Wednesday, September 26, 2007

12 Years Ago Today . . .

. . . this little Angel was born. In case you feel like you might have dejavu (see this post if you don't), this is birthday extravaganza month for the Jones Family. 2 were born this week, and one is just a few weeks away.
In the next picture, a nurse from NICU is working on my little girl, and she actually shoved the oxygen mask off of her face. He said "Woooah, we've got a feisty one here. She is going to keep you on your toes." Yes, he was right. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

The big bash is this weekend. We are doing a candy shop-spa theme. Target's dollar spot had spa stuff for pedicures, lotion, etc. in a candy theme, complete with matching lollipops. So I will be doing mani's and pedi's for 6 girls in a few days. We are also making bandana flip-flops (you cut strips of bandanas and tie them on the flip flops), and paper sack scrapbooks. It should be fun, or it will kill me. I'll keep you posted.

Happy Birthday Princess!

What Works For Me Wednesday: Filling Out Kid Forms

My tip this week for What Works For Me Wednesday, is a more efficient way to fill out forms for our kids. You know what I'm talking about . . . all of the forms you get the first day of school, when they go on a field trip, join Scouts, play a sport, etc. Well, I used to gather all the information I needed *every* time I filled out a form. Or I would start filling out the form, then realize I need the shot records, get up, find the shot record in the filing room, start filling out forms again. Then I need the doctor's address, get up, get the phone book, continue filling out forms. One day I decided to type up a sheet that has all the information I will ever need to complete a form. It has insurance information, last tetanus shot, emergency contacts I use and their phone and address, and anything else I have ever been asked for on a form. I keep it in my calendar/phonebook binder. If I am going somewhere and know I am going to be asked to complete a form at that location, I just grab my binder.

Now you guys may have figured this out years ago, and I'm the last person to finally get it. But if you're with me and still hunting for that info every time, I hope this helps.

I have a blank version of my form saved in MS Word, and if you would like me to e-mail it to you, just post a comment asking for the form, and I will be happy to send it on!

That is my contribution to What Works for Me Wednesday. For more WWFM tips, go visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Monday, September 24, 2007

6 Years Ago Today . . .

. . . this sweet little angel was born. It is hard for me to believe that my youngest is 6 years old already.

And now here he is on the first day of school a couple weeks ago, with Big Brother.
He wanted to have an Army birthday party, so Mr. Jones and I had a little fun with it. I put a recruiting poster on the front door, with American flags on either side.
I made this invitation, with the recruiting image on the back . . .

Mr. Jones came up with this gem at the last minute. He was at the store getting camouflage netting for me, and found some pallets that were on their way to the trash. So he threw this together on Saturday morning. Here is Big Brother showing off the fort (please excuse the block-out on the sign. I'm paranoid with personal info on the internet) . . .
Here is the tank cake I made from this website. I followed the directions exactly, and used Wilton spray paint to make it green. WHY?? I do not know, because it tasted bad and I could have used good old food coloring. Oh well, the rest of the cake tasted good.
Here are the weapons boxes I made from cardboard boxes . . .
and the pup tents Mr. Jones put in the backyard.
For boot camp, we got some lawn spray paint for landscaping, and painted an obstacle course, with tunnels and balance beams, along with the trampoline we already had (Mr. Jones put a "paratrooper training" sign on that). We had them run timed relays. They were very cute, and took their training so seriously. Then to test their skills, they had to throw hand grenade water balloons (those were awesome!) on a spray-painted target to which Mr. Jones stood a little too close (on purpose), which gave added incentive to hit the target. They also got paratroopers to throw off the deck onto the target, and squirt guns. I bought canvas fanny packs from Oriental Trading which I dyed army green. I was very disappointed with the dog tags and canteens I bought from them, though, because all the dog tags broke and the canteens all leaked. The very nice men at the local Army recruiting office gave me some things to give to the boys, too. The boys were so impressed . . . "you mean this came from the "reeeeeeal" Army guys?" (said with wide eyes). And of course, we had to have painted faces and camo bandanas.

Oh, and I almost forgot ... I made a bunch of signs for our camp, but this was my favorite. Princess was very offended that I did this . . .
Happy Birthday, Soldier!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What Works For Me: Organizing Coloring Books

I read this great little tip in my new favorite magazine, Real Simple. I've had kids for 12 years, so the pile of activity/coloring books we have collected is impressive. They are always a mess, though. Or the kids can't find them. And we have too many. My favorite new coloring book organizer is a cheap dish rack. Pick your favorite books out of the pile and put them in the rack. Anything that doesn't fit in the rack goes in the round file (when I worked at the law firm, this is what we called the trash can). Use the utensil cup for crayons and scissors.
One of my other, most favorite kid-craft organizers is paint buckets. You can get clean, empty, new paint cans for about $3.50 at The Home Depot. We have 1 for color pencils, 1 for pens, and 1 for paint brushes/paint. They fit perfectly on shelves. You can leave them just how they are or you can decorate them with paper. The one in the picture doesn't have a handle, but they do come with the standard paint can handle.

That is my contribution to What Works for Me Wednesday. For more WWFM tips, go visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Deuteronomy 15:7, 11
If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

Proverbs 19:17
He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

A recent post at Kathy's Cottage has again inspired one of my posts (thanks Kathy!). As my spiritual maturity grows, I am realizing how much serving and loving others is one of the most important things a Christian can do. We are so blessed here where we live, and having lived close to the border at one time, I have seen some terrible conditions under which many people live.

I recently saw the Oprah Winfrey Show with Bill Clinton and his book Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World (which I can't wait to read). On the show, they featured a website,, where you give micro-loans to people in other parts of the world. You can loan as little as $25 to the person you choose. There are features of people asking for loans, explaining their business and what they intend to use the money for (the lady I loaned money to has 3 kids and wanted to buy a cow). They will pay you back at some time in the future (some do default). All the recent press has funded every single one of their loan requests, so they are currently working on more loan requests, and will have them on their website in the near future.

I will end this post with one of my favorite bible verses (have a great Sunday!):

Proverbs 11:25 ~ A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

If you have internet problems, Firefox might help . . .

Foxkeh banners for Firefox 2

First I must say, that I have been so busy this week, I haven't had time to say "hi" to any of my blog friends. My sincerest apologies! You would think with kids being in school all day, I would have gotten a million things done in 1 week. Wrong! I am getting some things done though, and that is good.

Anyway, I did feel compelled to post about a huge revelation I had yesterday. I have had problems with my computer for a couple of years now. When I am on the internet, everything freezes up. Sometimes I have to hit the power button the computer just to get it working again. Also, when I'm surfing the net, the program will just turn off and I have to start over again. We hired an expert to come in and clear everything out of our computer and load all the software up again. A month later the same problems started happening again. I had no clue why.

This week all of a sudden I couldn't download anything, play any videos, or see some pages I have seen before. Couldn't figure out why. Ready to throw the computer into the street and smash it into tiny bits.

Then I remembered seeing Mozilla Firefox on my dad's computer, and a few weeks later reading an article about how it is a superior web browser. With my very limited computer knowledge, I thought "maybe getting a different browser will at least solve some of my problems." I went to Mozilla's website and did just that.

Now I'm going to shout this for the entire world to hear: FIREFOX SOLVED ALL OF MY PROBLEMS!!!!! Yes, every single annoying thing that my computer does while I'm on the internet does not happen anymore. I had no idea that my problems were all because of Microsoft Explorer. GGGGGGRRRRRRRRR.

Even little things like:

It would never remember my login information, even if I checked the little box that said "remember this every time I login." I had to type my e-mail login EVERY STINKIN' TIME! Now I don't.

I could not figure out how to alphabetize my bookmarks. I'm sure there is a way, but I wasn't about to spend hours figuring out how to do some stupid little thing that should happen automatically. Firefox imported my bookmarks from Explorer and instantaneously alphabetized them without me asking. Love that.

It's faster.

It has less buttons and stuff that take up time and space.

Easier to use.

I don't need to say any more. If you are frustrated with browsing, give Firefox a try. Very easy to install. It imports everything for you.

Next item to tackle . . . replacing Google Blogger which absolutely drives me nuts!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ebay Auction

Ok, there is a very funny woman selling her kids Pokemon cards on e-bay (I heard about this on Under a Blue Moon's blog). Here is part of the auction . . . check out the rest here.

"I'm selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn't notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store. Because I absolutely detest grocery shopping, I tend to put it off as long as possible. There comes a time, however, when you’re peering into your fridge and thinking, ‘Hmmm, what can I make with ketchup, Italian dressing, and half an onion,’ that you decide you cannot avoid going to the grocery store any longer. Before beginning this most treacherous mission, I gather all the kids together and give them “The Lecture“ . . . "

I have to agree with her feelings on grocery shopping.
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