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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thank You LORD: My House, My Home, My Family - Intact.

Dear Lord,

I've seen the news, the reports, and the horrid damage from the Tornado/es in Joplin. I've seen the damage and flooding in Mississippi and neighboring states. I've seen the ash, and the fall out from that volcano, I'm aware Japan is still rebuilding though we don't hear about it as much now that we have so much of our own National natural catastrophes.

I've seen and heard about all the political unrest within other nations and countries. There was fear of the 'rapture' just a few days back. I don't fear the rapture, though I do fear losing the life I have built here on earth, even though I know Heaven is supposed to be Golden.

I watch the gangs, the families who fight and shoot and stab each other. I see people hurting each other; killing people just because they don't share the same political beliefs. Really?

I see a world falling apart.

But, I also see my children growing. My friends and family growing and achieving new things each day. Reaching goals. I see people showing up for people they don't even know. I see us banding together. I see us trying to help wherever we can. I appreciate this. It is enlightening, though it in no way over shadows the suffering of the masses.

I remind myself to focus on all that is good and pray for those who are suffering such insufferable situations. I pray for them and, I also share a prayer thanking you for how blessed I am. How lucky I am.

I implement my coping vices. Prayer, spirits, and when it gets really bad I put my fingers in my ears and sing 'lalalalalalallalalallalalalla' or, I close the dome to the castle and put my head in the sand.

Please hear me Lord when I put up this prayer to bless and assist and share grace and compassion for all those who are currently suffering.

And, I thank you above all that my house is not in splinters and pebbled rock, that my home is full with the health and safety of my family, and that all that I have is intact.



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lil'Gal and the Super, Wonderful, Very Good Day!

Lil'Gal left; Niece on the Right
Today was a wonderful day with Lil'Gal and I. It might seem odd that I would actually take time to blog about what a great day we had seein' as we didn't have any great/fun shopping, or trips, or games or parties. Just a typical Sunday.

Except, it wasn't. For Lil'Gal (considering how stubborn she is and what a boundary crosser she is at every moment) this was a Super, Wonderful, Very Good Day for her and I.

Let me preface this with yesterday.  Hubby was readying to leave to visit with the boys for some beer and bull$h!t. He does this every other Saturday evening or so. Sometimes at their barn, sometimes at ours. As he was about to depart as I felt the sounding of a very bad temper tantrum - a melt down - a knock-down-drag-out, as I call them coming on from Lil'Gal.

She respects her Daddy's word better than mine, mostly because he's no-bars-hold when it comes to behavior and discipline, even I fear his temper sometimes when it comes to that (not in a bad way, just in a 'I warned them and now their gonna' get it' way), but she totally follows his word because of it - unwillingly, but she does.

I catch him before he leaves and explain to him to deal with her first or one of the two of us (she and I) might not exist by the time he returns home (I'm thinking me, from brain explosion). I do NOT exaggerate. Lil'Gal can give me a run for my money; I grow grey hairs upon each encounter of fit and temper and war-of-the-wills. It exhausts me emotionally, mentally and physically. I love her dearly. I appreciate her strength. I DO. It makes me proud. But it wreaks havoc on me at times. Think of those horrible fits you see on 'Super Nanny' and 'Dr. Phil'. I jest not. And, she knows it because she will ask me not to tell, "So and so, Daddy, etc." She doesn't want them to know how inappropriately she can behave and more importantly how inappropriately she behaves, at times, with ME.

Ahem, speaking of which. Don't leak that I shared on my blog. She'd be horrified.

Anyhow, Daddy dealt with it but she is still on a rampage and half way through her bath we are both, I'm embarrassed to say, screaming at the top of our lungs. And, poor Farmer, Jr. is in the other room having to listen too it all - as is somewhat typical.

She's mean, hurtful, hateful, whiney, non-compliant to the point of purposely making my duties difficult for me. We are both mean to each other. Yes, I did hear Dr. Phil in the back of my head sayin' "What were you thinkin'? You are the parent and adult. You do not have the RIGHT to lose control." *sigh* Sorry Dr. Phil. But, you weren't here to help me.

Then, insert the guilt. I prayed for forgiveness in church this morning and direction and to be a better parent. (I was told never to pray for patience because that one comes in a 'teaching' lesson. I don't need anymore 'lessons' in patience. I just need more patience.)

Anyhow, long story not-so-short, she and I apologized shortly after her bath. We started on a new page. We agreed that we didn't like how WE felt about ourselves or each other when we behave that way. And, we reset for a nice evening. We snuggled asleep until Daddy got home and moved her to her own bed.

Fast forward to today. The Super, Wonderful, Very Good Day!

This morning I told her to dress for church. She came out in cute long shorts and matching top outfit to which I replied, "Not good enough for church." To which she started to tantrum. I left to dress myself leaving her to work it out herself. Apparently, she didn't fall into full tantrum. She came to me minutes later in a cute skirt and a separately cute top, silver sequenced belt and matching flats. WIN FOR ME!

NEXT, she let me brush her hair with little complaint. She even wore jewelry. Her charm bracelet, her ring I bought her through a jewelry party AND, a necklace!

She was well behaved in church, wonderful at breakfast, great on the way home. She got her birthday gift from Gramma (my mom) and 'it' needed a memory card. She had been so wonderful that I took her to Walmart to get said memory card. Typically, this would have waited until a trip was merited. We did a little grocery shopping too of which she helped me and reminded me the few details we currently needed, including meat for dinner which I let her decide because I was feeling high on my low stress level rush.

She didn't complain when I brushed her hair again for my niece's piano recital. She behaved for that. We get home and she is ready for a bath (What? I have to bathe her nightly because of the huge cast). So I do but I have to miss my window to exercise on the treadmill. She is aware of this but I don't complain.

She helps me with dinner. I mean BIG TIME HELP. Hubby had to leave for a ship and I was rushing to get dinner to the table so he could eat with us before leaving. Let me task out what she did:

unloaded the dishwasher
got milk from the back fridge for me (full gallon with her awkward hand)
set the table, placemats, condiments, silverware, etc.
got the butter out for me at speedy demand (who knew she could reach)
got some utensils I needed
helped me clean as we went
served green beans for her and her brother and didn't cheat on how much to serve
put stuff in the laundry, pantry, etc as I needed
waited for my beck-and-call for what else I needed

After dinner she (unprompted):
put the flour container away (I'm surprised she didn't drop and break it, but she managed on her own accord casted and all)
cleared the table; completely
loaded the dishwasher with some instruction from me
assisted in making their lunches; she handled 3/4 of the duties
put lunches in back fridge
put milk and all condiments away
put placemats in the laundry
helped me put leftovers away
returned my cookbook and rack and other items to the appropriate counter
put dirty dish towels from cooking fried meat and cleaning kitchen in utility room for washing
cleaned and pledged table
when I swept the floor under table and in kitchen she got the dust buster out and waited for me to finish and then 'sucked' it up for me
she RETURNED the dust buster to its place in the pantry

she told her brother it was bath time
she started running his bath for me because she knew Daddy wasn't here to help me
she didn't fight with her brother -AT ALL - even though he kinda' earned an argument here and there

she hugged me and said, "Mama, I'm sorry you didn't get to exercise today."
she hugged me and said, "Mama, was I help to you tonight?"

ABSOLUTELY. I told Hubby, "If Lil'Gal was like this every day? My stress level would be at negative 5."

If every day with my sweet, smart, strong willed, head strong, assertive Lil'Gal were as Super, Wonderful and a Very Good Day as today? I have to admit I probably wouldn't appreciate days like today. :-P

AND, I don't think I would appreciate her as much. I do think after last night's knock-down-drag-out, our sincere apologies and love and heart-to-heart -- that, she gets it.  She gets me a little more. I think she finally considered things from my point of view. I think her help tonight also made her realize all the little things I do that end up being the whole sum of what 'Mama' is and does, day to day, moment to moment. I feel valued, appreciated, and she and I were so in love with each other over working so well together.

Today, was my current favorite "Lil'Gal and the Super, Wonderful, Very Good Day!"

And, to end this post, I shall add Lil'Gal's video of my sweet niece and her perfect piano recital. :-D

Because she is my other adorable Little Gal in my life. <3 And, of her, I am also so proud.

Happy "Tomorrow is Monday and the last week of the 2010-2011 school year!" SUPER SQUEEEE!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's all in the bag (Thirty One)


Recently I received the opportunity to do a bag review. My friend Krishna referred her friend to me, since I enjoy doing reviews (of good products and good books).

[Read on to find out what is in it for YOU!!]

Stephanie with Thirty One offered me a choice of a free bag to try out. I expressed that I was looking for the perfect bag to carry my iPad and my Kindle in, along with my other typical daily purse things.

She suggested three bags from which I chose the Organizing Shoulder Bag:

Front View

<-----------------------  SEE MINE? :-D

I chose the Black, Onyx Medallion pattern with the Limeade Embroidery (style 31 font). [Stephanie also  had it monogrammed for me, isn't she great!]

If you view the online catalog you will find that the patterns and color schemes are almost limitless!  The kids collection is absolultey adorable (I want to get Lil'Gal the rolling travel bag!), the baby bags, lap top cases, aprons, thermal lunch totes, larger thermal totes, purses, wallets, carry-alls, backpacks, travel bags, hand towels, stationary -- Thirty One has SO many GREAT BAGS and items!

And, the best part is that they are affordable!

Let me show you more about my great bag and how it worked out for me.

Side View

I wanted a bag to work as a purse while fitting my electronics comfortably, and looking FASHIONABLE while wearing it.

With all of my items in this purse/bag This is the thickness of it.  As you can see, it isn't bulky at all. For me the height is what works for me. Because my Kindle and my iPad are both tall and thin. So I carry those in the high, back pocket (view the top left).

Believe it or not, I have quite a bit of stuff in here. But, the bag wears comfortably and it doesn't look of feel bulky.

What's in the bag, FW?

As you can see, this bag easily carries my Germ-X, iPad, my Kindle, my iPhone, Farmer, Jr.'s iPod was in there, my wallet, my coin purse, my ID and credit card, a set of keys, my checkbook, several lip glosses, a compact, my pill box, (some coupons in the back), my charger for my iPad and iPhone, my headphones that work on all three, pens, nail file, Tide-to-Go stick (a must!), some 'spares' for Lil'Gal, etc.

And, there is still some room to spare.  You wouldn't have thunk it, huh? ;-)

Stephanie is so great that she even threw in a surprise bag for me, the All-In-One Organizer, which is a carry-all type tote.  And, lookie what she did...  She had it monogrammed for me too with my nick-name!
Front View

Side View, pockets on both sides

I immediately used this the morning after having received it to carry the teachers bags full of muffins we had made for Teacher Appreciation Week.  It's a handy tote for just about anything.  The catalog shows it under various uses: books, picnic stuff, kids carry all for art supplies and entertainment when on the go.

Cute and lightweight.  :-)  Lucky Me!

What's in it for you?  Well, during the month of May Stephanie is offering her personal discount on any purchases bought through my blog post/review by using this link: Thirty One: Farmer'sWife.  The discount is 10% off your entire purchase. NOTE: When you submit your order it will show the full price; when received Stephanie will go in and manually apply the discount. I believe this is because this is not an offer from Thirty One but one she is offering on her own as an incentive for my friends and blog followers and anyone else interested.

Also, for EACH purchase of $31.00 you get to select one $10.00 Mini Zipper Pouch for only $2.31!

So, if I ordered the items on my wish list for Farmer, Jr. and for Lil'Gal I could get one of these for ME and one for Lil'Gal too! [Or, I could get two different patterns for just lil'ol Me.] :-)

NOTE: This offer is only available for the month of May, 2011.  However, there are monthly specials for both Hostesses and Customers available at the website: Thirty One.

Decide you are so in love with these great products that you want to host a party of your own via your blog, a home party, or catalog party? You can contact Stephanie by any method below:

Stephanie Viellette, Sr. Director: 615-974-9181;; Stephanie Viellette, Thirty One.

FYI, items on my wish list are: The Demi Purse, Cammo back pack and cammo thermal lunch tote for FJ, Cammo Adventure Wallet (also for FJ), Mini-Zip Pouch for Lil'Gal, Rolling Tote (Hostess Item only) for Lil'Gal, Fold-And-go Organizer with Notepad, ugh - there's just too many cute things!! ;-)

Stephanie is a mother to two, Michael 19, Megan 10. She is a paralegal and has been in the legal field for 19 years. She started her Independent Business with Thirty-One as a Hobby in 2008 and has grown to love it. In 2010 she was promoted to Senior Director and has 204 wonderful ladies on her team. It has brought her wonderful friendships and she has enjoyed helping others become successful in their own businesses as well.



Saturday, May 7, 2011

CWCG #3: May 7th; due June 4th

Okay folks, time for our third Creative Writing Challenge Game.  I'm a little late on getting this one posted so I'll extend the due date to Friday, June 3rd, 2011.  If you need an extra day or so to post, that is fine.  Also, once you have posted yours, come back and post a link in the comment section of my CWCG #3 so everyone else can read you.

Don't forget to read the other entries too!  It is fun to see how individuals come up with different interpretations for the word prompts.  And, we all like to be read. ;-)

[Eventually, I'll get around to some type of linkie thing where you can just link yourself and your CWCG; but, for now the link in the comments is working.]

For new comers, find out how to play HERE.

So, this month's words are:

Libra - seventh sign of the zodiac
Slumlord - an absentee landlord who exploits slum property
Scarce - not common, rarely seen
Roar - to make a loud, deep, rumbling sound; to laugh boisterously
Formal - according to fixed customs; stiff in manner. Designed to be worn at ceremonies.

Theme: Military


(Remember, the picture is optional.)

So, there we have it!  Again, the due date for this CWCG is set for Friday, June 3rd, 2011.  Good luck and I look forward to playing along as well as reading what you play at your place!

Happy Saturday!