Tuesday, July 31, 2007

If You Haven't - You Should

Lived! If you haven't - you should! I met with my best friend today that I haven't seen in years and years. We have know each other since we were 11 years old. Becky looks fabulous! Let me tell you - she hasn't changed a bit. I really think that is what I love so much about her. The boys love her! They call her Aunt Becky.
The boys got to swim in the pool while we talked and got caught up. Of course with Florida weather, a thunderstorm came up and the boys had to get out of the pool, not without complaints of course. We ate lunch at McDonalds (not my favorite cuisine by not means). Then we parted ways and promised to get together this week and go to the springs. Oh yeah! If I forget this part the boys will wanna pinch my head off. LOL When we left Micky D's, Becky gave them each a $5 bill. Oh yes they thanked her and they talked about her all the way home. All of Becky's children are grown now and she is a grandmother. Shoot - me - I guess I am just a little late at the whole kid thing. But that's ok with me, I waited for the best kids. LOL

During our conversation today, we talked about growing up then and growing up now. Times certainly have changed. We got into all kinds of trouble when we were kids but it was silly stuff and not stupid stuff. Becky gave me an old picture from 1978 of another of our friends, her and me. It must have been "Old Fashion Day" at school. The picture has survived all these years, including a house fire. I am going to see if I can get it restored. By the way - we have no idea who the goat is.
If you haven't lived your life you better start now because none of us is promised tomorrow!

Superman Gets Attacked

I declare! My husband is always the silly one. He sent me an instant message last night telling me that he had found the property that would be perfect for us. Then he gets side tracked and has to tell me about being charged by 3 deer and attacked by a flying squirrel. I'm im'ing him asking all kinds of questions about the property and he tells me to stand by. LOL He has got to tell me the story! So I stand by.

First let me tell you that Superman is not a wimp, he is almost 6 foot tall and weighs in at around 265. His arms are like rocks. Ok, on to tell you (in his words) about his attack.

Superman: i was attacket by a flying squirl and charged by 3 deer on it
Me: no way
Superman: yes the squirl attacked me
Me: how
Superman: ok just read and i will tell ya
Me: ok
Superman: went on it with a nice white haired lady
Superman: she showed me the drive and i said i wanted to walk it so she left me there
Superman: i walked down the middle and around a bend into a clearing
Superman: i said this is where we will build the barn
Superman: went through the cleearing and over a small hill into a second clearing
Superman: i said there is where we will hunt the deer
Superman: walked out into the small clearing and jumped three deer
Superman: this scared the squirl
Me: lol
Superman: not done yet
Me: ok
Superman: the squirl was 40 feet away in a tree and said its time to fly
Superman: i saw it jump and thought it was a bird at first
Superman: then it began to fall
Superman: i began to duck, 40 feet away
Superman: it kept falling and i kept ducking
Superman: then it hit the ground with a little squeek
Superman: I was almost at the ground and made a big squeek
Superman: time of incident
Superman: 3 seconds
Superman: time to laugh and recover
Superman: 5 minutes

Now the fun part of the whole story will be when he gets home and tells it to the boys. I am sure that they will be rolling on the floor laughing.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Good Stuff

Bread on the Grill I thought this was just awesome!
Bake it Better Free information delivered to your inbox.
Baking with Kids A grandfather shares his experience with kids and grandkids with tips, techniques, and more.
The Prepared Pantry is a great place to get lots of free recipes, tips, tricks and so much more.

Here is a great link for the Farm Girl in you (or even the Farm Boy). Mary Janes Farm. There is also an Outpost for Mary Janes Farm.

Family Friendly Sites.

If you are interested in working from home, you may want to check Work At Home Resources - Resources for the work at home mother or anyone else who wishes to start a home-based business! A Woman in Business, Work From Home Directory, Working From Home With Success.

Maybe you just like to read Ezines or Newsletters.

There are lots of Free stuff at The Free Site or you can go over to The Free Stuff.

Don't forget to support your local farmers. The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Local Harvest.

Fly Superman

Well, he's off. Off to Missouri and Arkansas. Superman flew to Missouri and Arkansas today in search of our little 40 acre farm. That's pretty funny - "Superman Flew". Well of course he flew! LOL
I will keep you updated throughout the week on our new little farm.

I am surfing right now. Surfing the web, looking through some of my favorite sites and hoping that you will enjoy the links to come.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

On A Jet Plane

Leaving on a jet plane...You've heard the song.
Well the big day is coming for Superman to fly to Arkansas and Missouri. I think I already miss him. This will be our first time apart from each other in - hmmm...I actually don't think we have been apart from each other. The boys and I will be just fine. Yes, we will have fun and go swimming.

Superman will be in search of our dream property. This will actually be our 3rd trip to the area. The first time we took my mom with us and she really made the trip miserable. But that's all behind us. Thank goodness! The 2nd time Superman and I rented a car and drove the whole way - 16 hours. We had a blast. Now he is going by himself because we just think that it will be too much for the boys right now. I trust that Superman will pick the perfect little 40 acre farm for us. We both have the same ideas on how we want to get closer to Mother Nature and farther away from civilization. Just a quiet little piece of property to run, play and raise our family on. I'll try to keep you updated throughout the week, but don't forget that I will be busy swimming, playing and just having fun in general.

No Swimming

Ok - I know. I wanted so bad to take the boys swimming Friday. However, it just didn't happen. Superman drove our SUV to work so that he could work on it. Work on it? Yes. It has a rear axle seal leaking. He called me to let me know that he was on his way home and that he wasn't able to fix the SUV and that he would tell me all about it when he got home.
Once he got home there was an incident with JD that had to be taken care of. Oh not too bad of an incident - just playing in the fire, that's all. All 3 of the boys wanted to have a weenie roast, so out I go to stoke the fire. Ok - now I gotta got back another step. For the past week we have been burning limbs that Superman cut from some of our trees. These things will keep a really great set of coals and be very hot for several days. So I pile up all the little loose sticks and throw them on the ashes, and within about 3 minutes we had a fire for the boys to roast weenies. JD thought that it would be a great idea to get his dad's really expensive flashlight (which none of the boys are allowed to touch with permission), needless to say, he did not have permission. While he was getting the flashlight, he thought it would be ok for him to grab a box of kitchen matches. Not a good idea! But no one was hurt and it was dealt with and over.

The SUV - Superman explained all about how he was unable to fix it. He said that he will take it to work in a couple of weeks and get it fixed. He did explain how he wants me to handle it while he is out of town. So we didn't get to go swimming on Friday but I certainly have swimming planned for this coming week. I think we will go to a friends house that I have not seen in quiet a few years and swim in the pool. I think we will go to the springs, which is only about 10 miles from our house. I think we will go to my friends house that lives on the river and do some swimming and some tubing (which the boys and I love to do). Then maybe we might sneak off to the beach. Who knows.

It's now Saturday and life is good! We just got home from a wonderful day at Superman's dad's house. We had a little cook out and there were lots of kids for our boys to play with. It rained! But that's ok, my father in law, being the wise man that he is has a shop that we can all hang out in. On the way home the boy's talked about all the cousins they now have. It was a very good day!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Tuesday and Thursday

Well, well - what a week. Tomorrow is finally Friday and I think we may all just take it easy around here.

Tuesday we worked around the barn. We took everything out (except the tools hanging on the walls) and we put it all back in. LOL Not just like that. WW, JD, MJ and myself rearranged the barn. We put the 4 wheeler where we used to store the hay and the hay were we used to park the 4 wheeler. We keep our hay stacked on pallets to keep it off the ground. We had to move the hay, then move the pallets, then clean where the pallets were, clean the pallets, put the pallets in their new location, level the pallets with bricks, and put the hay back on the pallets. Scheeewww - I'm tired just thinking about what we did. MJ painted the outside of the barn doors. Boy howdy do they look great! WW and JD moved the remaining limbs that Superman cut down the other day. I cleaned the barn floor, well the best I could because it is a dirt floor. Over time a lot of hay gets built up and it starts to smell a little moldy. I took out the old hay from the floor of the barn and put down new hay. I like to keep a small layer of hay on the floor because it helps cut down on the dust.
I'm sure there are several other little things that we did and I just can't remember them.

Thursday the boys and I moved a lot of blocks 16"x16"x4" and 8"x16"x4" from the barn area down to our back door. I sure am glad we have the 4 wheeler and a little trailer to pull behind it. Can you imagine moving those blocks with a wheel barrow? That's funny because I moved them up to the barn with the wheel barrow. Once we got the blocks down by the back door, we started making our little patio area bigger. We more than doubled the size of it. I think it was about a 4'x4' area. It is really great now because it so much bigger. Not only is it bigger but it really looks great. Hopefully this will eliminate some of the sand that gets toted into the laundry room and into the house.

Friday...Hmmm...maybe, just maybe, I will surprise the boys with a little swimming trip. That means I best get to bed. Goodnight all!

The Sound Barrier

True Lies. Have you seen that movie? It has Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis teamed up together as a married couple. Great movie! I let the boys watch it Monday and I really think they have watched it at least 3 dozen times since then. Ok - not that many times, but a bunch of times. There is a scene in there where a limo is on a bridge, Jamie Lee Curtis is in the limo and her husband (Schwarzenegger) is trying to save her. There are jets flying and a long bridge. One of the jets breaks the sound barrier. You can see it when it happens. I told the boys to watch for it. You can see like a vapor and that is how you know the sound barrier has been broken. I finally get the boys to see this happening on the movie. Today WW points out to me when it happens - I am thrilled that he saw it and pointed it out. Then he looks as me in his most serious face and says "Can they fix it?" He thinks that the sound barrier is something on the plane that broke. I had to hold back my giggles because he was so darn serious. Of course I explained to him about the sound barrier and how things break the sound barrier. Well I thought this was cute and I just had to share.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I know that I ask everyone to stay tuned - that there would be a very wonderful announcement today. Ok - I do have a wonderful announcement! Here it is!

Our Adoption is Final

It has taken us several years to finally have children. We cannot have children of our own and we originally started with an adoption agency. That fell through and it was a very negative expericence. At one point we thought that we would never have children. Now we are the proud parents of 3 siblings. The boys are 9, 11 and 13 years old.

Sunday, July 29th, 2007, Superman will be flying to Arkansas and Missouri. His visit will be to buy at least 40 acres for us to relocate to. We won't relocate this year, but we are looking forward to relocating within the next 24 months.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stay Tuned...

You may want to stay tuned this week. It is an extremely exciting week for us. On Wednesday July, 25th, 2007 we will have a wonderful announcement.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Most Recent Finds

Well it's late again, and I am up while the rest of the family is sleeping. I really messed up today because I took a 2 hour nap. I call it a cat nap because every little thing would make my ears perk up just like a cat. Naps are generally out of the question for me because I have enough trouble sleeping normal hours. Generally when I get sleepy during the day, I will busy myself in some way. I usually get a lot done by just piddling around.
This morning we managed to get some low hanging limbs cut from around the barn. WW hauled 3 trailer loads with the four wheeler and there are about 3 more loads left on the ground for all of us to clean up tomorrow. I managed to get a few more things added to my little flower garden.
As soon as this roll of hay is gone, we are going to redo the inside of the barn. It's pretty funny that I even call it a barn. It started out as one of those metal sheds that Sears used to sell. You know the ones, they rust in about 2 years. A few years back we had a tin roof over it and my dad and my father in-law came over and helped us add on to it and pull the old rusty shed out. Now it's an L shape shed. But it just sounds much better when I call it a barn. I keep the horse feed and the hay in it and it is located in our little paddock, so we have come to call it a barn. I just like the sound of "barn" better anyway.

Since I am awake and everyone else is asleep, it really gives me some time online without being interrupted. So I browse through my emails, read a few blogs and in general just get caught up online.

Here are a few things that I just found that I really like and wanted to share them with you.

Maggie's Musings is a very interesting blog.
Martha Stewart has a lot of great tips and a website that can keep one busy all day. I especially like the crafts Martha Stewart Crafts.
If you are looking for low-cost, home-cooking from scratch, you really must check out HillBilly HouseWife. Owned by Miss Maggie. She is also the owner of An Old-Fashioned Education, where you will find a directory of free homeschool curricula, literature and text books organized for the use of homeschooling families.

I know I certainly will be looking around these websites. I like the whole issue of free.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Miss Potter

What an absolutely lovely movie! This movie is about Beatrix Potter. If you haven't heard the name, shame on you. Renee' Zellweger played the part of Beatrix. I always enjoy movies that Renee' plays in, she seems to really bring the character to life. About 15 minutes into the movie I was getting goose bumps. Just an awesome tingly feeling all over. Why? Simply because Renee' played such a wonderful part and brought the whole thing to life.
Not only did I enjoy this movie but Superman also enjoyed it.
Is it a chick flick? I think not. I think it is a wonderful family movie!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Another Week Gone By

My goodness! So much going on this week that I can't see straight. The adoption is getting closer and closer to the finalization date. We went this week to see our attorney (assigned by the state) so that our oldest son could sign the paperwork stating that he wants to be adopted. This is a requirement by law because he is 12 years old or older. Also we had to sign the legal documents about their birth dates and their names and so on and so on...Now we have an official court date and case number. We finalize the adoption on Wednesday, July 25th, 2007.

Maybe this is a good time to give each child a name instead of saying our oldest or our middle son, etc...because of freaks that are online I will assign each one a name for online purposes only.
WW is our oldest, he is 13.
JD is our middle child, he is 11.
MJ is our youngest, he is 9.

I have been working in the yard a lot this past week. Moving the horses from paddock to paddock to help save the grass. Superman cut down some low hanging limbs in the back yard and of course I had to get them up before all the leaves fell off. Well I didn't have to, but I certainly didn't want to rake them up. WW really was a huge help. He loaded most of the limbs on the little trailer we pull behind the 4 wheeler. Of course he got to drive the 4 wheeler. I say little trailer, shoot it is big enough that we haul a lawn mower on it and pull it behind our vehicle sometimes. It took us 2 days to get that done and then we had to burn the limbs.

This is the note that JD brought to me while I was
still in bed trying to catch up on my sleep. I thought that it was very thoughtful of WW to write this note to me. When
I called him on the Walky Talky, he was sitting and waiting patiently at their clubhouse. I told him to let me get dressed and brush my teeth and I would be right out.
I had to save this to show Superman and then I just had to take a picture of it for our family picture book.

I managed to do a little rearranging of a few patio stones around the back door. There was so much sand being brought into the laundry room that I thought that our next garden would be indoors. I cleaned the gutters and now they drain like RotoRooter has been here. I finally finished taking apart a couple of palates that I want to do a few crafts with. Maybe, just maybe I can get started on some cutting this weekend. I mowed my mom's yard (1 acre), I mowed our pasture (3 acres), I mowed our yard and the roads beside our property about another 2 acres. I managed to get caught up on smashing the cans that we recycle. WW and I went for a 4 wheeler ride, just for the heck of it. And I ran umpteen dozen errands.
I piddled around and got more things done, I just can't remember all of them.

I finally managed to start the LIFEPAC Placement Test with WW and JD. No, the test that I ordered did not come in before I started the testing. However, this afternoon I did get the call that the packets are in and I can pick them up any time. Things happen for a reason...
When I graded WW and JD's books that they finished, I was shocked. But then again I really have to wonder how many children could have scored the 70 that they are required to score in order to be in a grade level. I started WW and JD on a 3rd grade level and they both didn't score enough on grades 3, 4, 5 or 6 to be placed in either grade level. I don't blame them and I am certainly not upset with them. I know that it is the system and the public schools that are failing our children. With everything that the boy's have been through, I am not surprised. I have ask for some help from other home school parents in my yahoo home school group. And if you have any suggestions, I will gladly accept them.
I spoke to Superman about their scores and right now we are leaning toward starting them both at a 5th grade level and getting them some lower grade work books that may help them advance. Yes, we are still open for suggestions.

I called the home school store and ask for advise and now I am waiting on a return call. I see no reason to test the boy's anymore at this point. I know that they will give me a credit on the material that I ordered and paid for. The credit will come in handy, because I intend to buy more material.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

6 1/2 Grade

What a day today was. Or was that yesterday? With the heat here in Florida, all the days just seem to run together. I have taken a little break away from Summer Schooling the boys. I think the neighbor kids were driving me insane. Or was that our boys that were driving me insane? Oh well - it must be the heat. Ok, I admit it, it was me that was driving me insane.

About a week ago I bought the LIFEPAC Placement Test packet. I only bought one because that is all they had at the time. I ordered 2 more and they were supposed to come in today. Well...they came in, but it was for 7th grade through 12th grade and I need the 1st grade through the 8th grade. Just figures. Now it will either be this Friday or next Monday when the correct packet arrives. It seems like it's always something.

Speaking of something - About a week after public school was out for the summer, I received a letter in the mail saying that if our oldest son did not take Summer School Math that he would not be promoted to the 7th grade. I kinda thought about it and I talked to Superman and to our oldest son and we all came to the conclusion that he would stay back in the 6th grade. With him and his brothers changing schools and moving in with us that everything was just too much and he would do much better to just stay in 6th grade.

With that said and done, we received his report card in the mail. I checked out the report card and I was satisfied with what I saw. That evening I passed it on to Superman and the first darn thing he noticed was that on the report card it was marked that our oldest son was promoted. Hmmm..... Off to the school I ran. I questioned their decision. Which decision - both of them - both the letter that we got and the report card. I had the pleasure (and I use that term lightly) of meeting and talking with the Vice Principle. I explained the confusion that we had and I really just wanted to know if our son was in limbo or was he in 6 1/2 grade. You know, kinda like being 6 1/2 years old. The Vice Principle assured me that they would get to the bottom of this and call me to let me know what was going on.

About 4 weeks later, I had heard nothing - zip - zilch. Off to the school I ran again. And once again I had the pleasure of meeting with the Vice Principle. And exactly why he ask me if anyone had been in contact with me I have no idea. Now don't you think that if I knew anything about what was going in that I would actually be in his office. Certainly makes one think. Well it does me anyway. Yep, you guessed it - someone will contact me. And I wait again...

Finally, I have my answer. The phone rings and he explained to me that they made a mistake on the grades from his other school. Instead of his grade on Science being a 5, it was actually an 85. And the list goes on...
I requested something in writing and within 3 days I had my letter in my hand. He passed to the 7th grade.

Hopefully I will get him and his brothers tested within the next couple of weeks. That is, if the right test packet comes in.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

More Pet Food 411

Ok - now that 2 of my wonderful blogging friends have pointing out more about what our pets eat, I thought that I would add another section. A section about pets. I know that I could not live without my pets. We welcome any any pet food recipes that you would like to share.

First I want to point out The Truth about Pet Food.
I really do suggest that you consider a visit to Flint River Ranch and maybe rethink what you are feeding your pets.

Water Tips

Now that I get my Free Newsletter from Ideal Bite, I thought I would share some of their tips and info on how anyone and everyone can help to protect our planet.

Time for some bottle therapy. It used to be practically a requirement for the eco-conscious urbanite to lug water in reusable hard-plastic bottles, but it turns out those bottles can leach toxins. Choose lined aluminum, stainless steel, or glass instead.

The Benefits
Health-consciousness. Polycarbonate plastic used in bottles by Nalgene and other companies leaches bisphenol-A, which is linked to birth defects, miscarriage, and prostate cancer.
Less waste. Plastic water bottles require 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to make.
Hydration. Experts recommend we drink six to seven glasses of H2O per day, so keep a bottle handy.
Hipster appeal. Metal and glass options now come in supercool colors and designs.

Homeschool - The Beginning

Okay, I admit it. I took the plunge. Yeppers. While the boys were at camp this week, I snuck off to the home school store and started asking questions and I brought home a catalog and a little starting point guide. I have just about worn out the pages on both tidbits of information. The boys found my guide and my catalog and they had all kinds of questions and really showed genuine excitement.

Today I took a friend to have a medical procedure done, had to have my mom pick up the boys from camp because I wasn't able to be there on time. What a blessing both ladies are. I called my mom and ask her to meet me with the boys so that I could run an errand with them. She met me and when she pulled up beside my car, the boys called "Hey Mom!". What a feeling. I gather them up and off we went to run our errand. Oh yeah - that was after I thanked my mom and told her to be careful and that I love her. The boys were so curious about where we were off to. We are off to the home school store. "Oh did dad give you money to buy our test"? "Yes he did, are you excited about taking your placement test"? I could hear a chorus of 3 say "Yes Ma'am". Now that's what I'm talkin about! I really think that their excitement cup runneth over. And that's a good thing.

While we were at the home school store the boys were on their best behavior. I was very proud of them (to say the least). Darn it - they only had one placement test package. No big deal though, I ordered 2 more of the packets. We are getting all set and ready for action. When we got in the car, our middle son claimed the test packet as his. He wants to take it now. Mr. I don't like school wants to get started, NOW.

The placement packets should be in one day next week. I am considering getting them all started on taking this set of test now. There are 5 test books in the packet, History and Geography, Science, Language Arts, Math and Bible. It is the LIFEPAC collection. I could start one on Science, another on Math and another on one of the other subjects. And when the other 2 packets come in, I could continue on from there. One of the boys wants to wait and do it as a team and the other 2 want to get started now. I will have to see how our weekend goes. I think I may just wait on the other books. Then again...I am anxious to get started - NOW.

Someone From the Past

Today my phone rings and I look at the caller ID. I think to myself - hmmm...I sure hope nothing is wrong. The number looked familiar but I just couldn't figure it out. Then I heard the voice...BECKY! My gosh! And just how many years has it been since I have seen my bestest of the bestest friends from my younger years? Let's just say that it has been a bunch! I was really surprised and thankful. Sometime back we parted ways to run off and discover the world. Yeah right! We parted ways because our ways became different. We parted ways because we got on with life. Regardless of why we parted ways, it happens. Sometimes it's sad when friends part and sometimes it is really what is needed. But no matter how far away or how many years, friends always somehow, someway, find each other again.

Becky has been living back home now since February. I know - she coulda called me before now. But you know what? We all were busy living. Friends understand that. We marry, have kids, have grandkids, get jobs, start a home, divorce - or whatever we do. Life happens!

We caught up really quick on the phone and agreed to get together next week. I really am looking forward to seeing her again! She ask me all about our boys and how wonderfully proud she is of what Superman and I are doing. Of course she ask me if I was happy, that is always a concern between friends. And the older we get the more it means.

I will let you know how our rendezvous of hmmm...how many years goes!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pet Food - Back to Basics

This is Maxi our picky eater. (She is not amused in this picture)

After reading Alta's post on Pet Food I find myself a little bit distressed. You see up until 18 months ago, our oldest dog Maxi (9)"NEVER" ate commercial pet food. Being such a little dog, she ate whatever we ate for dinner. A few people told me that I should be feeding her dog food but I didnt see why and indeed at her last check up 18 months ago, other than a slight heart murmur she was perfectly healthy and we could expect her to live for up to 9 years longer.

This is Isabella Pickles aka "Bella" who will eat just about anything!
(including grass, leaves, rocks and just about anything else she can find)

However, after Bella joined the family, we found that there was not always enough left overs to feed them both. So I began supplementing them both with tinned dog food and dry kibble. Maxi has since developed a tumour on her face. Next week she has to go in for an operation to have it removed. The worst thing about it is that because she is old and has a heart murmur, the vet has decided that it is too risky to put her to sleep. He intends to sedate her and give her a local anesthetic and then remove it while she is awake. Bella and Rupert will both be going in on the same day to be desexed.

While I am happy to leave them for the day as is the usual. I am very nervous about leaving Maxi. I would really like to stay and hold her and give her comfort but I dont think that they will let me. Every time I think about it I feel like crying. She is just like one of my kids. If she is in pain she will whimper and cry at me and it breaks my heart. The only alternative though is to leave it on her face, which the vet says is not painful to her at the moment but it could spread and become full blown cancer. I dont want her to die but I dont want to hurt her either. Its so heart wrenching. At least with the children you can explain to them whats going on and they know whats happening to them. She will probably be thinking we are punishing her for some reason. Its just not fair is it?
This is Rupert the Rat who also eats what we eat

Back to the Pet Food. I have decided to start cooking seperately for the dogs when there is not enough or we are eating something they cant eat. Here is a basic recipe that is good for dogs and cheap to make.

One kilo of mince. (beef,lamb or chicken is fine) Pet stores sell cheap versions, I buy the regular stuff)
About 4 cups of rice
A packet of frozen mixed vegies
One Tablespoon of minced garlic
One Onion (I have been told this is bad for dogs but mine have always had it and been okay)
Gravy Mix

Boil the rice and set it aside. Brown the mince, then add the onion (chopped finely) and garlic. Once cooked add the vegies and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add your gravy mix then mix it all with the rice. Once it cools you can seperate it into suitable portions and freeze it till you need it.

This recipe can be changed by using offcuts of meat, liver, kidney or bones and boiling them instead of browning. You can also change the vegies and use whatever you have available or whatever your dog prefers. So that there is plenty of variety. Maxi's favourite food is Spagetti Bolanaise so when we have that I always make extras. It is very inexpensive to make as well. We do still give them kibble occasionally but I buy the top of the line variety (Maxi is fussy!)

For those who dont have time to cook for the animals. Try the organic brands. You'd be surprised how many are out there that are produced in small scale. They cost a bit more but you can actually "SEE" whats in them so know what your pet is eating.

Not to be left out (ever!) here is Mookie who likes to eat seeds and the occasional corn chip!

A Mother's Work

A Mother's Work is Never Done and That's Just Fine with Her.

Ask any mom how becoming a mother feels and she’ll tell you it is the greatest experience of her life. Nothing can top motherhood! Ask her again after a few months of little to no sleep, when her 2 year old has ransacked the entire house or her teenager has just started driving. She may give you an overwhelmed look and let out a heavy sigh, but her reply will remain the same. She wouldn’t trade the title Mom for the world, even on her child’s worst day. Just take a look at some of these real-life examples to see what we mean.

One mom of two, ages 4 and 5, had this to say when asked what she finds the hardest, yet most rewarding part of being a mom.

“I find disciplining them really hard. Sometimes you just want to give in and make peace, but when you hold out, they really start to get it and become better people.

I also love answering their questions, but find them challenging at times. They ask me what certain words mean or why something is a certain way. Often, they're asking about things no 4 or 5 year old should be concerned with. Not that they're taboo things or anything, just complex things that are tough to explain.”

Here’s what another mom of 2, ages 9 and 1, feels makes it all worthwhile.

“The other day my 21 month old was testing every thing with Mom. Getting into things he knew he shouldn't be, throwing tantrums and refusing to take his nap. You name it he was trying his hardest to see how far he could get with me. Needless to say, no work got done that day, the house was a disaster and this mama needed a break! I was almost ready to give up and say "Oh go ahead and tear all the DVDs off the shelf and have fun! Then, he came running up to me with the biggest smile on his face and his arms outstretched and gave me a big hug, patted my back and puckered his lips for a kiss! My heart melted, I smiled back, gave him a kiss and told him I loved him while all the stress and built up frustration of the day melted away!”

Being a mother is the toughest job any woman will ever have, but it also takes top honors as the most satisfying. There is nothing else in life that can make a woman ready to pull her hair out and scream, while evoking an extreme feeling of love at the exact same moment in time.
Moms invest so much in their children, most of which goes unnoticed until they are older. She gets tired, but never gives up because she knows the rewards for her perseverance will be awesome.

A mother’s work is never complete. Even when her children are grown and have children of their own she wouldn’t want it any other way.

Find family friendly product reviews, information and support from a variety of different moms from all walks of life at Moms Talk News. Join us, it’s Free!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Safe Pet Food

A wonderful friend of mine brought this to my attention.

Most Commercial Grade Pet Food Companies use by-products which is in fact dead, diseased and dying animals from processing or rendering plants. That means that the animals that died at a veterinarian hospital are put into a freezer and later picked up by the processing and rendering plants where they grind them up and sell them to the commercial pet food companies to use in our pet food as by-products. Each sick or diseased animal some full of antibiotics some full of cancer, rare diseases, bacterial infections, etc. are now ground up and sold and to commercial grade pet food companies.

You can read a lot more about this information The Truth about Pet Food

I suggest you also visit Flint River Ranch

Think About This

Americans consume more than 2.5 million bottles of water every hour, and only around 10% are recycled.
On average, tap water costs $0.0015 per gallon; just a 16-oz bottle can cost $2 at the convenience store.
Tap into the cheaper way to stay hydrated. Use a home water filter to nix contaminants, and get a clean-as-bottled (if not cleaner) drinking supply without pouring money down the drain.

Hopefully, you have read a couple of my post about helping our planet. I recently subscribed to a newsletter of daily tips that we can do at home to help protect and preserve our planet. All of them make really good sense to me, so I thought that I would share them with you. If you like the tips, you can sign up for the newsletter and get the tips sent right to your inbox.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Awesome Eco Projects

I have been reading about ways to help our planet. I think that it is better late than never to make an impact in a positive way. These wonderful links and articles will help you in finding ways to help our planet. Join me and others in makeing a positive impact.
Learn what you can do to help and how you can do it by visiting these awesome websites.
Backyard Abundance
Fun Water Facts to Share With Your Kids, Friends & Relatives
Rainwater Harvesting: Frequently Asked Questions
How To Build a Rain Barrel
Be sure to visit Florida's Online Composting Center

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Some days go so wonderful and some days are completely the opposite. Yesterday the boys could not have been better. I even wondered if they were our children or if they sniffed too much of something. Of course I am being silly but really - How can things seem to change overnight.
Yesterday evening after finishing working on the boys clubhouse for the day, my husband requested that he cook dinner. So off to the kitchen he went while I feed the horses and the boys took their baths. Our 2 oldest boys decided that they wanted to set the table. They informed the rest of us that we were not allowed out of the den. We could hear them in the dining room just a giggling and saying things like this is really special and so on. Then they had us all line up and march into the dining room. I was thinking - hmmm....Now what can they be up to. They had set the table, took all of the food to the table, fixed everyones drinks and to my surprise, they had even fixed everyones plate. All we had to do was sit down in our chairs, bow our heads in prayer and then eat supper. I still am in shock that they went to that extent. We all thanked them over and over again. I gave them both a big hug and a kiss and told them how extremely impressed and thankful that I was.

This morning I woke and our 2 oldest that camped in the yard last night were in the house and watching a movie. They saw me and this is how they greeted me - "Mom, there is a giant jumping spider in our tent"! I thought it was so cute because they were so serious. Now - how in the world will they ever survive hunting with their dad?! LOL

Flip side of the coing. Somehow, someway today just turned all upside down. One of the kids took some of the others money because he thought that his brother owed it to him for something that he bought way before Christmas. I know it's confussing but kids will really pick some of the oddest things to quarrel about. Then on top of taking the money, he lied about it. They just went from one extreme to another. Now I have one on restriction. It seems like one of the 3 boys are always on restriction. But I have to look at how much improvement that all 3 of the boys have made in the short time that they have lived with us. I am sure that with every day that things will continue to improve and of couse there will be days when we take 2 steps backwards. Without mistakes we could never learn.

And just to let you know - I keep telling my husband that they are like Dr Hekyll and Mr Jyde. Spoonerism - gotta love em!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Camping In The Yard

Tonight the boys are camping. Camping in our pasture. It doesn't matter where they camp as long as they are sleeping in the tent. They say that this is a huge responsibility and it makes them proud that they are allowed to camp, even if it is in our pasture. We are planning on taking them camping in a couple of weeks along the banks of the Santa Fe River. They are really excited about that and they thought that tonight would be experience for them. We plan on swimming all day, sitting around a camp fire in the evening and a little after dark, tell a few ghost stories that the boys can laugh about and then fall asleep and listen to the river.

The boys certainly are progressing nicely. They are starting to talk a little bit about Christmas. We have never had a Christmas with children of our own and I'm not really sure who is going to have the most fun. Us or the children?! Regardless of who has the most fun, I am sure that it will be remembered for a long, long time.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Work At Home Ideas

Work at home ideas for Mom's and Dad's. Yes, even grandparents! You can spend more time with your family or on hobbies that you enjoy. Anyway you want to spend your time. It really is possible!

Mom's Talk Biz

Here Lately

Here lately we have been busy. We have started a club house for the boys. It is a work in progress and Superman has some really big plans for it. But then again, so do the boys. I will have to take some pictures and post them here. It's a pretty awesome project. The boys enjoy it because they get to use the power tools.

I am still working with the boys (and sometimes the neighbor kids) on Summer School. It was a bit much on me and our boys for the neighbor kids to come every day. It certainly has been a challenge with them, but now I can see some progress. Superman and I have decided to homeschool all 3 of our boys. I am not sure what program (or whatever it is called) that we are going to go with. If anyone has any suggestions, they are greatly appreciated.

Day camps start again next week. I am really looking forward to a little quiet time here at the house with the critters. I may even be able to get a few things done around the house, like cleaning. Oh how I hate housework. I could always spend one quick day doing housework and then I could be out at the barn with the horses the rest of the week. Now that sounds like a plan.

We have been getting a little more rain and we are thankful for that. Every little bit sure does help. The grass that we first planted didn't do very well because we just didn't have much rain. We replanted about 4 weeks ago and it is doing really well. I have been using the sprinkler but it sure is a pain to move around over 2 acres. Our soil is pretty sandy so the water just soaks right in. We have had to mow it one time. The boys sure did like that. If they just keep up with wanting to mow, I will be able to concentrate on other things. They keep begging me to go over and mow my mom's grass. We have mowed her yard two times but they want to mow it two times a week.

I am off to do a few more things before I head to bed. I would really enjoy reading any comments that you have about homeschooling. Hope to hear from everyone!