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Friday, May 30, 2014

Three Things Thursday- 5/29/14

Time for another Three Things Thursday.  Last week I shared 3 things I miss about Florida, so this week I thought I'd share 3 things I LOVE about North Carolina.

1)  I love the smell of the air.  Seriously.  It smells SO GOOD here.  The air smells sweet, sometimes almost perfume like.  Even my kids have noticed it.

2)  I love the more temperate climate.  I'm sitting here doing this with the windows open at almost noon.  It was hot a few days ago, but now it's cooler.  We get WAY more cold/cool fronts here, and the humidity is generally lower (it was high-78% today- because a front was coming through, but only 71 degrees, so that was bearable).

3) My favorite flowers grow here.  I LOVE bulb flowers- tulips, iris, etc.  They didn't grow naturally in FL, but they do here.  The flowers are just gorgeous.  And the flowering trees?  WOW, they are breath-taking.

To participate in Three Things Thursday, click this link to go to Heidi's blog to sign up.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (New TV Show) Review

Just the other night, I had the privilege of previewing a brand new TV show.  I was especially excited since we don't have regular TV or cable, and have to wait until things come out on Netflix, so it was a real treat to get to see something upcoming even before it airs.  And THIS show really is a treat.

Here's the official "blurb" about Signed, Sealed, Delivered which was created and Executive Produced by Martha Williamson, who also created Touched By An Angel

Signed, Sealed, Delivered 
The new original series "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal detectives who transform themselves into a team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow always on time. The team includes charming Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), the group's leader is a man of faith who prayerfully approaches his work with the goal of making a difference in people's lives; new team member, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), a technophile who brings 21st century sensibility to the group; free-spirited, “girl next door” Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) who has a photographic memory; and lovable Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), a master in conventional research methods.

The show airs SUNDAYS, 8/7c on Hallmark

What OBM thought:  For the first 10-15 minutes of the show, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it.  I was trying to figure out who everyone was and I honestly didn't like the real-life attitudes that were presented because initially the negativity overrides the positive.  But as the characters came together to deliver the letter you see how the negative characteristics come to be replaced with positive, scripture reinforced ones as peoples lives are transformed by the challenges they meet and overcome.  The episode I saw, which airs tonight, features the sweet story of a special young couple, and the ending brought tears to my eyes.  I loved that I could watch the show with my kids and not have to worry about what they were hearing or seeing.  It was fun to see Marilu Henner play a bully of a boss, and have the characters chose to do the right thing in spite of her, even though she was their superior.  I think it's wonderful that the show is so openly Christian that there is even an accompanying Bible study to go with it!  You can sign up for that here:  Pretty cool, isn't it? A seven-day Bible reading experience to dig deeper into the meaningful biblical themes revealed in each episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered!   The bottom line is I definitely think this TV show has great potential, and I look forward to being able to see more of it should it make its way to Netflix.

To get more information about Signed, Sealed, Delivered, here are some links you can follow:

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Random Update

I have several posts I HAVE to do, but I'm too brain-dead for those.  So I thought I'd just do a dump of random things instead ;-P.

The Hubs and Scott are in FL right now, so I've been trying to be productive while they are gone.  So far I've:

1) made 2 batches of strawberry jam and 1 batch of strawberry-pineapple
2) coerced the kids into catching up on their chore and the house is looking much better
3) to Lowes with Sari today and planted a hanging basket to surprise daddy when he gets back.  We also bought some new plants for the garden (two heirloom tomatoes and a mint herb plant) and some $1 clearance flowers for Sari to tend.
4) gotten organic fertilizer and fertilized the garden.  We are trying a variation on Back to Eden gardening (in raised boxes and containers), but because the mulch isn't fully decomposed the plants aren't getting enough nutrients, so I needed to augment it a bit.
5) taken my girl on a Starbucks date on the way to Lowes
6)  taken the middles to a teen meet up and spent time with Sari with her friends.
7)  met another neighbor and gotten Sari and her daughter officially introduced and even had a play date the next night.
8)  planted my mother's day present (a beautiful rose bush) in the container they bought for it.
8)  fallen spectacularly carrying said mother's day present to the backyard.  We have a 5" wide drainage pipe that is open at the top and sits just below ground level right next to the driveway.  With the potted rose in my hands, I couldn't see the ground in front of me and managed to step into the pipe as I was walking.  I hit the ground HARD on both knees and hyperextended at least one big toe...we'll see what else hurts in the morning.
9)  further injured myself playing soccer with TJ tonight at the park.  I lifted my leg to try to stop a ball he had punted toward me, and ended up pulling my gluteus maximus (yes, go on and laugh).  I think was an injury made more possible by the fall this morning.  Then, after that, I blocked a shot he took at the goal with the same leg, and managed to pull it even further.  I mean serious, WOW that hurts, pain.  So the bottom line is in hashtags it would be something like #wowiamgettingold, #pulledbuttmuscleshurt, #soccermomsshouldsticktothesidelines, #theolderyougetthemorehavingfunHURTS.
10) spent quality time with Mimi at 2 AM this morning watching fireflies in a vain search for the non-existent meteor shower (resulting in the need for a coffee date with Sari this morning, because our house phone rang at 8 AM so I was UP in spite of minimal sleep last night).
11) gotten the middles signed up for summer camp and gotten the registration in the mail.  YAY!

Still on the agenda, assuming I can move at all in the morning:
1) sew a pillow for the hammock and do all the sewing projects that require the sewing machine while I have it out.
2) make soap
3) make more bread
4) finish the puzzle with Sari that we bought at the thrift store
5) go to some baseball games on Monday

So that's it...a really random update.  I'd love to include pictures, but my iPhone is not syncing with the "Cloud" on my computer, and all the pictures are on my phone.  If I plug in my phone to the computer, it will insist on syncing the WHOLE phone, and I don't have an hour to wait on that to happen, so no pictures right now.  Why is it the technology that is supposed to make my life easier makes it harder instead?
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Three Things Thursday- 5/23/14

Okay, so it's Friday...that means it's time for Three Things Thursday, LOL.  Oy vey!  It's been kind of busy (in a good way) around here, and yesterday got away from me.

So without any further are my 3 things I miss about Florida:

1)  FRIENDS- even as busy as we all were with our own lives, my kids and I miss having our life long friends close by.  Even though they are now just a phone call or FB message away, it's not the same as real face time and a girlfriend hang out at the local coffee shop.

2)  FPEA- all my friends from around the country are there, and I'm not.   Several of the kids I've watched grow-up are graduating this weekend.  It makes me sad to be missing out.

3)  DISNEY, and all the theme parks, but Disney most of all.  I miss being able to just take a sanity break and escape to the theme parks.  Disney's Hollywood Studios celebrated it's 25th this year and there's a get together for opening and first year crew in July, but heading down there just for that is not as do-able as it would have been if we were only an hour away. So we've been going through some Disney withdrawal around here to be sure.

I don't mean to be a downer at all.  As much as I miss all these people and things SO much, I love it here, and next week I'll share 3 things I love about our new state.  If you want to link up with Three Things Thursday, just go to Heidi's blog.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Build Your Bundle- Become an Affiliate for Their Upcoming Sale

We all know that, at least in the homeschool world, things are cheaper in bundles...the problem is frequently you don't actually have a need for all the things that come with the bundle.  Well Build Your Bundle has the answer to that.  Now, you can create your OWN bundle of products you will actually use AND still get the great savings that buying in bundles allows for.

The sale hasn't started yet, but what has started is the chance to sign up to be an affiliate so that you can earn money while you help others (and yourself) save money.  It's a win-win situation!

I can't wait to see what they will offer, but I know there will be products from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 list, and that some things will be up to 92% off.  This is all being organized by someone I blog and write with, so I feel good about recommending it.   I've also signed up as an affiliate because I can always use a little extra help in covering our homeschool costs, especially with another high-schooler this year.  Here's your chance to do the same thing!   Sign up as an affiliate for the first ever "Build Your Bundle" - Homeschool Edition Sale and earn money, plus recruit affiliates to join with your unique link and earn off of their commissions too!
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Moms' Night Out Movie Review

So a few months ago, I had the chance to preview two movies back to back.  It was February, and it was cold and dreary here-so cold and dreary that this preview was actually postponed due to icy roadways.  It wasn't much warmer when the second preview date came, and its Mother's Day release date seemed a hundred years in the future.


That was this past week-end.

Oops!  They asked us not to blog about the movie until its release...but I meant to do this the day of the release, not a few days later.  Sigh.  It happens to all of us moms.  That's why we need a Moms' Night Out. 

Being that Mom's Night Out is, well, aimed at MOMS, I took my friend with me.  We both needed some laughs, and Moms' Night Out did not disappoint.  

By now, you've probably heard the hype, especially if you are in the homeschool community (it was directed by two homeschool graduates).  Moms' Night Out is about a blogging mom who plans a mom's night out with some friends and her pastor's wife, leaving the men to watch the kiddos.

The night goes horribly wrong for both genders, providing many laughs, and maybe just a few "that has TOTALLY happened to me" moments, for the audience.

My favorite part of the whole movie though is Trace Adkins.  Let me say now that I live under a rock, and we don't have TV or cable (just Netflix) or the newspaper, and we only listen to Christian really, I have NO idea who a lot of today's stars are.  I had no idea who Trace Adkins was (go on, you can laugh).  But he plays his role remarkably well in this movie, and has the BEST scene in the whole film talking with Allyson in the police station.  I would watch the whole movie again just to see him in it- and I've never listened to a song of his in my life (that I am aware of).  He was awesome, and his role is perfectly written for him.

But the movie boasts many other big names too-like Patricia Heaton and Sean Astin and Sarah Drew.  It is proof yet again that a movie can have a positive message and a PG rating and still attract "real" actors and be well written and entertaining as well.

If you haven't had the chance to see Moms' Night Out, I encourage you to grab some girlfriends and make a night of it!

Special thanks to AFFIRM Films and Provident Films for providing me with the chance to view Moms' Night Out a little early :-).

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Three Things Thursday-5/8/14

This week over at Heidi's Head, she shared three randomly goofy things about herself.  You should click on the button above and check them out :-).  I've been racking my brain trying to come up with some goofy things about me, but failing miserably.  So I guess that's where I'll start my 3 things...

1)  I'm not very goofy.  I have a child who is.  He is the epitome of physical comedy.  He's like Kramer.  I am not.  Ironically, this blog has been nominated for a funniest blog award, but that must have been someone who was reading my older posts.  Somewhere in the past few years, my witty repartee went missing.  If you find it, please send it back ;-).

2)  I thought I'd blog a lot more because we have moved.  I figured I'd use it as a way to "keep in touch".  But my life is pretty boring (in a good way).  We do school, I cook, we clean, we go to the park, or take a walk, or work in the garden, or go to soccer, and then we rinse and repeat.  I like this phase of settled-ness after the frenetic pace of our life before we moved, but it doesn't make for a lot of writing fodder.

3)   I LOVE our new "home"-as in the place, not the physical dwelling (which is fine, but a rental home, and not hopefully our permanent residence).  Everyday, I am thankful we are here.  I love sitting right now next to an open window with the breeze coming in, even if it was 90 yesterday, because it's 74 and gorgeous now.   I love the bulbs that flower here that didn't in FL.  Tulips and Irises are my favorites.  Here let me share a picture.  It's just beautiful here.

Want to link up with Three Things Thursday?  Just visit Heidi's Head.
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Friday, May 2, 2014

Home and School Mosaics May Post

My post this month is called "Three Gifts to Give Yourself This Mother's Day."  It went live yesterday, and you can find it by clicking here:

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Three Things Thursday- 5/1/2014

It's Three Things Thursday, and for once, I have a theme! 

1)   Today is May 1st, 2014.  Twenty-five years ago today, what was then (and will forever be in my mind) the Disney-MGM Studios opened.  I wasn't on the opening crew, although I went to the park as a guest that summer.  I knew in May of 1990 that I would need to get a job, and I just couldn't imagine myself doing any of the typical college student type jobs.  So I went to the Disney casting building and applied for a job.  The first one they offered me was in monorails, but the idea of driving a monorail intimidated me at the time-it seemed like a huge amount of responsibility and liability.  I said no to that, and came back a week later.  It was then that they offered me the chance to read for a tour guide position at the Backstage Studio Tour.  Little did I know that the joke was on me.  Monorails run on a rail, and have speed regulators...the tour trams are essentially semi truck cabs that are hooked to parking tram cars and do not run on a track of any sort.  You drive it.  The "rotation" went 1) give the tour as the tour guide, 2) drive the tram for the next tour guide, 3) work one of the other positions like loading guests on board, or greeting people at the entrance, etc., and then a break.  I loved it.  Here's a picture of the crew from when they moved the entrance of the tour to its current location (it used to be where you go into the animation stuff now).  At that time, they also changed the name to the Studio Backlot Tour, a little easier to say.  (Not that that matter now-there is no live tour guide anymore, it's all recorded :-( ).

2)  One of the best things about working at Disney is the people.  Just like any job, you aren't going to love everyone you work with, but really, working at Disney is unlike working anywhere else, and the people you work with day in and day out become like family to you.  Even now, 25 years later, we keep up with each other on Facebook, plan yearly reunions, mourn the loss of one of our own, and go out of our way to see each other if we are in the parks visiting.  In fact, there's a girl in the photo above who lives close to me now, and we're going to try to meet up.  The camaraderie is truly indescribable.  I've trolled Facebook all day today looking at old pictures and walking down memory lane as my fellow cast members have shared their memories from our time together.

3)  The other great thing about Disney is that, as one of the largest single-site employers in the country, if you don't like the job you are doing, it's super easy to change jobs and do something else.  I started in attractions on the tour.  I opened the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure (playground), I came to Jim Henson's MuppetVision 3D just as it opened, and I learned Great Movie Ride because I had always wanted to do that.  And I was a trainer of other cast members in each of those locations.  But along the way, I also was "cross-utilized" teaching the Youth Education Series programs at EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom.  Working at Guest Relations had always been on my "bucket list", so I transferred there.  I also worked in Marketing as a secretary for about half a year because of an injury.  And I was privileged to work on the Press Event for the 25th Anniversary of WDW.  My role was to bring in about 1000 of the 2500 kids we brought in from Boys and Girls Clubs from around the country.  It was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I've ever been part of.  I still have some of their sweet notes and thank yous.  

Apparently, my love for Disney has rubbed off on my kids.  My daughter Mimi's aspiration is to be a face character as soon as she is old enough.  And I have every confidence she could do it...I'm just not sure I'm ready to have her working several states away.  We'll cross that bridge in 2 years.

To join up with Three Things Thursday, just visit Heidi's Head.
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