Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this great day, before we stuff ourselves, before we watch hours of football, and before we even take time to enjoy our families, let us be sure to thank our God for His many blessings.

Do you know the history of Thanksgiving? In school, we learn the first Thanksgiving was the Pilgrims celebrating in the Plymouth colony. But who was the president who made Thanksgiving a national holiday? Did you know it was Abraham Lincoln?

In survey after survey, our country has picked Abraham Lincoln as one of the "best" presidents. From the 1948 Schlesinger poll to the 2o05 Wall Street Journal poll, Lincoln has been ranked as one of the top 3 "best" each time. I wonder if any of the people surveyed ever read what Lincoln wrote, any of his speeches, or any of the proclamations his signed. What makes Lincoln one of the best presidents?

I think his Proclamation of Thanksgiving holds some of the answers. It was actually written by his Secretary of State, William Seward. That in no way makes the words no less meaningful to Lincoln himself, who had shortly before committed his life to Christ. His willingness to sign the document speaks boldly. Would a president today have this kind of courage?

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome to the World!

Congratulations Leigh and Thad on the arrival of your baby girl! Here is a picture of Leighbird and her beautiful new Babybird.

Leigh keeps texting me about how in love she is with her baby. Who wouldn't be? Look at her! Look at both of them! Who wouldn't be in love with either of them? We sure are!

Leigh, may God bless you and your baby. Let God guide your path as you parent your child. As you look into your baby's eyes, this may be the first opportunity that you have had to understand the true meaning of love. Just think, if this is how much you love your baby, how much more must God love you?

We are always here for you whenever you need us! We love you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

...Does this Pan Make my Butt Look Big?

Have you given up on not gaining weight this holiday season? Have you made up your mind that you'll just "lose it after the holidays?" Statistics show that most diets started in January fly right out the window by February. And before you give me a lecture on how statistics can be manipulated...C'mon! This time, you know it's true!

What should you do about it? If you start with baby steps, you will be on a roll by the time Christmas is over. And I don't mean a buttered roll!

Why don't diets work? Because they are "all or nothing", you are on them or off them. There is no accounting for real life. Plus, we don't like change. If you make small changes, one per week, by the end of a month, you will have made a big change in your life, and it won't seem like such a shock.

Pick one of these things per week. Then the next week, do the one you picked the week before and add a new item. You'll be on your way to a successful plan before the new year. Everyone else will be making New Year's Resolutions, while you are looking great at the New Year's Party!

1. Accountability. Every good plan starts and ends with accountability. If you don't have someone to do this with, chances are you won't stick to it. Get a group of friends, online or "in real life" and dare each other to stay on track! I am thankful for my Team Central group. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today!

2. Tracking. No matter what system you use, keeping a food journal is vital! Having to write down what you eat will make you think about it before you put it into your mouth. I keep mine on a computer spreadsheet to make it easier Because I am boring and eat the same foods from day to day and week to week, I can just cut and paste.

You should take this on in two parts. One week write down everything you eat and evaluate it at the end of the week. Then the next week, change what you eat or when you eat based on what you learned from the journal.

3. Water. Drink 10-12 glasses a day if you want to lose weight. And coffee is not water. Water is water. I am very annoying about water. Just ask any of my friends.

Want some "water science"? Sure you do. Here's an interesting fact. Fat tissue has less water in it than lean tissue. Muscle tissue is about 75% water. Brain tissue is about 70% water. Men are composed of 60% water, while women are composed of 55% water. The more fat tissue you have, the less water you have in your body. Each day humans must replace 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten. Check out your average store bought water bottle. That's right, it only has .5L of water in it!

What does all this water do for you? You mean besides becoming the mechanism for transporting carbohydrates and proteins that your body is metabolizing as food in your bloodstream? Or transporting waste material out of your body?

4. Exercise. This is often the hardest thing for moms to add. We don't have the time. We don't have the money. It's too cold outside now. The list goes on and on. Here's my advice. You make time for the things you like. So find something you like to do and do that a couple of times a week. Do you like to walk around the mall? Bring the strollers and briskly walk around the mall with a friend. Start slow. If you have more than 40 or 50 pounds to lose, it's going to be tough to start something. But you can do it.

I don't like to shop. But I love to swim. My husband got me swim lessons at the Y. I know, he's the best. He knows that I will go and do that. Do you like tennis but you are afraid to start again? Go hit a ball against the wall of a building for 20 minutes each week. Someone in your neighborhood will watch your kids for that short a period of time! Trade "babysitting" time with them. We all make excuses and call them reasons. I do it to. But you know in your heart, that like the Nike commercial said, you need to "Just do it!"

Don't make me come over there with my whistle!

Thank you to my friend Lisa W. in Maine, turkey farmer extraordinaire of Whit's End Farm, for the picture! And to my friend Beth G. in Texas for the great timely reminder on the need for coaching this time of year!

Yes, I cheated because I have already listed both these ladies as "not my Secret Sister". Here's today's hint...this was dedicated to Sharon in S.C., a nurse, who gives great advice!

Monday, November 17, 2008

...More on...My Inmates and Our Asylum!

The other day I told a neighbor that surviving parenting is 3/5 God's grace, 1/5 training, and 1/5 ignorance. (The ignorance is on your part, by the way!) Apparently, my children have been surviving on a little less training, a little more ignorance, and a lot more of God's grace!

This segment on chores is dedicated to Siobhan, who for some reason loves it when I talk about chores! She must be a neat freak or something!

The first part of any chore retraining effort is finding out what is not getting done properly. After school today, I decided to follow my children around as they did their chores to do just that. This is what I found. I hope you will enjoy it more than I did...

Usually, your coach isn't the person to call you for a personal foul. But since these were so flagrant, I think it was justified! In typical athlete fashion, my players complained, "Hey, how come I got called for the foul on that, he was the one who ___!" Sigh.

I said, "I look crazy in that video!" Tutone said, "Yes, you look like you usually do when we are done with you." At least he admits it!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

...The Inmates Have Been Running the Asylum

Several days ago, my friend Dody from Alaska pointed out how many days there were until Christmas. Very nicely, I asked her to stop it!

It's not that Coach Mom doesn't like to plan ahead. We all know that's not true. But this fall has gone by fast! And now...

There are only 40 days left until Christmas!

I know, now you are asking me very nicely to stop it. But according to the Organized Christmas website, I am way behind. As I look around my house, I realize I have been very busy. And the boys have been taking advantage. Chores have slipped.

As much as I have enjoyed converting this blog into my family's blog in addition to the "Coach Mom" advice column, as much as I have enjoyed the Giving Thanks Challenge (which will continue in the sidebar), and as much as I have enjoyed being nominated for the Homeschool Blog Awards (which is kind of like the closest feeling I will ever get to being nominated for the Heisman), it is time to get back to the roots of this blog! And it's time for my boys to get back to business. I just heard a loud scream from the other room! I think they know I'm coming for them.

So I am taking the day off tomorrow, to watch football, of course. Then next week I hope you will enjoy cleaning our house and our hearts together for Christmas!

...Texas Rocks!

Good morning from beautiful central Texas where high winds last night ushered in cooler temperatures today! When I woke this morning and it was 45 degrees, I was reminded...I am thankful for Texas!

My husband thinks this weather is great. It is his birthday weekend, so I guess I'll be happy for him, since it's not like the weatherman asked my opinion. Personally, I was happier yesterday when it was in the 80s. And that's just one of the reasons why I love Texas, because the cool weather months don't last long. Also, the colder temperatures don't get as low as they do in many other places. Often, I will say to my dh, "It's freezing!" and he will give me a look, being from New England and all, so then I say, "OK, it's 'Texas freezing!'"

Some things I love about Texas besides the awesome Have I mentioned that I like football? But I really enjoy the people here too! The "cowboy" spirit that people poke fun of in movies and on TV about Texans have turned my sons into polite conservative Christian young men.

But even Texans know, that they have a different way of saying things than the rest of the country...

Texas Sayings

If it's cold, then..."It's hog killin' weather."
If she's crazy, then..."She's two sandwiches short of a picnic."

If he's not smart, then..."If dumb was dirt, he'd cover about an acre."
If you're happy, are as "happy as a gopher in soft dirt."
If they did something immoral, well then..."They ate supper before they said grace."
If he's lucky, then..."He's riding a gravy train with biscuit wheels."
If he's nervous, then...he's "as jumpy as spit on a hot skillet."
If you are out of money, are "so broke, you can't pay attention."
On the other hand, if you are rich, are in "tall cotton."
Do you need to relax?..."Don't get your cows runnin'!"
Are you a little full of yourself? are "all hat and no cattle."
And my personal favorite, when I've done this before, then...."This ain't my first rodeo."

How many of these have I heard ? 7, but then again we live in the suburbs.
How many of these have I said? Hmmm.....
I wonder how many of these Beth G. has said. Hmmm....

Friday, November 14, 2008

...Enjoy this Repeat

Dedicated to my friend Sharon in NC...this is one of her favorites...

...Never Do This...

Originally posted Sept. 2, 2o08

Here are some cleaning things that I found out the hard way. If you are a new mom or a young mom, or if your mother is making you read this because she is one of my friends, then please read this carefully and learn from my mistakes.

Things I Found Out the Hard Way

Change the vacuum cleaner bag at least once a month. Check every week to see if it is full. Trust me, just do it. Full vacuum cleaner bags will explode all over your carpet. My husband will tell you that when we first got married I didn't even know there was such a thing as a vacuum cleaner bag.

If you do not change the air filter in your central air, ice will form on it and then water will leak all over the floor when you switch over to heat. This will happen especially if you live in one of those states where the day you turn off the air conditioner is the same day that you turn on the heat.

"Unattended" laundry in the washer will get black spots in it and will smell like cheese. Forever.

You know that "capacity" suggestion on the washer? Uh, yeah. That's not a suggestion. King sized comforters do not belong in a regular sized washer. PTL, I found this out before we got the one that has the door in the front!

"Uh oh" is never a good sound if one of your children is standing near a bathroom or a kitchen sink. You know what? Scratch that. You never want to hear your children say "uh oh" ever.

If you leave a cucumber in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for too long, it will turn to liquid.

Oh and that reminds left in the freezer too long doesn't taste real good.

Red food coloring doesn't come out of anything easily, that includes kitchen counters. So you might want to cover things with wax paper first. A lot of wax paper.

Children should not be allowed to clean a room without it being inspected more than one week in a row. No matter how good they usually are. Just take my word for that. Inspections good.

And if you ever come over to my house, you are not allowed to look in one of two places. My bedroom closet and my schoolroom closets are off limits. That's where the mess is! LOL! They get cleaned more often than they used to though!

When I left for college, my parents cleaned out my closet, and they found book from the library that was due two years before. Whew! They were not happy! Use Library Elf
It works!

...By Request...this repeat

As they say..."bump"...this repeat comes from earlier in the lazy bums!

After watching the following PSA, I have found a few more things for which I am thankful. Watch...

I am thankful that my husband knows how to deal with all of the cables in the back of my TV! I am thankful that he can take care of my computer. I am thankful that he encourages me to learn more about my computer, although who can keep up with the rate of change of technology? Well, he can, but it's his job! And I am extremely thankful that he purchased my DirecTV package so that I can watch all my football games in HD now, and I do not have to wait until February.

Thank you honey!

And to those of you who got a big laugh at John McCain's daughter (not really) just remember, your day is coming!

Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for any of the other videos this site puts up so do NOT click on those!

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Isn't it amazing how birthdays are sometimes grouped in a family? Earlier in the week was my cousin Leigh's birthday, and today is my husband's birthday, two of my favorite people in one week!

Happy Birthday, Honey!

For those of you keeping track of my thankfulness list, yes, I did list my husband twice. If you were married to hunk like him, you would too!

In Phil's honor today, I will not be posting much. I am going to be a good wife and spend some time with him. So I hope you enjoy the repeat from earlier in the year.

The boys made their Dad a birthday video. We hope you will enjoy watching it with him.

If you are wondering why the bed is in the way, it's because there is only one "safe" place to be during Tutone's safety dance...and that's far away! This is not the first time Tutone and Coach Mom have tortured Super this week. You can read more about that here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

...For my TOG friends!

One group of friends I have met online is TLT. They use the same unit study homeschool curriculum, Tapestry of Grace, that I do. In the past, I have discussed how vital I think it is to get involved in a group like this! Today, I have a special message for those friends because I am thankful for them!

First, to Lisa W. in Maine...As I pointed out earlier, I love learning about my friends who raise animals. I thought it was awesome to hear about your turkey crop last year! So this video is for you. I hope that none of your turkeys behave like this one...

Our group has an event every year called Secret Sister. The most important part of Secret Sister is that we vow to pray for each other through out the year. But another fun aspect is that we buy our Secret Sister an ornament. The guessing of who was assigned who has already begun. It has sent the email traffic through the roof on our yahoo group so in order to make things a little easier, I will be posting my hints in a column on the sidebar of my blog. If you want my hints, you will have to come here.

So far my very helpful hints have been...
1. My Secret Sister has children.

2. She uses Tapestry of Grace.

3. She has a vowel in her name.
(This elicited discussion on whether or not "y" was a vowel...yes, it can be.)

4. My first "real" hint, my SS celebrates Thanksgiving in a special way.

5. Today's SS has not mentioned by her first name so far today in any "Coach Mom Says..." posts.

...My Friends Are My Estate!

"My friends are my estate."
- Emily Dickinson

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lately, we see so many things on the internet about friendship that we have become almost immune to it. And yet, besides the grace of God, it is the fellowship of family and friends for which I am the most thankful. My friends, I hope we will have fun together for years sometimes enjoying our stupidity, and sometimes forgiving it!

The internet has added a whole new dimension to friendships. You know what's great about internet friendships? Is it the fact that you can pretend to be a woman when you are really a man? No, that's not it! That's just one of those urban myths, at least that's what I tell my husband when he teases me about my friends. No, the great thing about internet friendships is that you meet people who have experiences that are so drastically different from your own.

I've always been a suburban girl. I like living that way. But it's fun to meet people who grew up in the country. It's fun to meet people who grew up in other countries! I am daily surprised by things that I take for granted that other people don't have. Thank you friends for teaching me about the world!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...Riding Around The "Rock"

Poor Super is having a bad day. First, he had to get up early to have his braces adjusted. Then, he was subjected to riding in the car with his embarrassing mom!

One of the sadistic pleasures of getting older is that you are no longer afraid to embarrass your children. You know that you are not cool anymore. You are not fooling yourself or anyone else. But you know whose fault it is that you are not cool! So why not have some fun and give them a great lesson in humility in the process? Mean, yes. Fun? Also yes.

I have discovered a little known way of earning some extra Weight Watcher Activity Points...dancing in the car. Now before you think that I am being unsafe, it's mostly at stop lights. Mostly.

This is absolutely mortifying to Super. But Tutone long ago discovered that if you are part of the joke, the joke isn't on you. So this morning, on the way back from the orthodontist, we danced in the car. And Super laid down in the back seat of the car, hoping against all hope that we would not pass anybody that we knew. Fat chance of that once we pulled into our subdivision. Ah...good times. Good times.

...Happy Birthday, Leigh! Part 2

As Tutone was mulling over my blog this morning, his take was...

Tutone: "Leigh must be cracking up over that story you told about her!"
Coach Mom: "I hope so! She used to love stories about when she was bad."
Tutone: "Who doesn't? I'm making history now!"
Coach Mom: Sigh...

You've got to love that boy!

Leigh was definitely the perfect woman to be his Godmother. Which reminds me of another great Leigh story...

About two years ago, the family was walking to the pool. Leigh and Tutone were walking ahead, holding hands. Tutone looks up at Leigh, and in his bragging Tutone voice (read: trash talking) says loud enough for the rest of the family to hear, "I have the best Godmother in the whole world. I have a much better Godmother than anybody else!"

Leigh answered, "That's not very nice. It's true. But it's not very nice."

Happy Birthday, Leighbird! You and Tutone are the perfect pair!

...Happy Birthday, Leigh!

Today, I am thankful for my cousin Leigh, because it's her birthday! God has blessed us with a beautiful woman in Leigh! So thank you, Lord, for her life! Happy Birthday, Leigh!

Leigh is infamous in our family for her once dynamic personality. She has grown up to be a beautiful and restrained young woman. It gives me hope for Tutone, who has taken her place as the wild child! Full of energy and umm...determination, Leigh gave her mother, Lynne, quite a ride the first few years of her life!

My husband, Phil used to give me a hard time about telling stories about Leigh. But Leigh knows I tell them because of how much I love her and I love her spirit. (And it's a good thing, since now we have Tutone!) When she was in her early 20's, when she would see me, she would say, "Tell me a story about when I was bad!"

In honor of her's my favorite.

When Leigh was about 2, I was babysitting her (translation: I was talking on the phone). Leigh, who we called Leighbird, was standing at the front door looking out the window. She was also eating a bowl of Cheerios with milk. Next thing I know (because like I said, bad babysitter!), she dumped the Cheerios down the front of her diaper and ran out the front door. I guess she couldn't figure out another way to take the Cheerios with her and run away. I started chasing her down the block, but I couldn't keep up with her, mostly because I was dying laughing, because milk and Cheerios were running down her leg. Luckily, the person I was talking to on the phone lived up the block, and he ran out of his house and scooped her up! That's the last time I talked on the phone while watching her! (At least if I was smart, it would have been. ;) )

But now that Leigh is expecting her own baby, her perspective has changed a little. When I found out about Leigh's impending blessing I asked her, "Do you want me to tell you a story about when you were bad?" She said, "I know! What am I going to do?" The answer is the same thing we all do. Pray hard that you end up with a child like someone else! And when you don't, pray harder!

Here is a slide show of my gorgeous cousin Leigh. Happy Birthday Leighbird! I love you! You are going to be a great mother!

BTW, Leigh, you will notice that in the picture labeled Easter Sunday 1985, you are wearing...that's right! jellies. I told you that story was true! I sure wish I had a picture of those Cheerio legs!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day! Part 2

Once again, I want to say thank you to the men and women of our military who have served our country so faithfully! But now I'd like to say thank you in a more personal way.

I am fortunate enough to come from a family where the men have taken their duty to their country seriously. Many of my family members and friends have served in a branch of the armed forces. I would like to say "thank you" to them today.

To my great grandfather...
Leon Sumner Peao, U.S. Army, WWI

To my grandfathers...
Leon George Peao U.S. Army, WWII
Francis Scott Dam, U.S. Navy, WWII

To my father and my father in law...
Allan Scott Dam, U.S. Navy
Daniel Joseph Osip, U.S. Navy

To my husband...
Philip John Osip, U.S. Army

And to our extended family...
Phil's uncle, Wilfred T. Sullivan, Sr., SGT, U.S. Marine Corp, Korea
Phil's cousin, Tom Sullivan, U.S. Air Force
Phil's brother, Damien Osip, U.S. Air Force
my cousin, Tim Slowey, U.S. Army, Iraq
my sister Meredith's fil, Ramon "Jay" Chezem, U.S. Navy, Korea
my sister's Meredith's bil, Justin M. Chezem, MAJ, U.S. Army

And to our dear friends...
Derek Viljoen, U. S. Army
Phil Kost, U. S. Army

The following is a slideshow of some of the people I mentioned above. Some are not in uniform, but I'm sure you can forgive me! You know how it is to go through boxes of pictures, especially while teaching school!

...I'm Thankful for the help at Thanksgiving!

My husband loves to cook. Unfortunately, he doesn't get much time during the week. Fortunately, this means he likes to do most of the cooking for the holidays! This is another reason for me to be thankful at Thanksgiving! I can watch football and he can make the turkey in the turkey fryer. Even so, I can appreciate some good humor when it comes to holiday food preparation. I have certainly prepared food for large parties!

This video makes a good case for why my husband prepares the turkey. While it is not based on my life, I think we can both see it happening!

I think we should leave the turkey preparation to my husband. What do you think?

Disclaimer: Remember there are other videos on this site that are not appropriate so click on them at your own risk!

...I'm thankful for friends...

One of the things that are great about my friends is that they make me laugh. I don't know why they think I am funny. I think it's because they are so funny that when I am being sarcastic, they think I am being funny too! Either way, sometimes friends make the greatest...sparing partners!

Lately, I have been collecting recipes to put on this blog. This is the time of year when life seems to get away from us. Strangely, people think that since homeschoolers are at home, that we have more time to cook and clean. Now that's funny!

This recipe helpfully comes from my friend Sharon in NC.

Gracie Allen's Classic Recipe for Roast Beef

1 large Roast of beef

1 small Roast of beef

Take the two roasts and put them in the oven.
When the little one burns, the big one is done.

Ummm...thank you Sharon! Now, where is that Chili recipe you promised me?

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day!

My Thankful Challenge post today...I am thankful for our military. I am thankful for those who have served. I am thankful for those who are serving in the military now.

Many times in our house, we have discussions about etiquette. I know that's an outdated ideal in many homes across America. But it was important to both my husband's mother and my mother, and these ideals have been passed on. My mother will be happy to know that we actually do use the Emily Post book she gave us for a wedding present! It's not just a paper weight! (I can see all my readers trying to imagine just how Tutone reacts to these conversations. That's for another post on another day!)

So I asked my husband, who served at one time in the Army, about Veterans Day etiquette. Although Veterans Day was originally meant to honor those who had served in foreign wars, such as WWI and WWII, with the decline of respect for our nation's military it has become more than acceptable to honor anyone who has prior military service. On this day, etiquette be darned! Thank anyone who has worn the uniform please! And then do it again on Armed Forces Day, which next year will fall on May 16, 2009.

A Veteran's Day Tribute, By Joanna Fuchs

If someone has done military service,
They earn the title "veteran," and more;
They earn our deep respect and admiration;
That they are special no one can ignore.

They sacrificed the comforts we enjoy;
The list is long of all the things they gave;
Our veterans are extraordinary people;
They’re loyal, dedicated, true and brave.

When terror and invasion were real threats,
They showed us they could handle any storm.
We owe our freedoms and our very lives
To our veterans, who served in uniform.

Our veterans should be celebrities;
They’re exceptional; no other group compares.
We’re grateful for the many things they’ve done;
They’re always in our hearts and in our prayers.

We owe our veterans support and friendship;
Let no one ever question what they’re worth.
These men and women served us and our country;
Our veterans--the very best on earth.

Monday, November 10, 2008

...More Things to Be Thankful For....

After watching the following PSA, I have found a few more things for which I am thankful. Watch...

I am thankful that my husband knows how to deal with all of the cables in the back of my TV! I am thankful that he can take care of my computer. I am thankful that he encourages me to learn more about my computer, although who can keep up with the rate of change of technology? Well, he can, but it's his job! And I am extremely thankful that he purchased my DirecTV package so that I can watch all my football games in HD now, and I do not have to wait until February.

Thank you honey!

And to those of you who got a big laugh at John McCain's daughter (not really) just remember, your day is coming!

Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for any of the other videos this site puts up so do NOT click on those!

The Giving Thanks Challenge

Thank you Leah in Iowa, for the Second Annual Giving Thanks Challenge! And for reminding us to take time this month to be thankful! Doesn't it seem like the American way to skip right over Thanksgiving and move right onto Christmas? That might not bother me so much if I thought that we understood, as Americans, the true meaning of Christmas.

Being thankful is so important!

So visit Leah's blog and start your list of things to be thankful for!

Now you may be wondering why I listed Kleenex as today's item for which I was thankful. I am not trying to be irreverent. I am being serious. I'll be honest that there is some humor in it, but still I am thankful for it. When we say, "Thank God!" and we really mean that we are being thankful to God, is that irreverent? I don't think so. Something to ponder, I guess. It depends on where your heart is I guess!

If you lived in Texas in November, you'd be thankful for Kleenex too. Apparently, it is Cedar season. I did not know that before we moved here. I love Texas with my whole heart. And I will put up with any allergies that it throws our way, especially since mine aren't the ones that are that bad. ;)

This morning poor Super sneezed and then came running across the school room with his hand over his nose yelling "Gross!" with boys. I would think it was a cold but then I remembered, that's why they call it Cedar Fever. So it looks like an autumn of Claritin and Kleenex for him. That's why this morning I am thankful for Kleenex.

Although I looked across the school room a little while ago and he had two pieces of Kleenex stuck up each side of his nose. That's nasty. I told him I was going to take a picture and put it on my blog if he didn't stop. That fixed that problem. ;)

On to why I am thankful for you, my friends! I couldn't do this without you! Please know that you give me the encouragement and wisdom every day to make it through this journey of homeschooling!

"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you."
Philippians 1:3

Friday, November 7, 2008

...Eww What's That?

Actually, Coach Mom didn't say "Eww what's that?" Tutone did. As promised, I have a few slow cooker recipes for you. But our first recipe comes with a story about my youngest son, who is generally not a picky eater, but those of you with picky eaters will appreciate it.

Tutone: "Why is there green stuff in the crock pot?"
Coach Mom: "That's chicken."
Tutone: "Chicken shouldn't be green."
Coach Mom: "The chicken isn't green. It's pesto. It's on top of the chicken. That is what is green."
Tutone: "Food shouldn't be green."
Coach Mom: "Tutone! You eat green food all the time. Apples are green. Limes are green. Many of the pieces of candy I have seen you eat are green."
Tutone: "Well, I don't think that I am going to like pesto."

6 hours later...

Tutone: "Are you going to make this again next week? This is the best food we have had in two weeks."

OK. So now I should be happy because he liked dinner, right? But instead I'm more than a little irritated because...hey! What do you mean this is the best food we've had in two weeks? What about....sigh!

So without further it chicken!

Pesto Chicken

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of celery soup (I use the 98% fat free)
1 cup milk (I use skim)
1 envelope pesto sauce

Serves 4-6 depending on ages of your children!

Place chicken in slow cooker. I put my chicken in while it was still frozen. Pour all the other ingredients over the chicken and cook on low 6 hours. Serve over fettuccine.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

And Now for a Word from Our Sponsor, Part 2

My husband let me know the other day, that it was I that had missed the point of his favorite commercial. Who me? Miss a point? Am I blonde? Oh, yeah.

First of all, I did get the actress' lines wrong. But the point that I missed was that my dear husband was saying that his favorite part of these commercials, the part that reminds him of me, is that the Mom is constantly there "giving it" to the boys. She doesn't let them get away with anything. He was admiring her. He wasn't saying she was crazy. He respected her toughness.

So my apologies to my lovely husband. And you will see, that he is number 2, on my list of things that I am thankful for! I love you!