The First

Being the first born kid has some major advantages:  more attention, more stuff, more opportunities for parents to learn, more mistakes.

I parent my second child different than my first.  And my third?  Well, let’s just say she gets away with a lot.

I just ordered a whole slew of Christian parenting books I’ve been wanting to read.  Because there are days, my friends, that I need a guide!  While searching, I ran across this new research that proves that the oldest child does have it tougher.  Great!  More guilt.  

Do you parent your firstborn differently?  Do you expect more?  Demand more results? 
Talk to me, people!
Food for the Soul:
Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your 
children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Decor Tip: The Walls are Talking *Plus Giveaway*

We have a Just Stickem Up Winner!  Thanks so much for participating.  Make sure you visit this fantastic ebay store! Congratulations Marcy of The Glamorous Life! Stay tuned for another AMAZING giveaway on Tuesday next week.

I love me some words.  I surround myself with them.  That’s why I’m kinda wordy.  
My home tells a story.  Literally.  
Here is what it is saying:
“Welcome to my .  
I’d like to say it’s , but we live in the city.  
One day though, we plan  to   and have
some land, but for now, this is  .  
You may .  
Our  started 
We produced one strong girl who is reminded daily
, whether she is currently grounded or not.  
Our son, sandwiched between two sisters feels like walking the plank some days.
His heart sings this song .  
And the baby doesn’t go to bed without saying  . 
I am the , but I do not
 it.  
But even I have to remember the motto of our home:  .
 
And .  
We  and we
 .  
We are THAT family.  !
Many of my wall words came from this fabulous online ebay store called Just Stickem Up.  This is the newest craze in home decor.  And you know me,  I’m cutting edge in that department!  This is an affordable way to jazz up a room and to make a statement.  These are also so easy to apply and remove!
Just Stickem Up has generously offered to give a reader a $30 gift certificate.  Go, look around and enjoy all their fun sayings.  Come back here and leave a comment about what you want your walls to say!  Contest ends tonight (Wednesday) at 10 pm CST.  
To discover more great tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday.
You can also find some awesome pictures at 5 Minutes for Mom’s Wordless Wednesday.

Squirrel *Update*

Well.  First of all, I’d like to thank my Heavenly Father for not creating me to be a squirrel.  

Because they face some serious adversaries.  Ahem.
And secondly, I’d like to thank you for helping me with my pesky squirrel problem. I poured over your ideas:  water guns, bigger Nerf Darts, pellets guns (oh, dear), squirrel dog, paintball guns, and my personal favorite, grease down the chains that hold the feeder for a slippery, yet entertaining show.  Oh. And my next favorite?  Place leaves on top of a barrel full of water.  The trickery drowns them.
My, you guys are, um, violent helpful.
As for cooking up a batch of fried squirrel?  Who am I kidding? I can’t even get my kids to eat the casserole I made for dinner last night.  The squirrels are their friends, so this might cause additional future therapy.
And who knew there was a whole aisle dedicated to birds of the air and pesky squirrels of the deck at Walmarts.  I stood there and debated my choices.  I almost went with the Squirrel-B-Gone feeder.  Well.  Because the name cracked me up.
I also nearly ran over to the snack aisle and grabbed some cheerios and vanilla wafers that a few of you suggested I use as squirrel repellant.  But they don’t repel me at all, so I scratched those yummy treats off my list.
But I did decide on this:
I got a wire cage to hang corn in too.  Because I’m that nice.  Even to pesky squirrels who trample my flowers.
And, I moved the feeder to a shepherd’s hook because that idea was just brilliant.  And as you can see, Mr. Cardinal is doing some fine dining.
So, thank you my interpeeps, for caring enough to help me deal with one of my issues.
I have many more.
Like this song and video, for instance.  It’s been one of my favorites since childhood.  And, with all the squirrel talk, I had an itching for it:

Those Pesky Squirrels

Squirrels.

We live in a wooded community.  With squirrels.  Many squirrels.  We co-inhabit, nicely.
I’ve always thought they were kinda cute, in a stay-away-from-me-in-case-you-have-rabies-sorta-way.
Well.
The squirrels are driving me NUTS.
We have this lovely bird feeder filled with lovely seed for the lovely cardinal couple who live in our backyard.  
And the pesky squirrels think the lovely feeder was prepared for them.  Because these are seed-eating squirrels.  Apparently.  So, we’ve had to move the bird feeder out of the squirrel’s reach.  Several times.
Normally, I would just let nature take it’s course.  I don’t really have time to care for the birds of the air.  Mainly, because I can hardly remember the needs of my real children. (I forgot to send my son to school with his glasses on twice last week.)  So, the birds are lucky there’s even seed in the feeder.  But the seed is falling into my flowers.  Therein lies the problem.
My flowers are being trampled and destroyed by squirrel paws.  This is the second time I’ve planted in my flower box.
Always on his toes, my hubby took the matter into his own hands.  I was drawn outside to him yelling, “Gotcha, sucker!”  I was afraid of what I might find:
And so you can see, my dear internet friends, why I’m compelled to ask for your help, before matters get completely out-of-hand.  
Help me tackle this pesky squirrel problem before my hubby reloads.
P.S.  If it does get out of hand, Happy Mommy, would you mind sending me your recipe for “Fried Squirrel?”  Waste not, want not.

Mom’s Day Off


On Mother’ Day, my Mommy took the day off.

Daddy was in charge.
That’s why I’m very dirty.  In my pretty dress.
I ate cheetos.  And cookies.  I walked barefoot outside.
It was great.  We appreciated her a lot.
But Mom’s back on the job and she ‘cleaning up the pigsty.’ 
I don’t know why she doesn’t take more days off.

Sweet Tea

Some people have never tried southern sweet tea.

:

::crickets::

:

Yes, I was giving you a moment of silence.

-

In honor of the Southern ways, I will try to redeem this by introducing you to sweet tea.

Sweet tea is heavy on the sweet.  It requires mass amounts of sugar.  It’s like pancake syrup, without the pancake or syrup (just the sugar).  Down here in the South, when we say sweet, we mean sweet.  Okay, ya’ll?

  • Boil a pot of water and remove from heat.
  • Place 6 regular teabags in the water
  • Steep for about half an hour.
  • Pour warm tea into a gallon sized pitcher.
  • Add 1.5-2 cups sugar to the warm tea. Stir well.
  • Add room temperature water to the top of the pitcher.
  • Serve on ice when cold. The ice is also important. You’ve got to use a lot of it. And if you have the electronic equipment to crush it-then crush away, my friend.

P.S. Let me tell you what sweet tea is not.  It’s not instant.  It is not unsweetened iced tea with sugar or artificial additives.  There is NO adding of artificial sweetness required or allowed.

That actually RUINS it.

Making sweet tea isn’t as easy as some think   The key:  add the sugar when the tea is hot.   It is a process that requires an expert.  I have consume enough sweet tea to actually pee it, so I think I qualify.

Sweet tea is a sacred production that requires patience. It must cool completely in the fridge.

One last hint is to not over steep.  That and leaving sweet tea un-refrigerated too long makes it bitter.  Bitter sweet tea—well, it isn’t sweet, now is it?

-

Amazing research done by Cracker Barrel proves that sweet tea drinkers are more laid-back and friendlier than soda drinkers. The report also stated that sweet tea consumers are perceived funnier and more exciting than unsweetened tea drinkers.  There you have it, dear ones, I owe all of THIS to sweet tea.

-

So, go ahead.  Don’t be afraid.  I challenge all my northern, eastern and western friends to give it a shot.  I guarantee it’ll be so good, you’ll slap your Momma or marry your cousin!

The Sound of Music

I am not a musician.

As a child, I took piano lessons for 3 years. It was painful, for the teacher and the student.
I still can’t find Middle C.
Oh yes, I am that talented.
My hubby surprised me at our wedding with a song. It was beautiful. His gift played into my evil plan for him to marry me.
Because it would give my future kids a musical chance. Or at least half a chance.
My first born is smart as a whip and very athletic.
My second born is mechanically-inclined and a huge people person (his nickname at school is The Mayor. People like him).
My third born child is 17 months old. Her giftedness has been elusive. Until recently.
She loves music. Now, I know you’re thinking, “yeah, most toddlers do.”
No. You don’t understand. She loves music. It is her gift.

She is special.
Even though she’s a busy child, she’s not talkative. And actually, she prefers to use baby sign language to communicate. She uses her hands to say, “more, eat, and all done.”
I’m thinking she could last years on these three words. I know I could.
Every time she would hear music, she would do this strange motion with her arm.
It dawned on us after about the 50th time, she had assigned a sign for the word ‘music’.
See, I told you. She is special.
And then, she put the ‘more’ sign with the ‘music’ sign. She asks for music before and after naps, before and after meals. Well, pretty much all day long.
I sat my hubby down. “Okay, we need to talk.  You know, we’ve got one of those musical savant kids.”
He just looked at me. “Savants are autistic people who have high musical skill.”
Oh.
“Well. She is musical and I think we should do something about it.”
And so I did. I googled it. Don’t mess with me, m’kay?
I’ve been looking at our options.
The other day, as I researched and began to formulate a mental plan for my musical genius, I laid her down to change her diaper. Even musical genius’ can stink up the place. I started singing, “Jesus Loves Me” without even thinking about it.
I rarely sing. It’s just too painful for others. Not even in the shower.
I noticed she was trying to get my attention. She starting doing the ‘more’ sign.
“More what, honey?” I asked as I pointed things out. She shook her head, ‘no’ over and over.

And then I had a sinking feeling. “More of this?” I asked as I started my shaking rendition of “Jesus Loves Me.”

She did the sign for ‘more.’

And then she clapped.

That’s when my musical dreams died. Died, I tell ya.

Because if she thought what was coming out of my mouth could be called music, maybe that’s not her gift after all.

Mother’s Day


If I Had My Life To Live Over


by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.




If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and

really see it … live it…and never give it back.

Food for the Soul:

Proverbs 31: 28-31″Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble thing, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”