Saturday, December 29, 2007

Law and Order New Year's Eve Marathon on TNT

Holidays usually mean that theres a Law and Order marathon somewhere. New Year's Eve is certainly not any different. Stop by TNT on Monday, December 31, for 30+ episodes of my favorite long running show.

Lenny, we love you baby!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Fancy Holiday Dinner Party...For Kids? - Peg Baron

The holidays are here and it's time for food and fun. For a different twist, why not host a fancy holiday dinner party... for your kids and their friends? Our whole family had so much fun with this that it's become a yearly tradition.

A fancy dinner party for the younger set has many benefits. Your kids learn to plan, organize, shop, clean house, be good hosts, and everything else that goes along with hosting a party. They get to dress up in their finest clothes, practice their "company" table manners, and learn dinner conversation. This is a night where kids are king, and boy do they feel important!

You can certainly make your own rules, but this is how we do it. First, the kids create an invitation list. 8 kids is the maximum our table can comfortably hold and I can comfortably cook for.

Next is the hard one - trying to pick a night when there are no extracurricular events we've already committed to. The kids then make formal invitations on the computer and mail these out. I admit I tend to lecture a bit about what the RSVP in the invitation means and how important it is to always respond when someone asks you to RSVP.

While we wait for our invitation responses, we decide what will be on the menu. The kids come up with two choices each for the main dish, sides, and dessert. They pour over my cookbooks (mostly just look at the pictures), pick recipes, and make up a shopping list. One of the things they pick out is an easy appetizer that they will make themselves ahead of time. Mom and Dad shouldn't do all the cooking!

On the day of the party, the kids set the table with our good china and lots of candles. Rather than taper candles, we use tea lights in small glasses as a safety precaution.

On the eve of the party, all the kids dress up in their finest attire. This alone, makes the night feel so special. As a surprise, I create fancy dinner menus and "laminate" them with clear contact paper. Mom and Dad take on the role of chef. Not only do we do the cooking, but we are transformed into French waiters with dubious accents and are dressed the part. We don't hover around the table, but disappear back into the kitchen when not needed.

It's a new thing for many children to sit at a table, order their own food off the menu, and be responsible for themselves without any grown ups telling them what to do. And they love it! In order to promote good table conversation, I write up some conversation prompts on paper scraps and put them into a bowl. While they are waiting for their meal or dessert to be served, they read their prompt out loud and answer it. Examples are "If you could get on an airplane right now and go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?" or "What do you think would be the worst job ever to have?" or "What do you have sitting on the dresser in your bedroom right now?" Of course, all the kids chime in with their answers!

We've come to think of the fancy holiday dinner party as a Christmas gift we give our kids. We are there to serve them, no strings attached, and they enjoy it immensely. The other benefits for them are learning how to host a gala and all that it requires - planning and organizing the party, making seating arrangements, learning how to set a fancy table, planning the food, etc. While this is maybe not at the top of the list, it's just something nice for children to learn. Every year the flavor of the dinner party is a little different, because they grow and change. This makes every year so special in my eyes.

If this sounds like fun to you, give it a try and adjust it to fit your family. I guarantee it will be a night to remember for all of you. Don't forget to take pictures!

Article by:

Peggy is the editor of the popular Cookin' Kids Newsletter. Interesting themes, fun facts, silly clip art, easy recipes, kid jokes, cooking terms, and safety tips make this newsletter a hit with kids! Learn more about it at

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Question: Mail or E-mail Your Christmas Cards

This year I not only mailed Christmas cards to our family and friends but our business contacts and customers. One of our customers stated that if she didn't have one's email that person would not be receiving a Christmas card.

My question is: Is it acceptable business etiquette to email their customers and business contacts' Christmas cards?

I look forward to reading your responses.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe - A&E Channel

This one hour program tells the story of the
uncontested master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.
Poe's haunting poems and chilling stories established
him as one of the most important men of American
letters. But behind his popularity and artistic
success was a personal life defined by broken hopes
and failures. The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe explores
the bouts of depression and that tormented
the man and gave birth to his dark and brilliant art.
This extraordinary program tells Poe's complete story,
from the death of his parents when he was three, to
his tragic collapse on the street at age 40.

Highlighting his major poems, The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe is an
excellent introduction to his life and work and a prime example of
how biography can be used as a teaching tool to
explore topics in history and literature.

Curriculum Links:
The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe would be useful for
Literature, American History, and
American Culture courses. It is appropriate for middle
school and high school students.

Teacher's Guide Available:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Prayers for the Las Vegas Bus Stop Shooting Victims

It's been a busy news week, with the church shootings and now the Las Vegas school children that were shot at a bus stop. It's terrible to know that many people feel this is the way to deal with their pain, instead of giving it over to the Lord.

This morning, I will take time in my prayers to include the victims, their families and the shooters.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday Menu Plan - December 10

We're busy these days. Who isn't? Marcus has started increasing time with our church youth group. They have some terrific youth leaders. And it's great that he has a standing engagement on Saturdays, Teen Night.

I'm planning on signing up for the upcoming Ladies Bible Study, next month. "Stepping Up" by Beth Moore, A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent is the choice and I'm looking forward to it. I've seen her on TV a few times and she's always left me with plenty to ponder.

And just to make my days and nights even busier I've volunteered to work on the local2008 Homeschool Convenion. Something I've never done but are definitely up to the challenge.

Well, onto this week's menu plan. And if you would like to join in, stop by Organizing Junkie's blog.

Pinto Beans with Ham

Ham, Macaroni and Cheese and Salad

Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

Chicken Enchildas

Fish, Brown Rice and Brocolli

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The History Channel Special Presentation: 1968 With Tom Brokaw Tonight at 9PM/8Central

The year 1968 is considered one of the most turbulent,
and pivotal, twelve month periods in American history.
This single year was a flashpoint for many of the social,
political, and cultural transformations for which the overall
decade of the 1960s is known. During these years, the United
States became entrenched in an unpopular war in Vietnam
abroad. Meanwhile, unrest, experimentation, violence, and
outspokenness raged throughout the nation. The Civil Rights
Movement gained momentum,sit-ins and riots became commonplace,
several beloved leaders were assassinated at critical junctures
in their careers. These years also marked cultural shifts as
nonconformity became prized by many young people and social
experimentation and psychedelic music became the rage in San
Francisco and elsewhere. Many consider these years divisive,
others shameful. Yet the transformations unleashed during these
years galvanized changes in American society that continue to
reverberate today.

1968 with Tom Brokaw is a two-hour special presentation featuring
extensive video footage and mesmerizing new interviews. This
documentary is based on the veteran news anchor's new book entitled
Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the '60s and
Today. Brokaw, a young journalist in 1968, takes us through the year's
most important events, aided by testimonies from those closest to the
action. Brokaw speaks to key leaders and participants in these events
including Andrew Young-- the former Mayor of Atlanta who was standing
next to Martin Luther King when he was assassinated and Rafer
Johnson—a close friend of Robert Kennedy who tackled the senator's
assassin in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel. Brokaw also speaks
with musicians Bruce Springsteen, Arlo Guthrie, and James Taylor.
Together, their insights help capture this dynamic and fascinating
year in history, bringing viewers a fresh and incisive view of 1968,
and what it all means today. Covering the political and personal, the
cultural and scientific, 1968 with Tom Brokaw explores and deciphers
this critical year in American History.

Curriculum Links:
1968 with Tom Brokaw would be an excellent addition American
History,20th Century History, Journalism, Current Events,
or Politics courses. Note: This documentary includes some
sensitive content, and is therefore recommended only for
mature high school students and college students. Teachers
should view this program before screening it to students.
This documentary fulfills the following standards as outlined
by the National Council for History Education: (1) Civilization,
cultural diffusion and innovation, (2) Human interaction with
the environment, (3) Values, beliefs, political ideas and
institutions, (4) Patterns of social and politica interaction,
and (5) Conflict and cooperation.

Teacher's Guide Available:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Today in History: Pearl Harbor Was Attacked

On this date, in 1941, Japanese aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There were many heroic moments that day. One is Dorie Miller, a cook on the USS West Virgina, rushed to the deck and began firing one of the ship's large anti-aircraft guns at planes above. He continued firing till he ran out of his ammo and was ordered to abandon ship. For his heroism, Mr. Miller was rewarded the Naval Cross. As a side note, he was the first African-American to receive this honor.

Visit the following websites for more information. And don't forget your local public library. They have a selection of books, DVDs, videos and audio for you to check out.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Product Recommendation: Starbucks Advent Calendar

Our teen has been requesting an advent calendar for a few years now. My problem has been finding advent calendars that aren't made for small children.

Well, here's one that the whole family will enjoy! Starbucks Advent Calendar, is full of chocolates, attractive and affordable $15.95 plus s/h.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Hanukkah Story at

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that when your child has a question you have the time and resources to answer it.

A couple of years ago, Marcus asked 'What's Hanukkah?' We checked out books, videos and DVDs, at the local public library and all learned the answer.

Consider stopping by Judiasm for The Hanukkah Story

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

AT&T Announces It Will Phase Out Pay Phones

Can you even remember the last time you used a pay phone? Do you think it's a good idea to phase them out completely?

I would love to read your comments on this topic.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Menu Monday Plan - December 1

Tonight is The Closer 2 hour season debut. This is one of the few TV shows that our family actually looks forward to. We just love her Southern accent and quirky habits.

Marcus has transferred to Keystone High School last week. This is a certified distance learning high school program. They offer online and correspondence curriculum. After receiving his transcript evaluation we found that he's ahead of the game with Math but has to double up on Social Studies, in able to receive his high school diploma. He says he's up to the challenge.

Well, enough of that, now onto this week's menu plan. "Thank you!"

Recipes are courtesy of Taste of Home Easy Cooking for Diabetics.

Flavorful Tilipia Fillets, Coucous, Mixed Vegetables

Whole Wheat Pizzas (dough purchased from Fresh and Easy)

Simple Salisbury Steak, Red Potatoes, Broccoli

T-Bone Steaks, Grilled Parmesan Potatoes

Lemon Roasted Chicken, Salad, Carrots

Saturday, December 01, 2007

DVD Recommendation: Law and Order: Trial By Jury

I never had the opportunity to watch this short life series, when it debutted in March 2005, on NBC. So, I decided to give it a try, courtesy of Blockbuster Online.

Jerry Orbach fans will notice that he was serious ill, fighting cancer. Not only was his physical appearance effected but his voice. But, yeah we love you Lenny!

Show Description courtesy of

Unlike the other Law & Order series, Trial By Jury shows what it is like to prepare for and try a criminal case. The episodes usually start with a witness or victim telling a story about a crime that has already occurred. This story is used to bring the audience in on what happened prior to the beginning of the episode. This is a departure from the other three Law & Order shows, which usually start off showing the audience the actual crime. The show progresses on from that point, showing how both sides develop their strategies for winning the case.

The prosecution's preparation usually includes scenes where their investigators go out and follow up on leads and interview witnesses. The defense's preparation varies from episode to episode, running the gamut from testing arguments in front of jury focus groups to unethical dealmaking between co-defendants. Each episode has several trial scenes, with both sides examining witnesses and giving arguments. There are also several pre-trial meetings where some procedural issue is argued and ruled on. In addition, there are a few episodes showing jury deliberation. The show develops the judges as characters, showing scenes of them conferring with each other and reusing the same judges in multiple episodes.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sleeping Together Poll at Marriage

Join in the fun, with responding to this question at Marriage

Would you sleep in a separate bed to get a good night's sleep?

To be honest, no I cannot sleep without my husband beside me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do You Still Have A Land Phone?

Recently, I've discovered that we're going to start requiring 2 phone numbers when one is a cellphone. When having to follow up with a customer, I've noticed that many of the cellphone numbers are reassigned or not in service.

When we moved into our apartment, our teen asked for a land phone. What do you do when your cellphone isn't charged up? Or the electricity is out?

Has your family gotten rid of your land phone?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Menu Monday Plan - November 26

Marcus and Charles made Thanksgiving dinner, courtesy of Fresh and Easy grocery store. The menu was Turkey with Sage, Herb Stuffing, Gravy, Autumn Roasted Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes and Pumpkin Pie. Even though I was suffering with a terrible cold, it looked delicious. And the leftovers have just been yummy.

I just ordered an assortment of curtains from Country Curtains, for our apartment. A former co-worker introduced me to them when she ordered them for her baby's room. The quality of their curtains is very good, the variety and prices will keep you coming back.

Well, back to this week's menu.

Tilipia, Broccoli, Brown Rice

Pinto Beans with Ham (in the crockpot)

Simply Lasagna with Mixed Green Salad

Oven Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Acorn Squash

Turkey Stew

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

History of Thanksgiving on The History Channel - November 21 at 7PM/6PM Central Time

Special Presentation: History of Thanksgiving
Wednesday, November 21st at 7PM/6c

Turkey dinners, footballs and parades--these are the modern-day
trappings of the holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November
each year. But Thanksgiving is more than just a day of food and
festivity. This documentary traces the history of Thanksgiving, from
early festivals and rituals of thanks to the feasts Americans
celebrate today. The History of Thanksgiving explores different tales
of the Thanksgiving holiday, examining how and why the story of the
Pilgrims sharing bounty with Native Americans became the symbol of
Thanksgiving. Using primary sources, expert historians and authentic
reenactments, this program untangles some Thanksgiving myths and
recounts the story of how it became recognized as a federal holiday.
Students will find that this documentary gives them new historical
insights into this popular holiday, and an opportunity to discuss its
meaning and significance in our society today.

Curriculum Links:
The History of Thanksgiving would be useful for classes on American
History, American Culture and Native American History. It is
appropriate for elementary school, middle school and high school. It
fulfills the following standards as outlined by the National Council
for History Education: (1) Civilization, Cultural Diffusion and
Innovation, and (2) Patterns of Social and Political Interaction.

Special Website Available:

Sick, Tired and Thanksgiving

Well, it's finally happened. Charles was the first one down, with a terrible cold, than me and now Marcus. I'm so looking forward to our 2 days off. We plan on staying in bed, watching movies and sleeping. Thanksgiving dinner will consist of soup and crackers.

Here's wishing you and your's a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Volunteering Opportunities for Your Kids

When we moved to Las Vegas I was abit concerned about what type of volunteer opportunities would be available to our teen. There is no local chapter of Teen Korps here. Would there be a one-stop site or would I be searching through variety of resources?

Well, I was delighted to find that there are many volunteer opportunities. And yes, one does have to do some research. I started with the public library. Our local branch library has teen volunteer positions and even a Teen Advisory Group. Marcus is enjoying his time there so much that he increased his hours.

Recently, I found out about the Leaders of the Future, a FREE teen program that offers work skills, leadership training activities, community and socal activities through the county recreation centers. I stop by the center, spoke with the manager and was very impressed. Once I mentioned it to Marcus he wanted to immediately start working on his application for the Spring term.

And don't forget that many non-profit organizations are in need, especially in our present economy. Even if there's no opportunities perhaps they would welcome your teen's help in the office. In exchange, they would be accurring some job skills and volunteer credits.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day Off Working in Our Home Office

It's nice having an actual home office in one's home. Now, we just need to finish decorating.

Have a Happy Hump Day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

One Dish Chicken with Vegetables

Since our family is now following a low fat diet doesn't mean that we are forgoing flavor. Here's a comfort chicken and vegetable recipe that you'll find they'll enjoy. Experiment with the variety of vegetables. Originally the recipe didn't call for sweet potatoes but my family loves them.

While chicken thighs are not as low fat as chicken breasts, they are perfect for the Dutch oven. Be sure to choose skinless chicken thighs and trim any excess fat before cooking. Make sure to clean your vegetables before assembling your dish. Clean your cutting board, knife and hands before chopping your next vegetables.

1 medium white onion, chopped
1 acorn squash, chopped
1 handful of green beans, ends trimmed
1 8-ounce pack sliced mushrooms
1 sweet potato, chopped
2 medium red potatoes cut into chunks
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
crushed black pepper and salt
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 small sprig rosemary or equivalent of dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat bottom, sides, and top of lid of a large Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Place vegetables in the pot. Trim chicken thighs of excess fat and cut into pieces. Add chicken to the pot, followed by herbs, kosher salt and pepper. Cook for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Monday Menu Plan - November 12

Happy Veteran's Day! Thank you to all the veterans who have provided unselfish service to this beautiful country.

Today is the monthly auction so the whole family will be working. People will be able to view the units, after the lock is cut and the auction tag is cut, than the auctioneer will start the bidding. My husband says there are no big surprises, just some washer-dryer combos in 2 units and office supplies and equipment in another but please keep in mind the law prohibts us from entering the unit. We can only view from the doorway.

The Boys and Girls Club coach has observed Marcus playing with some of the kids and suggested that he join the team. He also mentioned to us that he would like to do some volunteer work there.

This week's menu is courtesy of Taste of Home's Easy Cooking For Diabetics magazine.

Flavorable Tilipia, Mixed Veggies

Tomato Meat loaf, Mashed Red Potatoes and Veggies

Pork with Veggie Pitas and Green Leaf Salad

Ham and Potato Cassorole

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie for dessert

Garlic Lover's Chicken, Veggies

Friday, November 09, 2007

Uninsureds - Shopping for Insurance

This is the first time in my husband and I's adult lives where we had to shop for dental and health insurance. Our company insurance would not be starting for 90 days and I wanted to compare coverage. It's a confusing processing but I was able to find a very helpful website, They offer a toll-free phone number for questions and assistance.

Our customer service rep advised me that my husband, whom is a diabetic, would be refused from all their carriers. I could also be automatically refused, due to my pre-existing conditions, so he directed me our company insurance. But our teen was a different story, he's healthy and young, so a HMO is a perfect fit and would save us money. How about a 50% savings and better coverage?

As for our dental insurance, we were able to purchase Anthem Dental Insurance that offered no limitations on extractions, ect. Our company's dental insurance has a 12 month exclusion.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Love Nachos Day! Yummy Treat for the Whole Family

Here's a few delicious and filling nacho recipes that the whole family can enjoy. They're also diabetic approved. As always remember to watch your portions.

Chicken Nachos

Fiesta Nachos

Loaded Nachos

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Help Your Kids Improve Their Skills With Extra Tutoring During the Holiday Season by Susan Hutson

Holiday time is the best time for children to enhance their educational skills at a slow and comfortable pace, in order to keep abreast with the competitive environment at school. Many children prefer to spend part of their holidays catching up on their schoolwork, with or without parental influence. In today’s fast moving society, the need for such extra coaching is becoming a crucial necessity, for many children find it difficult to cope with the aggressive and competitive school curriculum.

Many parents prefer the assistance of private tutors for their children during the holiday season, for several reasons:

· Ease of conducting lessons at home where the child feels most comfortable and tolerant
· Professional approach in coaching, promising a more effective outcome
· Less need to micromanage and get involved, giving parents the freedom to carry out their own holiday chores
· Provides individual attention to the child, allowing the practice of personalized study methods that will hold the interest of the child
· Adds variety to the child’s holiday and avoids the chances of turning them lazy and uninterested in schoolwork once the holidays are over
and it’s time to go back to school

· Reduces the stress of catching up on work once regular school commences
· Gives a chance for the child to improve their weak points and face the new school year with confidence and enthusiasm

The result of holiday tutoring is immensely beneficial for the future of your child. Basic education provides a solid foundation for a bright future for any child. As parents, it is essential to do your best by your child and facilitate their learning process. Taking the necessary steps to ensure a balanced education is imperative. You will agree that holiday tutoring is one step in the right direction when you look at the benefits it offers:

· Enhances basic skills and develops analytical skills in the child
· Develop a positive attitude towards learning and increases their self-confidence
· Develop effective study habits and a instills a wider knowledge base
· Acquires a deeper approach to the processing of information
· Improves key communication skills including presentation, listening, debating, and reading habits
· Acquires the habit of talking and listening to others in a professional setting

As many parents seek the service of private tutors during the holiday season, it gives rise to a high requirement for home tutors. Many tutoring services offer special study programmes or coaching sessions during the holiday season due to this popular demand. There is also an increase in small time home tutoring businesses or single tutors, as it provides a good, profitable, extra income to many small time entrepreneurs.
Talents that should be present in a skilled holiday tutor:

· An understanding of children and their mannerisms
· A sound knowledge of subject matter
· The ability to plan lessons and set up study goals in the best interest of the student
· A knowledge of useful study methods and learning resources and an ability to use them appropriately
· An awareness of methods of evaluation and principles involved
· The ability to bring out critical thinking in students and promote problem based, self-directed learning
· Analytical skills and facilitatory teaching habits

If you are thinking of starting a home tutoring service yourself, the holiday season would be the best time to venture out on such an enterprise, as the chances of success are in your favor during this time. Many small time home tutors flourish during the holiday season. The market demand makes it easier to acquire a good client base and establish a good, solid foundation for your business. Make a thoughtful contribution this holiday season as a home tutor and see the difference it makes in the life of others, parents and children alike.

Article by:

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Menu Monday Plan - October 29

This week, our church is having their annual Harvest Fair. There's carnival rides, facepainting, food and games booths and lots more. It's a big event, usually attracting 5000+ people. Sounds like a safe, fun evening, for the whole family.

At work, we had our first site inspection. It went very well and we're very pleased with the results. Who knew that storage could be so busy and fun. I actually don't feel like I'm working. And I love being able to work with my husband and son. We have a great time and really respect each other's expertise.

Well, enough of that, now onto this week's menu!

Tilipia and Mixed Veggies

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Veggie Sauce

Sandwiches and Soup

Chicken Alfredo with Wheat Linguini


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Prayers for San Diego County

Please keep the community of San Diego county in your thoughts and prayers. Many of our friends have been misplaced from their homes.

Also, if you can, consider making a donation to the American Red Cross. There's much need in the area.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - October 22

Another busy week in the house! Marcus had 2 teeth pulled on Friday. Poor kidlet. His face was swollen, no solid foods for a few days and yes, he was miserable. Took Marcus to do some clothes shopping. This 15 year old kid is still growing. He's now 6 feet 5 inches.

I've been attending our bible study at our church, every week. One of the things that I enjoy is that we hold it in our coffee bar area. Picture Starbucks inside a church and you get the idea. One can buy their coffee and danish, take a seat, meet new friends and enjoy learning.

We found out about the San Diego County fires on the news, this morning . Please keep our friends in your prayers and thoughts.

Now onto the menu for the week.

Spaghetti Sauce with Veggies and Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti

Chicken Fingers, Mixed Veggies and Green Salad

Tilipia, Red Potatoes, Green Salad

Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup

Sandwiches and Potato Salad

Monday, October 08, 2007

Do Something Nice for Your Hubby!

Some of my hubby and I's favorite things to do is hold hands and watch funny movies together.

Do you know your spouse's favorite movie? My husband just loves 'Blazin Saddles' and mine is 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World'. When I was recovering from my back injury he got me that movie, to cheer me up. I laughed so hard that sometimes my spasms would start up. But I also appreciated my husband's loving gesture.

Do something nice for your spouse today.

Menu Monday Plan - October 8

We were busy yesterday, getting ready for our monthly auction, at work. For those of you that have never seen a storage unit auction, it's sorta like the old show, "Let's Make A Deal". One bids on the unit, unloads it and maybe you find a big ticket item, like jewelry, collectables, ect.

Last month, one of the bidders found someone's ashes! Yes, someone put their deceased mother in their storage unit. You just never know what you'll find.

Now onto this week's menu. To participate and visit other participants, stop by Organizing Junkie's blog.

Pot Roast with Green Beans, Mashed Red Potatoes, and Gravy.

Tilipia with Brown Rice and Salad

Baked Pork Chops and Mac/Cheese

Pinto Beans and Ham

Sandwiches and Soup

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Save A Stamp - Get Online Bill Pay

Are you still writing out checks, licking envelopes, and rushing to the post office, to mail your bills? How about saving yourself some time and money by utilizing your online banking service. Many companies offer e-billing, they email your statement and you issue a payment, via your checking account. If the company doesn't offer e-billing, the bank sends a check. How cool is that?

Now, instead of dealing with the lines at the post office you can put your feet up and enjoy a good book.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - October 1

First, Marcus has added a third day to his tennis drills. He wants to get more time in, working on his serve. Charles and I actually have some video of him, at practice. (we'll post it soon)

We're still waiting on our living room and dining room furniture, to be delivered. Yes, they did quote 3-5 weeks but do we really think it's going to take 5 weeks? Ugh! I actually forgot what it looks like. Stop by and take a peak, at their showroom.

I've been receiving some email questions, regarding our Property Manager jobs. The most popular one is "How large is your free apartment?" Well, it's 1200 square feet. Please keep them coming.

Now, onto this week's menu. Oh, if you would like to join in the Menu Plan Monday fun, please stop by Organizing Junkie.

Shepards Pie

Design Your Own Pizzas on Whole Wheat Crust


Tilipia and Mushroom Coucous

Buffalo Chicken with Oven Baked Red Potatoes

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pottery Barn Daily System - Product Recommendation

Pottery Barn offers a organizing system that is such a winner, I just had to post here about it!

At Pottery you'll find the
Daily System, it consist of a Whiteboard Calendar, Chalkboard, Linen Pinboard, Office Organizer, Letter Bin, Corkboard and Recharge Station/Whiteboard, available in White, Mahogany stain and Black, each piece sold separately. Each modular piece hangs from wall-mounted stainless-steel rod (sold separately). Just slide it in the rod and add as many pieces as you like!

In our home office we have the Letter Bin, it can hold magazines, catalogs and a week's worth of mail. Two Whiteboard Calendars keep us organized with family and business. And the Recharge Station/Whiteboard keeps our cellphones in one convenient place while charging. I love the Mahogany stain because it matches my new desk.

Stop by Pottery Barn for this and many other home office organization products.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Working with Your Spouse - Spend Some Time Apart

It's now been more than a month since my hubby and I started working together. And you know what? I've learned a few things about maintaining our happy marriage and working relationship.

Here's one...make sure you spend some time apart. After all, you're around this person at work and home. That's alot of togetherness.

It's a great breather to take a break from each other. Take a walk by yourself, workout, read a book, watch TV alone, or like me I head to my home office and spend some time blog visiting.

Do you work with your spouse? I would love read your tips and suggestions. Have a productive and Happy Hump Day!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Enter The Pink Dyson Drawing at 5 Minutes for Mom

Yes, I did mention pink! Stop by 5 Minutes for Mom, to take a peek and enter the drawing.

Menu Plan Monday - September 24

It's been a busy and hectic weekend. Saturday was a great day for the business. Many new rentals and the rain, kept us running around.

Marcus had a lot of books to re-shelf, this Sunday. He said that Sunday is a popular day for book drop-offs, at the local public library. He seems to be enjoying his volunteer work.

I attended our former church's Sunday service, via the Internet. It was so heartwarming to see our pastor back at the pulpit. He had back surgery and has recovered nicely. Even though we have found a new church, it's nice to know that we can visit anytime.

Well, I hope everyone had a terrific weekend. Now, onto the menu!

Pork Stir Fry

Sandwiches and Soup

Hamburgers on Whole Wheat Buns

Baked Tilipia and Red Potatoes

Chicken Pot Pie

Friday, September 21, 2007

We're The Proud Owners of a Laptop!

I got up very early, Sunday morning and decided to tune to "QVC". They were selling affordable Acer laptops so I decided to purchase one. We received it within a week, had Marcus set it up and Geek Squad handled the wireless Internet.

Now, when I want to listen to Bill Handle gripe, in the morning. I can take him with me.

While we were watching TV, last night, we wanted to research something. So, I just went to our home office and grabbed the laptop!

Now, that's convenience!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Menu Monday Menu - September 17, 2007

Well, it's been awhile since I last participated, in Menu Monday Plan. We have moved from San Diego to Las Vegas. I went back to work, fulltime. I work with my husband, as a Storage Property Manager. We live rent and utility free above the business.

Marcus has started his 10th grade, online. He's enjoys his online class experience. No, complaints about being late. He's busy with volunteering at the local public library, going to the Boys and Girls Club, attending Senior Youth Ministry and taking tennis lessons. And, he's working parttime for us.

Enough about the update, now onto this week's menu!

Chicken with Garlic and White Wine, Brown Rice

Tacos with Black Beans

Turkey Meatball Soup



Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Do You and Your Spouse Work Together? Marriage Poll

My husband and I recently started working together, as Property Managers, of a storage and parking facility. I never once had any concerns about working with him. We've worked together on other projects and it's always gone very well.

One of the things that we've always recognized it our strenghts and weaknesses. Mine, is the office and his is maintenance. What a perfect match for this job!

Stop by Marriage website to participate in their poll question, "Has working together hurt your marriage?"

Also, take a look at the article, Working Together -- Being Together 24/7, for hints and tips. Some of my favorites are agreeing to disagree, starting the day discussing the plan of the day and keeping your sense of humor!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remember 9/11 Today

Our prayers and thoughts are with the families, friends and relatives, of all of those who were and are effected by the events of September 11, 2001.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

How This Busy Mom Gets Dinner On The Table by Susanne Myers

Now that I'm working fulltime I'm looking for ways to make dinner and avoid the takeout and delivery.

You know the drill… you run around all day taking care of the kids, the household and your job and before you know it 7pm rolls around and you have no idea what to fix for dinner. That used to be me too. The solution was usually to sever everyone a bowl of cereal or call the pizza delivery guy. Not anymore. While I’m still just as busy as ever, I also realize how important it is to prepare a “real” dinner for my family. Not only is it much healthier, we also end up saving money we used to spend on takeout and we have come closer as a family. I wouldn’t trade dinner time for anything in the world and neither should you. Here are my best tips for getting dinner on the table even if you’re as busy as I am.

Get Everyone Involved

One of my biggest secrets is that I don’t try to be supermom and I don’t try to get everything done by myself. Of course this includes making dinner. In our house cooking is a family affair. My husband and daughter are in the kitchen with me, cooking, setting the table and cleaning up after along with me. It makes every step of the process much faster, and when I am running late and don’t make it home in time to get dinner started, the two of them can get started without me. Cooking together is also a great way for the three of us to bond.

Shortcuts Are OK

Don’t feel like you have to make everything from scratch for it to count as a home-cooked meal. It’s ok to take shortcuts. Some of my favorites are to use bagged salad that’s already cleaned and ready to go, breadsticks and rolls that just need heating up and all kinds of canned soup or stews. There are also quite a few good frozen meal packs available these days that you just cook in the pan or in your slow cooker. Whenever I do take the time to make things like soup, stew, casseroles or even meat loaf, I make several batches of the dish and freeze the remaining portions for another day when I’m short on time. What counts is that you get a healthy meal on the table, not the amount of time you spent in front of the stove.

Plan Your Meals

Last, but not least, let me share my biggest secret with you – I plan my meals. It’s sooo much easier to get dinner on the table, when you know exactly what you’re going to cook ahead of time and have what you need at hand. Just sit down once a week with a pen and a piece of paper and write down exactly what you are going to make for dinner each day of the week. Get your recipes out , and attach them to the list, then make a grocery list. It saves a lot of time only having to go to the store once a week and by attaching the recipes to the list of menus, other family members can get started on dinner when you’re running late.

Article by:

For a great free report on meal planning basics visit – the report goes into much more detail on how you can start planning your meals and also comes with a blank menu planning worksheet and shopping list that I use every week.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I Went Back to Work Fulltime!

Recently, my husband and I accepted a position, as Property Managers, at a storage facility. I love that we don't have a commute, don't worry about rent and utilities and work with my favorite guy! The work is rewarding and challenging too. Now I just need to find more time for my housework, hobbies and me time!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Menu Plan Mondays - August 20, 2007

Wow, it's great to be back to planning our meals. It can get quite costly trying to go out every night and grocery shop. Now that I'm working full time, with my husband, I need to get as organized as possible.

Here it goes!

Tangy Party Wings, Mixed Green Salad

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Marinated Chicken Thighs, Steamed Mixed Veggies

Baked Fish and Macaroni/Cheese

Thursday, August 16, 2007

7 Tips For An Easy and Balanced Diabetes Diet by Ann Saunders

It is often thought that diabetics need a special diet and that they have to cut out certain food items altogether, or replace them with special "Diabetic" items purchased from health food stores. This is not the case and is nothing more than a clever marketing ploy. In reality, diabetics can eat exactly the same food as everybody else.

Because diabetes is a metabolic disorder and requires the sufferer to control of glucose levels in the blood, diabetics do need to pay careful attention to their diet and must ensure that their diet is correctly balanced.

So, what sort of foods should diabetics be selecting when it comes to creating a balanced diet? Well, here are 7 suggestions:

1. Include a wide range of fruit and vegetables and avoid sticking to just your two or three favorites. One good test to apply to fruit and vegetables is the color test, which simply means that you should try to eat fruit and vegetables that span the colors of the rainbow. So, include a wide range such as bananas, oranges, apples, red cabbage, carrots and beans. Also, include vegetables which are either low in starch or starch-free, such as broccoli and spinach.

2. Wherever possible try to eat whole grain rather than processed food and choose things like whole wheat spaghetti and brown rather than white rice.

3. Add fish to your diet at least two times a week. Fish is an excellent source of protein and also contains a number of essential oils. Try to avoid frying fish, especially in batter, and boil, steam, bake or grill fish instead.

4. Choose lean cuts of meat and bake, grill, roast, braise or stew meat in preference to frying it. When buying meat choose cuts that include the word "loin" such as pork loin or sirloin. When cooking wildfowl and poultry remove the skin before serving and steer clear of particularly fatty meats such as duck.

5. Choose non-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk as well as non-fat cheese and yoghurt. Many people find that these products, although they are a very healthy option, simply any real taste. If you find that this is the case then try to meet the problem half way by choosing low-fat rather than non-fat products and compensate for this by using them sparingly in your diet.

6. Avoid high calorie sweetened drinks and carbonated drinks and try to drink more water and natural fruit juices. Also be careful not to drink too much coffee or tea and add only as much sugar as in needed for taste. You'll be surprised by just how easy it is to cut out sugar altogether if you put your mind to it and you'll end up enjoying tea and coffee just as much as you did before.

7. Finally, cut back on desserts and, while it's alright to eat cake and ice-cream occasionally try to include these in your diet only once or twice a week rather than every day. Also, try to wean yourself away from full cream ice-cream and cakes to lower fat alternatives.

If by this stage you're thinking that this looks like a normal healthy eating routine then you're quite right. There is no such thing as a "diabetic diet" and all that you need to do to control diabetes in terms of diet is to adopt a simple and sensible habit of eating a good balance of healthy foods.

Article by: provides information on all aspects of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and also looks at following a type 2 diabetes diet with a collection of free diabetic recipes.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is Your Spouse Stressed at Work by Donna Savage

Originally posted on November 19, 2006.

Recently, I found a terrific article, by Donna Savage, at Marriage that I would like to share with you. It's called 'Is Your Spouse Stressed at Work'. She provides helpful information such as that during stressful times we cannot fix everything, sometimes all you can do is provide support by listening and being there. For some of us, just being quiet and listening is a very difficult task.

You'll also read about adjusting your expectations during this time, creating a calm and relaxing homefront and much more.

I like what she had to say about making the choice to either sulk in the corner or give your spouse tender kisses. Who wouldn't have more fun with the latter?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Frugal Summer Fun For The Family by Judy Turner

Looking for ways to entertain the family on a budget? Please read the following article.

Summer is in full swing and you want to make sure your kids enjoy it. Besides hitting the pools and playing at the park here are a few frugal ideas to keep kids of all ages happy.

Spend an afternoon at the library. Besides getting a welcome reprieve from the heat you can check out free books for the kids. Our local library offers offers free videos for rent as well as story hour and other activities.

While at the library be sure to check the bulletin board for other free activities being offered in the area. You may find lots of fun, frugal activities that were not listed in your local newspaper.

Take a trip to the SPCA. You can stop by to visit the animals and volunteer to walk them and play with them. Not only will the dogs and cats get some well deserved TLC but you and your children will feel great doing it.

Do you have a garden? Whether it is a vegetable garden or flower garden this is a great learning experience for your children. Get them involved and they may actually be willing to try some of the produce that they helped tend to. If you are limited on space you could try container gardening. Check online or your local library for more information.

Whether or not you have a garden you should visit your local farmers market. Not only will you find great buys but they often have free entertainment for the family.

Check out any free concerts in your area. Again this is a great activity for you and the kids.

These are just a few frugal ideas for making Summer fun for kids of all ages. Not only will you be saving money, you will also be creating great memories and learning opportunities for your children.

Article by:

Judy Turner is a work at home mom who is always looking for ways to cut expenses. For work at home resources visit . For frugal recipes and money saving tips visit .

Berry-Morins Movie Review: Transformers

My husband and I have fond memories of Marcus watching 'The Transformers' cartoon and playing with the toys. It always amazed us that he didn't need directions to "transform" them from vehicle to machine!

During the July 4 weekend, we decided to see the movie, Transformers and we were not disappointed. Shia La Beouf, of 'Even Stevens' fame, plays the hero, as well, as romantic lead. We thought he did a fantastic job. He had to be funny one moment and than serious without being campy. Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel, Las Vegas, are in terrific shape and take a beating throughout the movie.

There's plenty of action, cars, comedy, for the family. I probably wouldn't bring the younger kidlets with some of the language and sexual comments.

If you haven't had a chance to go to this movie with your teens, you might want to consider scheduling it this weekend!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Starting Young: Teaching Teens to Save Money - Mothers of Teens

Please stop by Mothers of Teens blog and read Marie's article about Teaching Teens to Save Money. She points out that teens do welcome our input and are aware of family finances. We have definitely found this true of our son.

If your teen doesn't already have a bank account, assist them with it. Show them how to set up their online account access. We review our son's savings account monthly statement with him. We also discuss his spending and savings patterns.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Boys and Girls Club Greater San Diego Clairemont Youth of the Year

Please stop by the Clairemont Boys and Girls Club website for Marcus' bio and photo, as Youth of the Year. Congratulations Marcus!

We know that he will continue with his volunteer, sports and extra curricular activities, now that we are living in Las Vegas.

Friday, July 13, 2007

We've Arrived in Las Vegas!

First of all, I must thank all of you that have prayed for us since we mentioned our move. Thank you. The Lord has provided so many blessings upon us. We continue to pray as we are on our new path.

We arrived in Las Vegas at 11:30pm Tuesday. And man, was it hot! We immediately checked into the Extended StayAmerica, took showers and went to bed. If you have never stayed at their facilities let me just say they're like little apartments, with a full size fridge, microwave and stove top. They even provide pots, dishes, and utensils. We have laundry, pool, Jacuzzi, and a fitness center, right at the facility. Marcus is thrilled with his own TV and the sleeper coach. Charles and I have a King size bed, in our room and walkin closet. My favorite thing is the housekeeping service. (It's a welcome break)

Charles and I also are pleased with the cost of housing, gas, groceries and ect. Stuff is less expensive than San Diego.

We have been very busy, since arriving...getting a storage unit, unloaded and returned the truck, got library cards, and using our handy Thomas Guide to get around. People have been very helpful and friendly.

Today is a cool 100 degrees. I appreciate the cooler temps since on Wednesday I got a bit dehydrated and was laid out for the remainder of the day.

Well, I've gotta run. No more excuses...I'm actually going to go buy a swimsuit today

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Please Say a Prayer for the Homeless

Since we became homeless on May 31, I feel like I am in a continous course of learning and awakening. I've usually ignored the homeless guy on the street corner, bumming for pocket change, or digging for recyclables in the dumpster.

I had no idea how many families that are living in their cars or on the streets. Many people from middle to upper middle income, some who once owned their home, waiting in the same line as me. Small babies, toddlers, teens and their parent(s) waiting in line to use the showers and toilet, at the downtown shelter. I overheard people discussing safe places to sleep, places one can park their car without the police bothering them. And not so surprising was that still have to get their kids to school, get to their job (if they have one), and worry about what's for dinner.

I'm continue to learn more everyday. I feel that this was a path that we were meant to be on. The best advice I've received was from one of my church's pastor. "This was going to happen anyways, it's the way that you deal with it that matters." Yes, he definitely has been right on that fact.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Select a Winner for the Fruity Cheerios Contest! Modern

Stop by the voting page on Modern Mom that features all of the finalists. While all 10 will receive a case of Fruity Cheerios, the entry with the most votes will win the Grand Prize of $500! Vote for their favorite, before this Saturday (June 16th)!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Listen to Parenting My Teen Talk Show - Homeschooling Your High Schooler

Aurelia Williams, Parenting My Teen, speaks with Cindy Rushton, about her experience with homeschooling her children through the high school years. She is a popular speaker at homeschool conferences, as well as a writer.

Our son has been enrolled in an Independent Study Program since 7th grade. As of his sophomore year, he'll be enrolled in Connections Academy, a virtual school.

This is a terrific show topic because I see many parents post about their concerns of homeschooling through the high school years.

Just visit the Parenting My Teen website, by clicking on the icon, located on the lefthand side, under Favorite Internet Talk Radio Shows.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Join Homeschool Buyers Co-op Today! Savings on Dave Ramesy Curriculum

In you case you missed it, The Homeschool Buyers Co-op Group Buy for financial curriculum for kids and teens is shaping up to be one of our most popular Group Buys ever!

The core curriculum items have already reached the 25% discount level and only need 7 more items to obtain the 35% off level! Co-op members also save 40, 50, & 60% off of add-on items as well!

You can read Dave's new book, Total Money Makeover, for as little as $10 with any other purchase. Plus, any Co-op member order over $50 receives a free Dave Ramsey tote bag - use it to carry all of the cold hard cash you'll save on curriculum!

And before I forget, the membership is free! So why haven't you joined yet?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Listen to Natural Moms Talk Radio Show - Healtlhy One Pot Meals

Carrie, host, speaks with Elizabeth Yarnell, author of 'Glorious One Pot Meals' about dutch oven cooking, healthier eating and cooking and more. I've been a fan of Elizabeth's for sometime now. I first heard of her on Army Wives Talk Radio Show. Her meals are easy and quick to prepare and your family will love the taste, freshness and quality. Her recipes allow for creating a different meal everytime by changing the meat and vegetables.

Just click on the link, Natural Moms Talk Radio Show, located on the rightside of my blog, under Favorite Internet Talk Radio Shows.

Also, stop by your local public library for a copy of the book, 'Glorious One Pot Meals'.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Need, Want and Use - Moving

It has been an amazing experiencing packing up our belongings. I was surprised how much clutter we had accumulated over 13 years. We asked ourselves 3 questions: Do I/we need it? Is it something we/I use? Do I/we really want it enough to pack and move it. With that being said alot of stuff found it's way off the dump, given away or sold.

I mentioned to my husband that we really should aim for a life of less stuff!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Packing Up for a Move

It's been 13 years since we moved to San Diego but it's now time to pack up and move from the city and the state of California. I'll be posting very minimally for awhile. Please pray for my family as we began our new adventure. I know that God has a plan and will provide the necessities.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Winding Down The School Year

Marcus and I are looking forward to the remainding 5 weeks of school. He's finished his tennis season so no more practice or games. And his study group sessions end on June 5. We'll be wrapping up the school year with some reading comp and writing exercises, courtesy of I did this last year and it was a great success. Marcus even requested that I use them this year.

I just select a few based on English, Physics, Music and Spanish. He's learning while being entertained. Sometimes, the news or a movie will dictate what topics I select. Recently, my husband and I introduced him to 'Due South'. Marcus wanted to learn more about Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounties. So, I did a search on both topics and found several writing and reading comp worksheets. is a terrific resource for homebased educators and homeschoolers. You'll find several free worksheets but for only $29.95 a year, you'll have full access, for an affordable price.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Online Book Club Swaps - A Great Money Saver

It's been about one year since I joined Paperback Swap. I've saved alot of money by swapping books and only paying for postage. I even use the brown grocery bags for wrapping so my out-of-pocket is very low.

There are other online book club swaps sites that I do belong too. and Book Mooch are also very popular and similar to Paperback Swap.

With many homebased educators planning for next year's curriculum, don't forget these money saving sites. Paperback Swap even has a homeschool catagory.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Eat Better - A Healthy Lifestyle Site

Eat Better is a helpful website to get or keep you and your family on the healthy track. Whether it's recipes, diabetes management, exercise tips or articles, this website has it. Sign up for the free newsletters to stay up-to-date on health related news.

I really love their recipe site that gives you the opportunity to submit your recipe for a chance to revamped into a healthier one!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Officially a Stay-At-Home Mom

I recently terminated my contract and am now a fulltime Stay-At-Home Mom. It's very interesting to realize that I no longer have a phone shift, set up my schedule or complete up-training.

I've really enjoyed my 3+ years of working from home but due to my arthritic conditions and headaches, getting worst, it was time to stop.

I will continue to post about work-at-home opportunities, message boards and websites, that I found helpful from time to time.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Open Forum Phone Teleseminar - Urban

Our next phone seminar will be an Open Forum, Thursday, May 17, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT. Be sure to adjust for your time zone.

This is your chance to ask all the questions you have been saving up about cooking on a budget, lacto-fermentation, the two stage process, menu planning, health beginning in the kitchen, training children, cleaning and organizing, homeschooling, getting started with whole foods cooking and any other topic on your mind that is appropriate for a "Homemakers Forum."

You can email questions ahead of the seminar to

I will also be giving more details about our upcoming afternoon seminar series called Learn to Feed Your Babies, Toddlers, and Children for Better Health. I look forward to having an informal chat time with you next week. Here are the details:

Contact Information:

Date: Thursday, May 17, 2007

Time: 9:00 PM EST (8:00 CST, 7:00 MST, 6:00 PST) Adjust for your time zone!

Dial In Number: 1-620-782-8800
Participant Code: 754074

If you have never participated in a phone seminar before, here is how it works:

1. Dial in the phone number above to the seminar. (You pay only for the phone call.)
2. Key in the seminar access code.
3. Introduce yourself, it you wish
4. Bring a notebook to take notes, a cup of tea, and have your questions ready.
5. Don't worry about background noise, we will mute that out!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Join Us at "I Am" Online Bible Study at The Preacher's Wife

Please join us at 'I Am - So You Don't Need to Be Online Bible Study' at The Preacher's Wife blog. We'll be studying the life of Moses and how God chose to transform him. The lesson will be broken into 4 segments by Lisa McKay.

Just start with the Welcome and Introduction and go from there. It's never too late to participate.

Wanna Make Homemade Tortillas? - The Life of a Simple Wife

Marcus and I recently informed Charles that we will be giving homemade tortillas a try. After all, Charles grew up eating his mother's homemade flour tortillas. He still comments on how delicious they were.

Now I see that I'm not alone. The Life of a Simple Wife recently took on the task. Stop and view the photos, as well as get the homemade recipe.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Looking for Extra Money? - Try Pinecone Research

About a year ago, after reading a post, on Work Place Like Home, I decided to join an online consumer research company, called Pinecone Research. After you register and your application is accepted, you are sent a user id and password. Your surveys are sent to your email address. Occasionally, products will be mailed to you to test. Sometimes, other household members will be asked to fill out surveys. And best of all, you're paid $5 for each completed survey!

Today, I received another $5 check, from Pinecone Research! I think I'll treat myself to a mocha frappacino at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Menu Plan Monday - May 7

Saturday, we attended the Union Tribune Race for Literacy event. Marcus was volunteering again, for the Kids Mile. This year, he was a Line Checker, making sure people stayed on the path. It was a gorgeous day, fun watching the kids participate and we got our exercise in for the day.

This week, we have tickets to 'Our Town' and to a ballet performance. Our church's high school drama club is putting it the play. And our homeschool group has been invited to the ballet. Marcus is going to participate in paintball with his youth church group, this weekend. So it will be quiet and not much clean up that day.

I also attended the Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2007, an online event, held last week. There were plenty of terrific guests and topics. The other great feature was the opportunity to listen to the audio at your convenience.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup

Hamburgers with Mixed Green Salad

Fish with Roasted Potatoes

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes* Fix It and Forget It Diabetic Cookbook

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Summer School Program: Does Your Teen Need One? By Linda Hinkle

As each school year comes to a close in the spring, most parents of teens experience mixed feelings about the upcoming summer months. There is usually some little voice back there somewhere wondering if some kind of summer school program should be considered. But parents also want to enjoy some relief from the constant battle to make sure homework is done, grades are good, and all is well in the academic world.

Eventually, most parents come to realize that the looming summer vacation from school should be more than just ‘fun in the sun’ for teens. Statistics show that the summer months are a more dangerous time for teens with regard to drugs, alcohol, and getting in trouble. And those same statistics tell us that a significant amount of learning is lost if teens don’t stay mentally active.

Did you know that when school starts back in the fall each year, teachers typically spend up to six weeks teaching lessons that were taught the previous year? It’s true, and it happens because of a phenomenon known as the “summer brain drain” or the “summer slide.” Those terms refer to the loss of learning that students suffer during the summer due to not participating in educational activities.

Suffice it to say that a good amount of research has been done on this loss of learning that occurs during the hiatus from school. Some sources say that students average 2.6 months of math learning loss over the summer. That equals almost one third of the school year! A slightly lesser amount of reading loss occurs. As a teacher of high school mathematics for many years, I can attest to the reality of these statistics.

What’s the best solution that a parent can offer in helping their teen stay educationally “fit” during the summer months? Start by making the decision to promote some kind of learning, whether it is a structured summer school program or something a bit more relaxed.

While taking a summer class or two in a good school sponsored program is an excellent way to exercise the brain, learning can also occur by utilizing other local resources such as museums, the zoo, and the library. Keeping a journal about some of these types of activities will utilize important writing skills. Some informal tutoring sessions in an identified weak area might be considered. Reading is vitally important to all disciplines and should be highly encouraged during the summer. Any reading that a teen does during this time will be extremely beneficial in battling the “brain drain.”

So does your teen need a summer learning program? The answer is definitely yes, but as I’ve pointed out, the nature of the program can take many forms. The most important thing is to incorporate some learning into your teen’s summer schedule. Anything that keeps that bright young mind active, thinking, and engaged will reap big rewards when school resumes in the fall.

Article by:

Linda Hinkle is an educator and advocate for parents of high school students. Learn more about how to keep your teen safe, active, and engaged during the summer by visiting

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sleeping Tips for Parents of Teens at

As a mom of a teenage son, I recognize that he needs lots of sleep, that it's difficult to get him up in the morning and he would like to stay up late. My husband says he's never seen anyone sleep so hard. iVillage Parenting site has a terrific article, 'Sleeping Tips for Parents of Teens'. Did you know that most teens need 8.5 to 9.5 hours a sleep? Wow! This can be a challenge when they have a part time job, sports, school, friends and extra curricular activities.

Consider stopping by today and sharing this article with your teen.

Listen to Mom on the Go Radio! Second Segment on Marriage - Intimacy in Your Marriage After Having Children

Taiha Wagner and Maura Steblay, Mom on the Go Radio, continue their topic, Marriage, with Intimacy in Your Marriage After Having Children.

Tips for me: Take a nap and take a relaxing shower with body wash - it's amazing how much energy this gives me.

*Warning: You should listen to this one without the kids around

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mother's Day Giveaway at 5 Minutes for Mom

5 Minutes for Mom blog is starting off with a bang – the first contest is for Best Buy’s Special Mother’s Day Apple iPod Nano and Chocolate Gift Set! YES – you heard me right! They're giving away a 4GB Apple iPod Nano!

The second contest is for a beautifully handmade Mei Tai baby carrier made by Jenn from All Natural Mommies.

Deadline is May 13, 2007!

Tasty Thursdays and Slow Cooking Thursdays - Beef in Red Wine

Join the fun on Tasty Thursdays and Slow Cooking Thursdays!

olive oil cooking spray
3 slices nonfat turkey bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 pound piece rump roast
1 large onion, peeled, stuck with 4 whole cloves
2 ounces grated carrot
3 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 pound green beans, ends snipped
refrigerated butter flavored refrigerated cooking spray
8 ounces mushrooms
freshly ground pepper

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add the turkey bacon and sauté until it begins to crisp. Add the beef, and brown on all sides.
Transfer turkey bacon and beef to a 3 1/2-quart or larger crockery slow cooker. Add onion, grated carrot, garlic, wine, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 minutes.

When beef is almost done, cook potatoes in boiling water to cover until almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add carrots and green beans. Continue to cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Drain vegetables and keep warm.

Meanwhile, lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat until mushrooms are tender and all liquid is absorbed.

Transfer beef to a carving board and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing into thin, against the grain, slices. Arrange beef slices on a heated serving platter. Discard clove-stuck onion, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs.

Stir cooked vegetables and mushrooms into pan juice of the slow cooker to warm. Spoon the vegetables and pan juices over the beef. Season to taste with pepper. Serve immediately.

What Is a SAHM Worth at

Have you tried your hand at figuring your yearly paycheck yet? I did and I actually would get an increase this year. How's $293,082 grab you.

Well, after all it's just for fun. And my two guys don't take me for granted. Marcus actually informed me this week, that I do work harder than Charles. After all, I have to deal with him most of the day. And he really does appreciate it.

The hubby, well he actually tells me to cutback on all the stuff I do around the house. That he rather have me resting, taking breaks and that he'll make dinner. And after all I do deal with Marcus most of the day.

Oh, I have to go now. I have to get French Toast on the table. (it's Marcus' alarm clock) Drive Charles to work and Marcus to study group. So, the work whistle has blown and breaktime is over!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Baskin Robbins 31 Cent Scoop Night Tonight - 5 pm to 10 pm

Stop by your Baskin Robbins Ice Cream location tonight, between 5 pm to 10 pm, for 31 Cent Scoop Night! Any 2.5 scoop is just 31 cents. No coupon needed! This is honor of The National Fallen Firefighters Association.

'Zits' - Our Family Story Revealed

'Zits' comic strip is about teenage son, Jeremy, his parents and friends. My husband actually reads this strip daily. He says there are cameras in our home. I have to agree. There are many times that the strip reflects the latest happenings in our home.

I even get an email from husband stating, "You've got to read Zits today!" It's great to have a strip that our family can enjoy together!

Works-For-Me Wednesday - American

This week's theme, at Works-For-Me Wednesday, is Birthdays. Stop by Rocks In My Dryer to join in the fun!

American offers
Create-Print Cards service, for a yearly fee. You can pick the type of card, personalize it and than print it! It's that easy!

The service offers a wide variety, of birthdays, anniversaries and special days. You'll not only save money but you won't be in a bind when you need a card!

You'll also find projects, such as bookmarks, gift card holders, frame mats and gift bags! Stop by now and sign up for their free trial!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

De-Lurking Monthly Drawing at 'BerryMorins Bits and Tips and 'Marcus and Me' Blog Winners

When you leave a comment(s) at 'Marcus and Me' or 'BerryMorins Bits and Tips', you will be entered into a monthly drawing, for a Greeting Cake, from Sweet Little Thoughts. These cakes make great gifts for give to someone or yourself, to make a special occasion.

I'll be selecting a name on the beginning of each month. So, even if it's just to say 'Hello' you'll be enter.

April's winners have been notified! Congratulations Psychology of Motherhood and CarpeBanana!

School's Out! Plan The Perfect Teen Summer Seminar at Parenting Your Teen - May 16 and 17

The 'School's Out! Plan The Perfect Teen Summer' seminar will be a 2-day event, May 16 and 17, featuring 4 experts to talk to you about all the many positive things that you and your teen can be focusing on this summer. Things like: Education, money, staying out of trouble.

As soon as you sign up and pay $19.95, for the class you will receive your 10-week plan right away so you can begin to think about what you'll want to put into action. You'll also get full access to every Expert Session where you'll get lots of tips and advice on keeping your teen active and occupied this summer.

During the question and answer sessions you'll have a change to ask your burning questions and after the seminar it will all be wrapped up in an audio package for you to keep!

Click here for more details and to sign up today. Time is running out!

Urban Phone Seminar - April 18, Wednesday

Sue Gregg, Christian Cookbook author, has inspired me, educated me, and blessed me with a wealth of knowledge and delicious recipes over the last fifteen years. Please join us Thursday night as we will talk about whole grains and much more.

Contact Information:

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2007

Time: 9:00 PM EST (8:00 CST, 7:00 MST, 6:00 PST) Adjust for your time zone!

Dial In Number: 1-620-782-8800
Participant Code: 754073

If you have never participated in a phone seminar before, here is how it works:

1. Dial in the phone number above to the seminar. (You pay only for the phone call.)
2. Key in the seminar access code.
3. Introduce yourself, it you wish
4. Bring a notebook to take notes, a cup of tea, and have your questions ready.
5. Don't worry about background noise, we will mute that out!

Monday, April 30, 2007

BerryMorins Bits and Tips Recommend Weekly Blog - The ParTea Planner

Now, here's a new blogger that has a fresh twist to bringing traffic to her blog...Throw a tea party! You'll find a beautifully designed blog, with a focus on tea related products and parties.

Risa, The ParTea Planner, actually owns a tea party business, she's married has two kids and a very busy life. Can you relate?

Please stop by for more details on her Mother's Day Giveaway. Deadline is April 30, 2007, so hurry!

Menu Plan Monday - April 30

This week, our teen is testing out of the 9th grade. It's a yearly event, at our homebased learning group, with sleepy eyes kids heading to our campus for testing. He's only there for two classes, English and Geometry, so don't feel too bad for Marcus. One large Cafe Mocha with Whip Cream and he'll be alright!

We went to a College Fair at Point Loma Nazarene College, this weekend. It's a gorgeous college, located on the coastline. Marcus got lots of freebies. Hubby and I picked up lots of brochures, ect. Feel free to read my post at Marcus and Me. Many of the schools are offering classes to high school Freshman, with college credits.

Oh, I was asked what the hubby and I did on our anniversary. Well, we stayed up late making Deviled Eggs for his work potluck. Now, that's marriage!

And last thing...I promise. Today is the Deadline for The ParTea Planner Mother's Day Giveaway so hurry and sign up!

40 Garlic Clove Chicken


Herb Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, Romaine Salad

Chicken Tacos, Charles' Homemade Guac and Chips

Plenty of Leftovers!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saving Money on Groceries with Golden Share

In our area, we have a food program called Golden Share. When purchasing their food boxes, a family or person can save 50% or more, on their food bill. The organization also promotes volunterism. Usually it's just 2 hours a month. Our's doesn't require documentation of your hours so check your Share program in your area.

Box choices include Vegetarian, Meat and Family Boxes. They even offer a Monthly Special Box, for example, May's Theme Box is offering a Father's Day theme. It contains 4 lbs of Whole Rack of Pork Short Ribs, 2 lbs of Beef Sirloin Tri-tip Roast, 4 lg Baking Potatoes, 1 basket of Strawberries and 1 bag of Salad Mix for just $25!

Many sites are offering online payment, as well as the monthly list of products being offered for sale. Our's even offer an Aftersale event, for additional savings on food products! After you made your payment, no later than the scheduled date, you than pick up your box(es) at the Distribution sites, on the pickup dates, before the cutoff time. It's really that simple!

It's a good idea to have a cooler to place your perishable items in, if making a long trip back home. And some sites to ask that you pay a nominal fuel charge, $1-2.

Visit the website to see if there's a Share in your area. Just click on Links. If there's not one, check outAngel Ministries. They offer the same type of service under a different name.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Participate in the Parenting Teenagers Summer Job Poll at

Denise Witmer, Parenting of Adolescents, has a Poll question: Is your teen getting a job this summer? She also present this question: Do you think teens should work?

I think it's a great idea for teens to have a summer job. Our teen has several volunteer opportunities and will be volunteering at our local public library branch. That sure could him busy, don't you think?

Friday, April 27, 2007

'Law and Order' Possibly Not Returning Next Season

I'm a big fan of 'L&O'! Even our teen will refer to Lennyhumorisms from time to time! We love you Lenny Brisco! Most recently, it has been announced, that NBC hasn't renewed the flagship, 'Law and Order', for next season. With Fred Dalton Thompson considering a Presidental run and the huge lost of views, over the years, this may be the end.

But, I'm okay with that. I really feel like the show lost his magic when Jerry Orbach died. Through syndication, we can still see and enjoy the show, during it's best times, like on TNT and DVDs!

DVD Recommendation: Due South - First Season

My husband and I used to watch this Canadian import, back in 1994, on CBS! We loved the unique characters, funny one lines, flashbacks and the stories. The cast included Constable Benton Frasier - "Thank you kindly", his faithful deaf wolf, Diefenbaker, and Chicago Cop, Ray Vecchio fighting crimes. There's plenty of funny moments, especially Frasier's superior detective abilities and wordly knowledge.

You can read more about the series, actors and lots more at

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday and Tasty Thursday - April 26

If you would like to join in on Slow Cooking Thursdays please stop by Diary of a SAHM. Tasty Thursdays are another fun opportunity to share recipes, visit the participants' blogs and have other's visit yours.

Can you believe that this recipe is much more healthier than it's traditional recipe? And it's taste great too! *You will have leftover Swiss Cheese. I just wrap it up for sandwiches and stuff.
Recipe is courtesy of The Everyday Low Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook:Over 120 Delicious Low-Carb Recipes That Cook Themselves

Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups

Cooking Spray
1 Tablespoon white wine
12 thin slices of low-fat Swiss Cheese (3/4 pound), divided
6 Boneless Chicken Breast Halves, fat trimmed, cut into thirds
18 thin slices of good-quality Boiled Ham (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Coat the slow cooker crock with cooking spray. Add the wine to the crock and set aside. Slice the rectangular Swiss Cheese slices in half crosswise, making two stacks. Then cut each stack in 1/2 again.

Assemble the roll-up: On a cutting board, lay one ham slice with one of the short edges closest to you. Lay 2 pieces of Swiss Cheese atop the ham slice, lined up with the bottom edge of the ham slice. Lay 1 strip of chicken across the cheese. Roll up, starting at bottom edge (chicken may stick out the ends of the ham roll-up). Place roll-up in the slow cooker crock and repeat 17 more times, stacking the roll-ups as you go.

Cover the slow cooker and cook 3 1/2 hours on Low, checking for doneness by slicing into one of the roll-ups on top to see if the chicken is cooked through. If not, re-cover and cook another 1/2 hour on Low and check for doneness again.

It's Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day!

When my husband was working in hotel security, four years ago, he took our son to a 'Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day'. The kids received their own ID's, a tour of the hotel, lunch and then an opportunity to shadow their parents. Our teenage son still talks about his experience with dad, at work, fondly.

Today is Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Whether you work at home or outside, this will allow your child to see what mom or dad does, the value of education and work skills.

Since I work at home, as a Virtual Customer Service Rep, our son does see what's involved in my job. He even gives me feedback from time to time. (and many times he's right)

Visit the official website for more details, activities, games and ice breakers, for next year. This event occurs every fourth Thursday of April.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our Book Recommendation: 'Life Lists for Teens' by Pamela Espeland

Our teen just recently read this book and gave it his high recommendations.

I originally read a review of 'Life Lists for Teens' by Pamela Espeland on Parenting Adolences newsletter. The book received high marks. Despite the fact that this book's audience is teenagers I decided that I would like to read it.

This book is a series of tips, steps and how-to's to growing up, learning and having fun. Some of my favorite lists were 9 Reasons to Go to Church, Mosque, Temple or Meetings, The 6 Pillars of Character, 10 Ways to Learn New Words and 10 Reasons for Not Getting a Tatoo or Body Piercing.

I not only recommend giving this book to your teen but for parents to read it too. They should have renamed the book, 'Life Lists for Teens and Parents'. By the way, I actually finished it one afternoon. And yes, I did enjoy it, as I learned and was entertained.

Works-For-Me Wednesday - Kids Korps USA

Kids Korps gives our teen and children, ages 5 to 18, the opportunity to serve their local community, build self esteem and team work. There are chapters located throughout the US. The membership fee is just $20 a year.

Children, who are 12 years and older can join Teen Korps. Teens have the opportunity to work on individual projects that include leadership building and get job skills. There are even Summer Internship programs. When they are ready to look at applying for college there will be volunteer record available.

Once you sign up, you'll have access to the Project Calendar. You can view the individual projects and than sign up. There's even an Upcoming Projects feature to keep you current.

If you are interested in more information or would like to join, please visit Kids Korps website.

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