Friday, June 18, 2010

Taking advantage of incredible opportunities.

Hubs and I have always been people to try to take advantage of educational opportunities for K-, particularly if they have been for free. In the last two days, fantastic summer camp opportunities have come our way.

Yesterday, I posted about enrolling K- for a week of Science Summer Camp through her school district. I got a lot of information on it yesterday, but did speak further with her principal today while at a building meeting. 800 children in the district are able to take advantage of this opportunity. 100 children are accepted on a first come first serve basis to 8 different schools within the district. The groups will be small, well-staffed and very hands-on.

While at the building meeting, Lori (my walking mom friend), was talking about a postcard that came in the mail about summer camps. I hadn't gotten the mail yet, so I had no idea what she was talking about, but scouted it out when I got home.

A local performance theater, wonderful and well-known, is doing a 2 week summer art camp at 9 or so schools within the district. Now, our home school wasn't one listed, but it is just up the street a couple of extra blocks.

I talked to my husband and he agreed-- we would be fools if we let this opportunity go.

It is by postcard and they requested that you give your top three choices. I admit that I only listed the school up the street, as some of the other schools are either really far away, or in terrible neighborhoods. It is a similar set-up to the science camp. It is 10 AM - 2 PM for two weeks with breakfast, lunch and snacks provided.


We're hoping to make the list for the art camp. We'll find out when we receive a confirmation packet. Hopefully, we make the cut.

We're also taking part in the summer reading club at the library. What's nice is that the library has two times set for their special program each week. We weren't able to come to the 1:30 PM this week, but we were able to make the 7 PM show. They had an interactive story teller tonight. There is a magician and a juggler coming up, too. At the end of July, they'll be having a carnival for the kids. (The only 1:30 PM only day.) For each week they attend, they put their book report slips into the appropriate age box for a chance to be pulled for a prize. Once they've gotten 4 stamps on their reading program card, they get a free kids meal coupon for McDonald's.

We're still going to Lowe's and making our every other week craft. K- is doing a good job of following the directions herself and with little help, getting the project put together.

We're trying to visit the public pool on Fridays. We were given a pool pass and we're trying to really use it to the best of our ability.

Y'all, just writing all this has made me tired. Well, that and the continued allergy haze that I'm living in. (So many people in NE Ohio are suffering from the same thing, so it isn't like I'm suffering from something exotic.)

With this and our barrels of busyness AND! my promise to paint the kitchen this year, even if it kills me, the blog is going to suffer from time to time. Sorry, but life is sooooooooo busy. Y'all understand.

For now, I'm tired and my just re-dressed bed is calling, calling, calling me. 'Night all.

Smiles in my day:
- Going out on the boat all together and Hubs caught 4- 14" fish. It always makes him happy!
- The school building meeting. We were working on the basic layout of the school as it will sit on the lot. We're making progress.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bzz Agent Product Review: Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer

I've done a product test run for Bzz Agent on the Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer. When people ask me if I want to try a new cleaner, I'm pretty good for it. When they tell me that it is supposed to keep things cleaner longer, both hands are raised in the air as I yell, "Ooooo! Pick me!" like the 6 year old in my house would yell.

The little things that bring us hope, happiness and a lift to our day.

So, now that I've used the Extend-A-Clean for 5 weeks now, I can give you my scoop.

1. Each bottle of cleaner gave me 4 cleanings. I'm a clean the bathroom once a week girl (touch-up's in between), so for me, that was a month worth. At $3.99 a refill, I considered that a bargain. The starter kit is $8.99. My friend reports that she's been running on the same batteries in hers since December 2009.
2. It was so easy to spray. It has a power sprayer, so you don't get a sore arm from continual pumping of the trigger.
3. It is foamy, so you can see where you have sprayed.
4. The sprayer makes it easy to clean the shower curtain liner. Easy to spray and easy to wipe off.
5. One shot with the spray, let it sit a few minutes and NO! scrubbing has to be done to soap scum. Just a quick wipe, rinse and you are done! The invisible grime barrier is activated each time the surfaces get wet, so less wiping makes me very happy!
6. I had a discussion with my friend Cj about the Extend-A-Clean. I've talked about her on my blog before. She has Multiple Sclerosis and as a result, suffers from some balance and dexterity issues. I was thrilled to hear that she's been using Extend-A-Clean since about November, she loves it and it has made cleaning so much easier for her. Even on a very limited budget, she finds the initial investment well worth it.
7. My mother-in-law suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was thrilled to see in the information included that the Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer has received the Ease-of-Use Commendation by the Arthritis Foundation. I could really see my mother-in-law get a lot of use out of this product, particularly with her strength issues in her hands.

My thoughts? I'm going to continue to use the Extend-A-Clean! Hooray for easier cleaning!
Disclosure: Yep, I was sent the Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean product to test for Buzz Agent. No, I wasn't paid, though that would have been great. Other than a clean and great smelling bathroom, I received nothing else. What more could I want, though?!

Smiles in my day:
- When I got home, our public school system had left a message stating that a science camp would be available, on a limited basis, to the children in our district. It is at our elementary, so we are familiar with the grounds. It is FREE! 9 AM - 3 PM. They provide breakfast, snacks and lunch. I checked into the lunch being provided and it is a box lunch, so K- can eat it. (It is a healthy lunch.) They'll be having a Nature Day, Earth Science Day, Science of Sport, Mad Messages (microscopes, I think) and a Space Day. K- is so excited and I am thrilled that we were able to sign up for such a neat opportunity!
- The money drop in the sandbox. I'm supposed to be picking chicken up for a family that I'll be helping on Saturday with a graduation party. They stopped in this morning and wanted to drop money off, but no one was home. I just had her drop it in the sandbox and put the lid back down. She thought I was nuts, but it worked perfectly well!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My child is a trash can diver.

Is it just me?

If K- hears the sound of the trash can lid going "swoosh," she feels the need to check it. If I'm going through things, throwing something away and she sees me, she goes to the trash to inspect it.

"But that is mine from - - - !"

"A- wrote that little piece of paper for me!"

And the one that stabs me right in the heart. "BUT I MADE THAT FOR YOU!"

I save many things. Believe me, I have a whole binder of things that I've saved from her kindergarten year that most people would have pitched. My mother-in-law would probably call me a pack rat, though I believe that she would admit that my tossing vs. saving has gotten much, much better over the years. (I'm an artist. It is something I fight, because sometimes you don't need it then, but will eventually!)

I fault my husband for her trash can issue. I finally figured out that the only way I can throw away underwear or socks of his is to put it in the middle of the garbage in the kitchen. Most, but not always, he has not retrieved out of there.

They're working against me! So, is anyone in your house a trash can diver? (Yes, I know not to throw away in the presence of either one, but sometimes you can't avoid it!)

Smiles in my day:
- Pie and cheesecake to celebrate a co-worker's birthday. Delicious!
- There were tons of snap peas to be picked this evening! We needed to get a bowl. We picked enough for K- to take to grandma's house to share tomorrow.
- My brother Billy is continuing to make positive steps forward in his life. I'm proud of him for making the changes he has made to be where he is at. I'm also proud that he can now look at the situation that he was in before an be mortified by it. He sees how bad it was and knows that he doesn't want to repeat that again.
- Daring Young Mom's swimsuit pledge.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: An open letter to birds.

Hello feathered friends,

Throughout life, I've had a pretty good relationship with you. Of course, I find your friends (chickens and turkeys) mighty tasty, but I leave you to fly about. I leave you seed. I leave you housing. I leave you a bath filled with warm water for you to bath in.

The other day, you left me a gift. You poo'd on K-'s clean shirt that was hanging on the line. We're not talking a dibble here. We're talking about an all out assault. I don't know if Tinkerbell will ever be the same.

Last year, you decided to bomb the sheets.

Now, I understand that your digestive tract probably just dislodges anything in its path automatically, but if you could refrain from doing it over my laundry, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Smiles in my day:
- K-'s daily check of the snap peas. She's loving being able to snack from the yard again.
- Library reading club started Thursday. We were able to meet up with all kinds of friends and make crafts to decorate the library. We had a great time!
- I made K-'s TV ticket. We're planning on beginning use on Wednesday. I'll have to update to let you know how it goes. I'm eager to hear your response to it, Rachael!
- My boss is apparently happy with the progress of our co-worker garden at work. A couple of green peppers appeared in some pots. We found out that they are his contribution! How nice!
- I changed shampoo like I should have a long time ago and my head is finally not itching anymore.
- K- and Hubs went bowling this morning (a suggestion I made a week or so ago) and had so much fun! For two games, including shoe rental, it was $9.00.
- Mike, our generous neighbor, gave us a receiver and set the speakers. They did a lot of boy stuff in there with it and I don't exactly know what, but it sounds wonderful!

Have a great day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sometimes you just need to weed out.

The garden? Oh, yes.

Blogroll wise? Oh, yes.

You see, every now and then I've felt the need to ditch a blog. In fact, I've just done a heavy weeding of the blogroll.

There is a particular blog, which shall remain nameless, that has been under my skin for a while. There was a post some time back that really irritated me. I found myself resisting to read updates. I dreaded to see what drivel was coming up. Today, the anonymous date that I'm writing this, was my final day. I couldn't take that blog anymore.

There's something to remember though. Blogs are online journals. If you don't agree with something that someone is writing, you can politely let them know your side. If someone doesn't agree with me, I absolutely appreciate and respect a different angle on things. I try to look at a story from both sides, but sometimes I get blinded by the passion of the story I'm telling. I've had people e-mail me and tell me that they were surprised that I published their thought because it didn't agree with mine. I don't ask you to agree with me. If you do, fantastic! If you don't, that's great, too. Just let me know in a constructive way. It's all good.

The particular blogger I'm speaking of had a life changing occurrence this past spring. It was an experience that will stay with her forever and she is just so passionate about it, that she is just blurting out everything without giving full facts to back herself up. She's become high and mighty with her opinions. She beats people upside the head with the bible. Jesus is my man. Absolutely. However, beating people in the head is not the way. You turn people off.

Again, a blog is an online journal. I ask myself, is it up to her to back herself up with facts and true information? She does have quite a large readership. Obviously, her blog has attracted readers. To spread false or incomplete information to give your story a better spin is just not cool. Does she have an informational responsibility to her readers? I mean, let's face it, she's not a journalist.

I wanted some confirmation about my thoughts. I sent the link on to my best friend to get her opinion.

Oh, it matched mine completely. In fact, she read through archives and told me things that I had sort of thought about in the past and some things were great points that hadn't occurred to me.

So, I've decided to weed through the blogroll. I weeded through the followers listing. There was one person on there that I used to talk to on a pretty frequent basis. She was having life issues, kind of hit a wall with life and was having a difficult time functioning really well. Since she had changed her blog, I had contacted her via e-mail and requested permission to read on to her other blog (as per her request), didn't hear and know that I'll just leave that one be. She can be moody and confrontational. I don't know what I would get if I would try to contact again.

I tossed one a while ago that had 2/3 of her page filled with ads and only one skinny sliver for writing. No, I'm not kidding. The blog is three columns and two were ad space. It was difficult to read and a bit money hungry on the ad aspect of things. She had just finished a book, was doing some column press for the book, but geeze o' Pete!

I admit that I once tossed a blog by a woman that really wanted to become pregnant, then when she did all she did was complain in every single post. Obviously, y'all know my pregnancy story and I just couldn't handle that one.

I've read people speak of ditching blogs for publishing a lot of reviews. I see reviews coming up more and more and have a couple to do myself. I may toss one or two in there in a month or even less. Sometimes, I was sent the product. Sometimes I purchased it myself and was fantastically thrilled with it or bummed to no end. Personally, I like people's product input. There are times it has saved me much money.

That brings me to my questions of the day. Have you tossed someone from your blogroll because you didn't agree with the content that they were writing on their blog? Has their layout bugged you to death? Has their writing bored you so much that you couldn't take it anymore?

What makes you dump a blog from your blogroll? My inquiring mind wants to know. Am I bugging you? Is there something that I do that you would love to see less of? Don't worry. I went to art school. I can take the critique. I made it through 7 years worth.

Smiles in my day:
- K- working hard to earn her TV back. She's been without for almost a month and I see that her attitude has improved nicely. She's playing with things that I haven't seen her touch in a long time. She's more creative. The TV? It will be VERY limited (an hour or less a day), so it isn't like she'll be camped out in front. We'll be issuing a TV ticket at the beginning of the week. Want to watch a movie? Okay. We're going to take that time off of the (maximum) 7 hour ticket. No time at the end of the week? No time to watch.
- Homemade macaroni and cheese, even if I over-indulged and caused myself some distress. (An church absence was called for in this case.)
- Baby tomatoes! K- is so excited!
- The final birthday party is now complete. Our weekends will be ours for a while.
- K- and E- dancing the waltz on the swing set tower yesterday. They followed that up with sitting on a towel at the end of the driveway and doing yoga. E-'s dad asked what the heck they were doing. I told him yoga and he looked at me with the weirdest look. Hey, they teach them a lot in school.
- K- has made Bendaroo knockers for each of the doors in our home. It is her hope that we will use those to announce ourselves, instead of knocking or walking in.
- I don't watch America's Got Talent, but I did watch this one small clip. Oh my gosh, I hope that these people win!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful weekend!