Amber Alert

Lack of Privacy!

I checked on various people I know and most EVERYONE was on the list! If you are married, you may be listed under your maiden name. I've no idea how they get people's names, but you may want to send an email and have your name removed. Details are below.

If your name is on the list, it shows your name, birth date, address, and phone number. It also will provide a map with directions to get to your house. There is also a link to do a background check.

It's awful what is on the net for all to see... for a price. The Internet is becoming too powerful as far as I am concerned! I checked on myself and I'm listed.

I am sending this to everyone in my address book, and I urge all of you to do the same. Check to see if your name is in this Zabasearch database. If it's there and you want it removed, send them an email at to request the removal.

This site is public, as of May 2006. I don't know how our names are appearing there, but it is scary.

To check, go to

The only way to know for sure you have been removed is to check back a few days later. However, after six months, my information is still there and has not been removed.

This is unbelievable! What happened to our right to privacy???!!!

The Price of Children

The Price of Children

I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It’s nice. The government recently (2006) calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family.

Talk about sticker shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
$8,896.66 a year or $741.38 a month or $171.08 a week or $24.24 a day!

Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don’t have children if you want to be “rich.” Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140?
Naming rights. First, middle, and last.
Glimpses of God every day.
Giggles under the covers every night.
More love than your heart can hold.
Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
A hand to hold.
A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
Someone to laugh yourself silly with.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to...
carve pumpkins,
play hide-and-seek,
catch lightning bugs, and
never stop believing.

You have an excuse to...
keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
watching Saturday morning cartoons,
going to Disney movies, and
wishing on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand print sets in clay for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for no reason at all.

You get to be a hero just for...
retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
taking the training wheels off a bike,
removing a splinter,
filling a wading pool,
coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and
coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to witness history in the making by observing the...
the first step,
the first word,
the first bra,
the first date, and
the first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits so... one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!

Love & enjoy your children!!!!!

A Blank Piece of Paper

When I stand (usually sit) in front of a blank piece of paper to scrapbook it, alter it, it invokes a vast sense of possibility and the great wonder of what is to appear there. Immediately, I am invited to step out of the stream of my knowledge into the ocean of creativity. The interest in conquering technique and the lure of the product pales in the face of this breathtaking void. There is no reason to control and no need to know what will happen when I pick up the pictures... embellishments... pen.

This emptiness of the void is enough to make one run the other direction for years. But when approached simply, the meeting of this vastness becomes one innocent moment at a time. If you have twenty colors in front of you, one will catch your eye, and, with your permission, will pull you like a magnet to pick it up. Without even thinking about it, the ink... the pattern paper... the embellishments... and the color will move to a place on the paper.

I love this effortless, nonverbal answer to our question of what to do. I love this surrender to the trust, that one color and one place on the paper is enough. When I trust this, I am confident to pick up the next object and the next and the next. Then, without warning, I am moving with something that feels so solid and so invisible. It is this incredible nonverbal quality that informs the paper, the song, and the life that we live.

That’s what makes it so interesting. There is a journey, not just a destination. To create is so fascinating when there is the freedom to let anything happen. And, it is never too late to start.

Just One Word

To learn more about me and each other.

for each answer. Its not as easy as you might think.

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket.
2. Your hair? Long.
3. Your mother? (Newly) married.
4. Your father? Deceased.
5. Your favorite thing? Home.
6. Your dream last night? Bad.
7. Your dream/goal? Contentment.
8. The room you're in? Office.
9. Your fear? Death.
10. Where do you want to be in six years? Alive.
11. Where were you last night? Home.
12. What you're not? Bored. (Who has time to be bored?)
13. Muffins? Blueberry.
14. One of your wish list items? Money.
15. Where you grew up? Pennsylvania.
16. The last thing you did? Talk.
17. What are you wearing? Clothes.
18. Your TV? Black.
19. Your pet(s)? Champ.
20. Your computer? Connected.
21. Your mood? Sad.
22. Missing someone? Dad
23. Your car? Rusted.
24. Favorite store? Michael's.
25. Favorite color? Blue.
26. Favorite food? Free.
27. Last time you laughed? Last.
28. Last time you cried? Today.
29. Married? No.
30. Kids? Two.

Daily Living - 4/18/08

I have a prayer request. Actually, I have a bunch but am not going to bore everyone with such a long list. The main thing that needs prayers right now is my foster daughter. The story is below:

Doug, the father, forcibly took Renee from the house last night. Housing Authority caught up with him and told him he had to move so he came and took her. Unfortunately, there is no evidence of abuse or neglect with him so in two weeks they were going to close all the other cases (Renee had 4 pending cases) anyway. The problem is I don't believe he can take care of her. I know he cannot take care of her. In fact, she had two appointments today that have now been cancelled because he won't take her. Its down to my word vs. his word and since I am not the biological parent I don't have as much say as he does. So until they open a new case with someone else's complaint against Doug, Renee is gone. I am terribly upset and hurting for Renee.

This all happened after another emotional event. The children and I went to the playground after homework time and while there some other mothers were encouraging their children to fight and there were several fist fights. One of the kids that was getting beat up on was a friend of Cameron's. I stepped in and got the boy into my car and called the police. Then another mother started verbal fighting with me. Cameron was terribly, terribly upset. We will not go to that playground again. Ugh!

Neither of my children wanted to go to school today. They are at school but they are not happy.

The landlord decided he doesn't want his tenants to have pets so I have to find a home for Champ. I'm so heart broken and so are the children.

Thankful Thursday #4

Today I am thankful for...

  1. The warm spring weather.
  2. The love of my children.
  3. The non-judgmental relationship and kindness of my friends.

Personality Test

This is a unique personality test. There are only four questions but the results are very interesting. I was kind of shocked by what some of my answers meant. Be honest and honor what pops into your mind when the questions present themselves.

Wordless Wednesday #7

Thank You Notes

I am a big advocate of thank you notes. Sometimes it takes a few months, unfortunately, to get the thank you card done and to the appropriate person, but I always do thank you cards. Some store bought, some hand made, some computer made.

I have some store bought ones that have blanks to fill in for the kids to do. The kids also make pictures that we add to the thank you notes. Sometimes the extra or duplicate photos get included too. I get a lot of compliments when we include the photos or the pictures the kids made.

I am very thankful and want to show my gratitude to my friends and family. I am just sometimes very slow at getting it done.

Do you do thank you notes?

Driver's License Search

Check your drivers license. Now you can see anyone's Driver's License on the internet, including your own! I just searched for mine and there it was... picture and all! I removed mine, I suggest you all do the same. Go to the website, listed below, and check it out. Enter your name, city, and state to see if your driver's license is on file. After your license comes on the screen, click the box marked "Please Remove." This will remove it from public viewing, but not from law enforcement.

My Celebrity Look-Alikes

Economic Stimulus

If we spend our money at Wal-Mart, the money will go to China.
If we purchase a computer it will go to India.
If we purchase fruit and vegetables, it will go to Mexico.
If we purchase toys and other misc. stuff, it will go to Taiwan.
None of that money will help the American economy.
The only way to keep that money here at home is to buy only all-American products still produced in the US.

I would like to encourage everyone to purchase American made products!

Family Minute #14

How will your child remember his childhood?

Two boys grew up to speak of their parents’ influence. Both boys recalled how their parents treated them as children. The first said, “Once you know your family loves you, you are free to try anything. You are free to fail and free to succeed.” The second recorded a deep hatred of his cruel and abusive father. What you do today as parents can literally shape tomorrow’s world.

By the way – the two boys? The first... President George W. Bush. The other? Adolf Hitler.

Remember your family first.

Moving... Or Not Moving

I am moving my old posts from my old blog to this blog which is why you will see older dates. I am posting them under their old dates instead of the current date.

Short link:
Long link:;_ylt=Ai.faAZ.hAU1yukHuhJasfykAOJ3

If I Didn't Have Animals

If I didn't have animals . . .

I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.

My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.

All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.

When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel.

When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.

I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted, without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would not have strange presents under my Christmas tree -- dog bones, stuffed animals ,toys, treats; nor would I have to explain to people why I wrap them.

I would have money ....and no guilt to go on a real vacation.

I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandchildren through college.

The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.

My house would not look like a day care center, toys everywhere.

My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats, and an extra leash.

I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L-, F-R-I-S-B-E- E, W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, B-I-K-E, OR C-A-R.

I would not have as many leaves inside my house as outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think having one dog/cat ties them down too much.

I'd look forward to spring and the rainy season instead of dreading 'mud' season.

I would not have to answer the question 'Why do you have so many animals?' from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.

How empty my life would be!

~~ Crystal Morton ~~

40 Tips for a Better Life in 2008

  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
  3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
  4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to _____ today.'
  5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
  6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.
  7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives. (Meditation can mean a variety of things to different people.)
  8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  9. Dream more while you are awake.
  10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  11. Drink green tea and plenty of water.
  12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, and your desk. This will let new and flowing energy into your life.
  14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive, present moment.
  15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed-out charge card.
  17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
  18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
  23. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
  26. Forgive everyone for everything.
  27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  28. God heals almost everything.
  29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
  32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  33. The best is yet to come.
  34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  35. Do the right thing!
  36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!)
  37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: 'I am thankful for _____. Today I accomplished _____.'
  38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
  39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
  40. Prayer works!

This list was adapted from a list my friend, Teresa, shared with me.

A Child is Someone

Get Clicking

Let's get clicking and help get books to low-income children. As most of you know, I already have The Literacy Site button on my right sidebar. This week in honor of National Library Week, each click is worth the doubled amount.

Family Minute #13

Breakfast Benefits

“I’m not hungry.” “I’ll grab something later.” “I don’t have time to eat.” Those are just some of the excuses kids give for skipping breakfast. But new research shows there’s another reason why breakfast may be the most important meal of the day – children who regularly eat breakfast were less likely to be overweight. Researchers reporting in Pediatrics journal, found that adolescents who eat a morning meal are more active, get more fiber, and eat less fat calories.

But the report also noted that breakfast-eating frequency declines through adolescence, so be proactive in encouraging your children to eat breakfast.

Remember your family first.

Make Me Laugh Monday - Window Replacement

Last year, a friend replaced all the windows in her house with that expensive double-pane energy-efficient kind. Yesterday, she got a call from the contractor who installed them. He was complaining that the windows had been installed a whole year ago and that she hadn't paid for them yet.
Now just because she's blonde, doesn't mean that she's automatically stupid. So she told him just exactly what his fast-talking sales guy had told her last year... that in just one year the windows would pay for themselves! "Helllooooo," she said. "It's been a year!" There was only silence at the other end of the line, so she finally just hung up. He hasn't called back, probably too embarrassed about forgetting the guarantee they made her. I bet he won't underestimate a blonde again.

Sunday Scrappin' - 4/13/08

This week's question:
What's your least favorite project that you've done lately, and why?

My answer:
Cleaning the house, as a whole, is my least favorite project. By the time I finish the house, its time to start over again. Ugh.

Ta Da's:

  • I did get the house undecorated for Easter and some party decorations up for Cameron's party today.
  • All the decor and extras for the porch were taken out of the garage and put out on the porch.
  • The children finished cleaning out all of their toys and even more toys were generously donated.
  • The party for Cameron, although small, was a success... despite not having enough money to provide snacks, etc., for the guests.

To Do's:

  • Re-organize the Christmas decor since the weatherization company that was here rearranged everything without my permission since I didn't get it done this past week.
  • I would love to get some scrapbooking done. One page would make me extremely happy.
  • Update my tax form so I get it filed on time.
  • Medical appointments.

I also do this meme at my 365 Days of Christmas blog but since I don't list crafting or scrapping there on a weekly basis I cannot list it as part of the Sunday Scrappin' meme. Each week I try to accomplish, at least, one Christmas chore, craft, etc.

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

A message every adult should read, because children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking , I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking , I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking , I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, 'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking'

~~ Author Unknown ~~

Basic Guidelines for Bloggers

The following tips are a good place to start for kids interested in blogging, although by no means comprehensive. It's a good idea for parents to add more guidelines to suit their family's particular needs. Start by telling kids that they should:

(1.) Never offer any personal information including your last name, contact information, home address, phone numbers, school's name, e-mail address, last names of friends or relatives, instant messaging names, age, or birth date.

(2.) Never post provocative pictures of yourself or anyone else, and be sure any images you provide do not reveal any of the previously mentioned information. Always remember to look at the background of a picture too.

(3.) Assume what you publish on the Web is permanent. Anyone on the Internet can easily print out a blog or save it to a computer.

(4.) Use blogging provider sites with clearly stated terms of use, and make sure they can protect the actual blogs, not just the user accounts, with password protection. (Even so, it's better to assume anyone can see it.)

(5.) Avoid trying to "outdo" or compete with other bloggers.

(6.) Keep blogs positive and don't use them for slander or to attack others.

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