WFMW ~ Don't Laugh!

This is my first Works For Me Wednesday. I am all about making life easy and simple so I have a few things to contribute to this blog carnival. But last night I was thinking about one in particular, so I decided to join in today.

Friends, we are not kids any more. We can't take our health for granted, not even the little things. And as you have probably been told by your dental hygienist, flossing is one of those important little things. It's not only important for your dental health, but your overall health as well. Gum disease is related to heart disease!

BUT, it's hard to remember to floss, for me anyway. I'm always rushing and don't take time for flossing.

So here's my little WFMW tip. I keep my floss in the shower. Then, while I'm conditioning my hair, I floss. Then when I get out, I brush my teeth, and I'm on my way. Seeing the floss in there reminds me to do it, and that way it gets done every day.

So take care of your gums & heart, my friends!


Things I'm Into Right Now

I ripped this idea off of my local friend (who I still haven't met in person yet!!), Irregular Tammie. She kind of hates Florida so she'll probably end up moving away before we ever get around to meeting up!

Anyway, here's what I'm into right now. Feel free to rip it off and do your own version!

~* Autumn! The temperatures are actually dropping already here-it's supposed to get down to 55 tonight and 52 tomorrow night! We may actually have a real fall here in Florida this year - well at least, what passes as Fall for us. I've decorated the house completely, and we got Elayna's Halloween costume today. She's going to be a ladybug and the costume is adorable. I LOVE Halloween!

~* Diet Dr Pepper. I had an urge to try one a couple of weeks ago and now I'm obsessed. I'm always obsessed with something.

~* Softball. Elayna's softball practices started last week. She loves it and I'm not just saying this because she's mine - she's good! I really think she's a natural. She does better than some of the kids who have played before!

~* Church. Although I consider myself Spiritual, we haven't regularly attended church in a long time. But it seems that we've finally found a church that we really like and fit into. I am very particular about what I want in a church and we're really happy with this one. It looks like we're going to become members & get the family baptized. I'm excited!

~* Giveaways. I'm getting approached more for reviews & giveaways and I'm thinking of starting a separate review blog. I'd love your suggestions, opinions, advice, etc. Speaking of giveaways, don't forget to enter my bloggiversary giveaway! It ends tomorrow and I'll announce with winner October 1st. And I'll have another one starting shortly!

~* Blogging for Boobs. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I'd already planned on joining in with A Southern Fairytale, and after losing a friend last week to this dreadful disease, I'm even more fired up for it. We must raise awareness and funds to find a cure!

PS - Thank you all for the bloggiversary love! WOW, I want to have a bloggiversary more often, I got the sweetest comments. I am SO feeling the love! You all are so awesome! xoxo


It's my Bloggiversary & I'll have a giveaway if I want to!

Today is officially two years since I wrote my very first post. I wanted today's post to be celebratory, but after the news I got yesterday, I can't help but feel all weepy and emotional.
A lot has changed since I started blogging.
I've made many friends, too many to count. I've also lost a few along the way. Most notably, Beany. She literally was lost. She disappeared last October and as far as I know, nobody knows where she is. I can only imagine how devastating it was to her family.
I watched little Madeline Spohr grow and get cuter and smarter every day, and then was heartbroken when I read that she passed away.
And of course there have been many good times. Kat, one of my friends from way back, recently had a beautiful baby girl. Piper, one of the inspirations for my blog, just got engaged to a wonderful man. Momisodes is pregnant. Melissa and Kim started blogging again (and Melissa went on Dr. Phil!!).
I've connected with bloggers who live near me. And so many that live far away.
I've been touched, saddened, thrilled, amused, annoyed, disgusted, surprised, disappointed, overwhelmed. I've taken a couple of breaks. But never seriously considered closing my blog.
I love it, and I love the community. I don't read the crazy-big bloggers, the ones who don't ever have time to visit me, because I am here for relationships. Friendships. (although I do feel almost famous when OhMommy comments here! She's been in a friend since the beginning, too.)
Many of you have been here for me through happy times and rough times. I've bared my soul and you've supported me. You've been there through thick....

And I so appreciate those of you who still loyally visit. Even when it's hard to find time.
So since it's my bloggiversary, I'm giving away a blog-related gift. I'm putting together a Blogging Gift Pack. I could not have a blog if I didn't have a journal. So many of my blog ideas come to me either driving down the road, or reading a book, or at work. I'd never remember all of them if I didn't have a journal to write them down in. It can be anything from a few words to a paragraph. But it keeps me from forgetting all about it. I'm going to add in a few more fun little surprise things as well.

So, if you want to win, leave me a comment telling me what you love the most about blogging.
For a second entry, follow me or let me know that you're already a follower.
For an third entry, tweet my post and then come back and leave another comment with the link to that tweet. The contest will end on the last day of the month, Wednesday, September 30th.

Thank you all and good luck!



I just learned that a girl I've known since Kindergarten passed away today after a 19 month battle with breast cancer. She left behind very young children and a loving family. She lived in my neighborhood and I grew up with her, although I hadn't seen her in many years. (we reconnected through Facebook)
Cancer is a thief. It steals wives, mommies, daughters, daughters-in-law, friends....
I saw this quote on her Facebook page right after I heard the news:

"Life is short! Say what's on your mind, now!"
Here's what's on my mind.


I'm all over the place on this one....

* Tuesday basically kicked my butt. Chewed me up and spit me out. But in the end, something good came out of it. First of all, I was reminded yet again that I have super awesome bosses who are very understanding about my having kids and responsibilities, and that they came first. It confirmed that I'm doing the right thing by changing my schedule. But also...it showed me that I have some awesome friends.
I asked a question on Facebook and had several people offer to help me out. Some of these people are high school friends - whom I have not seen since high school! I'm thinking I must've been really nice back then. Come to think of it, that was before I developed my bitchy side. Life pushing you around (literally and figuratively) will do that to a person.
Anyway, I was very touched by all of the offers of help and I think I have some things figured out now, at the very least a solid back-up plan. It's lifted a load off of me.

* Be sure to come visit on Friday. Not only is it Friday, which makes it automatically awesome, but it's a special day for me and I'm going to be celebrating!

* I am LOVING watching Elayna play softball. I think she's doing great, especially for a first-timer. She's enjoying it, and that's what matters most! I hadn't hung out at the field in a long time, and I've missed it.

~love it!~

* I'm leaving you with some random photos from summer that I just got around to uploading.

~ raccoon tracks on a trail at Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine FL~

~ a flower blooming at the old house ~

~action shot! Andrew jumping in the pool~

~ghost crab, St Augustine beach, Labor Day~

~the whole family (except for mom behind the camera), St Augustine~

~I HEART this upside-down shot of Elayna!~

~Shelbie, a self-portrait~

~the oldest playing with the youngest...and he's not making her cry!! =O ~

~Tim, Shelbie, and me, in shadow~


Motivating & Meatless Monday, with a Weekend WrapUp on the Side

When I saw Amanda 's Tweet about joining in her Motivating Monday carnival, I just had to join in. I've been meaning to for weeks and finally got it together...although a little late of course. A Little Late is pretty much my middle name.

BTW, Amanda's Motivating Monday post is awesome....be sure to check it out!

So, here's my motivation...

I know, predictable and expected...but my kids have really inspired me lately. Every day I am reminded of how special each of them are. My oldest daughter is at an age where you can have a real, meaningful discussion with her. Sometimes she catches me off-guard with how grown-up she's becoming. Youngest daughter started softball today and I was so proud of how hard she tried and never complained, even though it was her first time ever and it wasn't easy.
My oldest son is basically growing up before my eyes...not yet a grown up, but certainly not a young kid. And my youngest son is so likable and friendly. He's also very caring and concerned about others.
And all of them are so well-liked. People compliment me on them all the time. They are all involved in the church, and other church members are very impressed with them. They consistently choose church events over other things, with no pressure from anyone.
Do they drive me crazy? Daily. But they also blow my mind, and motivate me to be the best that I can be, and lead them by example.


Did you remember that today was Meatless Monday ? If I started a McLinky so that you could link in and share your Meatless Monday dishes with us....would anyone be interested?

Our Meatless Monday dish was roasted sliced potatoes with peppers, onions, & Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Garlic bread on the side.


Just a quick Weekend Wrap-Up....Sunday was Andrew's "Friend Party" for his birthday, and during the party I realized that this was his first friend party. MIL sometimes hijacks makes plans for his birthday and in the past his "mother" had him some years, and we've usually just done family parties. So, I was really happy that for the Big 10, he finally had a friend party. And he had a BLAST. Those boys were insane. (I hadn't had a boy party in a long time and OMG. It was quite an experience!)

It was a Pirate Party, so of course they had to Walk the Plank.

Somehow, the innocent "Toss the Cannon" a.k.a. water balloon fight, turned into a water HOSE fight. I'm not sure which preacher's kid started it but they had a great time, especially chasing my oldest daughter and her very cute friends.

And of course, I had to make the same Hot Wheels cake that I made for his dinner. And he got to blow out 10 candles again!

Hope y'all had a good Weekend/Meatless/Motivating Monday!


There's Gonna Be a Heartache Tonight, I Know

Actually, it's tomorrow night. The Gators play rival Tennessee. It's going to be a good game. We'll see who ends up with the heartache.....

*~ We'll be watching the game over at my Mom's house & visiting with her on Saturday. Also, I'm also going to start decorating our home for FALL! I can't wait, it's my favorite season.

*~ On Sunday after church, we'll be having Andrew's Friend Birthday party. We're doing a pirate theme (same as last year, but his birthday falls right around Talk Like a Pirate Day, and he loves it!). I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

*~ Elayna is going to start playing softball this season. Shelbie wanted to play too, but there aren't enough kids in her age group for a team.

*~ I'm in the process of trying to tweak my schedule so that I can be off in the evenings and have more time with the kids and the ability to attend their evening events. I'm so fortunate to have a boss who is very understanding and flexible about these kinds of things! They made a last-minute change yesterday for me, for that night's shift. I've had jobs in the past that were completely inflexible and uncaring. I'm really blessed!

*~ I'm seeing Kanye spoofs everywhere and they're hilarious, but this one is by far my favorite.

(courtesy of DailyShite.com)

What are you doing this weekend?
ave you decorated for FALL yet?
Have a great weekend!

Visit Half Past Kissin' Time and Ordinary & Awesome for more Friday Fragments & Freewrites!


Right Place at the Right Time

I haven't done a Thanksgiving Thursday in a while,
and this week's edition pretty much wrote itself.
My oldest son Tim, who lives primarily with his dad, came over on Sunday for Andrew's birthday dinner. While he was there, he told me about his close friend getting into a car accident. The boy was driving his Jeep Cherokee and said someone was trying to pass him. He ran off the road and into a tree. The Cherokee caught on fire!! But he was very fortunate to be able to get out, and he escaped with only a broken arm and nose.
So, obviously, I'm very thankful that he wasn't hurt more, or even worse.
But what keeps running through my head is...what if Tim had been in the passenger seat? As he has been so many times. Would he have been hurt worse than his friend? Would he have been able to get out of the burning truck?
How different may my life be right now if my son had been riding in that truck with his friend?
It gives me chills; I can hardly stand to think of it.
I am so incredibly thankful that Tim's friend is OK, and that Tim wasn't in that truck that night.
I'm also thankful that my husband is now working and likes his job. I'm thankful for our fantastic new home. I'm thankful that my friend, who thought she had a blood clot, only has a pinched or bulging disc. I'm thankful for four healthy kids.
I'm thankful for all of the many blessings we have received recently.
Today & every day, I am thankful.


What she's missing

In case some of you didn't realize it, the child I was referring to in my last post was Andrew, my stepson. Sunday was his 10th birthday. We're having his "friend party" this weekend, but we had his family dinner on Sunday night.
I always let the kids choose the menu for their birthday dinner. Andrew chose pizza (make-your-own on English muffins), carrots with ranch dip, and peas. I also made a cheese & cracker tray because he loves them. And of course, cake and ice cream.

I don't know if he thought about his "mother" on his birthday. He didn't mention her at all. I don't know if he realizes how abnormal it is for a mother not to see or speak to her child on his birthday. She's never been a traditional mother to him.

(yeah, I made it. don't laugh!)

She's missing out.


for more Wordful Wednesdays!


for Mostly Wordless Wednesdays.


I can't imagine

I can't imagine how a "Mother" walks away from her baby when he is 6 months old for some guy she's dating....after losing her firstborn son less than a year before.
I can't imagine how a "Mother" breezes in and out of that child's life for years afterward.
I can't imagine how a "Mother" forgets to pick her child up from day care for a scheduled visitation. Or just has better things to do.
I can't imagine how a "Mother" finally somewhat gets her life together and has her son move in with her, only to emotionally abuse him and then throw it all away.
I can't imagine how this "Mother" lets him go back to his father again without blinking an eye.
I can't imagine how this "Mother" goes months without seeing her son and only calling once or twice.
So, I don't know why it even surprises me, when this same "Mother" lets her son's 10th birthday pass by without so much as a phone call.
There must be something very flawed within a person that allows them to turn away from their own child.
Did she forget that it was her son's birthday? Or did she just not bother? Either way, it's unfathomable to me. Especially after losing one child....how in the world do you turn your back on another?
I can't imagine.


Take another little piece of my heart....

On Fridays, I join in with Mrs. 4444 and Sara and post Friday Fragments & Friday's Freewrite.
Little fragments of thoughts, bits of my life, pieces of my heart.

Ü On Saturday afternoon, I will be jumping up and down, screaming my head off, and drooling. I will be at the Gator game, watching this fine specimen of man play football.

Tim Tebow. Gator quarterback, outstanding Christian man, missionary, wonderful role model,....he is amazing. We've met him and he is every bit as nice in person as you would expect him to be.

He rocks my socks off.

Friday September 11th - I can't believe it's been 8 years since the World Trade Center attack. Prayers going out to all of those affected by the tragedy.

Ü Saturday September 12th is National Seat Check Saturday. Find out about the LATCH system here, and find a child seat inspection station here. There's nothing more important than keeping our babies safe! National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 12th-18th.

Sunday September 13th - Andrew's 10th Birthday. But this is our no-kid weekend. So we're going to have his party the following weekend. When he gets home Sunday evening, we'll have dinner (menu chosen by Drew) and a cake for him. (I'm going to attempt to get creative with my cake decorating....wish me luck!) I can't believe he'll be 10! When I met John, Andrew was only 4. Andrew has also been sick this past week. He had a bad cold & allergies. They tested him for Swine Flu but it was negative. He's been coughing his head off!

Ü For those of us Moms living in Central Florida, I found a great new social networking site called Central Florida Moms. It's a great place to meet other moms for anything from playdates to blog & twitter friends. (and you can make a fun badge in your choice of colors!)

Visit Central Florida Moms

**Visit Mrs 4444 & Sara for more Fragments & Free Writes!**

♪ So come on, come on, come on....and take it....take another little piece of my heart yeah baby!
(I think September will be Musical Post Title Theme month over here. Something fun to change things up a little.)
Have a GREAT Weekend!


Little Girls' Dreams....

Like star dust glistening on fairies' wings
Little girls dreams are of magical things.
-- Sherry Larson

My friend's daughter, Savanna, and my daughter, Elayna

Girls are giggles with freckles all over them.
-- Author Unknown

Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. They are born with a little bit of angelshine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes there is always enough left to lasso your heart.
-- Alan Beck

A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves yet just when you open your mouth she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.
-- Alan Beck

Visit these blogs for more Wordful Wednesday/Mostly Wordless Wednesday Posts!


The Sun & the sand & a Diet Pepsi in my hand

We had the best weekend we've had in a long time. Partly because we had a ton of fun, partly because our stress level has finally lessened and that feels really good.

Saturday: I was utterly lazy most of the day. Like, lounging on the sofa, dozing off and on...that kind of lazy. Then around 3pm, we went to my parents' house. We had family visiting from Panama City FL that we don't get to see nearly enough. We visited with them and watched the Gator Game (which we won! WOOHOO!). Good times.
Also...Shelbie got highlights in her hair this weekend for the first time.

Sunday: We haven't been attending church regularly lately because we hadn't found the right 'fit' for us. But we visited a new church on Sunday, and I think we have found our fit. A very small, low-key church with an awesome pastor and congregation.
After church, we set about organizing the house. We are now completely done moving in, and John even got all of my stuff hung on the walls! It feels so good to have everything done.

Monday: was the best day of all. We celebrated Labor Day at St. Augustine beach! The little kids (Andrew & Elayna) didn't know we planned to go. We wanted to surprise all of them, but the bigger kids caught on. The little kids didn't know until we drove into St. Augustine! We all had a blast. Salt water & air is so good for the soul. First we went to Anastasia State Park. We played in the waves for hours, collected shells, ran around, and had a blast. (Andrew said "Living with y'all is better than living at Disney World!" of course I'm sure he was thinking otherwise when I was yelling at him to go to bed later last night. heh) Then we went a few miles down to Vilano Beach and let the kids play in the Splash Park and climb on the rocks in the water. When we left, we took the littles to a big carousel in a park and let them ride the horses, another surprise.
Even though we're on a TIGHT budget after school starting, moving, and John being out of work for over a month, we scraped pennies and made it work. I made 15 sandwiches Sunday night, and packed snacks & drinks. Then we ate dinner when we got back home. I'm so glad we did it. And there's nothing like a hot shower after a day at the beach, cleaning sand out of places that sand has no business going. Ahhhh.

Hope y'all had a great long weekend!


No Meat!

Just a quick post to celebrate one month of vegetarianism for me!

I have been surprised at how easy it has been to go vegetarian . I have missed meat very, very little. Not enough to even be tempted to cheat or give up.

It's also Meatless/Meat-Free Monday. After our busy and exhausting day, we had bean & cheese burritos for dinner.

Did anyone else try a day without meat?