Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fund Raising Take 2

I happened across this article about the HORRORS of school fund-raising and of course I had to say something, so go over and read the article and then here is my opinion I posted in the comment section.

I could go on for days about all the wrong that is in this article.

1. You have to look at school size when looking at fundraisers.  With a 100 student base like my daughter's school we find that food fundraisers work best for us.  Profit are higher then most fund raisers and our parents, of young children, love the quick meal factor.
2. Schools who do silent auction get items donated by local businesses.  The business gets a tax deduction and advertising for donating  and the school get to walk away with 100% of the money made. 
3. When each individual school considers fundraisers they also have to consider the other organizations in  their community that are trying to raise funds.  Our school would love to do Scrips, but there is already a number of organizations doing Scrip as a fundraiser.  As much as we consider competition effecting our bottom line we also consider it for our other community organizations bottom line.  We all have to be considerate of our neighbors and their efforts to raise money.
4.  If you don't have the volunteer base to assist a lot of  fund raising is out!  Nothing is done by one person and if the school doesn't have the help to put on something  like a walk-a-thon  fundraisers then their only option is to send home an order form for wrapping paper, pizza etc.
5. Fund raising efforts are always evaluated.  If wrapping paper brings money into the school, the school will keep selling it.  If the money is not good the school will move on to the next fundraiser.  fundraising decisions are not made arbitrarily, a lot of thought and planning go into it.  
6. Not every school is the same.  So not all school fund raising is the same.  What works for one school might not work for another.  All fund-raising efforts are based on demographic of the school and the community.   

This article is so ill researched, shame on Shine for allowing it to be posted.  Please don't shun school fund-raising efforts based on one persons personal experience.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dance With Your Whole Body

Last night we sat in the bedroom, rather I sat and she danced.  She danced to the same song over and over and over.  I couldn't help but notice that every part of her was in motion.  How liberating, 
Today I vow to move every part of me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bad Teacher

When I was in third grade they called me "Sewer-Sue," it was a take-off on the Garbage Pail Kids.  I cried endlessly.  Not just because it hurt so bad, because it did, but mainly because I was having a rough home life and school was to be my oasis.  I would get on the bus and hope and pray no one would pick on me.  I wished that the teacher would stick up for me, but she didn't.
Mostly I cried.  Or hid in the bathroom and cry.  My teacher usually told me to buck-up.  Stop crying.  As a nine year old girl I felt lost and alone.  All I wanted was for someone to stick up for me.  For someone to tell me it was okay.
It never came that year.
Is it weird that I looked that teacher up?  She still teaches at that same school and that same grade.  Is it weird that I want to write to her and tell her she failed me?  That when I needed a champion she wasn't there.  That instead of bringing me up, she tore me down.  That she failed to see my home life sucked bananas and that school made my life a living hell.
What would she say?  What could she say?  You think after 25 plus years she'd even remember me?  Would me telling her all this make it any better for another girl or boy who struggles or whose school is their only safe haven.
Isn't funny that to this day she has this on her parent site...
"I do not shield them from all unhappy or trying experiences in the classroom or the playground, or fight their battles for them. Instead, I try to help them meet and face their problems now."
I almost laughed.  Not because it was funny.  It was an uncomfortable laugh.  That uncomfortable laugh you have when you are too sad to cry or too angry to yell.  That laugh of 25 plus years of hurt and pain bottled up so there is no other emotion then uncomfortable laughing.
She doesn't get it and she never will.
I am not sure a emotional email from me will help.
Because 25 years later it wasn't her ignoring the problem that helped me face "all my battles."
And as much as this one bad teacher caused me hurt, there has been nameless others who have guided me on the right path.  Those are the teachers that taught me, in a loving and caring way, to fight my battles head on.  The  teachers who saw my hurt and worked tirelessly to help me, these are the people I want to remember.
I still remember their names and classrooms.  When I close my eyes I can still smell the chalk and remember every inch of their classrooms.  Where the books rested.  Where the pencil sharpener was.   I still have a Christmas "Thank You" note, from one of my favorite teachers.  I gave her potpourri sachet.  And I remember all this because she touched me in a positive way.  And gave me hope and love.
To all the good teachers out there, Thank you!!!
And to that one bad one: please remember we are little and we need you.
So advice: as much as I know this one bad teacher will not change, should I contact her?  Would you?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas: Bento Box

I reserve the right, as a mother, to put one to two items on my children's Christmas wish list.  Is this fair?  I don't know and frankly I don't care.  That is the great thing about being a mom, I get to make the rules.This year the item that I am putting on this kiddos' wish list is....
Bento Boxes!
Yes that is right I am making Santa bring the kids lunch boxes for Christmas.  In an effort to help that jolly guy out I did my research to find the best bento/lunch box out there and this is what I came up with, The GoodByn Lunchbox.
For the Boy

For the Girl

Cute right.  Not exactly what the kids expect to find under the Christmas tree.  But I have my reasons in putting these on their wish lists.
Okay maybe not the whole world but defiantly in this house.  My husband runs a close third.  And basically I will eat anything I can scrap off the refrigerator shelf .
My kids are grazers and snackers.  They love a little of everything and that is why I love the idea of these Bento boxes for them.  I could put some cheese in one compartment and some cracker in another and finish it off with some carrot sticks.  Fill up the water bottle and lunch is done. Which may I say the Goodbyn lunchbox is the only one I could find with a built in water bottle.  BONUS!!!
Now you are asking "Why don't you just buy it for them today?  Why ruin their Christmas morning with lunch boxes?"
That is a very good question, didn't you see the part up above where I stated I make the rules?  This is just a huge power trip. WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Just kidding.  No, really I am not kidding.
Actually I am kind of a penny pinching cheapskate and if I went out today I'd buy the cheapest boxes I could find.
But Christmas brings out the spender in me.  I can loosen up the purse strings and dig a little deeper in the wallet to spend a little more money to get good quality lunch boxes.
Mean or not I am super excited to wrap up these lunch boxes for the kids.  And since they come with stickers to decorate each box, I don't think I'll hear much groaning.   I actually think this gift will be a welcomed surprise!

Stay tuned here for more Christmas ideas for you and yours!

Disclaimer: I was not asked nor paid nor given any product to write this post.  I am writing this post because I wanted to share with you the research I did in finding the perfect lunchbox for my kids.  Go now to Goodbyn because they are having buy one get the second half off sale, enter "onehalfoff" at checkout.  Offer end Nov.1, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

WTF Man? Moment

My kids dislike mushrooms.  They seem them and run the other way.  I on the other hand love mushrooms, but my food loves play no part, when you have kids you consider their palette when planning a meal.  So imagine my joy (sarcastic) when I pulled out a frozen pizza and it had mushrooms all over it.  Shiz man frozen pizza is my fail-safe here.  I counted on this sucker to provide me with a child-nom factor with little cleaning afterwards.  Fast thinking I "magically" changed those mushrooms to "fairy-seeds".  Fairy seeds that fairies drop on the ground to make beautiful flowers, the same fairy seeds that the fairies actually enjoy for a little nosh,  or put on their fairy pizzas to make for a scrumptious feast.
That's right I have that kind of magical powers.
So after that magic and the story my children were happily sitting there eating their sausage and fairy seed pizza when my dear darling husband, who had been sitting there the ENTIRE TIME,  asks "Is there mushrooms on this pizza?"
WTF Man??
Proof: Fairies love pizza

A demonstration of why I don't blog about politics

image source

I don't get much into politics here, okay I don't get into it at all.  I am one of those 70-80% that Jon's talking about.  You won't see me in the picket lines, or shouting at a building with my fist in the air.  I basically keep my political views to myself.
I get why people feel they have to protest and living near the State Capital it is common place to see someone protesting something; for some reason I always seem to make it down to the capital for the yearly legalize cannabis assembly, another topic for another time.  I respect anyone's right to protest, if I don't like what the have to say I turn and walk away, my own little form of protest.
I can't help but get political now, it's all the TV ads, they have a way of igniting a flame. 
  And even though I won't get into deep political issues here or demonstrate why you should vote for one candidate or another, based on political ideology,  I am going get into how dumb politicians think I am.
Now before I get into a big rant I will have a disclaimer, mainly I am talking about one candidate here in my state, he is running on this "Every-Man" campaign which is totally awesome, but when you say things like "getting off my rear" it doesn't make me wanna vote for you, it only makes me feel like you are talking down to me.  You are a leader act like one.
Or when you say "There's a lot of lawyers in Washington" and you say it like lawyers are a crime against nature and you say it like I don't realize that when people consider a career in politics they consider the fact duh they are making laws and if they are making laws they the laws, so what kind of schooling will help them learn the laws that they are trying to protect and make...that's right Law school, so lawyers.  That is why there is a lot of lawyers in Washington.  And you making the "Lawyers are bad" joke to win my vote makes me think that you think I am dumb.  And I am not. 
Okay that was a rant.  Do you see what politics do to me?  Suddenly I turn into that other 20-30% that Stephen's talking about.  
Deep breathes and relaxation tapes and I will be back to my normal sane self.
And this is why I don't write about politics.
But I still vote and you should too.
The end.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I have a secret, well not really a secret because I have discussed this before: I love Bluegrass music.  Mainly I love the banjo.
While most woman swoon and drop their panties over the guitar player or the lead singer in the band, I get all hot and bothered over the banjo player.   Because the banjo is hot and sexy.
Case in point...

Right that is sexy hot.... *SWOON*
Those guys are Punch Brothers. 
My first Bluegrass love was Nickel Creek, and a few years ago they went their separate ways and their mandolin/banjo player joined Punch Brothers....

Cute right? **DOUBLE SWOON**
And may I say the mandolin is a close second to the banjo.  Close.   But second.
Punch Brothers and  Nickel Creek are considered "modern bluegrass" and the old time Bluegrass banjo players had some lookers too.  Okay not really but they had some really cool names.
Papa Charlie Johnson and Snuffy Jenkins and Bee Ho Gray
And did you know John Lennon played the banjo?  That ups the banjo cool factor if I say so myself.
And he didn't really sing or play the banjo but George Clooney in Oh Brother Where Art Thou made Bluegrass music sexier still.
Now there is one banjo player that has my heart.  I told my mom I had a banjo-daddy-complex for him and I think my mom was ready to pay for therapy right then and there.
No amount of head-shrinking will change my feelings though.
Well, I'll let you be the judge.

Right?  Sexy hot!!!
Silver fox.... ***TRIPLE SWOON***
Steve Martin Banjo Player Extraordinaire.He's funny, talented, a genius writer and he plays the banjo.  He can do no wrong in my eyes.

Before you go I will leave you with some banjo awesomeness and you be the judge.  I will convert you all the banjo-lovin' people.  That is why God and Jesus put me on this earth.  Amen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When your four year old is a better photographer

I have a lot of pictures of our beloved cat Joey Sparkles, but leave it to my four-year-old to take the best Joey Sparkles picture EVER! 
This just sums up him in a nut shell.

and no you can't have him.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What a four year old says to you after her hamster and favorite barn kitty die (all in a matter of 24 hours)

When we go to MiMi's farm Meg usually picks out one barn kitty to smother with love Lenny Small style.  Every time she begs to take the kitty home: she has only been told "yes" once.
Meg's beloved weekend kitty passed away on Sunday morning, after a Saturday of playful love. Then when we woke up this morning our beloved hamster passed away.
Sometimes life can be a total asshole to a four year old.   
  1. "But...but I saw the kitty's tail move and she winked her eye at me"
  2. "Can I get a new hamster?...or a gerbil?"
  3. Tears, tear and just more tears
  4. "Can we give Joey Sparkles the hamster?
  5.  (Through tears and snot) "Now can you buy me a toy?"
  6. "Can I use the hamster cage for my Zhu-Zhu pet now?"
  7. "Are the kitty and hamster playing in ha-ban"
  8. And just more tears


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Her name: Petal....
Don't let her looks decieve you, she is a lean-mean-stress-causing machine.  Have you ever been woken up at 3 am to find a Petal and then you can't find a Petal and you have a four year old crying "Where is Petal???" and you're like "I have no idea where Petal is, it's 3 am can't you sleep with Charlie Brown?"
Dumb question.  
This pink bunny has seen a lot and been everywhere.
The grocery store.  School.  The Library.  The Park.  The Badger game...

The fire station....
Petal will even be in this year's school picture.
And the idea of leaving her at any of these places sends my blood pressure up.
"Where's Petal?"  "Do you have Petal?"   "Did you leave Petal in the cart?"  "Fire Truck?"  "On the book shelf?"  "In the bleachers?"  "On the swing?"
Because when the sun has set and the moon is high and it's time to tuck little girl into bed and there is no Petal, God have mercy on your soul. 
Everyone says this too shall pass.  One night she'll forget about Petal and fall asleep.   But for now Petal is a part of our family. And who could resist that pink face...

or this pick face...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Arthur, What a Wonderful Kind of Day

I am a product of a divorced family.  Try explaining why you have two moms and two dads to a seven year old, it goes something like this:
Son: "Mom, why does your mom live in Wisconsin and your dad in Tennessee?"
Me: "Well mommy's mommy and daddy are divorced and my mommy and daddy don't love together."
Son: "You and daddy are divorced?"

It's a hard thing to explain and harder since there are few relatable characters for him to refrence , it is always easier to explain with characters that he sees on T.V. or in a book.   Nolan is getting more curious about the world around him, he is starting to see differences and question them.

One of our favorite shows to watch is Arthur.  Arthur has tackled some really cool issues that kids today face.  Last year I was happy to see that Arthur brought on a character with Aspergers, Binky Barnes has a peanut allergies and Buster Bunny's parents are divorced.  Using Buster's family has helped my kids understand divorce.

This season of Arthur is no different, starting off Arthur's friend The Brain learns about what life is like for those in a wheelchair.  Elwood City new character Lydia Fox shows The Brain how to play basketball and how to deal with everyday situations in a wheelchair.
Also stay tuned for Arthur's very special Halloween episode with special guest Neil Gaiman, author of the book Coraline and The Graveyard Book, set to air October 25.

Arthur can be seen everyday on PBS Kids, check listings for channel and times.  Check out PBS for fun Arthur activities and games.  Also check out great Arthur books by Marc Brown, two of our family faves are Arthur's Chicken Pox and D.W. Rides Again.

Disclosure: I received a screener of Arthur no other compensation was given. All opinions and stories above are my own.  All pictures are owned by PBS KIDS.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On Wisconsin

I live near a college town.  A big college town.  A Big 10 college town.
And at any given minute we can be blessed with football tickets and being only a hop, skip and a long wait on University Ave. away from the fun we are always on.
It doesn't hurt that it was Homecoming and we were playing our biggest rival, one of the LONGEST RUNNING rivalries in NCAA college football history.  It doesn't hurt also that said school is, time and again, named one of the top party schools.
Good Times.
And if you don't have fun you got a giant stick shoved somewhere.

So what's up for grabs, besides bragging rights for a year?
Paul Bunyans Axe
No silly bell or jug, you are in real man country.  A jug?  You silly kids.

Yes, tailgating would have been nice, but like I said this was last minute.  We start this journey passing through this magical arch.  And it is magical.  You walk through it, rich, poor, man, woman.  Your love or hate for football does not matter, you pass these gates and we all become fans.  These gates are only second to heaven's.

My boys ready for some football. No, excuse me.  FOOTBALL!!!!

It's called Camp Randall.  It's named for tradition, not a corporation.  This is why I love it.

You come for the football you stay for the band.  If you have never seen our marching band you are a sad mac.  Sad. Mac.

Two young fans waiting for their team.  They are some cute fans.

And here they come.  Real men wear red.  And white.

Double the U, Dot the I, Curve the S, Curve the C, Round the O, Slant the N, Curve the S, Dot the I....and N.  I snapped too soon.  I forgot the last N.  Do not mistake, it is an important N.

Nice tight end.  What?  Really that's a tight end.
Okay who am I kidding.  Nice butt.

Picture of the cheerleaders for this cheerleader...

 Yum! good pom-poms.  I am so glad I payed the 100% mark-up for those.  She was one happy 4 year old.

"First and 10 Wisconsin"  Our kid got everyone around him screaming that.  And he got more then his share of high fives.  He loves football.  No, excuse me, HE LOVES FOOTBALL!!!

Jump Around!
See under the giant billboard?  Those are all the students.  They are crazy fun to watch.  If you are going to a college game sit as close to the student seating as possible.  But not in the student section, you're just asking to be puked on.

And the winner was....
....did you ever doubt it.  The Axe comes back.  It always does.
Now as a public service I feel it is my duty to show you all How to Bucky.  Because that is what I am. A giver.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hey, How's Your Bowels Today?

I have IBS.  It is a little known fact about myself.  Of course I don't like to talk about my bowels much, who does?  It is not a topic that comes up in every day conversation.  "Hey how's your bowels today?"   "Did you take a nice crap today?"  "Why no, I didn't, I have IBS so taking a crap is actually a pain in the ass, literally and figuratively!" 
My IBS is part self-diagnosed and part clinically diagnosed.  After months of pooping in a cup and smearing my shit on a card to no avail, I stopped short of them sticking things up my anus for a 100% diagnosis.  There is only so much shit a girl can take.  Literal and Figural. 
This started out about 11 years ago after a case of adult acne and a round of the drug Accutane.  You know those commercials you see on T.V.?  They aren't just lip service, it is real issue.  It's kind of scary that a drug can rip your stomach apart for the rest of your life just to repair a vanity issue.
Okay, it wasn't just a vanity issue, nodular acne is painful.  I am serious it was painful.  And when you are a new bride and your face looks like the surface of the moon on crack it breaks you a little inside.  After rounds of creams and oral medicine,  Accutane was a last hope.
Apart from the fact that I had to be on birth control to prevent having alien baby, and not being able to go outside all summer it went well.  I had no acne.  I felt good.
Then a short while later, after being off the drug, I would eat something and spend a night in bed doubled over in pain.  I was constipated all the time.  And a serious case of hemorrhoids that even Raymond couldn't fix.
I found myself in the doctors office.  I was sent home a lot.  I remember once asking the doctor if taking Accutane did this to me.  I was told "NO!"  Then one day reading some forgotten-titled magazine I read a story about Accutane and IBS.
"Thank you anyway I don't want a tube up my butt, I have my answer!"  It was a relieve to say the least.  I had my answer and I could live with it.
My IBS doesn't bother my everyday.  It flares.  It comes and goes, depending on stress or if I pig out on copious amounts of cheese and fried foods.  Time has slowly healed me.  Or I just know how to control the symptoms better.  I spend less time in the fetal position and more time enjoying life.
And it is a lesson learned.  I am more careful of what goes in my body.  I thank God for Google and Web MD.  I look at side effects and long term effect of drugs and decide if it is worth it.
IBS ain't got shit on me.  Literally.  Figuratively.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Love Will Come Set Me Free

I couldn't help but catch the news about Tyler Clementi.

Because it is moments like that, when I first read these stories, that I realize how much I hate people. People are mean and cruel and terrible.
Then I remember hate is what got us here in the first place.

I have a lovely family member who is a part of the LGBT community, and if anyone- ANYONE tried to hurt them I'd....Well I'd...
....but then I remember I would be fighting fire with fire. My cruelness. My aggression with words or fist makes me no better then those who torment.

I don't know what to say or do....or do.  I am but one small person with one small blog.
And what do I have to say?  Does it matter?
Then I remember it matters to me.  And it matters to that lovely family member, who I would protect to the ends of the earth. 
Being gay is okay.  It is more then okay.  It is normal.  It is who a person is.  And when someone uses what a person is to weaken, deface, manipulate them, it is a crime against humanity.  It makes my heart break.  It makes the world break.
Please remember our words and our actions have power, use them wisely.
I heard this song today and it was everything I wanted to share here....

Little hands

Little hands at work.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bacon and the Cat

This is where Joey Sparkles sits when I am frying up bacon.  He looks up at me with longing eyes, waiting patiently for me to drop a juicy, crunchy morsel.  I always oblige, who could resist that face??

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reviving Ophelia

Inspired by the book"Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls," Lifetime TV has a new movie set to air October 11, 2010 at 9:00 pm et staring Jane Kaczmarek and Kim Dickens.

"In “Reviving Ophelia,” sisters Marie (Jane Kaczmarek) and Le Ann (Kim Dickens) have always leaned on one another through life’s challenges, but discover they need each other more than ever as they navigate the complexities of understanding and raising their teen daughters. Marie’s 17-year-old Elizabeth (Rebecca Williams) has the picture-perfect life, with a seemingly equally wonderful boyfriend. Meanwhile, Le Ann is raising 16-year-old Kelli (Carleigh Beverly) as a single parent and finds it difficult to relate to the pressures her daughter is facing with boys, friends and school. When Kelli starts to suspect Elizabeth may be abused by her boyfriend (Nick Thurston), no one will believe her. But when Elizabeth lands in the hospital, Kelli’s surprising insights help Marie give Elizabeth the courage to leave her violent relationship." ~ From Lifetime TV
I had an opportunity to preview "Reviving Ophelia" and felt the message of the movie was far greater then my personal opinion, and more important to share.
First I really wondered if this was a timely message?  Is domestic abuse really an issue teens face?  It is not front and center on the 100s of news channels, you don't read about it in the newspaper: frankly you just don't hear about it.
The truth is 1 in 5 teen girls have reported being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. (source)   In the conversation teens seem to be left out, the sad truth is nearly half of adult sexual offenders report committing their first offense before the age of 18 (source).   The teenage years are when we really start forming those one-on-one connections, it is where the cycle starts.
I am not going to pretend I have all the answers here, because I don't .  Truthfully I just learned these facts after watching "Reviving Ophelia." Knowing one day I will have to have this discuss with my girl is a bit scary, but now I know it has to happen. Watching this movie with your daughter just might be the perfect launch pad for discussing this scary but important issue.
See preview here.

Lifetime TV works with Break The Cycle to help you have that talk with your daughter.  Go to the"Reviving Ophelia" page and click on "Teen Dating Violence." 

If you are someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, check out National Domestic Violence Hotline, with a "Quick Escape" button. 
Also note that not only teen girls are subject to domestic violence, but teen boys as well.   Any person,  in any relationship, straight or same-sex, can experience domestic abuse.  Domestic abuse does not discriminate. 

Review Disclaimer:
 I received a copy of Reviving Ophelia to review from Lifetime TV, no other compensation was given and the opinions above are my own. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Today's Pill Regimen

This morning I remembered to take my vitamins:
  1. 1 fish oil tablet- The Doctor swears by these for physically and emotional well-being, it is the Jesus of supplements.
  2. 1 multi-vitamin- don't need to state the obvious here, do I?
  3. 1 calcium and vitamin d tablet- no slouchy-slouchies for me
  4. 2 Advil- as needed but find I need it most mornings, time to get my eyes checked....or my hair cut.
  5. St. John's Wort- My happy ending.
Sadly I had to add one more pill to my regimen this morn: A sinus pill. 
Yes, tis the season.  I can hardly keep my eyes open my cheeks hurt so bad.  So I end this story and you can give me pity, cause I need it.
So long cruel world.


Life doesn't seem fair  and I am a witness. "I don't believe in God" she says And I have nothing to refute it. I see...