World Perspective

      I saw this map and was AMAZED at my own misunderstanding of just how large Africa is.  I understand how large TEXAS is, but to see this representation is just astounding.  Go ahead and click on the picture so you can read the entire article.  You won't be sorry!

      And then come back and tell me what you think!

      Sunday, October 10, 2010

      Keep your fingers crossed!

      We have a contract in the works for the leasing of our home in Atlanta.  
      We've negotiated back and forth over the past 2 weeks.  
      Final contract has been sent to the tenants.  
      Just waiting for them to sign it, return it, and send us a check.  
      Or two.

      Once again it will be strange to have people living in our home that we do not know.

      However, I trust that they will take better care of the place than the last tenants did.

      (Did I ever tell you the damage they left?  Holes in doors, pulls in berber carpet...oh, don't get me started on the yard!)

      Wish us luck!

      Next time we sell the place.


      Tuesday, October 5, 2010

      Bloggy Boot Camp

       (Picture courtesy of SITS Bloggy Boot Camp Website)

      Bloggy Boot Camp is headed to Austin, Texas at the end of this month...and I am going to attend!

      Am I excited?


      Am I nervous?

      Do bears poop in the forest?

      OF COURSE I'm nervous.  I'm me!

      But I AM over the top excited to meet all of the fabulous women who will be there!

      I plan on learning a lot...

      Hopefully something I can share with all of you when I return.

      WHICH ONE?

      Wednesday, September 29, 2010

      Religion Quiz

      How much do you know about religion?

      And how do you compare with the average American? 

      "Take our short, 15-question quiz, and see how you do in comparison with 3,412 randomly sampled adults who were asked these and other questions in the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey.
      This national poll was conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life from May 19 through June 6, 2010, on landlines and cell phones, in English and Spanish.
      When you finish the quiz, you will be able to compare your knowledge of religion with participants in the national telephone poll. You can see how you compare with the overall population as well as with people of various religious traditions, people who attend worship services frequently or less often, men and women, and college graduates as well as those who did not attend college."
      ~ as found on The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life website

      Good luck!  

      Be sure and come back to share your score and what questions you missed.

      Sunday, September 26, 2010

      Hockey...full gear!

      Thought you might like to see JMonster in full gear.  It's adorable!

      The pants are huge, but they are padded and better than nothing.
      It's hard to find a junior EXTRA SMALL!

      If you find some, send em our way...

      Saturday, September 25, 2010

      Blog award!

      Thanks Baloney!
      Here are the rules:
      • Reveal 7 truths about myself
      • Select 7 blogs I would like to share this award with.
       Seven truths:
      1.  I am an introvert.  Sometimes that comes across as shy, sometimes as stuck up.  I love to talk, it is just draining to me to do "small" talk.  I don't do it well, and I end up frustrated.
      2.  I am a reader!  I absolutely LOVE to read.  Mostly mysteries, but other good fiction as well.  Give me a good book and I'm a goner!
      3.  I am an organizer at heart.  I love things to be organized and in their place.  I will organize other people's homes, when invited to, as well as their purses, cars, etc...
      4.  I hate to clean!  While I love to organize, I'd rather someone else clean the floors, scrub the toilets, and make sure there isn't any dust in the house.  I especially dislike doing laundry.
      5.  Going hand in hand with numbers 3 & 4...if I feel overwhelmed in a situation (cleaning, mostly) I get frozen.  If I feel out of control I tend to just shut down and do nothing.
      6.  And that stems from the fact that I am a CONTROL FREAK!   I have a deep seated need to be in control.  Not of you, necessarily, but of my situation.  Though if you make stupid mistakes, I might feel the need to control your life as well.
      7.  And finally, I am emotional.  I feel EVERYTHING very strongly.  EVERYTHING.  I have to shelter myself much of the time so I don't take on other people's problems...I'd end up crying all the time!  Or screaming.  I would make a horrible therapist. ;O)

      Seven blogs:
      1.  Patterico...he'll never do it, but it would be fun to see my brother's answers!
      2.  Shades of Blue and Green
      3.  Who Put Me in Charge of These People?
      4.  Lyme is Crazy!
      5.  What if... (She's just getting started and it's so much fun to get an award as a newbie!)
      6.  YOURS!
      7.  ????? (Okay, I don't know people!  I don't follow that many blogs!)

      If you do this, please link back so I'll know!  I'd love to read YOUR answers.


      Friday, September 24, 2010

      Recession Ends and ????

      I heard the news!

      The recession has officially ended, according to our fearless leader.

      What I want to know is...will my house now sell for what I want it to sell for?

      Or are we going to have to lease it again?

      Until the recession is REALLY over.

      What do you think?

      Is it over?

      Monday, September 20, 2010

      Quick update

      Life has been crazy lately.

      Not bad.  Just busy!

      We went to Dallas for a week...

      spent lots of time in museums!

      The Museum of Science and History in Fort Worth has changed since I was a child.

      Some of the change good, most of it bad.

      Lots of hands on entertainment for the kids.

      NONE of the interesting know, with the dioramas?  Like in Night at the Museum.

      Always loved those!

      Gone, now.

      The Dallas museum was nice.  Done in two buildings.

      One pretty much like the new FW museum, the other like the FW museum of old.

      We had a blast!

      We've been to hockey again.  Even got JMonster the rest of his equipment!

      We've been homeschooling...

      Learning to read.
      Doing the calendar and singing.

      Bible Study is up and running.  Love that group of women!

      Totally enjoying myself!


      Sunday, September 12, 2010

      JMonster starts ICE HOCKEY!

      Today was JMonster's first day of Mighty Mites ice hockey lessons.  Here is the story, in pictures:

      He had a great time, but "my tushy hurts Momma!".  
      We'll have to get a pad for that!

      And the picture I DIDN'T capture...JMonster sound asleep in the car on the way home.

      Saturday, September 11, 2010

      Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

      It makes me ill even to think about that day...that week...

      It was a morning I will never forget.  The Rev and I had been married for just under 2 years.  I had been working for a consulting firm and one of the VP's had done a few illegal and shady deals.  I was getting dressed to go to court (I was scheduled to testify), with the TV on in the background, when I walked in the living room and saw the first tower on fire.  They were saying a plane had flown into the tower and you could definitely see the hole where it had gone in.

      Hmmmm...wonder how a little cessna wasn't able to miss that great big building.

      I went and woke up The Rev so he could see what was happening.  Don't know quite why I did, it just seemed like something he should see.

      He sat in front of the TV while I went in the kitchen to fix my breakfast.

      "OH SH-T!" he yelled from the living room.

      "What?!?  What?!?"

      "Another plane just flew into the tower.  Oh My God.  We are under attack."

      I don't know how he knew so definitively what was happening.  All I knew was how panicked I felt.

      Just then, the attorney called and she was downstairs to pick me up.

      Off to court...

      The rest of the morning in court was a blur.

      The judge's clerk stayed in the back and kept coming out to update the judge.

      The Pentagon has been hit.

      Another plane went down somewhere.

      A tower fell.

      The other tower fell.

      Court adjourned...downtown Houston is being evacuated.

      That afternoon I went to the medical center and gave blood.  It is the only time in my life I've donated.  I am right on the border of weighing day yes, the next no.  That day I made it by a half pound.

      I cried for the next week knowing that there really were no survivors who needed that blood.  You either made it, or you didn't.  And almost 3,000 didn't.

      I will always remember...

      Wednesday, September 8, 2010

      Unique thoughts (on Politics)

      Just like there are no new books written (you've heard that before, right?)...

      There are no unique thoughts on politics.

      We may THINK we have a unique and different idea

      but in the end someone will already have thought of it.

      So the idea I'm about to share is, of course, not new.  It has been thought of.  It has probably been debated and discarded.  But in my stuck in the sand little mind, it's new to me.  And...I can honestly say I've never seen it written about.  Not even once!

      My, oh so not unique thought is this: 

      Although I do NOT agree with the idea of government healthcare, I am a realist.  I understand that there are things which are outside of my control.

      If we MUST have a government run healthcare system, and if we eventually are to go to a single payer system (GOD FORBID!!!)...I will go along with this, and not have great tantrums, IF:

      We adopt the Fair Tax.


      We make it a level which will fully support the healthcare initiative.


      The healthcare system is governed by NON-POLITICIANS who are equal make-up of liberals and conservatives.


      An individual's physician, in conjunction with a team of physicians, has FINAL SAY on an individual's care.  The team gets involved if and only if there is a questionable outcome.

      Okay.  I think that is it.

      My un-original political thought.

      Now discuss.

      Monday, September 6, 2010

      Curriculum ORDERED!

      Today has been a BIG day of ordering curriculum.

      First I ordered our Bible Study curriculum:

      There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth as the website was backordered until the end of the month.  OUR STUDY STARTS NEXT MONDAY!

      Went to the phone and called local bookstores.  Same story...backordered.

      Went to  Too expensive.

      Searched the internet.

      Went BACK to  Ordered.  Got free shipping AND an unexpected discount.  Ended up a little cheaper than the first site.  I gotta say...God is SO good.  I was worried.  He took care of it.

      Then I ordered our homeschooling curriculum.  A friend had let us borrow theirs...water was spilled on it, we now need to replace it.  Plus we really want our own copy to mess up. :O)

      We ordered the K4 parent kit, which includes everything you need, really.  Not the student version, but we can do without that.

      It's definitely WAY less expensive to homeschool, but it still isn't free. 

      Sunday, September 5, 2010

      Perfect Pairings

      Phytoplankton Bloom in the Barents Sea

      The variations in color are caused by different species and concentrations of phytoplankton. The bright blue colors are probably from coccolithophores, a type of phytoplankton that is coated in a chalky shell that reflects light, turning the ocean a milky turquoise. Coccolithophores dominate the Barents Sea in August. Shades of green are likely from diatoms, another type of phytoplankton. Diatoms usually dominate the Barents Sea earlier in the year, giving way to coccolithophores in the late summer. However, field measurements of previous August blooms have also turned up high concentrations of diatoms.

      "How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number-living things both large and small. (Psalm 104:24-25)

      Isn't this incredible?  
      God's artistry is an amazing thing to behold.

      Tuesday, August 31, 2010

      First Day of School (Pre-K 4)

      Here is today in a nutshell:

      Except, really, it was WAY better than this.  
      We took a trip to the pet store after we finished and had a great impromptu Science lesson!
      Held a snake.  Almost held poisonous tree frogs and scorpions.
      (I think we'll pass, thank you very much!)
      And had a blast with a chameleon.

      And yes, each picture face was all his own idea.

      Monday, August 30, 2010

      Homeschooling BEGINS!

      Say a little prayer for me, tomorrow (Tuesday) is the official start of...


      In the Swizz household.


      I've been laminating.

      I've been organizing.

      JMonster is excited.

      And now it is time...


      (I'll post pics and an update after we have our first official day.)

      Sunday, August 29, 2010

      Happy Birthday to The Rev!

      to my life-mate...
      my best friend...
      The father of JMonster...

      THE REV!!!

      Tuesday, August 24, 2010

      Light at the end of the tunnel!

      And it is NOT a train!

      I sent out this email today, and boy do I feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders:

      Dear Swizz's swimmers...
      This is the LAST week of official swimming lessons for the year!  I will start homeschooling my little boy next week and am looking forward to a great fall. 

      For those of you who are interested in not losing those summer skills, I am offering a winter program!  One or two "maintenance" lessons a month for as long as the water stays warm enough.  If you are interested in the winter maintenance program, let me know.  I will publish available dates and times, and those will be treated on a first come, first choice basis.

      I have really enjoyed working with each and every swimmer this summer!  Thank you for trusting me with your biggest blessings!