Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday's Laugh Out Loud!

I found this funny Mr. Bean video this morning. The only thing I didn't like about it is that it cuts off a little short. And I don't know WHERE you'd get a turkey this big! Hope you enjoy!

Mr Bean-Christmas - video powered by Metacafe

Gift card thieves!

Here's the e-mail, allegedly from the Shepherdsville, KY police department:


Stolen Gift Card Balances

Well, the crooks have found a way to rob you of your gift card balance.
If you buy Gift Cards from a display rack that has various store cards you may become a victim of theft. Crooks are now jotting down the card numbers in the store and then wait a few days and call to see how much of a balance THEY have on the card. Once they find the card is "activated", they go online and start shopping. You may want to
purchase your card from a customer service person, where they do not have the Gift Cards viewable to the public. Please share this with all your family and friends.

Michaela Frank
Shepherdsville Police Department
(502) 921-1000"
This one happens to be true, but originated in Oregon. Snopes has a really good article that gives real scenarios and good tips to help prevent theft. Check it out:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Online Shopping Rundown

If any of you have taken up my torch and began to shop online, I compiled a list of some places I shopped this year and posted a link on Maggie's site. Anywho, I thought it was so good, I'd post it here too :) And I'll even be nice and link each one for your convenience. I'm in the Christmas spirit, huh? Don't forget--print out an order receipt for each order and check your bank statements to make sure you're charged correctly.–$25 orders on most items gives you free super saver shipping (doesn’t apply to some toys and electronics–through Toys R Us-ha!)–Great selection of really unique “thinking” toys. Shipping not that cheap, but have had good service with them and they don’t hide costs or order status. Also no tax.

Swiss Colony–I get the little Incredible Spreadables cheese spreads each Thanksgiving and love em. However, didn’t have a good online experience there this year. Order numbers didn’t match the catlog numbers and couldn’t get the shipping date to work for some reason. However, the customer service reps are always available and breezed me through my order. AND, you get FREE 24-count delicious truffles with ANY order. How sweet is that?

Lakeside Collection–Just like LTD, but don’t have to ship to a business. Cheap stuff, GREAT selection. Decent items. Shipping depends on amount spent. But, have never had a problem getting my items–all in ONE big box unless something comes later. Great place for getting lots of small things.

Toys to Grow On–Just found this one this year, but I got everything I ordered really quickly. Very cute toys, many educational. Not super cheap, but seems like good quality stuff.

Collections Etc–Pretty good stuff. Everything is advertised for nothing over $14.99. And they offer discounts too, though some of their e-mails were confusing. A couple of items were backordered, but had estimated shipping dates, and I now have it all. Good for buying for name-drawing at granny’s house or work, etc.

Everything Coffee and Tea–I found some cheap Ghiardelli hot cocoa mix there. Might have actually been in Wal-Mart or elsewhere, but I didn’t look. Anyway, I got a PERSONAL e-mail from “Bob” who thanked me for my order and let me know my items were shipped. Nice folks.

Personal Creations–I ordered Bryan’s granny a Great Granny sweatshirt with all 8 great-grandkids names. They have many different items that can be personalized almost anyway you want. Some items cost more to personalize, and others are free. Got my shirt in a jif and it looks just right!

Wednesday's Faves and Flops

I have managed two days of exercise so far this week, and am keeping up with my chores well, pacing myself, taking some me time here and there too. I struggled to get all my chores done early last night so I could settle in with Bryan and the girls and watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I was doing good with the cleanup until Zoe had a poop from you know where. It required an immediate bath, so thanks to the technology of our wonderful DVR, we didn't miss any of the Charlie Brown special. It's such a simple little show, but so cute and timeless.

Now, on to my fave and flop of the week.

We had a chance to see this new installment of The Santa Clause series on Friday last week. Date night and a movie--great combo! Anyway, I was afraid it wouldn't be pulled off well, but they really managed to get a good story out of this one. This movie has Santa (Tim Allen) and his Mrs. Claus getting ready to have a baby. Of course, she's due right at Christmastime, Santa's busiest time of year (poor planning on their part, I'd say). The movie's strongest character, and most intruiging storyline came from Martin Short's portrayal of "Jack Frost". He tries to sabatoge Santa and take his job, by finding out that Santa can reverse his "Becoming of Santa" by using a magic snow globe and saying "I wish I'd never become Santa". So, of course, things get hairy, but with the help of some of the other "legendary figures", like Mother Nature, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman, things are put right again. Good story, good for kids and adults too, and surprisingly intersting for a third sequel. See it if you get a chance.

Wednesday's Flop: The way Fox threatens to drive a good series into the ground.
It happened with Boston Public. Series was going well, then the plot got TOO twisted and TOO wierd to recover and off it goes. Now, it is looking bad for the dramatic series House as well. It started out as a great show, a medical series where Dr. House has to solve really wierd medical cases, and there's always a surprise in the end. The characters were interesting, all had their own vices and backgrounds, and House himself--recovering from a severe leg injury that left him partially crippled and hooked on pain meds. He's a total jerk, but a brilliant diagnostician, and you see a sense of caring deep down under the snide, witty remarks. But now, they've delved deep into the drug addiction plot. A cop is on House's tail about forging prescriptions and being hooked on these narcotics, and he's put the pressure on every other staff member as well. It's looking REALLY bad for House, and in reality, he would be fired and put in the can for what he's done, so I'm really NOT sure how they're going to pull out of this plot. If House goes to prison, where's the show going to lead--now he's a prison doctor? I just have real doubts that this series will pull itself out of the mire. So sad that Fox starts a good dramatic series that both my husband and I actually sit down and get into, and then let it head south with plots that can't be unraveled. There's still hope, but I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday's Terrific Food

Here is a recipe that will warm those cold winter nights coming up. My husband absolutely loves this soup, and it was a Weight Watchers recipe too. Easy to adjust ingredients to lower fat versions. Try it out and tell me if you like it:

Baked Potato Soup

4 medium baked potatoes

2 slices bacon

1/2 cup celery, chopped (I usually don't use it)

1/2 cup green onions, thinly chopped

1 can chicken broth (14 1/2 oz)

1-1/2 cups milk

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

Shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup light sour cream

Remove skins from potatoes (let them cool a while first!) and mash up with a fork or just crumble with your hands. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, then remove to paper towel to drain, crumble, and set aside. Discard all but 1/2 tsp of the drippings in the pan. Meanwhile, chop celery and slice green onions. Add chicken broth, milk, mashed potatoes, celery, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper to pan drippings. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and reserved bacon. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Then enjoy!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hanging of the greens

We had our hanging of the greens service last night at our church. Lots of Christmas songs and commentary of the meaning behind each decoration. My Meg and her preschool choir sang "The First Noel." I was proud of her--she was the only one we could hear--of course, she interrupted the song by saying loudly, "THAT'S MY MAMA AND DADDY OVER THERE!" At least I got to try out my Christmas gift from hubby. A new Canon Powershot SD 630 digital camera. Here's some pics:

Had to turn the flash off and the iso up, so it's a little fuzzy unless you hold it perfectly still from this distance. And I had Zoe in my lap, so I wasn't perfectly still, as you might guess :) But Meg's right in the front there, little mouth open wide, navy blue dress.

We celebrated Meg's triumph at Long John Silver's--here's Zoe the pirate. She would not leave the hat on long enough, so daddy got behind her and put in on so I could be ready for the pic.

And Meg--what a big, cheesy smile! I love that kid.

Monday--Misty's Challenge

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Mine started out crummy. My hubby had a problem at work (a power plant) that had to be resolved on Thanksgiving day, so the girls and I had to travel alone on the 2 hour drive to my in-laws house. Hubby had to work all day and much of the night, then he popped in and surprised me just after the meal at my dad's house on Friday. We were able to go to a movie that night and go shopping all day Saturday while his parents watched the girls. The best news--we completed all of our Christmas shopping!! Before December!! This is a record.

I have really felt today's challenge. I am so unmotivated to get back into the routine after the busy, but fun weekend. So, the challenge to me and to you all--pace yourself! If you're like me, you spent about 4 days going here and there, eating too much, and thoroughly enjoying it, but then you're back home, back at work, back to the old grind, and it's a little overwhelming. Take a breath, think and even jot down some things that have to be done soon, and start tackling them one by one. Do a bit today, a bit tomorrow, etc, and let this week flow with a couple major tasks each day until you feel more caught up and relaxed. In between chores, find a good stopping place and relax! Take 10-15 minutes at least and just be still, just watch a little TV, take a walk, or do something fun to take the drudgery out of the day.

Before the week is out, I am hoping to be motivated to wrap all those Christmas presents and prepare to get supplies for Christmas goodies and candies. But first, a nap...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday's Quote to Ponder

"The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value."

~Charles Dudley Warner, 'Eleventh Study,' Backlog Studies, 1873

Today, hoardes of people will be heading out to malls and shopping centers in the wee hours of the morning, to take advantage of the "Day After Thanksgiving" shopping bonanza. Everyone but me, ha ha. The quote above reflects my attitude about Christmas shopping, and I would love, as the years pass, to more appropriately reflect it. Seeking and finding gifts that are unique and appropriate to the receiver is a challenge, but makes you feel better about giving them. Some people are hard to shop for, and finding that appropriate gift may involve some creativity. I'm getting a bit more creative this year, especially for one person's gift (who shall remain unnamed for holiday security reasons *wink*). Let's see what creativity we can put into our giving this year--more so than the money. It will take some investigation, some thought and planning, but we can do it! Send me some of your creative gift-giving ideas. Happy giving!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday's Laugh Out Loud

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!
I'm posting this early because I'll probably forget tomorrow. Love you all!

And last, but not least, a funny turkey video for you:

Be Thankful You're Not a Turkey

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday's Faves and Flops

For my fave today, I've decided to list some things I'm thankful that I've learned as a mom. And my flop--another movie review. Here goes:

Wednesday's Fave--Things I'm thankful fo have learned as a mom

  1. Kids don't need baths every day, especially babies. This will change as they get older and do things that get them dirtier, like football, mud-fighting, etc.

  2. Toddlers, babies, and doors don't mix!

  3. Rocking a freshly-bathed baby is one of the best experiences in the world, especially if you don't bathe them every day (see #1).

  4. Screaming children, especially little girls, can reach decibels that can rattle the teeth in your head.

  5. It will take a proportionately longer time to get ready to go anywhere depending on the number of children you have.

  6. You will usually be at least a little late everywhere you go when kids are small, unless you don't sleep.

  7. You will not sleep as soundly as you once did--every cough, sigh, burp, or other utterance will be heard, even through closed bedroom doors.

  8. It is often not worth the argument to get kids to eat something they don't want.

  9. Any food that is "new" is a food kids don't want.

  10. Unless that food is candy.

  11. Or cookies (but NOT oatmeal raisin, as my Meg reminded me 50 times in Kroger today)

  12. A baby's giggle is one of the sweetest sounds you'll ever hear.

  13. Hearing your baby say "I wuv oo" for the first time--also one of the sweetest sounds.

  14. Hearing your child say their bedtime prayers, thanking God for mom and dad, nana and papa, siblings, toys, all the animals, all the grass, the sun, food, all the houses, and anything else they can think of.......priceless.

Wednesday's Flop--The Break-Up

This movie started out pretty good, kinda funny, then got really dramatic. I was hoping for the happy ending, for the twist, but did not get it. Real disappointment. It was too real. If I wanted to see that, I'd just eaves drop on some couples we know. If you're into drama and don't mind a movie without a happy ending, then go for it. If you'd like to escape reality for a couple hours, choose anything else. There's my 2 cents. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday's Terrific Food

Looks like we're going to be short a couple of posts this week. We'll be out of town for Thanksgiving so I'll either skip Thurs and Fri or do them ahead. We'll see. I'm doing pretty good with keeping on track of things and planning ahead. One thing I'm planning to make is my mama's cranberry salad. Since Mama's been celebrating in Heaven for the last 3 years, I'm carrying on by making Thanksgiving dinner for my dad and brother and the grandkids. This recipe was always one of my favorites. Super easy and a good alternative to the old can of cranberry sauce. Give it a try!

Mama's Cranberry Salad

2 boxes cranberry Jello
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 can mandarin oranges, drained (you can use a big or little can, whichever you prefer)
~half bag miniature colored marshmallows

Prepare Jello according to directions. Chill in refrigerator until almost set. Stir in cranberry sauce, drained oranges and marshmallows. Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday--Misty's Challenge

Not much feedback around here, but I'm still hanging in there and I have a good holiday challenge for all of us. We all hear, "Let's focus on the real meaning of the holidays, and let go of the material." Let's face it--we're not going to stop Christmas shopping, preparing food for Thanksgiving feasts, going here and there for this party or that meal. Let's have a better goal in mind. PLANNING AHEAD!!

"Ack! I don't have time to plan!" you might say. "Oh, but you DO have time to run around like a chicken with your head cut off?" Let's remember one word: settle. Settle down and start making lists. List everything you need to make for Thanksgiving and where it's going. Make a shopping list for all of it. Make a Christmas list for every person you plan on buying for--even little things, even neighbors. List ideas and items as you buy them. If you're on a budget, write down how much you're spending for whom. If you get organized with this, you won't end up forgetting someone on Christmas Eve and have to rush out to the gas station to buy an oil funnel and a Hershey bar.

The challenge lies in planning far enough in advance to where you know where you're going, what you're doing, and what you're cooking/buying before the last minute. Try simplifying by only choosing a few dishes or recipes to prepare for each get-together--especially if you're NOT hosting--just one will usually do. Christmas shopping can be simplified by buying online (my favorite way to shop). Or, you can get several people the same kind of gift or go with gift certificates/gift cards. One of the most important tools for planning ahead--a calendar!! Write down each party, each get-together and important tasks to do (like baking pies) and check the calendar each day. Plan ahead for childcare for Christmas parties a few weeks early and you hopefully won't be left hanging on to the youngins (my big hope!).

I'm hoping that by planning ahead and organizing well, we can save ourselves lots of stress and anxiety and then really ENJOY and appreciate the REAL meaning of the holiday season--thankful for what God has blessed us with, and using it for His glory and to love our families and friends.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday's Quote to Ponder

Well, two quotes actually:

"Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children. "
William Penn

"Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children."
George Bernard Shaw, Everybody's Political What's What? (1944) ch. 9. Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 - 1950)

We need a license to drive, a diploma to graduate school, permits to hunt and fish, passports to leave the country, and in some places, even licenses for our dogs! There is no pre-requisite for having children, however. I've always said some people should not be allowed to breed. These quotes say it more eloquently. What do you think about our rights to have children? When China passed the one-child law, bad things happened. Infanticide, abandoned female children, people leaving the country. I wonder if, though, people in this country should at least be required to attend child-rearing courses before having a child. As human beings, God gave us the blessing to "be fruitful and multiply", but does that give us the right to bring children into the world when we're not prepared? I'd love to hear some imput on this issue. Have a great weekend!

WOOHOO!!! 1000 visitors!!!

Let's celebrate by seeing how many of you can LEAVE A COMMENT!! Just a hi, woopee, whatever! Thanks for visiting me!


A Gruesome Warning

An e-mail from "Maggie" this morning:

"prepare for a downer, but a good precaution I suppose!"

This one is true according to Snopes, unfortunately. So, be careful around your leaf piles this fall!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday's Laugh Out Loud

Here's linky to a cute greeting card video about Thanksgiving. Sorry so late in the day. Busy day! Hope you enjoy it!

The Great Escape

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wednesday's Faves and Flops

I like rainy days. Except that I just want to curl up and sleep all day and can't but other than that, I get mundane stuff done fairly well. I have managed to complete nearly all my Christmas shopping ONLINE (woohoo!) This doesn't seem like that big of an accomplishment, but if you knew how much I hate shopping then, yes, it is! And, being the clever little computer chick that I am, I have also made up a nice Christmas list on Excel, on which I have listed all the people I'm buying for, what I have bought them (and would like to buy), and how much I've spent, with a summed up total on the bottom of that column as well. I have also color coded the list and when I finish up shopping for someone, their name is in GREEN, and gifts I have yet to buy (or ideas) I have in RED. I have printed out all of the receipts as well so that I can keep up with what I have bought and when they are shipped. I feel like the holiday season is going to be more controlled this year. I love feeling organized. It doesn't happen often enough. On to this week's faves and flops:

Wednesday's Fave: Click
Hubby and I had not rented a movie in such a long time until a couple weeks ago, when we watched Saw II (really gross, but really twisty plot). We decided to rent Click and watched it night before last. We loved it! It's about a man who is a workaholic and decides to buy a universal remote control to "make life easier". Well, he ends up in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, where "Beyond" is staffed by a mad scientist looking fellow by the name of Morty (Christopher Walken). He gives him the remote, which Mike (Adam Sandler) finds out can actually control real life like a Tivo. The movie begins like the other slapstick, raw humor of previous Adam Sandler movies, but this time, ends with a really serious story and hubby and I were both teary eyed. The point of the movie is that all of life has a purpose--the good and the bad and that you really don't want to miss any of it, or you'll regret it. If you want a good date movie and don't mind a few curse words and sexual innuendos (put the kids to bed!), pop some corn and snuggle up to watch this. It REALLY is good!
Wednesday's Flop: Retailers who don't offer online products/pricing or don't take debit cards
It's time to get out of the Stone Ages, people. Debit/credit cards are fast and convenient and most consumers in the developed world are using them. Many, many consumers now also have online access and at least offering a catalog/pricing of items in a store is a good way for people to do research. Even little mom/pop shops could offer a website with at least an e-mail link for questions. Technology is not scary. It's useful.
As for the debit/credit cards, checks are for little old ladies in Wal-Mart who take 10 minutes to fill them out only AFTER all is rang up, then mess it up and start over. You can still keep up with what you spend. No one will steal your soul. It's not the mark of the beast. I think a lot of people are afraid of identity theft/robbery with credit cards, which is a concern. But, you can take precautions here. Make sure only to buy from websites that are secure, do not share your PIN with anyone, and find out about the credit company's policies on theft. Most of them will not hold you responsible if a card is stolen and charged. I know. I had it happen to me--on my last day of work before I left to be a stay-at-home mom. I had $600 charged to the Discover and I was not responsible for a penny of it. You can easily call their 800 numbers too and often can get the card cancelled before they can even charge anything. As for checks and money, if those are stolen, well, the money is gone, and you may be responsible for stolen funds from your banking account. Now, who's going to call their bank?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday's Terrific Food

I've recovered from the wallet-losing fiasco, so now I'm continuing with life as normal. I have to pat myself on the back this morning. I managed to do a load of laundry a load of dishes, ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes, did push-ups and 8 minute abs. Now for my blogging. Here is a recipe I made year before last. Great turkey recipe if you're looking to spruce up that old bird. It takes some extra time for the brining, but you can easily do that the night before. It's from Alton Brown, who hosts "Good Eats" on Food Network. Here's the link and I'll copy it here too:,1977,FOOD_9936_8389,00.html

Good Eats Roast Turkey
1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water
For the aromatics(this is the stuff you put inside the turkey):
1 red apple,
sliced 1/2 onion,
sliced 1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil. (A probe thermometer is very useful here--one that has a metal probe attached to a wire that you can leave sticking out of the oven door. The actual thermometer sits on the counter top and you can get ones that have alarms that tell you when the turkey has reached the right temp. Insert the probe into the thigh, not touching bone.)

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday--Misty's Challenge

*Edit--I just happened to find it (1:50 PM CST)--where I have looked several times already, only this time with hubby's GOOD flashlight...under my oldest daughter's bed. I believe my youngest was responsible, but nonetheless I am soooo relieved!! Oh, and biggest lesson learned--never leave my wallet or anything I really need in my toddler's reach :)

Lessons in Frustration

On Saturday afternoon, I lost my wallet. "Uh, oh," you think. If I had left it at a restaurant or store, I would just immediately check there, then cancel all my cards, get replacements, etc if I couldn't find it. Trouble is, I was here ALL day Saturday and I had it here that morning. I was doing my favorite kind of Christmas shopping--catalog shopping online! I sat down for my afternoon shopping session with my laptop on the couch and when I was ready to check out, no wallet to be found. I have combed this house, even going as far as digging through the garbage I had taken out that afternoon. Yesterday, I even moved the couch and searched beneath and inside it--which is not an easy feat since it's a sectional and my back is not thanking me today.

My dear husband, being the sympathetic man he is ;) says, "I don't know why you're so upset about it. You know it's here somewhere." That's precisely why I'm upset! I had it one moment, and the next it's gone. I either put it somewhere really wierd, or Zoe carried it off and hid it or flushed it, or it's gone to the Land of Lost Wallets (probably near the Island of Lost Toys and the Realm of Lost Socks).

I'm learning some lessons in this frustration, though I have not taken it well at all until today. Saturday I was angry and yesterday I was depressed, and today, I'm starting to see some lessons in finding lots of other things I had fogotten about during the searching. I found our electric bill, 9 days late, and managed to call in a phone payment (with hubby's debit card). I found three play phones for the kids, which they enjoyed like they were new again. I found a Veggie Tales movie under the entertainment center that the kids had never watched and some more movies that had been lost for a while. And I was able to vacuum behind and under the couch and retrieve all the toys and "items" that had fallen behind there.

The challenge for today, I guess, is how well do you handle frustrations? Can you eventually see some lessons in it or light at the end of the tunnel? Or does it consume you in unrest? I've started out totally consumed in frustration, and I'm moving toward acceptance and thinking of what to do next. Annoying as most situations like this are, they're really not the end of the world and we have to trust that God can use even this little craziness to teach us and reach us.

The Worst Computer Virus EVER!

The e-mail:

You should be alert during the next days: Do not open any message with an attached filed called "Invitation" regardless of who sent it. It is a virus that opens an Olympic Torch which "burns" the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list, that is why you should send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it. If you receive a mail called "invitation", though sent by a friend, do not open it and shut down your computer immediately.
This is the worst virus announced by CNN, it has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.

Oh, my! It sounds awful--it can erase your whole hard drive.....or CAN IT???

See what I Snopes-ed out:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday's Quote to Ponder

"Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. "

~John Howard Payne (1791-1852)

I'm a homebody. Since I'm a stay-at-home mom, I guess that's a good thing, since I'm home quite a lot. I know that will change when the kids get into elementary school and beyond, but for now, I'm at home most of the time. And I love it. Most of us do, don't we? We travel here and there and go on wonderful vacations to great little cabins and hotels and beaches. But it just feels good to get home. We are comfortable there. Home is where we can kick off our shoes, let our hair down and really relax. We don't have to pretend to be somebody we're not when we're home. There is a sense of belonging there, a sense of purpose, a sense of pride, even, that we feel no where else. Our home is what we make of it. It's not about how big it is, how much stuff is crammed into it, how well-manicured and maintained it is. It's a place where US is born. Our homes are a blessing from God. They give us shelter and peace, a place of memory-making. We can all remember our childhood home(s). I remember how the crickets and tree frogs sang outside my bedroom window at night in the summer time. I remember waking up to the smell of sausage frying when my mom would cook breakfast, and how she would smile and say, "Good morning!" as I came around the refrigerator in that small kitchen. Your home will be a big part of your childrens' memories. They won't cherish the memories of the stuff in there--it will be the memories of the love that was there. I pray now that our homes will always be a place where our children remember that they were LOVED, where they had a place to find refuge and peace from life's storms, and where some of life's storms were overcome by God's grace. For truly, thanks to Him, there IS no place like home!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cancer in your Inbox

There are many variations of this e-mail. They usually seem to be written by a sick kid or caregiver of a sick kid and claim that every time you forward an e-mail, money will be donated to a certain charity or to the sick kid. If you think about it logically, the charities have NO way to track e-mails like this. Instead of passing it on unquestioningly, just visit the charity's website and donate if you feel led. Much more productive! Here's the e-mail I received and the Snopes link:

"Subject: 7 year old with cancer

Hi, my name is Amy Bruce. I am 7 years old, and I have a large tumor on my brain and severe lung cancer. The doctors say I will die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills. "The Make A Wish Foundation" has agreed to donate 7 cents for every time this message is sent on. For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much. But for those who don't send it, I will still pray for you. Please, if you are a kind person, have a heart. Please,please,PLEASE HIT THE FORWARD BUTTON.

Amy Bruce
Wake Forest Outpatient Dialysis"

Read the Snopes article here:

*Note: I am in NO way trying to make people feel bad for sending me things or for believing phony e-mails. I've believed a lot of them too. I just want to increase awareness of all the prankster e-mails floating along out there so we can discern what is real and what's not. If you get something fishy, check it out on Snopes for yourself--they usually will tell you what's what, or check out the website in question. Also, send them along to me so I can post them here. Everyone who reads about it will be informed.

Thursday's Laugh Out Loud :-D

Today's Laugh Out Loud is more like a "Wow!" Out Loud. Check out the video below. This took much time and effort for these guys. The video is about 3 minutes long, but well worth it just for the "Wow!" effect. I don't know the chemistry behind this yet, but I'm curious enough to start researching. Hope you enjoy!!

*Edit--Ok, ok, I just went and researched it--there is, in fact, no CHEMICAL reaction at all. It is purely a physical one. The surface tension of the soda (other sodas will work as well) is reduced by dropping the Mentos in, which allows the CO2 in the soda to more easily become gaseous, and the Mentos have little "nucleation" pocket on their surface, where many CO2 bubbles can form, and thus the CO2 can become gaseous and escape VERY fast as a geyser effect. Still, a very cool and creative video--and safe experiment too :) See this link for more info:

Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments II - The Domino Effect

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday's Faves and Flops

It was so quiet yesterday. No preschool, no babysitting, and the girls were very mellow. I liked yesterday. I want more yesterdays. Today is back to the usual chaos, with someone in trouble every 5 minutes. Keeps me on my toes I guess. I had to delve deep into the cobwebby recesses of my mind to seek out my faves and flops today. Here's what I came up with:

Wednesday's Fave: Activia Yogurt from Dannon
It really seems to work like it says it does. I've tried it every day for two weeks like the "challenge" says to do, starting right at the tail of that flu I had. My tummy was all bloated up and crampy and not well, and after a couple days eating this, it really got things going :) And I felt better. I haven't been bloated, and things have been normal in the digestive tract. It tastes good too, which is a big plus. Also makes really good fruit smoothies--take 2 containers of the vanilla, mix with half a carton of chopped strawberries (or two bananas is great too), a little milk and about a tablespoon of honey, and voila! It's become one of my girls favorite treats.

Wednesday's Flop: POLITICS!
Sick, sick, sick of hearing it and I'm glad election day is over and I don't really care who won what seat. I've heard so much mudslinging going on that it has sickened me and I really don't think any politicians have the public's interests at heart. Perhaps some of them start out that way, but many just end up in corruption or uneffectiveness. I realize they're just people and not superheroes, but I don't like people making promises they don't keep and especially pointing fingers at everyone else. It's ugly, and I'm tired of it. I've got enough to worry about.

Did you like my faves and flops today? Don't let the tumbleweeds blow by on here--post a comment if you drop by, if only "Yo, wuz up?" I can see people are coming by the stat counter, but not many are leaving a message.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tuesday's Terrific Food

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, I am sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes the rest of this month. Here is a Double Layer Pumpkin Pie that I have made every year since I was a teenager. It's lighter in consistency than your regular pumpkin pie, so a good alternative to the classic recipes. And it's really easy and tasty too--no baking! Here's the recipe:

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
1 cup cold milk
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In a large bowl, whisk together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of milk, and sugar until smooth. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread into bottom of crust.
Pour 1 cup of milk into large bowl, and thoroughly mix in pudding mix, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. When thickened, spread over cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate 4 hours, or until set.

Do you like it?

The new layout, that is...I have switched to the new Blogger Beta version, which now allows for labeling of posts. So, now just look in my sidebar and you can find all the "Tuesday's Terrific Food" posts, etc. It also allows much easier template changes, where I can drag and drop page elements and pick and choose fonts for all parts of the blog. I've also changed my description and my picture and added a cute quote above. I hope you like it--because I can't switch back. It's all or nothing here, baby. :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday--Misty's Challenge

Contentment vs. Complacency:

1. the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
2. Archaic. the act of making contentedly satisfied.

1. a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.
2. Archaic. a. friendly civility; inclination to please; complaisance.
b. a civil act.

I want to be content, not complacent. I think we fall into complacency very easily when we are just too tired, too afraid, too whatever to address issues that need improvement in our lives. We become "unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like". Are we really unaware or just unwilling to see the problems? And how do we rest contentedly in our life--we'll always have problems. So, my question is this: How do we, like the apostle Paul, learn to be "content whatever the circumstances"(Philippians 4:11)? We are to trust in Jesus to work on our issues, to work on US and give us the strength to work on our problems.

Is your marriage getting stale? Is the job getting too stressful? Are the bill collectors knocking on the door? Are the kids driving you crazy? Up to a point, you have to accept where you are in your situation, realize that things will NOT change overnight, and seek out the goodness and hope within it. However, we must not let ourselves get complacent about the situation--we need to be aware that it exists, and that it needs improvement. We should not only pray and trust in Jesus to help us, but also meet him halfway and take ACTIVE steps to rise above and have victory. Stale marriage--spice it up with a couple retreat, good dates, etc. Job stressful--look for another position, talk to your boss, get more education, etc. Financial stress--look for ways to save money, drop unnecessary stuff, get credit counseling. Kids driving you crazy--look at life through their eyes, lighten up a bit and play with them, get "me" time whenever you can. We CAN move toward contentment and away from complacency if we work at it.

*Note--I believe "Maggie" had a post on this a while back, and if so, she is welcome to post the link here. Young moms must think on this issue often! :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

"Paypal" phishing scam--beware!!

I dont' know how many of these I've gotten over the past couple months, but it's a lot. If you have a Paypal account, you should be aware of this. I was almost duped the first time I got it--it looks really believable, with the Paypal logo, and transaction ID's, etc, but when you scroll over the links on the page, you can see on the info bar at the bottom of your browser that they don't match up. You can also log into your Paypal account and see if there are any suspicious transactions on there, like the e-mail claims. If you do get one of these, send it to Here is what the e-mail generally consists of, so be on the lookout:

Dear PayPal member,
As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system.We recently noticed the following issue on your account:
We have reason to believe that your account was accessed by a third party.We discover unauthorized money transfer:
Amount: 22.47 $

Transaction ID: #13Y17222818UY182281
PayPal e-mail address: This address will vary with each phishing attempt, and they want you to think that this "person" has taken money from your account.
Transaction Date: October - 23 - 2006
Because protecting the security of your account is our primary concern, we have limited access to sensitive PayPal account features. We understandthat this may be an inconvenience but please understand that this temporarylimitation is for your protection.
Case ID Number: PP-163-413-717
For your protection, we have limited access to your account until additional security measures can be completed. We apologize for anyinconvenience this may cause.
To restore your PayPal account and refund the 22.47 $ back to your bank account or PayPal balance click the LogIn button bellow orthe SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Log In :

Here they list a couple links that they want you to click on. One is named, but when you move your cursor over it, you'll see the actual web address on the bottom of your browser is actually different. The other link is a "secure sockets layer", and this link is also false.

If, after reviewing your account information and refund the money, you seekfurther clarification regarding your account access, please contact PayPalby visiting the Help Center and clicking "Contact Us".We thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please understandthat this is a security measure intended to help protect you and youraccount. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Sincerely,PayPal Account Review DepartmentPayPal Email ID PP122

Friday, November 03, 2006

Credit card scam?

My Aunt Lu sent this one the other day:
"This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all information, except the one piece they want.Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. By understanding how this Credit Card scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.The scam works like this: Person calling says, " I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in Arizona?"

Did I "Snopes" it out? Of course! See the results here:

Friday's Quote to Ponder

"We do not remember days, we remember moments." ~Cesare Pavese

I'm feeling so tired and defeated today. The enemy is having a heyday in my life and those around me. By the grace of God, I will pick up myself and move on--and remember the good moments. How I crave them. How I love spending time with my husband--quality, wonderful, uninterrupted couple time. I love to laugh with him, to snuggle, to walk, to do fun things--just the two of us. It's just so hard to come by at this stage in our marriage. So hard to end a long day with quality time when I'm so worn out and spent. Making the transition from frazzled mom to loving wife is so challenging. But I will remember each moment, each happy time. A year from now, I won't remember the date of our couple retreat, but I'll remember the fun, the fellowship, the walk by the lake, the cozy cabin room. That's how life is, isn't it? You probably don't remember which Christmas was the first white one, which day your child first said "I wuv you", but you remember the moments. Enjoy them while they last.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday's Laugh Out Loud

Remember how I've been fighting off this cold/flu thing? How could you not? It's all I've talked about for two weeks straight. Well, I've found the solution. I'm going to be a ninja. Watch this video to see how ninjas fight colds :D

Ninja Colds
Ninja Colds

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wednesday's Faves and Flops

Are you ready? Put down those Sweet Tarts and Snickers you pilfered from the kids' treat sacks--or just snack on them as you read :)

Wednesday's Fave: Zoo Tycoon!!
As most of you know, I'm a computer game junkie. I currently switch back and forth from The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion to Zoo Tycoon 2. I just got the most recent expansion pack yesterday--Marine Mania 2. I haven't had the time to play much yet, but going through the tutorials was even fun! You can build marine exhibits, and add show animals and train them. This game lets you get into first person (zookeeper) mode and walk around like you're really there, really caring for the animals, along with overhead modes for building, etc. If your kids (or you) are into gaming, and you want a good game that is free of violence and explicit material, this is the game for you. Zoo Tycoon 1 is good too, except it doesn't have zookeeper modes, but can be played on older systems.

Wednesday's Flop: Afrin 12-hour Nasal Spray
More like 6 hours with severe congestion, and the lousy thing is--it says you cannot use it for more than 3 days. I NEVER have congestion for less than 3 days. Apparently if you use decongestants too much, you can make congestion WORSE!!?? I really can't understand that. How about designing some that you can use the whole time you have a cold and they actually work to clear the congestion and don't have wierd effects? Anyone know of any? I'm using plain saline spray now to break it up and keep things flowing, and that is helping some, but when a cold actually hits, I need something to clear it out fast and get going again. So, it's more of a rant than a review, really. I hate being sick *whine*.

Halloween fun pics!

We had a fun Halloween, despite the lingering sicknesses. Have a look at our pics: