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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DYSGRAPHIA: Farmer, Jr's Journey

I know it has been awhile since my last REAL post that wasn't a book review or a blip from You Tube.

Life has been busy this year as usual but scholastically it is going much smoother for Farmer, Jr. We have both experienced lowering in stress levels. This is because we have been on a journey since the end of last year working toward discovering the reasons for some of his struggles.

This is due largely in part, as I have so graciously mentioned before, to his dedicated ELA teacher from last year who paid enough attention to her intuition that while FJ is extremely bright, it just didn't make sense in the area/s was struggling in.

Seeing as we are currently at the Scottish Rites Hospital in Dallas, Texas and I have a four hour wait for him while they administer various testing the entire journey of how we got here over several months is obviously running through my head. With a little bit of anxiousness as to how the results turn out. I mean I KNOW his issues and some of his teachers RECOGNIZE his issues and these people are experts... So I have to concentrate and trust that they won't overlook anything.

Those of you who also follow me on FB are aware of the issues he's had over the years. In respect to the written word. While his reading and AR testing and attention to story details are outstanding his spelling has been lacking and at 4th grade he still couldn't correctly spell common words he'd been reading and comprehending for years.

We would study for a spelling test all week. Upon a review quiz he might do fairly well right after practicing, but quiz him 20 minutes later and POOF! The words had escaped his head. We both worried with the anxiety every Friday. Would he make an 80 or would he make a 45.

His second issue is with writing in general. His words run together as letters across the line of the paper,often with little, incorrect, or no punctuation at all. Revising and editing truly stresses him out because he doesn't get it. He says that commas, 'and those air commas' and the double ones (quotation marks) just don't make any sense to him. They are all the same in his mind. And it isn't for a lack of trying but after awhile he just felt so beat down for trying and failing that he would shut down when it came to these assignments. Sometimes, well often, he'll downright lose it and go as far to hitting himself in the head and calling himself stupid.

Mind you, this year has been better as we started the journey at his 4th grade teacher's recommendation and constant support. We took the steps to get the psych referral, who then met with him and tested him and in addition to the issues and frustration with writing and fear of failing in school, he is also ADD. Which as she explained that he's even more screwed because as he is easily distracted he misses part of the lesson. Often teachers take this as a discipline problem and the child is further penalized. She also found that he has great anxiety and some depression because he has felt for so long like he couldn't perform even he though always giving it his best.

What a way to shut a kid down, right? So we have been on this journey. And we ourselves have implemented changes in how we do homework, I have a close relationship with is teachers and they are willing to work with us. In no way to hold FJ less accountable in any way, rather to find ways to help him learn in other ways. We have also implemented outside tutoring to help catch him up in his core areas that somehow got left behind along the way.

And finally, that all brings us to the here and now.

I'd like to end with saying as parents, and as mothers often more commonly than fathers, if you just have this gut feeling that there is something else going on - follow through and look into it. Meet with the teachers, meet with the school counselor, visit with your pediatrician, compare your child's school work to a friend with similar skill levels. One way or the other, you will be glad you did and so will your child.

Happy Tuesday! Farmer's Wife






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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Now HERE'S a REAL laugh out loud!

When I'm driving around during the day I have all these thoughts and stories roll through my mind. And, then I get home. Either I'm too busy with kids, homework, laundry, dinner etc to blog or I forget what it was that humored me so.

Darnit', where DID my motor mind and motor mouth go?

Maybe I'm just lazy... Well, we all no that isn't true. But I do read a lot - but only on the treadmill while walking or in the middle of the night during a bout of insomnia. Speaking of insomnia - pardon my language but she's a whore. An evil, evil sleep grinch of a whore.

As y'all know I listen to a lot of Blue Collar Comedy so I just have to share. This guy is hilarious with a capital H. Watch out because he does use the occasional curse word here and there but it is appropriately inserted for the most impact of humor. After you watch him, you'll probably want to google several of his other clips on You-Tube.

FYI, he is also the author of "He's Not That Into You." Not that that has any bearing on his humor.

Anyhoo, in an effort to make you smile and laugh during this Thanksgiving Holiday I give you:

Greg Behrendt:



This one has a great ending but so far I can't find it. He does a bit about an adult/grown-up concert. AWESOME! Hilariously awesome! You'll spurt milk/water/wine/whiskey/etc out our nose it is so funny!

Here's the beginning:



I FOUND IT!! The finale!!



You are WELCOME!! Enjoy the laugh and enjoy your holiday :-D



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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Conversations With Myself: Body Talk

*TAP TAP TAP*

Body, "Hey? You there?"

Me, "Yeah, what's up?"

Body, "I've been feeling kind of sluggish lately."

Me, "Yeah, the brain hasn't been very kind keeping us up during the night. Hey, I've got some time today. How about a NAP??"

Body, "Um, that's not what I had in mind."

Me, "Oh."

Body, "I was thinking you could get back on that treadmill and then do some crunches with the ab machine."

Me, "Oh. Hmmm... You sure don't want that nap first?"

Body, "Get on the treadmill or I will retaliate in ways you don't wanna know."

Me, "Fine. But this weekend I get a nap."


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Monday, October 22, 2012

Farmer's Wife Lazy day with Lil'Gal and attention to my followers...

So. Total Lazy Day.

How long has it been since I've had one of those? Apparently, a pretty long time seein' as all I've left for y'all to read are book reviews and recipes and the occasional, "Oh, where am I?"

My apologies. In my defense, repeating school IS HARD. Fourth grade ain't so bad this third time around because we had those teachers last year and 5th grade is working out better for me and Farmer, Jr. than we thought, but still. It is a day to day schedule.

Then we have dance, guitar, tutoring twice a week - IN TOWN, girl scouts and 4-H here and there...

My hubby gets his feelings hurt. "I have to schedule time with you?" Me, "Yes, Honey. My life revolves around the iCal. If you aren't in the Cal, you aren't on the agenda." Even sleep is scheduled on the agenda (because I don't get much with the B!tC$ Insomnia sharing my home). I know. I'm HORRIBLE. Bad, bad, bad wife. I do my best though. But his job is seasonal 24/7 where my job is 24/7 for 9 months out of 12.

Today is the first official day of our second intersession. Farmer, Jr. went with Papa and my nephew 'Big T' (I dub him that since Lil'Gal dubbed her uncle as Big S a few years ago. Adorable...) to the ranch for an overnight stay. And, we have NO. ERRANDS. or APPOINTMENTS to attend. So, she and I are having a lazy day.

I must forefront this with the fact that I was awake with the usual insomnia at 3:am (I think because I heard Farmer, Jr. open his door and then sneak into our bedroom and take my place on the comfy bed - his fish tank gives him away) and I was still awake at 5:am when Lil'Gal had a bad dream that she got a 'D' on an assignment and had to redo the assignment. (What kind of pressure are our kids carrying that ON BREAK my Lil'Gal is dreaming she failed something when she never fails anything???)

So Hubby got up and showered, got FJ up to go to the ranch with Pa, and me and Lil'Gal went back to sleep for another two hours. LAZY. Oh, yeah. Then me and Lil'Gal made a hearty breakfast of pancakes and poached eggs and ate well. Lil'Gal then decided we needed to do make-overs and make-up and hair. And, then we watched TV and next we will play a game. LAZY. TOTALLY.

In my defense, I will at some point during the day, hit the treadmill for 3 miles. Because my new app will remind me that even on a lazy day - FW need some exercise so her britches fit next week. But I did holler (OK, text because I don't holler or call) at Hubby to pick up some comido de los perros so the medium pup don't starve (it won't hurt my Baby Biggun' to skip a meal here and there, as per her vet.)

And, since I have all this wonderful time on my hands to do nuthin' I'm thinking at some point in the day I should dress myself half-@$$ purdy for Hubby to come home so he doesn't have to make an appointment to have a conversation with his wife or attention otherwise divided and shared.

But, before I go kick Lil'Gal's pie at UNO I thought, "Hey! I can pop in and blog to my peeps! At least those who are officially still following me." So, here I am. Thanking you for your continued loyalty, love and support and begging anyone who is ready to delete me from their list to "Please stay by my side. I read you all too via my dashboard. I do, I just don't get to always comment. It is way harder to comment via my iPhone than the iPad or LT... But don't think I'm not there."

Thanks for reading me and *on knees, hands together in plea* please don't delete me or give up on me. I will revamp my schedule. And, in December we get a whole four weeks vacation - look out then 'cuz I'll be blogging and vloggin' and posting many a pics!!

Hugs to ya'll and Happy Monday!!! WHOOP!!


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

REVIEW: Why I Love My Gay Boyfriend



I received an opportunity to read this book from Michelle with Central Avenue Publishing. I read the synopsis and it sounded cute so I agreed to do a review for a chance to read it.

I'm glad I did! It was a cute and witty read and it had me giggling to myself throughout the whole book.

Veronica, 'Ronnie', and her friends have just graduated from college and have dreams about their careers. But it turns out, it isn't so easy to get that dream job right out of school with no experience. Ronnie happens to land a PR job that is totally out of her element at "Giselle", a make-up manufacturing company. FYI, Ronnie doesn't wear make-up and is really pretty clueless when it comes to fashion. She was hoping for a job with a non-profit agency. But hey, a girl's gotta' do what a girl's gotta do to pay the bills.

Stumbling through manuals, lipsticks and mascara, Ronnie finds herself drowning in the world of PR and cosmetics. Luckily, she runs into Stevie who is a fashionista's dream. He's courteous, helpful, and knows the 'rules' of surviving and moving up at Giselle. Ronnie finds everything about Stevie perfect boyfriend material with one exception. Stevie is gay.

Stevie is just what Ronnie needs and before she knows it she's in the loop and pulling it off like she really knows what she is doing, all while dealing with company politics, catty and bitchy co-workers and a really hawt executive. But things aren't always what they seem.

Soon things begin spiraling out of control, Ronnie's friends practically disown her as she has replaced her life with everything lipstick, parties, mascara and Giselle.

Ronnie's flounderings and Stevie's wit make this book out loud laughable. It was such a fun, easy-breezy read. If you like witty, funny stories then check this out. You can check it out at Central Avenue Publishing and also at Amazon.

HAPPY READING!!!


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SHRIMP STIR FRY, Farmer's Wife's Recipe

Yesterday while conversing on Facebook, a few friends and I were sharing what was for dinner.

I commented that I was making my shrimp stir fry. A few friends commented back for the recipe, so I decided to post it here on my blog where it can be forever searchable.

After all, I being the ever generous one - wouldn't dare cheat the world of such a deliciously, simple dish. ;-)



FARMER'S WIFE'S SHRIMP STIR FRY

Ingredients:

8-10 large shrimp (for four people; you can use 6-8 for one or two people)
OR, the small bag of small cocktail shrimp you can buy at the grocery store.

***living closer to the Coast in South Texas, we get our shrimp from 'the shrimp guy'. He comes by in his truck full of iced down, fresh jumbo shrimp having just picked them up directly from the shrimper. I'm lucky, eh?

16 oz package of your favorite frozen stir fry vegetables. (Walmart has an excellent 'Deluxe Stir Fry' in their generic, frozen-vegetable section.) Sometimes I supplement this with extra frozen broccoli or frozen squash.

Seasonings of your choice, I use Nature's Season by Morton and Tony Chachere's.

Olive oil (a few tablespoons)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peel the shrimp being sure to remove the tail peel as well. Split in half as if to butterfly but completely separate the two halves. (Also devein the shrimp during this process). Cut the halves into additional halves ending with four equal pieces of each shrimp. (You can use butterflied shrimp but you'll have to use more. Quartering them is more economical.)

Using a non-stick pan, pour enough olive oil to almost coat the bottom of the frying pan. Tilt pan back and forth to coat the bottom. The pan needn't be completely coated. Pour in your frozen stir fry veggies and any other veggies you prefer to add. Turn the flame to medium/medium-high (do not cover as the veggies will get very soggy from the condensation since they are frozen).

Sprinkle some seasoning lightly over the vegetables. Stir the veggies every so often to cook and heat them evenly. When the vegetables are cooked to about half the desired crispness, add in the quartered shrimp. Continue to stir until the shrimp turn a bright white with pink tint along the edges.

As the shrimp stir-fry cooks, sample and season to taste. Serve alone, with a salad or over steamed rice.

It's that easy!! Fresh vegetables are great but the frozen stir fry mixes make for a quick and easy last minute meal as they are easy to keep on hand.

My husband loves this for a light, healthy dish!

Happy Tuesday!!

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Monday, September 24, 2012

What's Your 'BLOOD TYPE'? They could be hunting for you now...

HERE IT IS!! Melissa Luznicky Garrett's new YA paranormal novel! And, you can enter at her blog to win a copy for free!!

Just click on her link after you've read the excerpt; I'm sure it will have you 'intrigued'.

Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I follow this author very closely; in fact, I've been a friend and then a fan when she went from running a parenting magazine to writing fiction. I've read two other YA books written by her, and this is her third. Lucky for me I got to read it as a beta reader.

This book is the first in her new YA series and it ends with a cliffhanger!



Since getting attacked by a vampire, I didn’t believe in beginnings. Only endings. Every person born to this world comes with an expiration date, but I had never considered mine. At least not until I met John.

Now the end was all I ever thought about. I woke up every morning wondering if that day would be my last. Venom pulsed in my veins and seeped into my bones, infecting all my vital organs and changing me from the inside out. Slowly killing me.

But I’d welcome death in the end, if only because the alternative was even more frightening.

Popular girl Blake Ehlert has it all: a prime spot on the cheerleading squad, a jock boyfriend who’s strong and sensitive, and the winning vote for Homecoming Queen two years in a row. But when she strikes up a conversation with loner John Kelly, her entire world starts to crumble.

John Kelly is a vampire—what’s known to his kind as a Compeller. It’s his job to recruit human Donors with a particular blood type.

And Blake is his next target.

Melissa Luznicky Garrett is an author of adult and young adult novels. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, three children, and numerous animals. Melissa is currently hard at work on her next project. Visit Melissa’s blog or connect with her on Facebook.

Blood Type is available in print through Create Space, or in print and digital through Amazon.

Stop by Melissa’s blog starting September 22nd and enter to win a signed print copy of Blood Type. All are welcome to participate. The winner will be chosen and announced October 1st. Also, claim your free Kindle copy of Melissa's previous YA Paranormal, The Spirit Keeper, on Amazon September 22nd through September 26th. *As always, please make sure it's marked as free before you download.*

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

MOMS-R-BUSY

Holy Smack!! Where have I been Jack??

Can you believe it has been almost a month since I posted? OMG! That's just craaaaaazy and totally unacceptable. I can't believe y'all let me get away with that. Someone should have grounded my cyber behind. Seriously.

Unless y'all just aren't following anymore and I'm in an empty blog typing to myself. [Hello? Echo, echo, echo???] LOL! Naw, ya'll wouldn't leave me... would you? [I know I haven't made the reading rounds lately myself - ever since I had to delete my blog role its harder - no not harder - less comfortable to read through my blogger dashboard. But I'll get better, I promise.]

(You'll never guess what I'm watching while I'm blogging. OK, maybe you will if you know me well. He he!)

So, school started back shortly the day after my 40th birthday after my birthday in July and since then we have been in full swing. Which is a big part of why I haven't visited y'all up here in blog world. Facebook gets in the way too.



Tell me if I'm tooting my horn too loud or playing the sad little thumb violin too much but here is



MY 2012-2013 after school SCHEDULE:

Monday: Dance; 4-H once a month; homework with kids
Tuesday: Guitar and two hours of tutoring in 'the city' for Farmer, Jr.; homework with kids
Wednesday: early release so homework and study/catch up day with the kids
Thursday: 1 hour of tutoring and/or Girl Scouts; full day library duty; homework with kids
Sunday: Church and CCD; prepare for the new school week and schedule

In the meantime when I happen to be home during the day I tend to bills, laundry, the house and chores, phone calls, schedule doctor appointments, plan out CCD lessons, manage four peoples' schedules (I LOVE iCal) and when I'm not home during the day I'm probably up at the school. Oh, and I'm still trying to squeeze in subbing but with all the right-after-school activities I can't most days because I can't stay the extra 30 minutes. I have picked up a few library assignments though and as y'all know I LUUUUV subbing in the library! A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

Lil'Gal is in 4th grade this year but she's still velcro. Wanting me up at the school with her 24/7. I don't know how to break her of this; she's just so used to me always being THERE.

OK, so that doesn't look as busy as it is, but it is.

Farmer, Jr. has been 'diagnosed' with ADHD and we are working on having him diagnosed with dysgraphia. We have to go all the way to Dallas to do that once they finish the paper work procedures. I mentioned this in another post. His teachers are great though, particularly his ELA teacher which is obviously the subject he has issues with, i.e.: the written word. And he has three hours a week of tutoring AFTER school and after extra curricular activities when he's already spent and burned out - but, it IS helping although I'm going to have to make changes again when I meet with his case manager next week. It's just burnout for all of us.

We leave the house at 6:40 and don't get home (with exception of Wednesdays) until sometimes after  7:pm. We aren't used I'm OCD and stuck in my patterns and running behind on our regular schedule stresses me out because I'm a freak to being off schedule and the kids need some down time/play time. AND, I'm a firm believer in putting a homemade hot meal on the table at least five nights out of seven and having the kids in bed by eight.

So, that is pretty much what has been going on in Farmer's Wife's world. I'm still always a Glass Half Full Gal but quite often it is half full or more of wine, LOL! But, then again, hasn't it always been?

Happy Saturday! I have some really cool news coming up sooner than later so as they say, Stay Tuned!!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm only ONE person...

but I can make a difference...

I was driving home from tucking my velcro girl into class while Farmer, Jr. worked his safety patrol dropping the kids off at school and while pondering over all the things I have to do today and in what order I heard this song come on the radio.

Now, I've heard this song a few times before but this time I actually listened to the words - not just the chorus. And, I thought about the truth to the words. 'My neighbor lost his house 'cause he can't find a job." "Some stupid video posted as a joke, somebody's life gets ruined." "Babies having babies 'cause their parents are always gone."

Here I am making all the diligent efforts a parent can make to get my son the accommodations he needs because we have discovered that a big part of his struggles with the written word is due to dysgraphia which is a form of dyslexia. A person with dysgraphia is intelligent, can read (often at above level which he does), but they just cant write. The sparks shooting from the brain get distracted before they reach the hand. That's the simplest way I can describe it. Kinda' like when you walk in a room to get something and forget what it was you needed? It's like that between the brain and the hand.

Anyhow, school, extracurricular three days a week, tutoring twice a week and soon CCD on Sundays makes my life really busy and really full. I kept thinking "Somethings gotta' give; what can I cut?" I actually considered NOT teaching CCD this year but I really hate to leave our director hanging. She and I have become good friends and having a small parish it is hard to find teachers.

My mom's life is crazy chaos, I have several friends going through either medical issues or employment issues. There are kids shooting innocent people; shootings in movie theaters; gang violence is in our local news every day. There have been deaths and illnesses within my rank of friends and family and I could let that stuff pile up in my brain and get me down. But no. I'm an optimist.

I'm only one person...but I can make a difference. Teaching CCD makes a difference. Volunteering to open the library while the librarian is out so the kids can have access to books for their AR reading makes a difference. Being a positive person make a difference. I make a difference.

I've posted the lyrics below. If they capture you a little then give the song a listen (I posted it below the lyrics). I think it will inspire you to be ONE person.

Happy Tuesday!

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh, yeah

Man on the TV's gone insane, everybody's just laughing
People 'cross the world holding on
The earth caved in, the ocean came down crashing
My neighbor lost his house 'cause he can't find a job
Don't you dare pledge allegiance, don't you dare speak of God
Speak of God
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

Now I'm begging for forgiveness
I wanna make a difference even in the smallest way
I'm only one person, but I can feel it working
I believe in better days
That's why I pray

Some stupid video posted as a joke, somebody's life gets ruined
Out of everything we can create
Where is the cure to keep the sick from losing
Babies having babies 'cause their parents are always gone
Somehow we have forgotten how to make a house a home
How to make a house a home
Oh! Oh! Yeah! Yeah!

I'm begging for forgiveness, I wanna make a difference
Even in the smallest way
I'm only one person, but I can feel it working
I believe in better days
That's why I pray, yeah
That's why I pray, yeah

These demons from my past haunt me every night
And I just can't get through it
If I could forget them on my own, I'll let go and just move on
But heaven knows I am only human

And that's why I pray, yeah yeah
That's why I pray, I pray, I pray, I pray

Yes I'm begging for forgiveness (I'm begging for forgiveness)
I just wanna make a difference (Just wanna make a difference)
I believe (I believe) in better days
That's why I pray







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Friday, July 27, 2012

BIRTHDAY BLOG (Me <----- 40)

It's my birthday! It's a par-tay! Gonna' rock it!

OK, it isn't my birthday anymore. That was last weekend. But it was a great bash to bring in my fourth decade and celebrate before we got back in to the mighty (full) school schedule.

We HAD a wonderful turnout! Just about everyone invited made it! YAY! Although, I will admit that made it a little hard to get around to visiting with everyone but I did and everyone visited with everyone else so it was a blast!

John Deere dude brought his pit out at about 8:00 am-ish to start getting the wood burning and the temp right.

Lil'Gal and John Deere dude a/k/a Fisher Man

While the mesquite was burning to the perfect temperature for my FILs awesome briskets/s John Deere dude threw some ribs on for some lunch munchin'. He also threw on some homemade steak and chicken-jalapeƱo-bacon wraps. I'd show you a pic of those but they didn't last long enough. YUM!



What survived:

Yum! Ribs! Everyone loves pork ribs!
When Lil'Gal's Bestest-FF saw her mom's FB page (Ms. Les) and saw that I had posted a pic of RIBS on the PIT she drove her mom crazy. Diva loves MY ribs and John Deere dude used my rub on some and his rub on some. Needless to say, Ms. Les and Ms. Diva ended up showing up about two hours earlier than planned. Yeah, that good! LOL!

Lil'Gal took some for lunch this week because the Intermediate campus has three microwaves for kids who bring their lunch. She said she was the hit at the lunch table and everyone was drooling. So, she decided to take the last rib - my last rib :-( I'd been saving - to lunch again the next day. *snicker*

Then Papa a/k/a my awesome FIL put on the briskets!

That's a man with experience who knows his briskets
I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family come out! We had about 50 adults and 25-ish kids. [I don't count the teens and graduates as kids anymore.]

I have to say I was thrilled that PJ (Pickle Juice is her nick name on my blog), my life long friend... the one person that even through the trials of my childhood that even the Lifetime Channel probably wouldn't be able to show, she and I kept up with each other.

Gosh we have so many memories! As little kids. When we met, I was walking down the sidewalk of our street in our neighborhood. (Back then you could let your kids walk anywhere and I was coming from about six blocks away from another friends' house). She was sitting on this bench on her front porch (about four years old). They had just moved in. And, as I walked by she said, "Hi." I said, "Hi," back.

She said, "You wanna' be my friend?" And, we have been friends ever since. She lived two doors down from my Gramm with whom I was living with at the time. We drank pickle juice and put kittens down our shirts while riding bikes. We did so much together. All of my memories with her are good ones; even those silly young girl spats. "I hate you!" "I hate you too!" "You are the worst friend ever!"

Twenty minutes later one of our phones would ring at our own homes (we spent summers at home while the adults worked - you could do that back then too) and "Hey? What are you doing?" "Nuthin'" "Wanna' drink some pickle juice?" "We have to eat all the pickles first." That's my PJ.

Me, PJ's Lil'Gal and PJ.
I lover her beyond means. We share quite a history together. <3

Sweet D and Ms. Les were in charge of the cake. [I was going to make one all black inside and black outside with a big 40 on it but they wouldn't let me...] They know me so well! Look at the beautiful cake they had made. (Pic is full size so click to zoom so you can really read it!)

It has my name, and the date of the 'finely aged wine' and my motto

So much food and fun and then everyone was dragging me inside to open presents! Yes! I got lots of presents! How cool is that! I just wanted a party :-D

Wonder Mom
 I think WonderMom just wanted to see if I had enough hot air in me to blow out all those candles. YES, she used 40. But I can't complain because I do the same thing to everyone else.

Guess what?





I blew them all out! In one breath.
















Without ANY SPITTLE! :-D








Me, embracing 40 as they sang to me :-P
I can be quite theatrical sometimes... [most of the time...]

My floral friend made me a BEAUTIFUL flower arrangement in which she even incorporated tulips that are actually hard to find down here right now and out of season. Here is a pic, that doesn't do it justice:

It also has my second favorite flower, large gerber daisies!
This bouquet is HUGE and again, the picture just doesn't do it justice.

Oh, and the final cherry on the cake? [Don't hate me.] Hubby surprised me with a beautiful new ride! She's a dream to drive and I have so much ROOM!!




Now I just have to name her. But gosh darn. How do you name such a beautiful piece of machinery. She is a dream to drive. She floats down the road. She does everything for me. And, she's so darned pretty! She is perfection... And, so much space! Gosh I love the space!

Such a great party and such a great time! I'm truly blessed! I'm spoiled. In the words of Dave Ramsey, "I am better than I deserve." But I will say, I work hard to earn my keep and be the best I can be. And, what more can we offer?

So, this is me. Blogging at 40. And, still with my glass half full and more so. May the Good Lord bless you and yours equally and above.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Klampie Mystery (A Children's Book)

The Klampie Mystery by Luis Rodriguez.

I received an email and some promo info inquiring if I would be interested in reviewing this book. Although, my blog is not book review specific I do review a lot of books here. And, I like to be open to various genres here and there and I enjoy reviewing children's books as well.

Particularly, because I am a mom. And, I like to include the kids. It further instills their love for reading and they enjoy being a part of the review process. Kids have opinions too, so why not go right to them with a book that has been written for their demographic?

I received the book, 32 pages hard bound, along with a folder with information about the author and the book.

The story begins with the excitement of a trip for Christmas from California to Australia. To build her excitement, Samantha's father gives her a stuffed koala which she immediately falls in love with as would almost any child. She names the little guy Klampie because he'll actually clamp on to things.

As the story goes on Samantha learns about times zones and how different it is across continents. After all, it is winter in December in California but hot summer weather when she arrives in Australia. Of course, she questions this, along with many other things.

In the story the koala becomes a mystery. Is he a stuffed toy or is he real? I don't want to give it away although you can read more about the story on amazon or on Goodreads. The story shares about the experience of traveling, particularly intercontinental traveling and would be a good book for someone who is preparing for a trip with young children. It explains the process while including the story about a cute little cuddly koala to keep the child's interest.

I like how the author, a child care professional, introduces new vocabulary. For example, when Samantha and her family arrive in Australia Samantha inquired about the weather. Her mom explained, "When it is winter in Australia, it is summer in America and vice versa." "What does vice versa' mean?" Samantha inquires back. And, the mom explains it. There are several other terms introduced throughout the story.

The illustrations were animated but true to life. Not overly colorful or cartoon like. They demonstrate the landscape of another country and the experience of traveling by plane very well.

Although a little below her reading level, my daughter (4th grade reading level) expressed that she enjoyed the story and found the illustrations very true to life.  She read it along with my niece who is also eight years old but at a sixth grade reading level. She expressed that she too found it to be a cute story. So, although written for younger children it can be enjoyed across various ages and reading levels.

Good luck to this up and coming author!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm Farming and I Grow It! Oh-YEAH.

So Y'all know I'm a Farmer's Wife. And, I'm proud of it. So, obviously when this little video made by these farm boys hit You-Tube I am all over it. Sure, I'm Sexy and I Know It but my Hubby's Farming and He Grow's it.

And, lets be realistic. All politics and 'he said, she said' aside. Where does our food (and clothes) come from? Not a department store. Not a package. Not a can or a box. Not a drive through. From Farmers. Who work hard, and sweat hard and do that dirty hands on kind of work.

As a romance novel reader, I've read tons of books that describe how the hard working MC came in dirty and smelling of sweat and musk and hard work. Yeah... It's not just Harlequin.

Hubby comes in smelling of dirt and diesel, and sweat, and hard, hard work in the heat and it is...well Sexy.

Of course these young farmers are too innocent to be part of a novel of that stature. And, FW is about to turn 40 so obviously I'm not all cougar. But, I am proud of this video they put together. It's awesomely cool! And, they are Farming and they ARE growing it and a Farmer's Wife or any one anywhere and anyhow related to agriculture will totally love this video.

These boys aren't from the hood. They are from the woods, the plains, working cattle and cutting grain.

They feed us and they clothe us.... Happy Tuesday!

"I'm Farming and I Grow It!"




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Friday, July 6, 2012

Holey PIE! I'm blogging (with photos)... and where have I been?

I know! I know! WHERE. HAVE. I BEEN?

Well, quite frankly - everywhere.

WHAT. HAVE I. BEEN UP TO?

Traveling. Juggling appointments and extracurricular activities (after all the traveling and packing and repacking and unpacking to pack again). And, reading. Reading has been GOOOOOOOD to me lately. [We'll save that for another post.]

We head back to school on the 23rd of this month. So, it is like, Where in the H-E-DOUBLE-L did my summer go? I can't really say I haven't had a summer because as aforementioned we traveled. A. Lot.

We did our annual Frio trip:

Besides the kayaking and the swimming, fishing is his favorite thing.

Then we made the annual trek through Louisiana, MiSSiSSiPPi to Alabama where we visited with one (of three) of Hubby's cousins who he spent a lot of summers down here with when they were kids; and his son. And, we went to my favorite restaurant for my favorite Greek Salad (the only real, and really good Greek Salad I've found). YUM!

(Not so) Lil'Paul, Lil'Gal and Farmer, Jr.
Little Paul is going to be a freshman this year. He's an excellent golfer. For sure to get a college scholarship and maybe even go Pro. No exaggerating. But at 14, Little Paul already is taller than 'Big Paul' his dad. He's... I dunno... 6'1? 6'2? If ya' hit the six foot mark at 14 years of age, I think ya just stop counting the inches.

That pit stop led us back up into Georgia (that song always plays in my head when we go to Georgia). We spent a wonderful evening and the next day with another cousin, (the second brother and the youngest) and we adults actually stayed up late playing (oh darn. What's the name of that game...) and drinking beer and we stayed up until well after midnight! I joked with Scarlette (the cousin's wife) the next morning that 'Boy! That was fun! All the kids down and we got to be real adults!'

Don and Scarlette; they are such fun!

They took us to the Atlanta Georgia State Aquarium. It is THE LARGEST aquarium in the world, I believe. They have three HUGE and beautiful whale sharks there. This is the only facility to have whale sharks available for observation. There is a long tall glass tunnel and you can actually watch them swim from underneath. All five kids loved it (even though there's had been before) and Farmer, Jr. being the fisherman and sea life lover he is was in A.W.E.

There is actually a video of UPS shipping the whale sharks to this facility. The largest haul UPS has ever shipped. I found that a nifty fact.


Here's a video. I thought this was the video of the Rey doing summer saults while singing "Just keep spinning, just keep spinning" to himself but it is hard to tell and I don't want to get into what it took me to get this BLEEPin video up in here. So, enjoy this fish on the clip and be happy :-P

Whale shark up above; don't let the picture fool you - S/He's HUGE!




















Whale shark and more fish...
The finale of our visit to the aquarium besides all the other awesome exhibits was the dolphin show. Now, we have an aquarium in our area and they do a little dolphin show that demonstrates how smart they are and how fast they can swim and how high they can jump and how humorous they can be. And, I've been to Sea World to see their dolphin show. But THIS dolphin show was like a disney musical production!

Unfortunately, I can't post pics because they won't let you take photos or video or anything that might - I guess - disrupt the dolphins. It was a tale of a lost ship magical ship and captain. An evil force sunk him. But at a certain time when the stars where just right the magic of the dolphins could salvage the sunken ship. Lil'Gal was mouth gaping open. It was incredible. The dolphins were actors in the show, even though they were playing the role of, well dolphins. It was musical theather - on water. AWESOME.

FROM THERE we went on up to Lake Burton in Georgia to visit with the third brother/cousin and his wife and his son came up the next day with his buddy. Is it odd to call 25-year-olds adorable? Seein' as I'll be 40 in 16 days, I think I can pull that off.

So, I spent a good part of one of the days there doing a photo shoot of the boys in action on the wake board and such. You know attractive young gentlemen love to see themselves on film. Ha Ha! Naw, their mom asked me to take some shots because my BAD@$$ Cannon takes BAD@$$ action shots.

So, here are a few of there flip over heroics:

The Buddy :-)


There's a flip! 360 all the way; they had trouble landing them though but still awesome!
The third cousin; even he got out there!
This is Dave. It's his lake house we stay at when we go up there each year. He got up on his ski and was awesome for a 59-year-old! I did get some incriminating evidence on him when his britches didn't cooperate as he was first getting up on the ski (hee-hee). I promised to delete those but then when he came in close and chose to spray me wet WITH the BAD@$$ Camera in hand... well, I rethunk posting it, LOL!

Naw. I wouldn't do that. He's too great. AND, while Hubby was out on the boat with the boys and I was in the middle of a photo shoot he took care of a Lil'Gal issue. Anyone who can handle a Lil'Gal issue is on a clean slate with me :-D *Such fun*

Dave and Lil'Gal
He almost convinced her into jumping this year. I mean, she was*squeezing fingers almost together*  thiiiiiiiiis close. He's the kind of guy who can talk anyone into anything. And, if you meet him on the street you'll feel like you've known him all your life in like five minutes. Very charismatic. And, I love his wife. She's so calm and well grounded. She carries a peace about her.

Anyhow, he couldn't get the Lil'Gal to take the jump. Maybe next year. ;-)

THEN... I know, there's MORE? Yeah... I mean how long have I been gone? And, since I got back my calendar has been filled with tutoring and music and appointments. Someone give Farmer*sWife a break. [I've take a lazy day or two, I'll admit. Had too.]

We decided (since we were only like 45 minutes away) to take a drive into North Carolina and visit the Blue Ridge Parkway (a drive through the mountains that tops 6,000 feet above sea level).


The mountains were beautiful, though covered in fog off and on or steam I should say since it rained that morning. That might just be a good thing though because some of those ridgeways on the drive would have freaked me out if I could see how far down the ravines were.

Being from a flat-land, wide-open-spaces state the drive down was somewhat unnerving. Me and the kids had a bit of car sickness on the way down. Hubby, driving of course, thought it fun. Driving a crew cab Ford like a roller coaster ride down the mountain (he was trying to make time, LOL) with waves of fog and the occasional oncoming traffic - two small one way lanes mind you - it was... Well, like I said. Me and the kids had to stretch our legs and eat something salty to curb the slight nausea. LOL!

From there we headed back state by state and then unloaded Hubby's truck only to repack and load up Mama's SUV for the trip to Arkansas to see Grandpa - and my brother and nephew made it up this year.

In the mean time we had rehearsals for the dance recital for Lil'Gal and Diva:

Diva and Lil'Gal as Orphan's in their Musical Theater Recital
I won't go further into the recital business. The girls did fab! But me and Les have decided we aren't dance moms. We just aren't. Don't get me wrong, the girls will continue in dance = but we just aren't five costumes, hair piece, crazy wild that way. Kudos to those who are. It's adorable. But it ain't for me.

:-P

Also in the mix - in fact - during the recital, my baby SIL gave birth to my new (and second) niece! Talk about crazy-mad-busy!

And, she was so tiny! 6 lbs, 3 oz I believe!

Proud Cousins!

Last we make our trek to Arkansas; Hubby had to stay back to mind the farm. As y'all well know there is little to no signal there at Grandpa's in the woods. So I lived on text messages and the occasional FB post that would come through with my email. :-P A drive or two up to the highway got me five bars and some cyber fix, LOL!



Then back home to appointments, tutoring for FJ and FJ got to work this year. 10 years-old and running the tractor, keeping his hours and shredding stalks. His favorite thing to do (next to fishing) is farming. :-D


So, THERE YOU HAVE IT. That is my summer so far - in a nut shell. Happy Friday!! FWFD OTW!!!!

With that, here's some Black Hawk: There You Have It! I Don't Regret It!!




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