Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas is exhausting!

Is it just me or is Christmas exhausting?! Just the shopping alone is tiring but when you add in hiding presents from the kids, wrapping, staying up till midnight to get the gifts under the tree without the kids knowing, waking up early Christmas morning to get the coffee made before the children trample you on the way to the tree, opening toy after toy, getting a band-aid after cutting your finger on said toys' titanium lined plastic packaging, dragging the family to some random relative's house for dinner, dragging family home, and finding that last spare inch of room left on the toy shelf for this year's hottest (yet soon the be forgotten) toy, I am exhausted!

It's still not over for me. I have 10 bags of random stuff piled up in the living room that I have no idea what to do with. I guess I get to use that Wal-Mart gift card that Aunt Loretta gave me to buy more storage boxes...what I always wanted!

Christmas wasn't a bust though. I got to spend time with all sides of my family, I got a diamond ring from the hubby (too big...gotta get sized), and I got a pink Kitchen-Aid stand mixer that I have been drooling over for two years now. I'm going to use it to make an orange flavored bundt cake for New Year's Eve.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that your New Year is full of hope and maybe a few resolutions that you plan on keeping.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 My newest venture on the internet

I just signed up for Swagbucks two days ago and I already have a Paypal gift card coming to me! That is why I had to write a post about it. I use the Swagbucks toolbar instead of my Google one and I win 'bucks'...pretty simple. They are kind of slow coming but it is free and you get prizes. I cannot think of a better deal than that. I'm hoping to save up enough 'bucks' to earn a few Amazon gift cards...there is a ridiculously expensive purse that I want. A few months with Swagbucks, and that purse is mine...muah ha ha (evil laugh).

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Family Reunion

This past weekend, my hubby and the kids set off for Dickson, TN (right outside of Nashville) for a family reunion. The three hour car trip wasn't that bad. There was only one major meltdown from my three year old. We spent Friday at grandma Thea's and had a great late Thanksgiving meal and I got to meet many wonderful people. Saturday was spent at Uncle Kevin's house where 65 family members exchanged between touch football and volleyball. My hubby was a big hit with the little kids when he and his brother started a kickball game out front just for them. My daughter got her first run and was so excited!

Sunday was our day to return home but we stopped off at the Country Music Hall of Fame and took the Studio B tour (well worth the time and money. We got to sit at the very piano that Elvis recorded many of his top hits with. It was a great experience. We finally headed back to town at 6pm. We were all exhausted but we had a great trip. If you haven't been to Nashville lately, make the drive. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Putting up the Christmas tree!

I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet but I'm putting up my Christmas tree tonight...woohoo! It's one of my favorite things to do each year. We usually do it on Black Friday (I don't go shopping in that mess) but this year we have to travel to my hubby's uncle's house for a late Thanksgiving with them. So it has been pushed up to today. I'm fine with that though. Afterwards, we are going to sit down and watch Four Christmases (which came out today finally). I think it's going to be a good day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saw New Moon Last Night...

Twilight - New Moon

I dragged my hubby out to see New Moon last night. I originally thought that I would wait to rent it but the 'girl' in me got the better of me and I decided to go see it. So glad I did....

Needless to say, the movie is aimed at the teen crowd. There were plenty in the theater to prove that point. Surprisingly, there was an array of 20-30 somethings in attendance also. Besides the random giggling from the teen girls when Jake took his shirt off, the movie was rather good. It started out a little slow but by the time it was over, I was wanting more. The last line of the movie (not telling you what it is) is a doozie. It, no doubt, will have Twilight fans buzzing about the third installment of the saga, Eclipse, set to release on June 30, 2010.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This recipe is one of my favorites. The only ingredients you need are cranberries, sugar, and three oranges. I made it last year for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. There will definately be a repeat performance this year. You can find complete instructions for the recipe and more fun cranberry stuff here. Let me know how it turns out for your family dinner.

Photo Credit:

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's my anniversary!

Today is my nine year wedding anniversary! I'm not sure how many couples make it to 9 years but I'm thrilled about it. We are planning on having a pretty normal store in the morning...watching my soaps while the hubby rakes the leaves and my youngest is napping...normal stuff. Later we will drop all the kids off at my mother's house (for the night!) and go see the new 2012 movie that I have been so excited about. Maybe if Roger is lucky, I'll let him rub my feet after...who knows. :) It sounds like the perfect day to me....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Help Feed The Homeless

I decided to take today and share a little love. I was inspired by today's Lens of the Day on Squidoo, Feed the Homeless During the Holidays. It was written by Leanne Chesser, a life coach, teacher, business owner and mother of 4.

"What's ultimately important to me is giving and love, not only for myself and my family, but for people in need around me. So why not intertwine it all?", Leanne says.

I think that is a good lesson for all of us during the holidays. In the lens, Leanne tells ways that we all can contribute. I encourage everyone to do what they can to give and spread a little cheer this holiday season. All it takes is a little time, and a little love.

Photo Credit: aflcio2008 at Creative Commons

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole

It's time for Thanksgiving again and what is on everyone's One of this holiday's staple foods is sweet potato casserole. It's sweet and gooey and just makes you happy.

I have been reading a lot about gluten intolerance and decided to find a great recipe for people with this affliction that their whole family will enjoy. This recipe on eHow is all of these things and I think that it will make a great addition to your Thanksgiving table.

If you try it, leave a reply. I would love to know what you think.

Photo Courtesy of

Monday, November 2, 2009

7 Simple Techniques for Keeping Your Child Believing in Santa Claus

Many parents love to see the joy and excitement Santa Claus can bring to their child. For many people, their childhood memories of Santa Claus are the best Christmas memories they have. Keeping your child believing in Santa, however, can be a daunting task. Children are smart these days, and some of the old Santa tricks just don’t get by them anymore. Many children are perpetually plagued with the question, “Is there a Santa Claus?”

Every family may have slightly different Christmas traditions with regards to Santa Claus, but there are some very easy things any person can do to keep the belief in Santa at an all time high. The following 7 techniques will keep your child believing in the magic and wonderment of Santa Claus and you don’t have to be familiar with the history of Santa Claus to apply them.

1) Have your child write a Santa Letter. This can be a simple letter that your child can write to Santa Claus. Children absolutely love to write a letter to Santa, but they occasionally need a little parental guidance to pull it off.

Help your child include a special list of gifts they desire for Christmas into the Santa letter. Many children enjoy getting more creative by drawing or cutting out pictures that represent the gifts they want.

Once the child’s Santa letter is finished, simply mail it to the North Pole. Mail it to the following Santa Claus address: Santa Claus, 1 Candy Cane Lane, North Pole 00001. Don’t bother using a return address, you wouldn’t want it to return as ‘undeliverable’ for any reason.

2) Write a Letter from Santa and have your child receive it in the mail. Create a personalized letter from Santa by directly mentioning your child’s name and certain information about your child in the text. This will make for a much more believable Santa letter. Be sure to make these letters from Santa different for each child in the same household. The child will have no doubt that Santa Claus is coming to town after they receive their personalized letter from Santa!

“I can honestly state as a parent that the personalized letter from Santa has single handedly restored my son’s belief! The look of shock and amazement on his face when he got an ‘authentic letter from Santa’ quickly abolished any doubt he previously had about Santa Claus.”

Print the Santa letter on authentic looking letterhead, as this will help to reinforce the believability. Many different styles of paper can be found at your local office supply store.

You can add to the fun by getting your letter from Santa postmarked at the North Pole. Simply send your Santa letter inside another sealed, stamped envelope to: North Pole Christmas Cancellation, Postmaster, 5400 Mail Trail, Fairbanks, AK 99709-9999. (It needs to arrive by December 15th)

Many parents add a certificate for being on Santa’s “Nice List” along with the Santa Letter for added effect. Another great item to add with the Santa letter is a Santa Claus coloring sheet. Combining the personalized Santa letter, the nice certificate, and the Santa Claus coloring sheet is a sure fire method for keeping your child believing.

3) Have your child leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. This is simple enough to do with your child. It lets your child know YOU still believe, too. Make it a bonding experience for you and your child by baking the cookies together on Christmas Eve. Don’t underestimate how powerful this can be for creating joyful memories of Santa Claus, for both you and your child. Did you know that Santa’s favorite cookie recipe is Chocolate Chip?

Put the fresh cookies on a plate next to a glass of cold milk. You can even put a short letter to Santa Claus next to the cookies and milk. These tasty treats will give Santa the energy he needs to continue traveling to the millions of other households awaiting his arrival.

Don’t forget to leave some crumbs on the table Christmas morning. Your child will feel honored that Santa Claus ate the whole plate of cookies and drank all of the milk before rushing on his way.

4) On Christmas Eve, have your child sprinkle reindeer food on the lawn. Santa Claus gets milk and cookies on Christmas Eve, but what about Rudolph and the rest of the joyful gang? What do they eat? Well, reindeer food, of course!

You can make a batch of environmentally friendly reindeer food with common grocery items such as oats or granola. (Do not use potentially hazardous items, such as glitter in your reindeer food. Although this may make the reindeer food appear to be magical in some way, it can be extremely dangerous if ingested by small children, should they decide to ‘sample’ the reindeer food. It can also be potentially hazardous to the small animals outside such as rabbits, dogs, or cats that may eat the food.)

Once you have the reindeer food mixed up, walk outside with your child on Christmas Eve night and explain the importance of making sure Santa’s sleigh team stays fed. Sprinkle a small amount onto your yard near bushes or trees.

This healthy reindeer snack will give Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer the nourishment they need to continue flying Santa’s heavy sleigh into the night. Your child will be proud for helping Santa Claus on his journey, and is sure to raise the belief in Rudolph and the other reindeer as well.

5) Leave Santa Claus tracks in your house on Christmas Eve. Being sure to not stain your carpet, leave some dirty boot prints by the fireplace (or doorway). Be sure to draw attention to the Santa Claus footprints on Christmas morning. To a child, this is solid evidence that Santa had been to their house.

6) A month or so after Christmas, send your child a postcard from Santa Claus on vacation. This not only keeps your child believing, but reminds your child that Santa is in their hearts all year long. It also answers the common question posed by children after Christmas, “Where is Santa Claus now?”

Be sure to make the postcard from somewhere very warm and sunny. After all, Santa does need a break from all that North Pole snow.

7) Mail your child a birthday greeting from Santa Claus. This technique works in tandem with the personalized Santa Letter you mailed your child previously. Mailing your child a simple birthday card from Santa is an excellent way to keep your child’s belief high throughout the year. Your child will think, “Wow! Santa actually knows my birthday!” The shock on your child’s face will be priceless.

Parents that have extremely intelligent kids or kids that are getting slightly older will genuinely need to utilize all 7 techniques mentioned above to keep their child believing in Santa Claus.

These techniques will assure your child is one of the millions of children that write Santa Letters each and every holiday season… one of the millions of children that believe wholeheartedly in Santa Claus.

A reputable, inexpensive website that offers all of this as a service can be found here:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's a peanut butter sandwich day

Two Slices of Toast with Butter and Strawberry Jam

My children are some of the pickiest eaters on the planet! I blame myself completely. I am a picky eater and I know this about myself. I tried to introduce my girls to a variety of foods when they were little so that they would eat more as they got older. I'm not sure where I went wrong but it didn't work and now they eat nothing.

I like hamburgers and casseroles and fried chicken...they will have nothing to do with any of them. Yesterday I put a roast in the crock pot because I was tired of eating frozen chicken nuggets and girl's favorite meal. You would have thought I was beating them the way they were acting. They screamed and cried and refused to eat. Even when you know that there is nothing wrong with offering them good food, they have this unique way of making you feel like crap for trying to feed them. It's an unusual concept to process but they do it.

I have had a long day so I have decided to be 'lazy mom' today and give them peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly...they hate it), chips, and strawberries. They couldn't be happier.

I guess it goes to show you that we, as moms, don't have to always go above and beyond with everything. Simple peanut butter sandwiches are enough to make our kids smile...and that makes me smile.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Irritated with the school...again!

I need to vent a little frustration. My daughter's school offers free flu-mist to all students who have a signed consent form. My oldest has recieved it every year since Kindergarten. When my five year old brought home the form, I happily signed it. I am greatful for this servive because it keeps me out of the doctor's office. (With three kids, I am there enough as it is.) This past week, the mist was given out. The oldest recieved hers with no problem...she is just happy it's not the shot. My youngest, however, came home without her flu-mist and a note from the nurse. "Your child DID NOT recieve her flu-mist vaccination because she refused it." What!?! She refused it? She is five. I didn't know that she held that much control with her health. I thought I did. I guess she has become the authority and I am the child now. I am outraged by this. Needless to say, the school will be getting a wonderful note from me.

Before I get in trouble here...I know that it a nice thing for the school to give this for free and I should feel lucky that it is even offered. I am. The reason I appreciate this so much is because my hubby it still out of work and with his job, went our insurance. I don't just appreciate it, I need it for my kids. Now, I have to wait until the 'make-up' vaccination are given out in November. I guess I'll just hope that my child doesn't get sick until then.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our kitten died today

It's a somber day in my house today. Our kitten died last night while we were sleeping. We found her alone under our back porch about 2 weeks ago. After trying for a few days to find her mommy, we decided to keep her and try to nurse her back to health. I already had four cats so one more didn't seem that challenging.

After much debate, we named her Onyx. She was black and gray with almost a stripe pattern to her fur. I had to feed her with a medicine dropper but she didn't eat much. She still ate very little. One of our older cats had 5 kittens last year so I thought I would be able to take care of her but I was wrong. I guess there really is nothing like a mother's love...and Onyx's mother wasn't here.

Needless to say, my three little girls were upset, my oldest (age 9) took it the hardest. My five year old told me to take her to the doctor. It was hard for me to tell her that when you die, you never wake up. It has been a few hours and the girls seem fine now. They have been amusing themselves with our other cats.

I feel awful and I wish there was something more I could have done for her. I know that she is happy and running around in kitty heaven but I am still sad for the loss that my girls had this morning. I regret that I didn't even take a picture of her. The picture above just looks like her. If you pray, say a little prayer for our kitty. She will be missed.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Be straight with your kids

Sunset Silhouette Of Mom And Boy Along Coast

One of the things that irks me about parents is their inability to be honest with their kids. I'm not telling you to send out a memo every time you have sex with their father. I'm talking about the everyday scenarios.

I was changing the other day and my five year old came into the room and saw my cesarean scar. She asked me how I hurt myself and I told her that it was where she came out of me. Trying to keep in mind her age, I explained to her that she and her two sisters were too big to come out of my 'bottom' like most children, so they doctors made a special place just for her to come out safely. Thank God she didn't ask me how she got there...phew!

There are ways to give your kids the answers they are searching for without being inappropriate and/or brushing them off. If you tell your kids that you will tell them when hey are older, they will want to know even more and continue to bug you. Just be straight with them and as they get older, they will appreciate your honesty and be straight with you.

Picture courtesy of

Friday, October 2, 2009

The schools are ridiculous!

Child Reading a Book in School

My middle daughter started Kindergarten this year...that gives me two in school now. I took advantage of the sales at the end of the year last year to save money on two new backpacks and lunchboxes , and the supplies on the 'generic' lists that were sent home. I though I was doing ok until school started this year. On the first day of school, I was presented two more lists that included a few different items that my children needed. Ugh...back to the store! I was also given the school fess...$25 a child! My running total is now $125...just for my children to attend public school! When you tack on things like coupon book sales, the Mayfest at the end of the year, and other numerous fundraisers, parents spend a lot of money on something that is supposed to be free.

I thought the nightmare was over until my oldest child brought home a letter asking for more money to help cover the costs of school parties, another workbook, and the teacher's Christmas present. I don't understand why it costs so much. Isn't that what the school fees are for? The thing that really sent me over the edge was the last sentence of the note, "Thank you for being an active part of your child's life." What the hell? I thought being an active part of her life was teaching her and helping with her homework and actually getting her to school. I feed her, clothe her, and keep a roof over her head. I was offended by this statement. Whoever wrote this letter was an idiot. To even hint that I wasn't an active part in my child's life if I didn't pay for a cupcake party is ridiculous and insulting.

That is as far as I will go with my rant today guys. I'd love to know how you feel about this. Do you have the same issues?

Picture courtesy of Allposter'

Monday, September 28, 2009

I better not be getting the flu!

Mom and Baby Sea Lions, South Plaza Island, Galapagos Islands National Park, Ecuador

There is nothing worse than a mom with little kids getting the flu. Most of the time, we are the ones responsible for getting the kids to school, dinner, dishes, and laundry. We get up in the middle of the night with our newborns. We suffer through irritatingly long well-checks and PTA meetings. We can't get sick! There should be a rule that mother's can't get fevers, headaches, diarrhea, or nausea...let's throw menstrual cramps in there for good measure.

I have had a headache for the past 12 hours and I am fearing the worst is yet to come. With my daughter filling me in that 13 children were absent from her class today and her newly developing fever I just discovered (just great!), tomorrow isn't looking that great for me. I guess I will just pop a few vitamin C's and a Tylenol, hunker down for a good night's rest, and hope that all of this paranoia is a distant dream by morning.

Picture courtesy of

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Trying out eHow

Since my husband lost his job a few weeks ago, I have been searching for more ways than ever to earn money online. It is becoming ever more obvious that this does not happen easily or quickly but the turtle won that race , right? I have decided to push myself harder and write by butt off until it does pay off. No lazy Sally here. I know it will pay off, I just have to keep with it.

Recently I started a writing how-to articles on eHow. It takes time to write the articles but when you are done, you just sit back and let the passive income from ad clicks come in. Sound easy? It can be but getting enough articles is what takes time. I am pretty sure that 150-200 articles is what it will take to see any significant earnings. I'll let you guys know how it works out. I've only been there 4 days so I may be presumptuous but I fully expect to kick butt over there.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Busy Day

Normally, my Saturdays are very laid back and quiet. Every other Friday, my parents keep all of my kids over night and bring them home Saturday afternoon. Not this mom had foot surgery and could not possibly keep up with them. My husband, who used to work 60 hours a week, is home all the time now. I love having him here but I do enjoy when I'm alone. I can stay in my pajamas and write all day long. Not today.

Since Roger is home and the kids are here, I feel busier than ever. Not only am I behind on 2 lenses, I have to get a shower this morning and and cook a roast. My hubby has invited him family over to watch the UT game today. I'm not really a football fan but if I have to watch it, I'm all VOL. I need to pick up the living room and do a load of dishes too...ugh!

Oh yes, I almost forgot...the flea market. We did go yesterday and it was a total wash. I don't think it was because people didn't like what I was was just dead. I'm not going to dwell on it because we plan on going back tomorrow and making a killing...finger crossed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My husband was laid off today

That pretty much says it in a nutshell...he was laid off. So what does this mean for us? I have no idea. We just bought a new car. We have a mortgage, furniture payments, and three kids to feed. I have been hearing stories of people all over the country losing their jobs for the past year now. You never think it will happen to you until it does.

Let me start off by saying that if this has happened to your family, I completely empathize with you now. If it has not happened, prepare for it! You think it couldn't happen but it can. Save, save, and save some more. We have nothing to fall back on and I'm not sure what we will do.

I can tell you what we won't do. We won't feel sorry for ourselves. We won't dwell on the couldas and shouldas. We won't panic. We will persevere and overcome. I am convinced that a positive attitude will only help as we start what is sure to be a long, hard journey.

I am hoping to find other means of income while my hubby looks for another job. I have been making jewelry off and on for a few months now so I am going to try to sell off a few. My husband is a wonderful bow hunter and makes his own arrows. He is putting a coat of stain on some as we speak. We are going to take these things down to the flea market this weekend and hope to make enough to tide us over. I am trying not to have unreal expectations. I will let you know how it goes either way.

I am going to continue to blog and try to keep my honest personality in tact without getting too serious. I can't stand whiny people. I don't want to whine...I just want to talk. Isn't that what these things are for anyways?

I wish you all the best in your day to day and I will keep you updated with mine. Until tomorrow, good night and God bless.

Picture courtesy of

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What is Squidoo?

Squidoo is a site that I belong to. I started in January of this year when I read a 'lens' called Are you a stay at home mom (or dad) interested in earning a monthly income?. The writer was so honest and intriguing that I had to sign up.

Squidoo is a place where everyone is an expert. Whatever you know, you write about. If you know how to make candied apples, share it on Squidoo. If you know the best tips for saving money, share them on Squidoo. You are the expert and people really want to hear your advice.

I have to say that I love this site! The people and the staff are amazing and I have made so many wonderful friends. You will not, however, get rich on this site. You can make a living off of it if you put in the hard work. Check out the site and let me know what you think. I know you will fall in love with it just like I have.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

When was the last time...

I have always been a fairly conservative girl. I wasn't flashy and I was shy. I don't rough house and get my hands dirty. I was raised solely by my mom and I have one sister (no brothers) so I contribute my 'girliness' mostly to that.

I got married to my husband when I was 18 years old. He, on the other hand, has two brothers and no sisters. It's like we are from two different worlds. The things that boys do are not normal! They are rough and play stupid games...or so I used to think.

A few months ago, my 22 year old brother-in-law started a new family game. You smack somebody in the chest with the back of your hand and yell, "When was the last time you had one of these?". It's a really childish game yet oddly addicting. The whole family does it now. The problem with that is that now, all the family members watch out for it. You have to act casual and let it come out of the blue.

My husband has become quite fond of this game and 'gets me' all the time. I, of course, have to retaliate. Lately, we have been running around like idiots trying to get each other. We play and prank each other. We are just having fun. I almost feel like a kid again. It's nice because it is completely out of my very deliberate character. Cutting loose is liberating and relieves a lot of stress for me. I want to thank my brother for his ridiculous game and I would like my readers to ask themselves..."When was the last time...?".

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Two Years

My middle daughter started Kindergarten this week. My oldest is in fourth grade and my baby just turned three. This realization didn't hit me until the other day. In two years, I won't have anything to do all day. Of course, there is laundry, dishes, and mopping the floor. Will doing just that make me a maid? I don't want to be a maid or a chauffeur or any of those other things that moms sometimes call themselves. I am a woman. I am smart and goal oriented. I want to do big things with life. I have the college degree, the marriage, and the kids but I want more. Don't think of me as selfish here. I'm not selfish; I'm driven.

So I have two years...two years before the kids are in school and my hubby is pushing me to get a job. The only chance I have is to make a living from home. I like to think I am smart enough to figure out a way to do this on my own. My husband thinks I'm 'living in the clouds' but I don't care. I want him and my kids to be proud of me. I want to have a secure future where I am not dependent on a boss or paycheck that is far to little for the work I do. I think most of us feel that way but only a handful of us moms actually do it. I want my identity back. I want to make a name for myself that I choose. 'Mom' is great, but 'creator of my own destiny" is so much better. Here's to the next two years....

Image courtesy of

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th

Here in the States, it's the 4th of July. I don't know what that means to most of you, but to me it means stressing out all day that I have to cook for family and friends, get the laundry done so it's off the floor, go buy some paper plates (I am NOT doing those dishes), get me and the kids dressed, and make sure the kids don't leave floaters in the toilet. It's a typical day.
Don't get me wrong, I am a proud American and I love this holiday. As long as the neighbors stop shooting off fireworks at a descent hour as not to keep my kids up all night, I will count today as a success. I hope everyone has a splendid Independence Day and enjoys spending time with their family. God bless!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My name is not mommy

Seeing as this is my first post, I wanted it to be clear from the start that I am a that obvious? I have three little girls and guess what...they all call me mommy. That is not my name. It's actually Jessica. As much as I like being a mom, I didn't give up my identity the moment I had kids. I am my own person, right? I had a life before kids. I had dreams and friends. I even had breasts. Well, for the most part, those things are gone. I am still desperately holding on to the dwindling small B cup I have left. I guess that will be gone in time too. Oh the joys of name, no friends, no dreams, no breasts. What do I have left? Oh yes, three kids and stretchmarks....I got screwed.