Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Something to smile about

How much worse can it get? The answer is, unfortunately, quite a bit worse.

Beginning Jan. 20, a new administration and a new Congress take power. There is little reason to believe they will be making good choices for America, and there's plenty of evidence they will attack our most basic and cherished liberties.

Look for the economy to get even worse as it did from 1977 through 1980, when we suffered double-digit inflation and Americans had to get used to gas lines. Look for America to be attacked and bullied as it was in a similar period from 1977 through 1980, when the Soviets marched into Afghanistan and the Iranians took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

We won't have the same problems Democrats brought us in those days. We will have new ones. But they will translate into misery and humiliation. Mark my words.

So, again, why am I happy?

Well, that's the bad news. But today is not a day for bad news. Today is a day to look at the opportunities before us – to discover the silver lining in those foreboding dark clouds on the political horizon.

Here's the good news. There will be nobody else to blame for what transpires in the next two years but the Democrats, who, for the first time since 1993 and 1994, have a hammerlock of control on the levers of power.

Do you remember what happened in 1994? Do you recall what happened in 1980?

There is not only an opportunity for a revitalized Republican Party inspired by the ideals of Ronald Reagan and remade in his image, there is a near certainty such a party will be given new life in 2010 and again in 2012. All the GOP has to do is recognize that those Grand Old Principles really work and have plenty of appeal to the American public.

Read the whole article here

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reflections on a Financial Meltdown

For the past couple of months the United States was been experiencing what we are told is an economic crisis. Indeed, stock markets are down considerably and the jobless rate is rising. Financial institutions are closing and the overall economy is slowing.

The mantra of the media and many politicians pins the Wall Street meltdown on "corporate greed." We hear this mess was spawned by de-regulation of the banking industry. And there is a cry for the federal government to step in to make everything better, from fixing failing banks to bailing ailing auto manufacturers to propping up debt-ridden cities and consumers.

While the blame game is in full gear, the average citizen is left in a fog to sort through the rhetoric. What to make of it all? What is the cause of our financial woes? And what is government's role in fixing it? A little worldview analysis helps clear away the fog to reveal the underlying problem and, therefore, the proper solution.

Read the whole article here

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human body, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."

-Thomas Edison

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Few Quotes

I was listening to the radio today and I heard a couple of good quotes. I thought you all might enjoy them :-)

"A gun in the hand is better than police on the phone"

"Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist"

Friday, October 17, 2008

Quick Note

My sister's in town so I've been busy with her, but please take time to go visit The Granny's blog. It's worth it.

Monday, September 29, 2008


About every other week I make a batch of bread for my family. I thought I'd invite you along to watch :-)

First I gather all of the ingredients:

Don't forget the fresh wheat!

Then I put the wheat in my grinder. While that is grinding I melt the butter, heat the water, and get everything else ready

Mmmm....freshly ground flour!

Mix it all together in the Bosch mixer until it starts pulling away from the sides

Mix for 5 minutes

Divide into 5 equal portions. You could just wing it. I'm picky enough that I like to weigh it.

Use oil and shape into loaves

Place into a well greased pan

If I do it right then the bowl comes out clean!

Allow loaves to raise for 30 minutes

I freeze two portions for pizza dough later in the week

Ready for the oven!

Hot fresh bread!

I use an electric knife so I get nice, even slices

Ready to eat or for the freezer!

I started at 2:20 and pulled the bread out of the oven at 3:50. That's the beauty of the Bosch!

I've also used the dough to make hamburger buns, cinnamon rolls and cinnamon bread!

Friday, September 26, 2008

After Pictures

Just ignore the bib hanging to dry on the window...

Now the real test is if I'm to maintain it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I have decided that I am going to start organizing my house. Seriously. Are you laughing? OK, I'll wait for you to stop.

Done yet?


Alright, over at Order out of Chaos she is cleaning up one area at a time. So I decided to join her. I will choose one area a week to really work on. Sound like Flylady? Yeah, it pretty much is that idea. Except that I get to choose what I work on. Because I'm bossy like that.

I think that this week I'll concentrate on my kitchen. Here are the pictures. I'll post the after on Saturday. Or maybe Monday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Canadian Doctors Group Worried Palin Example Will Lower Down's Abortion Rate

I have no words after reading this:

TORONTO, September 10, 2008 ( - U.S. vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's loving and highly-publicized acceptance of her Down's syndrome child Trig has some Canadian doctors worried that her example may lead to mothers shunning abortion after diagnosis of Down's syndrome.

Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice-president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), told the Globe and Mail yesterday, "Palin's decision to keep her baby, knowing he would be born with the condition, may inadvertently influence other women who may lack the necessary emotional and financial support to do the same."

"The worry is that this will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada," he said.

Under the facade of "freedom to choose", Lalonde said that "popular messages" about women like Palin, who choose not to kill their unborn children, "could have detrimental effects on women and their families."

"We offer the woman the choice. We try to be as unbiased as possible," Lalonde said. "We're coming down to a moral decision and we all know moral decisions are personal decisions."

Detrimental? Are you kidding me? How is allowing your child to live detrimental? Here is a great article with the other side of the story.
Read this whole story here

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Airport Security

I'd like to comment on this article, but I'm a bit concerned about popping up on some random google searches. So just go read it yourself. Then come back and we'll talk. I'll wait.

Done?'s the thing. I read this article and was like, "so what?". I've flown internationally before and been patted down. I didn't feel that it was unnecessary. Nor did I feel violated. As I was discussing this with DH I pointed out that a woman could hide a knife in such a place. He didn't believe me, so I proceeded to get my Swiss Army Knife and placed in it an undisclosed place. He was pretty surprised that I was correct. And for those of you that don't know me, let just say that I am not "well endowed". The article states that this woman was "big busted".

So what am I saying? Am I recommending that all big busted women get patted down? Absolutely not. I'm just saying that from a security stand point I can see the reason for such a rule for anybody that sets off the metal detectors. Now, the woman did offer an acceptable alternative, but this caused her to miss her flight.

The humorous thing to me is that she refused the pat down so as not to be humiliated. Instead, she walked around with no upper support and now she has her name and details all over the internet. I guess that's not as humiliating?

I could be wrong. Maybe I'm missing something. What do you think? Would you be upset if you were her? Annoyed? Vow never to wear such a thing again? I dunno. I just think that there are more interesting things to get upset over...

Monday, August 25, 2008


My sister (whom I love dearly) recently referred to me as "Pioneer". This came after a list of things that I do that most people don't do. The list was something like:
  • Make my own laundry detergent
  • Make my own dish detergent
  • Make my own bread
  • Use cloth diapers
  • Grind my own wheat
  • etc...
I guess I don't see it all as that weird, but I'll let you decide :-)

For today, here's how I make my own laundry detergent

Note-I buy all of these things at local grocery stores. The links are only so you know what to look for. The washing soda is not nearly that expensive in the stores!

  1. First thing you need to do is grate the bar soap. Just use a cheese grater or food processor. Keep whatever you don't use now in a ziplock bag

  2. Measure 1 cup grated soap, 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup washing soda into blender. Blend until all the the soap is a powder!

  3. Pour into container. Repeat until you have enough to fill the container

You only use 1-2 Tablespoons per load! I'm too lazy to do the math on it, but Crystal says that it comes out to be $.01 a load! I actually think that mine is cheaper because the Zote is cheaper than the Fels Naptha. But Zote does seem to be difficult to obtain if you don't live in South Texas.

A few notes about this. This soap is safe to use on the new Air Force (and Army) uniforms because there are no optical brighteners in it. However, you should not use it on cloth diapers because of the Borax. But, to my delight, in researching for this post I found another recipe here that has recipes without the Borax! I am so trying those! If I can do laundry for 1-2 cents a load then you know I'm excited about that!

Also, you can use these in front loading washers since they create very few suds. The closest thing to this (that I've found) is Charlie's Soap, but even buying it the cheapest way still cost nearly $.11 per load.

I have been considering trying this recipe with the hot water so I can use a liquid in my cold loads, but I'll have to get a 2-3 gallon bucket first. If I did this method I would definitely add some essential oils to the mixture.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Because I Can

Sorry. I saw this quiz and I just couldn't resist. I mean, don't you want to know what kind of punctuation mark you are? I think this describes me pretty well. Except for the "brilliant" part.

You Are a Colon

You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just Call Me Hermit

Sorry about the hermit thing again. Hubby got assigned to a shift that I don't like, so I turned hermit again. It's taking a bit of adjusting since he's always had a *normal* shift. Until now. I'll try to do better.

A few random thoughts:
My sister labeled me "Pioneer" the other day. She did this after naming several things that I make or do myself. It was actually a very amusing conversation since I don't see what I do as that much different. But maybe I eased into everything so slowly that I don't see it....

My hormones have been off lately. I've been doing some pretty extreme mood swings. Poor hubby. I don't know how he puts up with me. I'm trying some different supplements in hopes that it will help me get back to normal. It better work or else I'm likely to go crazy.

I want to find a "Make Your Own Monday" type blog roll. Do you know of one?

We officially started homeschooling our oldest son! I also joined a local co-op! I'm looking forward to that! I'll be teaching music and assisting in art. Should be pretty easy.

I'm off to bed now. I just wanted to break the silence. Maybe I'll be back tomorrow with some type of "Frugal Friday" or something like that post.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sign My Map!

I just added something new to my blog. Scroll alllllllllllllll the way to the bottom and you'll see my buddy map! Sign it so I know where you are!

Monday, July 21, 2008



Right now I have a big pan of granola in my oven. In total I'll have about 12-14 cups of granola for a fraction of the cost of the store bought variety. And, if I do say so myself, mine will taste better :-) At least hubby thinks so too!

Granola is one of those things that isn't hard to make and is super easy to customize according to your family's likes and dislikes. The recipe I use it out of "Whole Foods For the Whole Family" cookbook, but there are many recipes out there.

One Pan Granola

A recipe for granola is as good as your imagination and the ingredients on your pantry shelf.

Start with:
5-6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
Add 6 cups total of any or all of these:
soy flour
whole wheat flour
wheat germ
rolled wheat flakes
sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds
non-fat dry milk powder
shredded coconut
unsalted nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans)

Options for dry mixture:
1 cup bran
1/2 cup millet
1/4 cup soy grits
2T nutritional yeast
2t cinnamon
1t salt

Heat in large roasting pan:
1/2 to 1 cup oil or 2 sticks butter
1/2 to 1 cup honey, molasses or maple syrup or any mixture of these
1/2 cup water
2 t vanilla or almond extract

When liquid mixture is warm and thinned, begin adding dry ingredients; stir each in well with a large wooden spoon. Here's one situation where "too many cooks" are an asset-let all helpers have a turn!
Granola may be toasted right in the roasting-mixing pan! Set oven at 250; bake approximately 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. You may spread mixture on cookie sheets, too, for shorter baking time (about 30 minutes at 325). Turn with pancake turner at 10 minute intervals. Watch carefully until done to your family's taste; remember granola becomes crisper as it cools in the pan. If you have difficulty getting the mixture to taste cooked, you might try toasting the flours lightly in the oven or by stirring in an iron skillet for a few minutes.
When the cereal is cool, mix in iup to 2 cups of dried apricots, apple, or pineapple, raisin, dates or prunes. Serve "as is" for a snack, with milk or yogurt for breakfast, or create your own granola bars. It makes a thoughtful gift for the mother of a new baby with older children at home, or for friends at holiday time, packed in a decorative tin. Carry along for camping and hikes in little paper bags. Share with squirrels! Quantities of granola are easily adjusted up or down, according to family size. This recipe make about 14 cups.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mum Power

Guess you shouldn't make a Momma Bear mad....

"A McDonald's manager who told a young woman to stop breastfeeding found himself faced with a demonstration of Mum Power.

Maddie Reynolds returned with five friends she had met at ante-natal classes and they staged a mass feed-in at the restaurant.

'We all walked in to McDonald's together and sat around one table right by the counter,' said 27-year-old Miss Reynolds, a nursery nurse from Bournemouth.

We began breastfeeding our babies all at the same time to make a point. We caused a bit of a stir among customers but none of the staff looked our way.
'Someone told a manager what we were doing but he just muttered that he couldn't comment.'

Alison Purves, spokesman for McDonald's, said the company was 'disappointed' by the junior manager's actions. Breastfeeding mothers were welcomed in all its restaurants.

'This manager was working unilaterally and not following company policy at all. If another customer ever expressed their discomfort about breastfeeding we would encourage them to move rather than the mum.

'What we don't want to do is to make mums feel as if they have to hide away.'
She said the manager involved had been told he had made a mistake.

'We are confident he will make the right decision in future."

Read the whole article here

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We Are Family

Ever seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? It's a good movie. You really should see it. If you haven't seen it or if you come from a small family, then you'll have no idea about what I'm about to talk about. So maybe you should just skip this post. Or not. You might find it amusing. Read on.

My family reminds me of the family in the movie. Everyone is in each others business. Sometimes it can be good. Sometimes it can be cool. The way we're always there for each other. I told my husband one time "My family may be colorful, but we've got each others back".

But (and you knew that was coming) sometimes, it can be tiring. The way we give unsolicited advice. Opinions. The way that we all know that we are the correct ones in the situation. Maybe all families do this. Maybe it's just more noticeable when there are 8-10 opinions flying.

As you've already guessed, my family is currently going through one of these moments add nauseam (sp?). This is where I want to graciously bow out because I can't change anything by giving my opinion. So why am I having a hard time doing so? I have no idea. But I think I'll go crazy if I continue hearing everything from both sides.

I'm tired. I'm going to bed now. I'll think more after sleep and caffine.

The Rule of Half

Long time, no hear. Sorry to all of you out there that have been waiting for a post. I'm in the middle of a hermit phase. This happens everytime I move. I get almost everything done around the house that needs to be done after a move, then I turn into a hermit because I have no friends and I'm bored. I'll try to do better.

So, to try and get myself out of said "hermit phase", I decided to post a Works for Me Wednesday idea. Enjoy :-)

A while back I was cruising around on some fugal pages and found "The Rule of Half". It goes like this. Use half of the normal amount of something. Anything. Dishwasher detergent, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc. If you can divide it up, then do it! I found that my dishes were getting just as clean as before. I'm sure it is partially due to the unreal amount of heat that the water heater is set at (which, at our former residence, was not controlled by us). I use this rule in the shower by watering down all the soaps and shampoos. This works well since the kids use too much anyway.

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more useful tips!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Baby Sitters

I was recently reading some blog posts where someone had asked how much they should pay a baby-sitter. One person responded with this, a baby-sitter rate calculator. I was shocked. Floored. Speechless. I have never paid a baby-sitter anything close to the rate that it says that I should. Granted, most of the baby-sitters I hire are younger than 17 (the youngest age possible in the calculator), but I tend to think that I'm not off the hook that easily. The interesting thing is that I searched for the rate in my little hometown in Indiana that I grew up in. Instead of the $13.75/hr rate that I would have to pay here, it's only $6/hr!

Conclusion: I need to find another family that is willing to do baby-sitting swaps if I ever want to go out on a date with my husband again.

Monday, June 9, 2008

To Coupon or Not to Coupon...

....that is my question.

A while back I mentioned that couponing doesn't work for me. Anytime I have tried to use coupons I found that I was a) spending more money, b)getting things I didn't need, or c) all of the above. However, with food prices getting way out of hand I decided that I need to do something to keep our food budget from going crazy.

The first thing I needed to do was swallow my pride. See, I hear people talk about how much money they spend on groceries and I sit back over here, rather smugly, thinking about how much less I spend. When I heard about a family of 5 spending $700 every two weeks on groceries and toiletries I about hit the floor. But then I read blogs about people spending $200/month on their family of 5 and I quickly discount them for crazy. After all, if I can't get our budget down to that then these people certainly must be crazy. Or maybe they are doing something that I need to learn and figure out.....

So after I swallowed my pride and started looking/asking for help on trimming my budget I'm still confused. On the one hand, Amy at the Tightwad Gazette doesn't use coupons and has found the same experience that I have had. On the other hand, Crystal at the Money Saving Mom has an amazing system for couponing and seemingly saves a lot of money.

This is where my black and white personality goes to war. It says that they can't both be right and there has to be one best way to do things. One way will save the most money. The other, will not.

I realize that at this point someone will comment that I just have to do what works best for my family. Does going out every few days to CVS work best for me? Shopping at Aldi's? Only eating every other day?

Enough rambling for now. I have decided to really try this coupon thing. I signed up for the Sunday paper and will be searching for coupons all over the place. I'll give this until the end of the newspaper subscription (26 weeks) and then I'll decide if I'm saving a lot of money or not. I guess the scary thing for me is that this is new and not in my comfort zone. I'm worried that I'll end up spending more money and completely blow the budget. But I'll give it a try. Any tips?

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Tiffany asked what I meant by the "Crunchy" in my name. Crunchy is a term that I heard a while back to describe people who live a more natural life style compared to the mainstream. Here is a fun quiz to find out how crunchy you are :-) I scored a 160=Super Nutty, Ultra-Crunchy, Granola Earth Mama!

I wanted to add a disclaimer here. I don't say this as a more-holier-than-thou kind of thing. I am using the term "crunchy" to describe how I am trying to live my life. But I certainly have no problem with a few convenience foods every now and then. Nor do I think that you're a bad person if you buy disposable diapers. This is what works best for my family at this point in our lives. I would like to be able to afford more organic/natural food items, but right now I'm taking the more frugal route with our grocery budget.

I guess that's the ironic thing to me. Much of the things that are considered "crunchy" I started because they were frugal to me (cloth diapers, making things from scratch, etc). I do homebirths because I much prefer being at home with a midwife than going into a hospital to a Dr I've never seen before. To me it's about as close to ensuring a safe birth as possible!

Must run for now! The kids are back from the playground so I need to find something for them to do in this tiny space :-)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Frugal Friday

The statement was made recently that I have been very frugal while living in our little hotel room. The funny thing is that I was looking at our grocery bill and thinking about how I was spending a ridiculous amount of money on groceries. But I suppose that since the alternative is eating out all of the time then I know I've done a decent job. Here's what our meals look like:

Breakfast-Continental Breakfast or cereal/instant oatmeal (that I made before leaving)
Lunch-PB&J or leftovers
Dinner-Something cheap, easy, creates little leftovers and is hopefully not completely bad for you. So far we've had things like Mac & Cheese, Spaghetti, Frozen Pizza, Frozen Crock-Pot Meals and Hamburger Helper type meals.

These kinds of meals are normally reserved for the days that daddy is in charge of dinner or mommy is having a really bad day dinner. But since I only have a dorm size refrigerator I don't have room for many of the additional ingredients that cooking from scratch requires. We are moving into our new house next Friday so all frugalness will resume at that time. Until then I'm trying to balance easy with frugal :-)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Texas children roped into Islamic training

I cannot even begin to express my dismay at what happened at this school. While part of me is shocked, the other part is not. The whole purpose of the public school system is to indoctrinate kids with whatever the state wants. Don't believe me? Think I'm being a bit harsh? Spend some time reading articles and books written by some of the heads of the public school system. Trust me. They leave little room to doubt. But even with all of that, this is one of the more blatant steps to undermine everything that these parents would hope to teach at home:

Public school students at Friendswood Junior High in the Houston area have been roped into Islamic training by representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations during class time, prompting religious leaders to protest over Principal Robin Lowe's actions.

Pastor Dave Welch, spokesman for the Houston Area Pastor Council, confirmed the indoctrination had taken place and called it "unacceptable."

In the Texas case, a school e-mail to parents provided only a half-hearted acknowledgement that such mandatory religious indoctrination might not have been the best decision.

"In hindsight, a note should have been sent home to parents indicating the purpose and content of the presentation in time for parents to contact me with questions or concerns or requests to exempt their child," the school note from Lowe said. "This will be our practice in the future, should we ever have another presentation of a similar nature."

School officials also said the "Islamic Awareness" presentation was "to increase understanding of the Islamic culture in response to racially motivated comments that have been made to students on campus."

The pastors said in a statement: "According to students who were forced to attend these sessions, these Islamic evangelists taught them:

  • Adam, Noah and Jesus are prophets

  • There is one god, his name is Allah

  • The 5 Pillars of Islam

  • How to pray five times a day

  • Islamic religious garb"
There also was no parental notification, and students were required to attend.

"The kids did not even know they were having an assembly or what topic it pertained to until they entered the gym," the parent wrote. "I send my kids to school for academics. … I teach them religion at home."

The sad thing is that we can no longer send our children to school for academics alone. They will be taught many other things. The question is, whose view point do we want them to hear from? I don't have a problem teaching my children about other religions. I took a "Living World Religion" class in college. I think it's good to know so we know how to defend our faith against theirs. But those are things that I will teach my children. Not the public schools.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What Kind of Chocolate Are You?

You’re a dreamer, who often retreats to your own world. You believe in true love and the healing power of beauty. You love sad books and movies, but then again, you love happy books and movies, too. You’re introspective, tender and caring. Face it, you love a chance to have a good cry. When it comes to chocolate, the packaging is just as important as what’s inside.

Find our your chocolate here

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On Our Way (almost)

Our stuff is on our way to our destination. The truck will beat us there so it will be off loaded into storage while we wait for base housing to come available.

Can I admit that I'm starting to be a little excited about our move? I feel like a traitor saying that. I'll miss my friends so much. Saying that I'm excited about going makes me feel like I'm ignoring what I'm leaving behind. I'm not. But I am trying to focus on what is yet to come. A new assignment. A new part of the country. 6 hours from family. And I know that I'll keep in touch with my friends. They have meant so much to me. There is a large part of me that would love to come back here. I've told my friends that I have people praying that we'll move to their area after hubby gets out of the AF. So we'll just see who is the most spiritual by where we end up moving to :-)

Most of my more "natural" living goes out the window when it comes to moving. I use high powered chemicals to clean, disposable diapers on the baby, and I cook whatever is quick and simple. I tried to come up with ways to avoid frozen dinners but I don't think I was very successful. Any ideas? I'm hoping not to get sick this time while moving like I did last time. When we moved a year and a half ago I was pregnant and all those instant meals made me sick. So hopefully that won't happen this time.

I'm off to bed! We bought an air mattress to sleep on so it should be more comfortable than the floor anyway!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

I love food. I really do. It's my downfall in life. It wouldn't be if I loved working out. But I don't. I will admit that cooking is one thing I will miss while we are in transition. There's just something about frozen dinners that just doesn't taste good as mine :-) Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Chicken Parmigiana

1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup Italian bread crumbs
2-4 T butter or olive oil
14 oz jar pizza sauce
2 Cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Grated Parmesan

  1. Beat egg, ealt, pepper together. Dip chicken into egg and coat with bread cumbs. Saute chicken in oil in skillet (you just want to brown the outside, not cook it thoroughly). Arrange chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Pour pizza sauce over chicken
  3. Cover. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours
  4. Layer mozzarella cheese over top and sprinkle with Parmesan. Cook and additional 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with Linguine & Salad!


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Moving Things

Our packers are coming 4 1/2 days. At Tech School hubby would call that 3 days and a wake up. In any case, it's coming up on us really soon. For those of you that have never done a military move, let me fill you in on how this works.

There are many preparations leading up to moving, some of which include briefings. Many briefings. After you have been briefed (did I mention many times?) they schedule your move for you. For the most part you can pick out the days that you want the movers to come, unless you are moving in a busy season. Then you take whatever you can get! Fortunately we're moving at the very beginning of the busy season so we got the dates that we asked for!

Apparently we have now accumulated enough junk property that we now qualify for 2 days of the packers being here. So, on Wednesday, the packers will show up and start boxing up our things. Now, to some of you, this may sound wonderful because we don't have to pack everything ourselves. And there is definitely that benefit. However, we also have to watch to be sure that they are not being careless and that they are labeling everything correctly on the outside of the box. While we have never had a problem with loosing a box, there are (of course) many horror stories out there. But I'm not concentrating on those stories right now, so let's move on.

Our packers will pack everything on Wednesday and Thursday. The older children will be at friends houses who were suckered into nice enough to watch them for us. We'll keep the baby with us since she would only scream for friends. As a bribe to be nice with our things we buy the packers lunch both days. We also provide drinks for them.

On Friday the movers will come and load everything into a truck. This is the part that can be nerve wracking at times. There are some items of furniture that I choose not to watch be carried out of the house. And with the new full replacement value insurance that the AF pays for I'm a little more relaxed about them breaking my things! We will also provide food and drinks for the movers. In general the movers have always been very nice. The thing to watch with this part is their notes on our things. For every piece of furniture that they move they put a numbered sticker on it for tracking purposes. Then next to that number they make notes on the inventory. These notes are hard to decipher (read:horrible handwriting) but have to be looked over to be sure that they didn't mark down something horrible for your furniture. They may mark "stained" or "soiled" on something that looks practically brand new. Again, we've never had any problems, but the horror stories are out there. You may be asking what the big deal is. If the inventory says that there is a gash or stain, but there wasn't, then it arrives with something wrong, then it'll be really hard to get that replaced because "it wasn't the movers who did it". Again, we've never had any problems....

After everything is out of here we'll start the cleaning process. We live in a base housing unit so it has to be very clean when we leave. White glove clean. The trick is that we'll also still be living here at the time (we'll be sleeping on air mattresses). We'll clean here on Friday, Saturday and Monday. We'll stay Monday night at a friends house then our final inspection is Tuesday morning. Whatever we didn't get clean or is broken will be deducted from our BAH (Basic Housing Allowance). So we'll be sure to do a good job of cleaning :-)

After that we'll be on our way! We check into our new base a week later (after visiting friends and family along the way) and will hopefully move into housing shortly thereafter. We'll buy pizza for our movers on that end too. It's only fair :-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Frugal Friday

Today's topic is PaperbackSwap! I love PaperbackSwap and it's cousins SwapACD and SwapADVD! Here's how it works:
  1. Sign up for an account
  2. Post books/CDs/DVDs
  3. Order items from other members
  4. Mail media to others!
I have gotten rid of many books that I no longer read (i.e. I didn't like them) and I have received many good books! All for a fraction of what it would have cost me if I were buying them nre or used! My favorite portion is the wish lists. I'll put a book on the wish list and then it will automatically get sent to me when someone else posts it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


This month's theme for Works for Me Wednesday is What-DOESN'T-Work For Me. So here we go:

  1. Coupons-I know this goes against most everything frugal, but I have never found cutting coupons to be a money saving thing for me. If I use them heavily then I buy stuff I don't need and actually spend more money then if I hadn't used them. If I only use what I would have bought anyway then I barely save enough to make buying the paper worth it.
  2. Cry it out-Doesn't work for me and my babies. If I'm upset, do I want to be left alone to cry?
  3. Sewing-I wish it worked for me. Maybe it will one day. But for now the patterns are just plain confusing
  4. MySpace-I much prefer blogspot
  5. Hospitals for giving birth-Home is what I love!
  6. Haggling-I'm no good at it
  7. South Texas Heat-Nuff said
For more, visit RocksInMyDryer!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Breast-fed children found smarter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new study provides some of the best evidence to date that breast-feeding can make children smarter, an international team of researchers said on Monday.

Children whose mothers breast-fed them longer and did not mix in baby formula scored higher on intelligence tests, the researchers in Canada and Belarus reported.

The children were monitored for about 6 1/2 years.

The children in the group where breast-feeding was encouraged scored about 5 percent higher in IQ tests and did better academically, the researchers found.

Previous studies had indicated brain development and intelligence benefits for breast-fed children.

"Mothers who breast-feed or those who breast-feed longer or most exclusively are different from the mothers who don't," Dr. Michael Kramer of McGill University in Montreal and the Montreal Children's Hospital said in a telephone interview.

"They tend to be smarter. They tend to be more invested in their babies. They tend to interact with them more closely. They may be the kind of mothers who read to their kids more, who spend more time with their kids, who play with them more," added Kramer, who led the study published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

The researchers measured the differences between the two groups using IQ tests administered by the children's pediatricians and by ratings by their teachers of their school performance in reading, writing, math and other subjects.

Both sets of scores were significantly higher in the children from the breast-feeding promotion group.

Read the whole article here

Had to Share

I was looking on CafePress today and found this! Thought I'd share in case anyone is hesitant about homebirths because of the mess:

Monday, May 5, 2008

Gestapo Raid on Raw Milk?

I have read many stories like this before, so it is really no different than the others. What is frustrating to me is how the government barges in the "protect the consumer" when it should really be the consumer that is researching and knowing our options. If you, after researching, decide to drink pasteurized/homogenized milk, then that's your decision. If you, after researching, decide to fully vaccinate your children, then go for it! But these are all areas where the "Nanny State" is taking over and telling us what is best for us and that we shouldn't question what the almighty government has decided for us. Many times they look at those of us that are doing things different than mainstream and call us irresponsible. I beg your pardon, but isn't doing the research for ourselves and making informed decisions make us responsible?

Here's part of the article. You can read the whole article here. After you do, please go and vote on the poll!

A rally has been set for tomorrow in front of the magistrate's office in Mt. Holly, Pa., in support of a Mennonite farmer who has brought the wrath of the government on himself for selling raw milk and other products – an act government prosecutors say violates a number of regulations.

That's when the next court hearing is scheduled for Mark Nolt, a Pennsylvania farmer who turned in his state permit to sell raw milk because it didn't allow for the sale of the other products he offered.

"They swooped in ... like a bunch of Vikings, handcuffed me and stole $30,000 worth of my milk, cheese and butter," he told the New York Daily News.

His case is just an example of what the government is trying to do to those who believe – based on medical results – that raw milk is better for them than the processed milk available in most grocery stores, according to Nolt's supporters.

Processed milk, many believe, leads to clogged arteries, strokes and heart attacks.

Jonas Stoltzfus, a fellow farmer and member of the Church of the Brethren, was asked to be a spokesman for Nolt, and confirmed, "Six state troopers and Bill Chirdon of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture trespassed onto his property, and stole $20,000-$250,000 of his product and equipment."

Stoltzfus reported Nolt turned in his state permit to sell raw milk "because it did not cover all the products he was selling. he felt he was being dishonest selling stuff that was not covered by the permit."

Stoltzfus said authorities told Nolt people had gotten sick from eating his food, "but no one ever came forward and no proof was ever offered."

"This is a Gestapo raid," Stoltzfus told the blog report, "complete with state troopers, raiding a hard-working farmer selling milk to friends and customers."

The Daily News reported the farmer's customers were enraged.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Importance of a Mother's Role

How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness. -G.K. Chesterton

Hat Tip-Candace

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Bit About Me

Greetings! I hope to keep up on this blog and do regular postings. However, we are in the middle of our second move with the military. We were supposed to be at this assignment for 4 years, but the AF changed things and is sending us to a new duty station at the end of May. I looking forward to our move for the most part, but I will admit that it will be hard to leave. I have made many friends in our short time here and will miss them dearly. Not to mention that I don't really care for change all that much so the change in cities will not be very much fun. But I am trying to stay optimistic about everything since I know that will effect my transition in the long run.

My hubby has been in the AF for almost 6 years and we have 3 beautiful children. James (5) has a late birthday so I'll be doing Kindergarten with him starting this fall. He has a speech delay (officially called Auditory Processing Disorder) so many times you may read something about him that has to do with this. We currently have him in private speech therapy and hope to continue that after we move. David (3) still thinks he's two and continues to push his boundaries. Most of my energy in the day is spent with him. Elizabeth (9 months) is a lot of fun to be around and I'm trying my best to enjoy her clingy stage :-) She is the only one that has been born at home and I loved it! I hope to be able to do a home birth whenever God blesses us with another baby, although the area we're moving to is not so midwife friendly. Which just means that there are more hoops I'll have to jump through.

I have been a Christian since about age 12 and desire to raise our children in a Godly home, but I have come to realize that there is still a lot of me that needs working on. God uses my children everyday to refine me and show me where I come up short. I am thankful for His grace and patience with me as walk this path.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Start

I decided to start a more public blog. We'll see how it goes :-)