bugs and butterflies

huge cockroaches. fascinatingly gross.
is that a word - fascinatingly?

Sam got to hold Rosie, the tarantula. I would only get this close to take the picture. Sam of course, has no fear. you can see him smiling; he said the hairy legs tickled his arm.
doesn't that just give you the heebie-geebies?!

a few hiding butterflies.
do you know butterflies only live about 2-4 weeks?!
I had no idea.

a pretty blue.

the Grimm kids ... minus 1.

in the butterfly room, they had lots of rotting fruit around.
they seem to like bananas.

2 of the kids with their gifts from the souvenir shop. Victoria got some cool Elton John type butterfly glasses and Sam picked out a huge sucker ... with a cricket inside. you can kind of see it here. they also had suckers with scorpions inside or for you chocolate lovers, you could get chocolate covered ants. yum yum!
on the way home Sam ate his sucker. he ate the head, I think to gross out his aunties, and then he didn't want anymore. guess it doesn't quite taste like chicken!
if you're ever in Denver, the Butterfly Pavilion is worth checking out.
good times!

installing a husband

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.
In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such asNBA 5.0,NFL 3.0 andGolf Clubs 4.1.
Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.
Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?



First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.
Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html, try to download Tears 6.2, and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.
If those applications work as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.
However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1.
Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.
Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)
In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. This is an unsupported application and will crash Husband 1.0.
In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.
You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommendCooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck!
Tech Support

something different

I went to school for interior design awhile back, and although I didn't go career with it, I definitely enjoy decorating and architecure of all kinds. if you enjoy this kind of stuff too, check this out! just type your name or favorite word in the box and see the designs it comes up with.
if not for yourself, it would make a great and unique gift. I told hubby this would make a great birthday gift for ... hint hint ... it's coming up in a couple of weeks. I think I'd like to get our last name done and put it in our entryway.

save your money

we all need to save money, especially now during these crazy economic times. I use a few websites for freebies all the time, and have gotten some good stuff.
the problem is if you're looking for something specific, you most likely will not find it. you have to take stuff when it becomes available, not necessarily when you want to have it. bascially it's like shopping at a thrift store, but online.

there is one for every major city. once you find the listings for your area, check the FREE catergory daily. many people will try yard sales or even the classifieds to sell their stuff, but often times everything doesn't sell before having to move, so into the FREE catergory it goes! if you're on the other end and need to get rid of stuff, use this site. seems like everyone is a fan of craigslist!

again, there is one for every major city. start at yahoo.com, click groups, then search for your city + freecycle. this site you need to check often because things go very quickly here. again if you need to get rid of stuff, list it here.

this site lets you in on good sales, gives you coupons, and has a FREEBIES catergory listed on the right side.

check your local thrift stores
I live in an area that has many thrift stores, along with military families that come and go frequently. sometimes there just isn't time for a yard sale, so it gets donated. for me that means good stuff is available almost every visit

again I say, you never know what you'll find!
and if you know of any freebies, please pass them my way!


ok Morgan, me too. :)

my top 10 to be thankful for ...

1. my God. He understands me when I don't understand myself, loves me with more love than I can imagine, He is ALWAYS there for me, and He changes me into a better me constantly. I'm also thankful that He's not just for me, He's for you too!

2. my family. my hubby for teaching daily that change isn't a bad thing; God always uses it for good. my kids for showing me what is really important in life. my dad for always being the optimistic one. my mom for teaching me to stand up for what's right. my sister for teaching me to think about being in another persons' shoes. my in-laws for being consistent, positive, and leading spiritually by example. and my 3 sisters-in-law who show me how fun it is to be a kid.

3. my "job." I love the fact that I can stay home with my kids and not miss any of their milestones. I know this isn't even an option for some, so I see it as a real blessing. it's not even my choice alone; I love that fact that my hubby would rather have me home than working. he knows the importance of building solid foundation, and we both believe it starts at home.

4. our home. we've moved way too many times! I am thankful for finding this house and our awesome landlord. we have plans for both the inside and outside, but it already feels like home for us. it's such a good fit for our needs.

5. Sam's new school. he doesn't begin school until this fall, but finding something that I can 100% stand behind is a burden off my back. Sam is my oldest, so I've never done this kind of searching before ... and I didn't even find it, we were referred there by someone else! school is a big part of a child's life, so it is important to me that we have the right fit. 2 days classroom, 3 days homeschool, all christian based. love it!

6. food in the fridge.

7. clothes on our backs.

8. the bills are paid and no more wondering if today is the day something will get shut off.

9. friends that keep in touch.

10. thrift stores!! I find too many good deals to not love it and be thankful I'm saving money!


it was a beautiful day here in Colorado ... actually today it was snowing, but 2 days ago it felt like springtime. in NorCal the motto was "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 mintues," but here it's more like"if you don't like the weather, wait until tomorrow." funny how that works.

I discovered Memorial Park. it has big playgrounds and a big pond with a sidewalk that goes all the way around. next time we go we'll be bringing our bikes and riding around it; I have yet to use the bike plus the trailer for Elliott. he's finally big enough for that kind of stuff. Sam would of course ride his own bike. wow, my boys are big.
anyway back to my point, I remembered to bring some bread so we could feed the ducks!
I'm sure these birds get fed just about daily by people, but the way they were acting you'd think they we all starving to death!

Sam of course was feeding the geese from his hand ... yep, he got bit a few times.
and let me tell you, those geese are greedy! they hiss at the others as they surrounded us, protecting and claiming whats theirs. so I tend to go out of my way NOT to feed them. sorry goosey, you're mean!
it's nice to be getting out and about in town. it won't feel like home until I know what's around. it's a bit harder to do in the winter, but I'm trying. Colorado has been voted the healthiest place in the country, so come springtime, I know there will be lots and lots of great places to explore outdoors!

when I grow up

I think I'll be posting more conversations I have with Sam. he's getting to the age where he's using his imagination and getting really detailed, and it's funny!

me: so what do you want to be when you grow up?
Sam: a race car driver!
me: uh oh. you like to drive fast, huh?
Sam: YEA! and then I'm gonna be a fire fighter and put out all the fires.
me: wow! then what do you want to be?
Sam: a beanstalk.
me: a beanstalk, huh? where will you be planted?
Sam: right here - he's pointing to a pillow on the floor.
me: can I eat the beans you grow?
Sam: NO!
me: are you going to be a giant one? like Jack and the Beanstalk?
Sam: yep
me: can I climb you all the way to the top?
Sam: yep
me: what will I find at the top?
Sam: Jesus
me: really?! you mean your stalk is going to take me to heaven to see Jesus?
Sam: yep. it'll be so cool!
me: definitely

a beanstalk. interesting.

dance dance dance

here is another major score I found at the goodwill the other day. Veggie Tales Dance Dance Dance. it's just like Dance Revolution, only it's Veggie Tales.

I think every arcade-type place has that game. I've seen some people that are REALLY good at it. it's fun to watch them go!

this has got easy, medium, hard, and expert. Sam's getting it; definitely needs practice. it's fun. he even made me try. I can do medium and I'm so-so on hard. I'm your typical white girl ... basically, I can't dance for anything!

it had the original price tag on it of $49.99. like I would ever pay that! I got it for $3.99, and it's in brand new condition. I wonder why whoever had it didn't try to put it on ebay or craigslist; it's so easy to do. their trash, my treasure!

I'm telling ya, go check out your local thrift stores. you never know what you will find!

practice homeschool

since Sam won't be attending until fall, I've decided to wing it and [try to] do some schooling at home. it's not too structured and I don't really have a plan worked out for the week. I just try to get online, check a few websites, and have it ready for the next day.

my goal is to have 3 days a week dedicated to school work. not all day of course, but my guess is about 4 hours/day. of course I have to figure out how to deal with Elliott while this is going on, fit in time to make and eat lunch, and whatever else that's going on. any supermoms out there that can give me advice?

we had a letter A day! one easy project I made up (but I'm sure it's been done before somewhere) is to cut out a big letter A from construction paper, then take old magazines and find any/all pictures that begin with the letter A, cut them out and glue them on. we learn what A sounds like, we get practice using scissors and pay attention to the details - like don't cut the head off of the animal you're cutting out - and it's something mellow we can sit, talk, and do together. fun and easy.
eventually I'd like to hang his alphabet around the "classroom" here at home. I read somewhere that's it important to display your child's art at home in a place that he can see it, knowing that he did something original and creative; something he can be proud of ... and show off to everyone that comes over!

Sam also practiced writing his A's, big and small. I got these practice sheets from a book in the $1 bins at Target. (again, yay Target!)

we're also working on a book; All About Me. page 1 is a self portrait. so I got out a mirror and we analyzed all his facial features. we talked about shapes, big and small, colors, etc. Sam did this picture totally on his own. looks like him, right?! here is the link to check it out for yourself.

it amazes me how often this kid blows my mind. he catches on fast. he's only 4!

hubby and I often wonder when his first memory will be. most adults don't/can't seem to remember anything before 3 or 4 years old. will he remember his first big boy bike he got for his 4th birthday? will he remember all these crafts with mama? will he remember when Elliott came home? will remember the stitches he got? eventually he'll remember just about everything, but I wonder what that first memory will be. I pray it's a happy one!

I love Target

they have great selections on everything.
the clothes and accessories are cute; stuff you'd actually wear. it's not just for children and teenagers, I swear.
good prices.
my Target is a Super Target (jealous?) so it's one-stop shopping.
I can bribe Sam to go with me by taking him to the toy section to play. other than that, he's learned that shopping with mama is pretty boring.

but the real reason I wanted to post a blurb about Target is their current sale. no, not a sale, a clearance!
I don't know if a new version of everything is coming out, or they over-stocked everything for Christmas and are clearing out. but who cares?! every department has those lovely orange stickers, and you can get some great deals!
I stocked up on clothes for Sam. I try to buy clothes ahead of time, so this time bought 5t everything. I got 8 or so shirts for him for $2 each, one was even a sweatshirt hoodie.
Elliott got a couple things too, but for the most part this kid will have all hand-me-downs. is that how it works for kid #2? no new clothes? poor guy. but I don't keep the stained, ripped, or the ones I'm sooooo sick of looking at because Sam like to wear it everyday.
anyway, go check out Target!

I should buy stocks or something; I spend all my money there.

by the way, for you bargain shoppers, their Christmas stuff is totally gone. seems to soon doesn't it?

coming this fall

good news -
we found THE perfect school for Sam. it's christian based, and it's part time classroom, part time at home. I was never totally sure if I could do homeschool; committing to every single day. I was going to try it, but I wasn't totally comfortable with it. someone my hubby works with refered us to this school, and now that we have found this place I feel much more confident about the homeschooling side of it.

it's the best of both worlds - Sam will get the social interaction he needs with other kids and his teacher 2 days per week, and I will be doing our thing the other 3 days per week. awesome, right? I'm excited about it. he will start this fall, so it's still a ways away. we are registering him now because it's basically a private school, and once they're full, they're full. we're meeting with the administrator next week to get it all set up. whoo hoo!
so in the meantime I'm trying to put together a preschool cirriculum, something we can do until fall rolls around. if you're in the same boat, check out this blog. this will give you just about everything you need - this and a trip to Michael's craft store, and you'll be totally set!
I always thought my kids would go to preschool. maybe it's because I did. it never happend because we never had the money, and because we moved around too much to get Sam settled in any one school. but I'm not too worried about it. Sam is ready now and he really wants to learn. it's true what they say - kids are like sponges!

what not to say

the scene: Sam is playing with Mr. Potato Head

Sam: Mama, I can't find all his pieces
me: did you look in your playroom? they could be anywhere.
Sam: can you help me?
me: oh, I just remembered. look in his butt, that's where all the goodies go.

if you have a Mr. Potato Head at home, be prepared for this question and please, answer it differently!