Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's never too early to think about it...

Christmas Shopping.

I know, it's not even September yet. If you're anything like me, though, you're wondering how you're going to be able to get a nice gift for the ones you love without breaking the bank.

Sure, you could go on "Black Friday" and stand in a line a mile long at 5:00am. (YIKES) Then you could rush your way into the store to find what you're looking for. Forget browsing, this is more like war. People get in FISTFIGHTS over things like "Tickle Me Elmo" or the newest game systems EVERY SINGLE YEAR! It's silly!

I remember going shopping on Black Friday once. ONCE. O-N-C-E. I went with my mom to Joann Fabrics at some ridiculous hour (I think it was 5:00am, but I could be wrong). I wanted to buy some flannel, because they had a SUH-WEET deal on it. Apparently everybody and their brother (well, it was mostly sisters, because guys just aren't much for Black Friday shopping, especially at a fabric/craft store...give them some time at Sears or Home Depot, and I'm sure they are thrilled, but CRAFTS? I think not.)

Anyway, so we got our fabric and stood in line. FOREVER. Seriously, I think I stood in line for like 4 hours or something. For FABRIC. Now, I love to get a good deal on stuff, but that was ridiculous! If only there'd been a website where I could find sweet deals from the comfort of my own home.

Well, now there is!! It's called Black Friday (catchy, no?) This site will show you available "Black Friday" ads from leading retailers, and will give you the opportunity to purchase these items online, instead of having to get up at the crack of dawn to get a good deal! You can even put yourself on an email list to get updates on when new ads are posted! This is a pretty cool concept, one that I am intrigued by.

From stores like Ace Harware and Harbor Freight (a personal fave of Ande's) to Babies R Us and Wal Mart, you're sure to find something you (or someone you love) can use!! I'm looking forward to the Ikea hasn't been released yet, so I think I'm going to have to get added to the email list! There's also

You can even make a shopping list right on their site! It could certainly make your Christmas shopping a little easier, couldn't it? (You could even make a list of stuff YOU want...and casually leave it for your husband or boyfriend to find...LOL)

Don't delay - check out the Circuit City ad by clicking here: circuit city ad TODAY!!!

More about Sarah Palin

My mother in law sent this to me - it is from a friend of my sister in law's mother, a friend who just happens to live in Alaska. Here's her take on Sarah Palin:

Feel free to agree or disagree, but here is an Alaskan's viewpoint on our new VP candidate (and it is an opinion shared by the vast majority of Alaskan residents). :-)

Sarah Palin is the US's answer to Margaret Thatcher! Anyone who thinks she cannot handle the job or deal briskly and efficiently with ANY issue, including foreign governments... well, they haven't met our Sarah . She is not "just a woman", she is not "just a way to get votes" and if anyone expects her to smile, simper and be sweet - they don't know Sarah. She is *more than* qualified for the job and the best possible choice McCain could have made.

As an Alaskan resident as well as a resident of Wasilla, AK, where Sarah Palin was at one time Mayor... I can speak with confidence. Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska is exactly what she portrayed during her introduction this morning and exactly what our US Government needs. She is ethical to a fault (if there is such a thing), a refreshing change to the status-quo and as smart and determined a PERSON (gender really isn't an issue here as far as I'm concerned) as anyone could ask for at the head of government.

Sarah is no naïve "small town mayor" - she just *started out* there. Btw, as Mayor of Wasilla, she brought this "small town" through a lot of GOOD changes and left it at the end of her term having grown to the 4th largest CITY in Alaska - a lot of growth and a stronger economic base than ever before. She has EXECUTIVE experience *running a government* (something NONE of the other candidates can actually boast, even John McCain) as Governor of Alaska and got there by defeating the *incumbent* Republican Governor, who was definitely part of the "old school" and who WAS very much in the pocket of the big oil companies.

We in Alaska wanted change - and we got it in the person of Sarah Palin! Sarah Palin is everything she looks to be and more. Her approval rating as Governor of Alaska has been as high as 95% and is currently leveled out consistently in the upper 80th percentile throughout the state (and in both parties) - the HIGHEST approval rating of ANY sitting Governor.

Sarah has been turning around corruption in the Legislature of Alaska -turning things on their ear for that matter; cutting spending in spite of the increased income the state is currently receiving due to the high oil prices - she has insisted on putting a huge amount of the "windfall" into savings for the future rather than spending, spending, spending - and has insisted from the get-go on what she refers to as "honest, ethical and transparent governing" - no more closed door meetings and dealings - the big oil companies thought she would be a pushover and have learned better to their chagrin.

She understands the "real people" and the economic issues we all face (Alaskans along with the rest of the country) - she was one of "us" not long ago. Rather than passing useless "laws" or throwing money at pet projects, she (most recently) temporarily suspended the state gas tax (on gasoline at the pumps, fuel oil and natural gas for homes, etc.) and has ordered checks issued to ALL residents of Alaska this fall in an attempt to assist with the burden of high fuel costs for the upcoming winter.

I could go on and on, but that's enough for now . She isn't doing these things to be popular - she is doing it because her constituents are HURTING financially and she is in a position to help. She became Governor of Alaska by defeating the Incumbent Republican Governor and doing it *without* the money or the support of the Republican Party, which was amazing in itself - and she won by a landslide. The "powers that be" at that time totally underestimated Sarah and learned better the hard way.

Let's hope Obama does the same.

Sarah has done exactly what she claimed she was going to do when elected and is just as popular today as the day she was elected - perhaps more so since even the Democrats up here seem to like her - she works well with both sides in the Legislature here. Sarah "belongs" to us (Alaskans)... and although we are going to be terribly sorry to see her leave before she finishes the job she started here (two years ago) straightening out OUR State ... we understand she is needed for a bigger purpose and hopefully her Lt. Governor will be able to fill her shoes here and continue the job.

As for worrying about what would happen if McCain were to die or step down or whatever... here in AK we've only been wondering how long we would be able to KEEP Sarah in Alaska and have seen her as our first woman President of the USA from the start. It's always been a matter of whether she would wait until the end of her TWO terms as Governor (no doubt at ALL that she would be re-elected if she ran for a second term at the end of her current term)... or end up in Washington sooner. She could do the job TODAY.

Personally, I feel a lot better about McCain now that I know he has someone as savvy, as strong, as ethical and as steady as Sarah at his back. She will be an excellent Vice President... and my guess is will be our US Republican Presidential candidate in four years - AND by then the country will KNOW her - will love and respect her as we do here - and she'll win by as much of a landslide as she did here in Alaska. I only wonder if McCain has a clue what he is unleashing on the US of A . She is going to be a fresh wind, but also a strong wind.

Is that enough of an endorsement? If not, I'll add this ... Jerry and I have for many years felt the best "vote" was to vote for the lesser of two"evils" and hope they didn't do too much damage. Two years ago during our State Governor's race was the first time EVER that we actually asked for not just a little sign to put in our yard showing our support of our candidate (something we've never felt the desire to do at all before) - we asked for a full 4' x 8' "SARAH PALIN FOR GOVERNOR!" sign and were proud to have it. She hasn't let us or Alaska down. She will do the same for the USA if given the opportunity. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested (and spam those who aren't!).

-Deb in Alaska-

Deb Frost / Snowgoose
Spring Promise Pygmies, Wasilla, AK

Well, if Sarah Palin is only HALF the leader she appears to be, she'd be a great person to have in the White House!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Interesting turn of events

Well, I am really not much into politics (mainly because I live in a state who's major political party choices usually are the opposite of mine, so when I vote it doesn't seem to make much difference). That being said, I am now intrigued by the latest news in the presidential race.

For those of you who have not heard, John McCain has chosen the Governor of Alaska as his running mate. She's a former soccer mom who hunts, fishes, and has a real blue-collar husband. They have 5 kids, the youngest of whom (born in April) has Downs Syndrome. No, it's not a typo - I said SHE. A woman "veep" candidate. SUH-WEET!

Just from the little bit I've been able to read about her, she seems like quite a spit-fire! It sounds like she is really interested in holding people accountable for their actions, and that she has a pretty much no-nonsense approach to life.

While I am not a huge fan of McCain. (I like to call him "Little Weevil"), I am even less a fan of Obama ("Big Weevil"). I will vote for McCain in the election, as a matter of conscience (You've got two Weevils, one big, one little. I like to choose the "lesser of two Weevils") because McCain is more likely to be in support of issues that are important to me and my family. Obama - well, try as he might to be a "regular guy", he's just not. Add to the fact that he supports the kinds of issues that I feel are a detriment to our country....

You don't have to agree with my choice for president (although it's beyond me why you wouldn't). I vote my morals, and encourage everyone to get out and vote theirs in November.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What the heck?

It's either feast or famine around here...I don't post for weeks, now I have a little time on my hands, so you get a double (or possibly triple, if I come up with another idea) dose!!

Okay, now I'm all about deadbeat dads needing to pay their share for the care of their children. I've been divorced for 9 years, and there have been many occasions when money has been an issue. But this story just grabbed my attention, and I am on the verge of actually being angry about it.

Hilary Duff's dad to spend 10 days in Texas jail
2 hours, 40 minutes ago

A judge in Texas has ordered the father of actress and singer Hilary Duff to spend 10 days in jail for contempt of court.
Bob Duff was led away in handcuffs Wednesday during a court hearing after Judge Thomas Stansbury in Houston determined he violated an injunction against selling assets without court approval.

The Houston Chronicle reported in its online edition that Bob Duff must pay into a court repository $367,537 he earned from selling stocks last month.
Bob Duff's attorney Robert Piro said his client would post bond and file an appeal.
Bob and Susan Duff are in the midst of a bitter divorce.

Stansbury determined Bob Duff should pay Susan $12,500 for Hilary's birthday party, which was the subject of the hearing. Her mother wanted $25,000 to pay for a present and party.

Neither Hilary, whose 21st birthday is Sept. 28, nor her sister Haylie were in court.

Now, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me I am not the only one here who sees something wrong with a woman being awarded $12,500 for a birthday party...FOR HER ALMOST 21 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER?? First of all, that amount of money for a birthday party is absolutely ridiculous to begin with. There are families out there who have to live on less for an ENTIRE YEAR. My second issue? HELLO, HILARY DUFF IS TURNING 21! Isn't her father's financial responsibility for her over?

Let's not even get into the fact that Hilary Duff is an actress who has been making a good amount of money for YEARS now...and I'm just guessing here, but I would venture to guess that her mom has "profited" from Hilary's income over the years.

As a mom with a blended family who has to deal with money issues on a fairly regular basis, this just makes me sick to my stomach. No, seriously. I could almost hurl.


I feel so loved!! I have had at least 2 comments just this morning "wondering" where I was. Thanks, ladies!!! It's always good to feel wanted.

Sorry I've been absent for so long, but the last several weeks have been pretty busy. Let's see...what's been going on?

Bubber's playing Freshman football this year, so since August 11th he's been going to 2-a-days. (For those who don't know what those are, it's when the parents have to drag their kids to the football field at 8:00am, the kids practice until about 10:30am, break for about an hour or so, then back at it until about 2:00pm. Now, if I didn't have 4 other kids to contend with, it wouldn't really be a big deal. I'd be perfectly content to bring a book, my bible study, some drinks & snacks, and just hang out at the field all day. The girls' take on that? "UH, NO!" For some reason, the girls just aren't interested in watching these sweaty teenage boys doing their workouts and practices. (I have the distinct feeling that Bug & Nans will probably change their tune in a couple of years...LOL)

Ande's mom took the kids "back to school" shopping (which is awesome, because it's just about the only time at our house the kids get new clothes). It's such a blessing that Ande's mom is willing and able to do that for the kids (and us).

As of August 20th, Puckey is officially potty-training. Ande's mom bought her a potty while we were out school shopping, along with some Disney Princess panties, and the first thing she did when we got home was pee on the potty and ask to wear her new panties. Guess that was the motivation she needed? (Nevermind the fact that we had a potty seat that sits on the big toilet and several pairs of panties already...) Puckey is doing quite well with the potty training, except when I forget to take her to the bathroom. She's not yet to the point where she tells me she needs to go, but we'll get there.

Puckey is also now a three year old!! Her birthday was the 25th. We had Ande's parents and a couple of friend stop by for cupcakes and ice cream. My mom, who wasn't feeling well that night came by the next day with a gift and (much to the delight of the kids) donuts.

I was so excited to give Puckey the gift we got her - I had saved up for a while to be able to buy it, and had actually had it sitting in our bedroom for a month! I bought both Bug and Nans special dolls when they were little, and couldn't wait to do the same for Puckey. She was very happy with her new baby!!

I've been working on that Bible study I mentioned a while back, and that's been both challenging and enjoyable for me. Ande and I have had a good time discussing what I've been learning about Daniel, which is always fun. The study is about to get pretty deep, going between Daniel and Revelation, so that will be an exciting new opportunity to learn more.

Ande's mom got her new kitchen floor put in, so I'll be able to get in there and finish up what needs to be done and I'll finally be able to post the complete "After" pictures. YEAH!!

Had to take both Bug & Bubber to their respective schools for "orientation" (which pretty much consisted of them getting their schedules & locker assignments, and for Brendan, getting his school picture taken) WHO EVER HEARD OF GETTING YOUR SCHOOL PICTURE 2 WEEKS BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS??

My brother in law (the one from OK, whose girls were the ones Puckey and The Jib got their pictures done with several weeks ago) is flying in this weekend for a job interview. We're praying that the interview will go well, and that if it's God's will that they will get to move here to MI. It would be such a wonderful blessing for all the cousins to be able to grow up near each other!

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that's allowed, since I'm a mom.

I can't believe that the summer is nearly over! Time has flown by so fast.