A House Made of Bricks

Every now and again, I get paranoid and decide to get my crap together.

The theft we had the other day drove it home again and lit a fire under my butt.  Here are the things that we are currently working on in terms of preparedness:

  • Building our Pantry – you never know when a freak storm will happen and will force you to stay at your house for a week.  We had this happen last year just before Griffin was born.  I was thankful for a full freezer.  Now I want a full freezer AND a full pantry.
  • Building my Household Notebook – I’ve been having a little tummy trouble again.  Not like last year – thank goodness – but troubling nevertheless.  This has once again brought the idea of the household notebook to the forefront of my planning.  I started it but need to finish it.
  • Getting our finances in order – this goes along with the household notebook.  We have a rough monthly budget but we need to get more determined to stick to it.  We just joined Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and we intend to get it right this time.
  • Emergency Preparedness – Ever since 9/11, I’ve been pretty obsessed with this.  Never obsessed enough to actually do the steps we’ve needed to do.  But I want to change that and actually build our plan.  Some of this will also be part of the family notebook.
What are you working on?

Gone Daddy Gone

gone-daddy-goneDid you know that folks steal catalytic converters off of cars to sell them for the precious metals inside?  Did you know it only takes 20 seconds with a cordless saw to cut off the catalytic converter?  Did you know that your car is inoperable without the catalytic converter or that to replace one is about 2400 smackeroos?

Yeah, me neither.

Friday afternoon, John goes out to his car after work.  He rides public transportation to work and parks the car at the train station.  So he comes out, starts the car and it sounds terrible.  He calls me.

John: The car sounds really bad.

me: Like American Idol reject bad or what?

John: It’s making a roaring noise and I don’t know if I should drive it.

me: Drive it around the parking lot.  If it won’t go, call a wrecker.

I’m a lot of help, aren’t I?

So he calls me back in a few minutes.

John: The engine light came on.  I’m calling a wrecker.

me: UGH

It’s not that I wasn’t sympathetic.  I was.  It was just that I was wondering what was wrong the with the car.  Just last weekend it was at the dealership getting an oil change and inspection.  I was wondering what it was going to cost.

So John calls me about an hour later from the dealership.

John: I am freaking out.

me: What’s the matter?

John: Somebody cut off the catalytic converter.

me: WHAT?

John: Somebody cut off the catalytic converter.

me: I heard that the first time.  I thought perhaps I was hallucinating.

John: I wish I were.

me: Why would someone cut it off?

John: Apparently folks steal these for the precious metals.  It’s gonna cost about $2400 to replace.  You need to call the insurance company.

And so I did.  Hopefully, insurance will cover this.  We now have a lovely rental minivan which just makes me wish I still had a minivan.

Blog Direction

I wonder about what direction to take this blog.

I wonder what kind of impact it could have. But I am so eccentric in what I want to write that I often wonder if I should write at all.

Things I want to write about:

  • Home making
  • Home school
  • Raising kids
  • Raising my kids in particular
  • Marriage
  • Being an only child with both parents deceased
  • Politics
  • Culture
  • Disney stuff
  • Writing the novel(s) brewing in my head

Hmmm that's an interesting list. I feel like the sahm/home-maker niche is so saturated that I really don't know what I can add. Politics will probably piss off most of my readers. I will be writing about Disney very soon on a different blog. Writing about writing just sounds boring.

I also find myself wanting to share personal things here.  Yes, I know I’ve talked about my poop and that seems pretty personal but what I’m talking about it is even more personal.  The thing is that I’m sure that someone out there could really benefit from what I’m going through.

Some of these things, I’ve written elsewhere privately but it feels lonely to write to myself.  But, it’s not like I get tons of comments or hits every month.  I feel fairly desperate to connect with others about the demons in my soul.  But some of the people that would read this might not be too happy with what I write and might say that these things are better unsaid.

Have you ever had something that you have to get out of your brain?  Did you have the courage to discuss it in the open or did you share it privately?

How to Start Homeschooling

One of the questions I’ve gotten about homeschooling from other mama’s is: How do you start? 

My answer is generally something like: “Did you teach your kid how to walk? We’ll you’ve already started homeschooling them.”

We start teaching them as soon as they can open those beautiful baby blue eyes and start looking at us.  But more likely the question is more about what curriculum to use or how to stay legal.

Here’s my steps in getting started:

  • Ask around – find what others have done
  • Get legal – find out what the requirements are for your state
  • Figure out your style – there are a ton of options out there
  • Figure out your schedule – this topic could fill a book – AND DOES!!

One of the best places to start is by asking around.  You more than likely know at least one person who is homeschooling their children or at least someone who is researching it.  I asked my friends on Facebook and got back a variety of responses – some positive, some negative.

Another great resource is the HSLDA which is a legal website and service.  It has information on the legal requirements of each state.

We’re using Calvert for our curriculum and I’ll talk more about why we’ve chosen this particular plan in another post.  It will blow your mind when you find out how many options you have for teaching your kids.  There’s online, off line, structured, unstructured, religious, non-religious, the choices can be staggering.  I’ll go into more detail about this soon.

Lastly, you need to figure out how you want school to work in your home.  Do you want to have school 5 days a week? 6?  Half days here and there to accommodate extracurricular activities or Homeschool co-ops?

There’s a ton of stuff to decide but don’t let that deter you.  You CAN do this.

Reasons to homeschool

We have been fielding a few questions about why we are choosing to homeschool P and G.  Here is reason number 1:


Yes, that is a home explosion.  The authorities believe that the man injured was cooking meth in the empty apartment.  The empty apartment RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE SCHOOL MY CHILDREN WOULD ATTEND.

In our county, the child must attend kindergarten at the assigned school, after that, you may enter a lottery to possibly attend another public school.  I don’t want my kids anywhere near this place.  This incident happened last August and it is still sitting like this.  I don’t know if insurance isn’t paying or if the owner has just given up or what.

So you add in the awful test scores of the school PLUS this incident and I don’t want the kids NEAR this place.

Eight Years Ago

Whiskas Cat Food Commercial
Eight years ago, when I was grieving the loss of my mother, I found it necessary to get help.

That help came in the form of antidepressants and a lovely therapist by the name of Jody.  She was a very sweet lady and I liked her immediately.  Her office was close and she had late office hours so I could visit her on my way home from work.

During one of those visits, the topic of coping mechanisms came up.  It will come to no surprise to anyone that knows me that I cope with just about everything - from happiness to depression – with food.  It’s something that I will one day beat.  Jody wanted me to come up with a few things that I could do to cope that did not include “Go to Japanese restaurant. Order shrimp teriyaki and California Rolls.  REPEAT.” 

The video on this page is one of the things I came up with.  This video will make me smile no matter what.  The night that I spent in the emergency room, wondering if I was going to lose Griffin when I was 17 weeks pregnant, I watched this video on my phone.  The night that I took Phoebe to the emergency room with a broken collar bone, I watched this video with her and she loved it.  Basically, this video has the power to make me happy.

I hope you enjoy it too.


september-scrapbook-wowI still really love to scrapbook.  I recently bought a Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool and have rediscovered all the things that I love like being creative and putting different colors together but being able to cut things easily.

I designed this page for my MOMS Club Scrapbook event in a couple of weeks and I’ll use the Cameo to cut the word September and the photo frame with the 2011 cut out.  I’ll also use it to cut the Real Red page mat.

I designed this as a progressive page because some of our members only scrapbook letter size and some scrapbook 12x12.  The club scrapbook is 8x8 so for that I just pop out the red portion and print a photo and I’m done.

I don’t like pork

But I like bacon.

And pork loin cooked in the slow cooker with bbq sauce.

And pork chops.  And I especially want to try THESE pork chops.

I like ham – the ham from the Honeybaked store is divine.

So I like all kinds of pork dishes, but what I really don’t like is pork roast.

Except I’d like some of my grandmother’s pork roast with sweet potatoes (or as she called it “possum and taters”).

So why do I say I don’t like pork?

High Museum of Art

1280 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

The High Museum is one of the largest art museums in the southeast. It has more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection including an extensive collection of 19th and 20th American art.

They have a great children's program and have special programs on Thursdays just for the preschool set. Older children will love getting the Discovery Backpack, which will lead them on a 30-45 minute journey through the gallery.

For more information: www.high.org

Map picture