Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What a Discovery!

Hold the phone!

I think I've made an earth-shattering, mind-blowing discovery.

In fact, I’m certain that NO ONE has ever connected the dots and these thoughts are original and come after years and years of my own proven scientific research. Therefore, I present to you, that these findings should be published in the New England Medical Journal of Medicine… by me, GiBee, Google Doctor of Medicine!

Ehem. Here it goes…

Aspartame is addictive.

Silence… crickets chirping…

Okay. Maybe I didn't say it loud enough…


Or maybe GiBee has an addictive personality? Sadly, that could very well be!

Anyway, at first, I thought it was Diet Coke that was addictive. I blamed it all on the caffeine in the soda. I couldn't go one day without the stuff, and if I did, I’d be jonesing like a junkie trying to catch a score. Or score a catch. Or something like that.

But for numerous reasons that will remain unpublished, after I had my Gal Bladder removed, I found that I was no longer able to tolerate caffeine. It came to a head when I had my ankle surgery and had to rely on easy-to-fix-and-carry drinks (like a bottle of water).

Have I mentioned how much I hate water? Yeah. I know its good for you, but I still hate it.

In comes Crystal Light on-the-go packets. Oh, my word. What a revolutionary twist for water. I know I’m slow on this, but as I mentioned before… I was addicted to diet coke.

Then I discovered that I no longer needed caffeine to function, but now I find that I consume vast, VAST quantities of … Crystal Light, which has no caffeine. Just Aspartame.



But I’d say it’s pretty suspicious, wouldn't you?

Oh, all right - so maybe I'm not the first to discover this... but for heavens sake! I think manufacturers put it in their product on purpose!

I need to detox.

Friday, September 25, 2009

School and Modesty

So far, the fourth week of school is going very well, but the first three??? Not so well.

Hunter cried and cried and cried when I left him in the gym for before-school care. He ran out of the gym numerous times after me when I walked down the hall to leave. For two weeks this was my struggle. I was a half hour late to work every day.

The turning point was when the teacher that sat at the table checking children in came over and took him by the hand and suggested they play. That made him feel welcomed.

Now he whimpers a little and begs me not to go, but once someone engages him, he's off and has a great day at school. Praise GOD!

On another topic, I wanted to discuss modesty. A friend and fellow blogger, Jules from Everyday Mommy, was interviewed on Crosstalk. She was discussing Moms for Modesty. Jules originally began Mom's for Modesty back in 2006, and continues to move forward with this all-important topic. She did a fabulous job, and you can listen to the whole talk show here (and I encourage you to): http://www.crosstalkamerica.com/shows/2009/09/modesty.php

Like Jules, I don't have a daughter, and while the modest attire mostly impacts the way females dress and the inappropriate styles that designers create for the young girls, I must say that it also crosses over a little to the young men as well. The school my son goes to does have a uniform, but while Hunter is in pre-K, he is allowed to dress in "play" clothes. My husband and I have made a conscious decision to dress him in a "uniform" of sorts. I will only put him in long shorts or long slacks, and shirts that are either "polo" shirts, collared shirts, or turtle necks. Basically -- modest church clothes that mimics the school's uniform. The school doesn't allow the kids to wear shirts that have logos or sayings on them. I must say, that there are so many shirts with sayings on them that I will not put on my child because they are inappropriate. I have found, however, that I can purchase "uniform-like" clothing at Lands End at a fairly affordable price (solid shirts - long and short sleeved, slacks, shorts, sweat pants).

But when it comes to boys, the way you dress them isn't what I think is most important. I think it is more important what you teach your son about modesty. My husband is what I'd call my "modesty police," in that he always looks at my outfit and will let me know if he things it is too revealing or low cut. Needless to say, I'm my own hardest critic. I'm overweight, and shy about my figure. I would never, ever wear anything that I felt was inappropriate. But one thing I'm fully aware of is: My son looks at me and how I dress, and he will remember the examples that I'm setting now as to what is or isn't acceptable and/or Godly when he is considering dating a young girl in the future.

It is no secret that men are visual, and my husband and I need to teach my son how to avert his eyes, how to be polite but avoid girls that are immodest or provocative, and how to address it directly and immediately. But more importantly, I need to "practice" it... and fervently pray a hedge of protection around my son's eyes!

Each day I pray for my son's future wife. I pray that she be a Godly young woman with a firm foundation rooted in scripture, lovely in spirit, caring and loving to my son and their children, and modest and honorable.

Jules stated that "Modesty starts with the inward foundation," and one quote that Jules shared from her friend Elle really resounded in me: "When a woman takes the time, diligence and investment of will to properly attire her spirit with the strong spiritual foundations of God's truth, then her outward life and its example evidentially display those disciplined choices."

Very well said.

Whether you have a son or daughter, modesty matters.

Make a statement today. Please hop on over to Moms for Modesty and sign the petition!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Texting and Driving

If you don't do anything else today, please make sure you watch this video... then show it to your kids that drive... and their friends... and their friends. Then send the link to all of your friends that have kids that drive. Its only 15 minutes long. Fifteen minutes that will change the way you think about texting and driving. Please make sure you enlarge the video for the whole screen.

Then... for the love of Pete -- STOP TEXTING AND DRIVING.

My life is at risk.

So is yours.

Here's the link to the website: http://ut.zerofatalities.com/texting.php

Edited to add: I've had to remove the video because it continuously plays and was driving me NUTS, as I'm sure was doing so to everyone else. Just follow the link above. Thanks!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Fever

I have really got a fever for the fall. I love everything about it... the crisp and cool days, the blue of the sky, the colors of the changing leaves, the apples, the pumpkins, the food and awesome recipes... Yep. I love it all. But nothing beats the delicious smell of wood burning in some one's fireplace!

So in honor of the official day of autumn being just around the corner, I'm going to share with you a delicious, out of this world recipe.

It is for my famous Apple Pie Bars. They are a hit each and every time I make them. I've made them for Dinner for a Dollar at church, pot lucks, our Church Thanksgiving dinner, holiday celebrations, and for neighborhood gatherings ... and let me just tell you ... the plate always comes back empty. Now, THAT'S the biggest compliment and acknowledgment of a "sure thing!" I got this recipe from Taste of Home -- ohmygoodness they are yummy and have a rich apple taste. The recipe yields a lot, but none will be left! I originally posted this last fall but thought I'd share them AGAIN -- yep. They are THAT good.

Prep Notes: The dough is a bit tricky, as it is very crumbly, so if you are a novice baker, might I recommend the pre-made pie dough they sell in rolls? Otherwise, you will want to use the dough recipe provided as it has a nice texture-flavor thing going on! Also, I used a small pizza dough rolling pin to roll it into the pan because I found it to be so crumbly. You might want to try rolling the top crust out in several pieces to make it easier to handle. Finally: this is a forgiving recipe, so if you "forget" (ehem!) certain ingredients (like the crisp rice cereal) it will still work. The rice cereal is a thickening agent, and I don't recommend you skip it on purpose. Only if you're slightly distracted by a three year old that has been screaming in the background for over a half hour.


3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shortening
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk

1 cup crisp rice cereal
8 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 9 medium)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie (or pumpkin pie) spice or all spice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt; cut in the shortening until crumbly. Combine egg yolks and milk; gradually add to crumb mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide in half. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 15-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spritz some Pam in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in baking pan and place one rectangle in the pan; sprinkle with crisp rice cereal (see prep notes above).

Arrange apples over cereal. In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and apple pie spice; sprinkle over apples. Top with remaining pastry; cut slits in top. Brush with egg whites.

Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. In a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve a thick drizzling consistency. Drizzle over bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3-4 dozen.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HomeGoods Quiz and $5,000 Giveaway

I haven't been a very good blogger lately.

Maybe it is because I needed a break, even though I was just home for 6 weeks after ankle surgery. I need a BREAK. Not pain.

Maybe it is because I'm tired from our new morning schedule. Tired from waking up at the crack-of-dawn, lack of sleep in the middle of the night when my son wakes up crying, and tired from long days at work.

Maybe it is because I'm burned out... ?????????

Maybe it is all of the above. I'm inclined to believe that. Are you?

So to help break my silence, I've taken a quiz that Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer, and PK at Room Remix featured on their blogs. It is a HomeGoods StyleScope Quiz. The results? Well... I'd have to say -- eerily on target. Eerily. (I just wanted to say that again). It's an easy test - point and click. Anyone can do it. Especially people brain dead like me!

Here are the results: I'm Country Casual. Here's what they said about me...

Your home expresses your open, easygoing approach to life. You love unique finds, and can turn a few mismatched garden chairs or floral teacups into a charming arrangement. You appreciate a pretty mix of relaxed pieces, like painted wood or weathered furniture, lovely florals and other patterns, lots of throws and pillows, mementos and bunches of fresh flowers that give your home a unique sense of breeziness and charm.

You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect.

Hmmmmmmm ... Pretty accurate on most of it. But what I thought was even MORE accurate was this from their "Putting Your Style to Work!" section:

Your Design Challenge: ORGANIZE

Ummmmmmmm ...... DUH. YA THINK SO? My front hall is a revolving MESS. Mail on the dining room table, shoes on the floor, bags on the table... It does NOT set a good mood. I hate it. So now... I'm in search of an inexpensive console or possibly a used dresser with nice trays and bowls for mail, keys and sunglasses. That was their suggestion, and I'm gonna try to do it.

Fortunately, I have a place for hats, gloves and scarfs (a shoe organizer that I hung on the inside of the closet door), and I have a bin for Hunter that he should drop his shoes in, and hooks for his coats. So I'm half way there.

I will say this: My current home is more contemporary than my style is. My style is a mix of Contry Cottage, French Country, English Garden Bungalow. It doesn't go in my current home, and it makes me miss my old home so much I feel sick. It was a bungalow home with a picket fence. I had beautiful painted murals in the kitchen, powder room and bathroom that were like a garden, and it was so cozy. Like one of those places you go to have tea. One of these days I'll have a home like that again. One of these days.

Anyway -- enough pitty party!

Hop on over and take the quiz, then let me know what you are!

Don't forget to enter for a $5,000 weekly shopping spree drawing!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I Will Not Fear, Stress or Worry

I just won't.

My baby is going to Preschool... Pre K-3... all day long. Today's his FIRST DAY! Woohooo!

He'll be 4 0n October 5th, but he's still in the three year old class because he missed the birthday cutoff by one week. It's not a bad thing, though... because he definitely has some maturing to do, so I'm sure he'll be just fine.

But I will not fear, stress or worry over the following things that may or may not happen while he is in school:

1. He may or may not remove all his clothing and walk around naked.

2. He may or may not ask someone to "pull his finger." We have Daddy to thank for that.

3. He may or may not take his pants and underwear off while going to the bathroom, then put them back on inside out or backwards, totally neglect to put his underwear back on, or stay in the bathroom screaming at the top of his lungs: "I need HELP. I need HELP. I need HELP."

4. He may or may not spit at someone or say "shush up" (his way of saying shut up -- these are things he learned in day care - joy!).

5. He may or may not miss his mommy and daddy so much that he cries all day.... waaaaaaaaaa!

6. He may or may not insist that red is really green. Yes it is! (unless, of course, he's color blind or "challenged")

7. He may or may not walk around humming the theme to Jeopardy. (picked it up at day care)

8. He may or may not break his neck performing super kamikaze stunts, somersaults, cartwheels or dive bombs from the classroom furniture.

9. He may or may not make accept the fact that there is indeed an "S" in the front of certain words, such as: S-nake, S-pot, S-top, S-care, S-pank, S-tare, S-cale, S-crewdriver, S-pider, S-poon, S-oft, S-ofa, etc. It's cute now, but I'm sure it won't be at age 18.

10. He may or may not pee outside behind the building when they go out for recess (crossing my fingers on this one).

All-in-all... I know he will have a wonderful time. He will be stretched to learn, and will enjoy playing with all the children. It will be different from the normal in-home daycare we've had him in. His provider has been absolutely wonderful and has treated him like one of her own grandchildren, and we are forever grateful to her for watching him.

Our little boy is moving on to a new chapter in his life and I can't wait to see all the changes it will bring! He's got his back pack ready, his new fall jacket hanging on the hook, his lunch box and thermos, and he's sooo exited. So, I will not fear, stress or worry, because this is a good thing. A very, VERY good thing.