Monday, February 20, 2006


For anyone who likes Coke products,this contest is for you! No purchase is necessary at all. Just go to Coca-Cola Olympics Contest and register. After registering, click on "Enter code". On the bottom of the page is a picture of a box of that and request your courtesy code. You can request up to 3 codes per day.

You will be assigned a random Olympic event for each code you enter. Each time the US scores any medal (gold, silver OR bronze), you win! Both Silas and I have won 5 2-liter bottles each already. I believe the contest ends March 15th or so...plenty of time to get yourself some free Coke and enter to win a trip to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. I think that would be well worth conquering my fear of flying. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Vehicular surprise

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About three months ago or so I had gotten all the kids into the van and was on my way to therapy with Josh. I put it in reverse to back out of the driveway and it refused to was as if the emergency brake was on. I tried popping the emergency brake, which I rarely use (and definitely don't use at the house), but nothing happened. I tried turning the van off and back on thinking maybe I just didn't have the key completely turned or something. It wouldn't move. So, after going through all of the options I could think of, dummy me decided to apply a little gas to see if it would go. It went, but it sounded like something fell out of the bottom of the van when I did it. So, I call Silas and he has no idea what it could be. I pulled up and down the drive a few times to be sure it would indeed brake, and it did. So, after talking a little while longer to Silas, I decided to try driving it around the block. When I did this, I heard a noise from the back that sounded like I had a flat tire, but there was no bounce that typically goes along with that flat tire. After only 200 feet or so, the noise stopped. I had my wonderful husband drive it several times before I would get back behind the wheel, and naturally it worked beautifully and did not seem to have a single issue. It's been driving fine with no noise until recently.

Well, for the past couple of weeks I have been saying we needed to get the van brakes looked at because they feel funny to me and they are starting to sound like a bus when I stop. The stupid thing NEVER does this for Silas when he is driving though...only for me.

Silas took the van in today thinking that the front and back brakes would need standard repair. Before he even got home, I got a call from the repair place saying that it was a lot worse. The rear left wheel cylinder is busted, and there is a good possibility that the brake fluid has air in it. I asked what that meant exactly, and Silas said if there is too much air in the brakes, they basically will not work at all.

So basically I have been driving my kids around in a vehicle around whose brakes could have gone out at any minute. God has definitely been watching over us.

Shopping - my frugal habits

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I have been having way too much fun lately. I love a good deal! I live in the land of no regular doubles. We have one fairly new store that doubles 3 days a week, and I have yet to make it over there. They bought out a chain that was known for overpricing everything, so I guess knowing what it used to be has kept me away thus far. I am going to make it a point to go in one of them before February ends.

Anyway, I mentioned in my last post that Cassie and I went shopping this week. I'm a big spender. Spent a total of $1.30. LOL However, for that $1.30 I came home with 2 huge Herbal Essence Conditioners, 2 full size bottles of Herbal Essence Shampoos, and a full sized bottle of Finesse Shampoo. There is a ton of stuff on clearance at CVS right now, and when combined with coupons, it is a bargain!

Then last night my mother and I went shopping. We hit one of the CVS stores and spent about 1 1/2-2 hours in there. BUT, here is what I got - 10 boxes of hair coloring (Herbal Essence, L'Oreal, Garnier, etc), a bottle of Shout stain remover, and a full sized bottle of L'oreal kid's shampoo. Grand total after tax - $1.78!

So, after that, we hit Target. We had a blast there too. My biggest expenses there were two Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus dolls that I had been eyeing for a while for the girls. Even Elena loves Barbie dolls (without accessories, of course), so couldn't pass them up for half price! Using coupons, I also got a trial sized bottle of Tide for 1/2 price, a box of Herbal Essence hair color (like I needed more) for .24, trial sized Edge shaving gel for free, and 2 protein bars for .67. After a few other misc items, my total came up to about $20.

After that we hit another CVS. This one didn't turn out as well for me, but I still did pretty good. The friendly cashier decided to try and help me out by giving me back coupons because it would only use .80 of the $3.00 coupon, so she thought it would be better for me to come back and get it free. The way she worded things confused me - I wanted her to use the coupon because it would make it free as opposed to .80. If I had made two seperate trips it would have been free, so what is the difference if she took it now or later? {shrug} Oh well, 'tis done now. She jipped me $5 off my purchase by handing me back coupons I wanted to use because she thought she was "helping". I came out of there with 4 boxes of various hair color, 2 huge bottles of VO5 Nourishing Oasis conditioner, 2 Dove Styling Mousse, 1 Suave bodywash, 1 Dove shampoo, and 2 L'Oreal Kids shampoos. My total before coupons and clearance savings was $34.43 - my total paid was $16.75. Not as great a deal, but not horrid either.

So, we are set on shampoo and conditioner for a while. And if anyone needs hair color, let me know. ;)

Sick, sick, sick

Well,once again I have been a slacker. I was really sick before Christmas with some osrt of allergy/sinus thing. I lost my voice and it took me three weeks to get back to normalcy. So, here I am feeling great, and Silas comes home from work with something. He got over it, but in the meantime I have managed to catch it and have been hoarse once again for the past week. No fun for someone who likes to talk. LOL I miss my voice...well, not so much the voice, but the knowledge that my voicebox is going to definitely work when I try to speak.

Jacob has had an off and on cough. Aside from that and his extremely touchy and grouchy attitude, you wouldn't necessarily know that he was ill. Joshua was coughing a lot last night, but he woke up this morning exclaiming, "I feel better, Mommy!", so hopefully that is as bad as it gets for him. Elena has had a VERY runny nose for the past two days, but that's it for her. Cassie, poor dear, has been the worst of them all. She was an angel on Wednesday for my mom, so I asked her if she would like to go with me when I went shopping later that evening (which I will tell you about in my next entry). She was very excited and was a big helper, holding my coupons for me and putting things into the cart. We got home and she wanted to go to bed. We got her ready and she zonked out immediately, but an hour later she woke up with the croup.

All of my kids except for Elena have had the croup at some point. I usually don't get uptight about it. I usually go in the bathroom with them and run the shower with the hottest water I can and steam up the room for a while as I read to them. This didn't work for Cassie this time. So I wrapped her in a blanket and went outside in the chilly air with her. Didn't work. Silas was holding her while I looked to see if there was anything in the medicine cabinet to help her a little bit. While doing that, I got a bit nervous. Every single time she would breathe, both in and out, it sounded horrible. I have never had any of the other kids sound like this. So I grabbed our nebulizer and gave her a breathing treatment, which only upset her more, which led to screaming from her, which led to worse crying and worse coughing, etc. You get the picture. I had Silas put on a movie for her and then go up to the store to grab some Sprite and called my mom to see if she knew of anything else I could do for her. While on the phone, Cassie settled down enough to where her breathing became normal again. Whew! So, for two nights I slept on one couch, and Cassie was on the other. She's fine now, but I am still trying to recoop from the lack of sleep.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Elena pottied!

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Woohoo! I was so excited! I was running her bath water this morning and had just taken off her pull-up when she pointed at her leg. She had a little trickle going down where she had wet herself a little bit just as I was going to put her on the chair. I put her on there anyway so she'd make the connection. We have the Royal Potty that plays music when they actually do anything, but the kids all think it is neat to stick their hands down in the seat to hear it. Anyway, it kept playing music over and over. I was confused as to why it wouldn't stop, because I had never heard it make music that many times in a row. Well, lo and behold, little stinker actually used the potty! Boy, did I ever cheer for her! Hopefully this is the start of a trend!

One reason I was MIA for so long

I totally forgot to tell you one of the reasons I was MIA for so long. I became a Qwyzzle addict. One of my board buddies, Stef, introduced me to this brain strainer. LOL I finished in about two weeks. Yay me! Here is the link:


Enjoy..but be forewarned...some of these are HARD!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Back to class

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Josh's socialization classes have started again, and this time is going to be really cool! I have said it many times before, and I will say it again...our psych is awesome! We were leaving speech Wednesday and I was buckling Joshua into his carseat, when lo and behold, the Ms. G. parked next to us and came over to chat. She told me this time would be a little different in socialization class because it would be a bigger group and the kids were all a little older. She thought Joshua would handle it well though and it would be a nice challenge for him.

So we went back that afternoon for the class. There were 3 other children there and it appears to be a diverse bunch of kids with a variety of different needs. From what I understood while talking to the other moms, Joshua is the youngest out of the group by almost a year (in the other groups he was the oldest by a couple of months).

When they finished group and the kids come out, Ms. G. brought out our little check-out forms and as always started to pass them out to us. She passed me though, and told me she wanted to talk to me for a minute. I was thinking, "Oh no, what did he do?!?!" LOL

She wanted to forewarn me that Joshua is the youngest in the group and the group is much more verbal than the other groups he has been with. She said it is a little harder for him so she just wanted me to beware that he might show some resistance about coming the next couple of weeks because of it. However, she truly feels he can handle the challenge and is more than capable of doing everything she will be asking of him. She said whereas he has always been at the top, he's now on the bottom and has to work harder than the rest,. So it should be interesting to see how he handles the next few weeks.

While she was there, I mentioned that she is not a provider for our insurance so we were paying out of pocket, and I was wondering if there was a way to get her added. She said she'd look into seeing what could be done. I didn't even pull out of the parking lot and she called me on my cell phone to let me know that she talked to the woman who handles the insurance for their group and she thinks I can request a single case agreement for her to be covered for Joshua. She gave me her direct number again as well as the direct number for the woman she spoke to and told me if I need her to call them herself, she is more than happy to do so.

Even if it takes up the majority of our tax return, I really think it will be worth it for her to be the one providing the care. She is so good with Josh and genuinely cares how much he improves. I can't imagine trying to get into a new office and seeing another psych whose name I can not even pronounce, simply because the insurance will cover the cost. He has made such great improvements under her care. Why switch to something when there is a system that is actually working? As long as we can afford to do it, we will continue to have Joshua see her. Hopefully, the insurance company will agree to cover her services for Joshua, because that would only sweeten the deal at this point. :)


We have been studying the Olympics this week. The kids all participated in the craft activities. I have been so bad about taking pictures lately. I really need to be better about it. Each of the kids made their own flag to represent their "country". We made gold and silver medals, which was their favorite activity so far, and we also made the Olympic rings and discussed why those colors were chosen.

Jacob and I took a lot of time this morning on the internet looking up the different sports that are involved in the games. There was a great link that we both enjoyed:
Olympics site for kids

If you click on Slug, there is a great description of each of the games - the rules, equipment necessary, a list of Americans participating, and the country that is favored to win. Jacob decided after reading the descriptions that he would really like to do snowboarding. Kind of hard to do here seeing as we haven't had snow since the 80's, and even then it was nothing to really support that type of sport. I assured him we could watch though. ;)

Opening ceremonies are tonight. I can't wait to see their reactions!

New business

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Hi everyone! It's been a while, and I apologize. Life has been busy, as always. :)

As many of you know, for several months I have been trying to find something I could do from home to help with the costs of Josh's therapy while still homeschooling the boys. I stumbled upon Usborne Books during our schooling. I loved the books so much that I have decided to become an independant consultant.

All of the books have illustrations that will catch the attention of kids of any age. Many of the series feature a dual level of reading where the top of the page will have a simple line of text for the younger children who want to turn the pages, and more complete and longer text at the bottom for you to read to the child. For the older kids, the information is broken into chunks, and they retain the information easier.

One of Jacob and Joshua's favorite books is "Puzzle Train". The book has never been read the same way twice. In addition to telling a story, there are several items that the reader can search for throughout the pages, as well as questions and mind-benders to answer on each page.

There are over 1200 books available covering a tremendous amount of topics and age ranges, with the majority costing under $10. You can view them all at my website: My Usborne Bookstore You can see sample pages of many of the books. While you are there, be sure to enter the free drawing to try to win $50 in free books with no cost to enter! You can enter each month. Who knows? You may be the next winner!

If anyone is interested in hosting an e-party where you can earn free books, let me know and I will get the details to you. You can earn double the book allowance during my first 8 weeks. Also, until March 30, I am authorized to sell the complete base kit for only $99.50. Ask me for details if you are interested. All consultants get a lifetime 30% discount.

I am not sure if the shopping cart will allow shipping outside of the US, except in the case of APO boxes. If you live outside of the US and want to place an order at any time, email me your order and I can have it shipped to me and then ship it to you for actual cost. Payment appears to be only by Visa, Discover, Mastercard, or debit card. If you would like to pay by check, email me to place your order instead of going through the shopping cart. :) Most orders take only a week to get to you if you order through the website.

Ok, sales pitch over. :)