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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Well, in case you don't know by now, I love freebies. Who doesn't? Getting something for free is fun and since it doesn't cost's really fun! Colin never gets upset if I order a freebie and my bank account doesn't get smaller.
I have several blogs that I look at that keep me up to date on new freebies. I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite freebies or freebie sites. has freebies if you go to their webpage and run your cursor over the part that says IN Stores now. It will pull up a menu and on the menu you will see the word samples. Click on that and start ordering your samples. They change every week or so. I check back every so often.
Do you take tons of digital pictures like I do? I hardly ever order prints because it's expensive. I just found a new site to get prints and they have an intro offer of 400 prints free..200 4x6 and 200 5x7. All you pay is shipping. If you are interested, copy and paste the link: I tried to make it hyper link, but it isn't cooperating. Please copy the whole link, I can earn more free prints. You can, too if you join and refer friends and they sign up and order. Pretty cool, huh?
I'll try to let you know when I find a great freebie!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Waiting To Exhale

Sometime in the '90's there was a movie called Waiting to Exhale. It wasn't a great movie, it was okay, but I understand that feeling of having your life in a perpetual state of waiting. I'm not great at waiting, just ask my mom. I was even born a week early (she'll tell you it was because they induced labor, but I'm pretty sure it's because I didn't want to wait).
Even though I don't like to wait, I know it's something that pleases God. Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I looked it up and there are lots of verses about waiting on the Lord.
Which is where our family is right now. Collectively, we are holding our breath, waiting for something to happen that is inevitable, but not particularly welcome in our lives. We are waiting for that phone call, the one that announces what you dread to hear.
Colin's grandpa who is 92 is not doing well. He was sick a week or two ago and since then he hasn't eaten much and he's gotten weaker. Yesterday we found out that a decision had been made that he would no longer be getting out of bed.
I have tried to prepare Ian. I told him that no one knows when they will die, only God knows that, but that Grandpa George isn't doing well and he may not have long to live. Ian is very accepting of this information. In fact, when I talked to him about it today (because of the new development) he told me 'I know, mom. We talked about this already.'
So we wait and hope and pray. Just waiting to exhale.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Top Dog

Life in our home has gotten a little more interesting this weekend. We are pet sitting a miniature schnauzer named Pepper. She's probably 5-8 yrs. old and fairly small. Pretty much the opposite of Dilly who is young and big.
We weren't sure what Dilly would think about this other dog being in our house and getting some of our attention. So far we've had some good entertainment out of it.
We brought Pepper home Friday night and I think both dogs were a little stressed out. The last time Pepper was at our house we didn't have a dog. There was a lot of sniffing going on Friday night and Dilly did some funky dance moves all around Pepper. I mean, honestly, sometimes she would leap up in the air and kind of spin and come back down right next to Pepper.
I wish you could see them. They are too funny. Pepper is VERY food motivated, in fact you have to watch her like a hawk around food, because she'll eat it super fast (people food) and she isn't supposed to because she gets kidney stones. Of course, the first thing she did when she got in our van Friday night was eat a fourth of a Churro that Colin had put on the floor in between the front seats!
We have to feed the dogs at separate times(or in separate locations) to keep Pepper from eating Dilly's dog food. The first time we tried to feed Dilly while Pepper was in her crate a few feet away, Pepper kept growling and barking at Dilly. Dilly just looked at me like 'I don't think I'm supposed to eat this food'. Pepper had to be put in another room out of sight and then Dilly was fine.
Colin tried to walk the two of them together and almost got dragged to the ends of the earth! They both were pulling. I know Pepper pulls, but usually I can get Dilly to stop pulling. I just had to share my secrets on how I get Dilly to stop pulling. Colin tried them and he said it worked, it took a few minutes, but she stopped pulling. Want to know my trick? I pretty much refuse to walk if she is pulling me. I will pull her back to me and stop walking. And I tell her no or no pulling. It seems to work. I think she doesn't like that we stop walking.
Anyway, back to the two dogs. It's been very interesting. Dilly, who is always a little bit timid and easily spooked is not letting Pepper boss her around. She's not mean to Pepper and in fact, I think she likes having Pepper around.
Pepper is staying until Wednesday. It will be interesting to see what Dilly does after Pepper goes home.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Better Day

Thursday was a much better day than Wednesday for me. The van seems to be okay and it was my once a month Bunco night. My friend Dottie finally got to go with me to Bunco. I've been trying to get her to come for months, but either it got canceled or she had plans. Finally, it all worked out and she got to play Bunco. Of course, she loved it. I knew she would. We had sort of a taco/nacho bar dinner (yummy). Then we played Bunco. Dottie won the hostess prize, which costs more than all the other gifts. I think she's going to join our group. Hooray!
Ian got to say the verses he was going to say at AWANA last night over the phone Thursday night instead. That is a huge praise! He has been working on these verses for at least 3 weeks and I don't think I could handle going over them for one more week so he wouldn't forget. I am very proud of him, though. It was a lot of verses to say all together. He had eight verses to say without stopping. Here's what he said:
John 10:10-18
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.
The hired hand is not the shepherd that owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
I am the Good Shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know me.
Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay my life down for the sheep. I have other sheep who are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
The reason my Father loves me is I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.

And yes, I have it memorized, too. I memorized it before Ian because I had to keep practicing with him so much. Pretty big chunk to memorize, huh? Way to go Ian!
In case you're wondering why this post says it was written at sometime after 4 am...I had caffeine at Bunco and I haven't had caffeine for several weeks!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

An Alexander Day

I am not having a great day. I've had worse days, but this one isn't fun. I feel like Alexander from the children's book Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Have you read that book? It's such a great way to explain a bad day, which is what I was talking about.
It started out ok. I got up at a decent time, not too early, not too late. Ian and Dilly were both in pretty good moods.
Then I got the mail. It was full of bills instead of fun free samples or cool coupons. Not fun.
Then I got a phone call from a bill collector (I think) for the guy who used to own our phone number. He hasn't had this number for a year and a half. So I had to call them back and straighten that out. They assured me they would take the number off their call list. I hope they do.
Then Dilly decided she should chew on Ian's cleats and she made a hole in one of them. Which ruined them. I told Colin and he said we could use duct tape on them. Would you want to be the kid who had to wear duct tape on your shoes? I told Ian to throw them out.
Then it was time to drive to town to go to AWANA. So we got everything together and headed out. We had gone less than 10 miles when the engine decided to get hot and trip the alarm for that. So I had to pull over at a gas station and let the van cool down so I could check the fluids. Guess what? The radiator and the overflow were completely out of fluid. I added some water and drove back home just to be safe. Colin said it only been a couple of weeks since he checked the fluid. I told him I'm making him a chore chart so he can keep track of when he actually did check the fluid. He laughed. I guess he thought I was joking. I wasn't.
So now I am back home feeling a little bit like Alexander, not having a great day. A still, small voice whispers it could have been much worse. I know it's true. I also know that days like this come every so often, but they don't stay forever. Like Alexander, I'm tempted to think that if I go somewhere else things might be different. As Alexander put it: maybe I'll move to Australia. But deep down I know Alexander's mom got it right when she said 'some days are like that, even in Australia'.
So here's hoping that the problem with the van was a husband error and not a mechanical error. I'll just have to trust God that better days are coming.
I was using Colin's computer this evening and his keyboard sliding tray for his desk came loose and fell on my feet. I told you-I'm not having a good day! Colin told me not to touch anything else, just to be safe!

Monday, April 21, 2008

For My Friends Who Don't Know How to Leave a comment

Some of the people who read my blog do not know how to leave a comment. So I thought I would explain. This is for them, not my friends who already know how and do leave comments for me. Obviously, I like getting comments. So Ingrid, this is for you. Ha! You didn't know you were going to get mentioned in my blog, did you?
Anyway. To leave a comment, if you read to the end of a post, underneath it lists how many comments have been left. Typically on my blog, it's zero. Anyway, if you click on that it will take into a new window/link where you can leave your comment.
I hope that explains it well enough. I'll be looking for comments (this is also for my mother-in-law. Colin fixed whatever problem I had earlier and anyone can comment now, it just waits for me to approve it). Hope to hear from you soon!

Sleepless Nights

We must be starting one of "those" weeks. Last night all three of us had a hard time sleeping. Well, I might have been able to sleep if Colin could have slept well (I think he woke me up). I suppose it doesn't help that I haven't been using my sleep machine due to congestion, especially at night. I'm not sure why Ian isn't sleeping well. I suppose baseball practice for an hour and a half tomorrow night should help.
He just got up a few minutes ago to tell me that he's been trying, but he just couldn't sleep. I was in the middle of something on the computer and couldn't help him right away. I told him to go to bed, but of course he insisted that he couldn't. So when I did get up to help him he started running to his bedroom. I guess he assumed he was going to get a consequence. Instead, he got warm milk with cinnamon, honey and vanilla. He thought it was pretty tasty and assured me that it would help him go right to sleep. I'm sure he'll decide that he really needs it again tomorrow night. He's like that, if he gets something once, he's ready to keep doing it again and again. Especially if it's some tasty warm milk when he's supposed to be sleeping!

What's in a name?

So I found this site that tells you "the hidden" meaning of your name. I plugged in my name and I think the results were so so. It told me that I was organized, which I'm not although I can be if I find it necessary. I'm going to try to post it and you can see for yourself.

What DeAnn Means

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A New Excuse For Not Going to Sleep

Well, I've been sitting in our freshly cleaned, rearranged homeschool room. I've been enjoying my new free desk with some storage cubbies. It's pushed up against the wall that is next to Ian's room. So as I sat here playing on my computer I could hear him in his bed singing (in doot do's) part of Harry Chapin's Cats in the cradle. While I am pleased that my son can accurately recreate a tune he's heard, I'm not pleased that he's doing it while he is supposed to be sleeping. So I told him to quiet down and go to sleep.
This, of course, made him think that he should pop up out of bed and ask me why I told him to be quiet. I told him it was time to sleep, to which he replied "I can't sleep. I have too many downloads!" He then explained to me that he just had too many downloads in his head and it made it hard to sleep. While I sympathize with this problem of too many thoughts at bedtime (I have the same problem) and I like the creative way he explained it, he still had to go to bed! Sweet dreams Ian.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Well we had snow today. Do you realize it is more than half way to May? And we had snow. Colin was the first to discover it this morning. He got up early as usual and I guess he took the dog out. Anyway he noticed snow on our van and got out the camera to take some pictures and while he was snapping some photos he noticed it had started snowing again. It snowed for over an hour. Colin had pulled up the blinds in our room so I watched the snow fall as I lay in bed all snuggly warm. I knew it wouldn't last long, so it wasn't nearly as depressing as the snow in late February!
Ian was supposed to have baseball practice at 9:30 this morning but they canceled due to the snow. Good thing, it was too cold for little boys to practice baseball for an hour and a half!
We had signed up to take some Spanish rice down to our church work site. Our Sunday School class was preparing lunch for the workers. We had to have it there by 11:30. We left at 11 and all the snow on the ground was melted by then. We just had a little snow left on the van windshield.
The Spanish rice turned out pretty good. I tried a new recipe that I found at
Even though it was a new recipe, I completely changed it to suit what I wanted. It called for stewed tomatoes, but I wanted to use Rotel, so I did. It didn't have any onion, but I wanted onion so I added that. I also added some white pepper, but maybe I should have held back on that, the rice was great but super spicy! I made a quadruple batch so even after the guys ate and I left a bunch for them to have at dinner time, I still had a bunch to bring home. We're going to have bean, rice and cheese burritos tomorrow for lunch after church. It should be quick, yummy and meets my new goal of not wasting any leftovers. Hopefully, I won't wake up to snow tomorrow!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My New Hobby

Okay, I admit it, I haven't blogged much lately. I've been too busy with my new hobby. I have been looking for good deals online. I've been looking for freebies and good coupons and guess what?? There are a lot of them out there. Guess what else? It's really fun looking for ways to save money.
So far I've gotten a free $11 item at Bath and Body Works with any purchase(I spent $3), a free 2 G memory card for my camera (well it's on it's way), lots of free samples, coupons for free milk, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream and bread. I should also be getting a coupon for a free pack of Kraft Singles.
I have been bitten by the coupon bug and I am having fun! I even found a coupon for my mom to save $5 on the dog food she buys for her dog Scooter.
It all started when I joined the Homeschool Lounge. There is a group on there called coupon junkies. I joined it thinking maybe I could get a few tips on saving a little on my grocery budget. I didn't know that I would get hooked on looking for great deals! Colin loves my new hobby because it doesn't cost him anything, in fact it saves money. I think he might get hooked on this too!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Runaway

Last night Colin took Dilly out to do her thing before bedtime. He had her on the extendable leash so she could move around in the yard. Something spooked Dilly and she ran, pulling the leash out of Colin's hand. Then the sound of the leash on the pavement spooked her even more and she took off running. It was so dark Colin couldn't even see what direction she ran.
Colin called for her and I came out to help, but we couldn't see her or anything. We walked up and down the block and around the curve in the road thinking she might be at our neighbor's house, but still we couldn't find her. Colin even drove around looking, but no results. He looked off and on until almost 2 am and finally decided to try again in the morning.
We both had a hard time sleeping. I was up most of the night. Around 3, it started raining and I wondered where Dilly was out there. Colin got up at 4 as I was heading back to bed. He kept looking off and on all morning, while I stayed home with Ian.
Finally, around 11 he pulled up to our driveway and honked his horn. He had found Dilly.
She was about a mile or so from our house in a field. Colin saw her as he was driving around in the van looking for her. She was happy in her newfound freedom and very unrepentant, instead of coming to Colin when he called her she ran into the field next to her. Colin had to chase her in the fields and finally cornered her. She was wet and muddy and went straight into the bath as soon as she got home. After her bath she slept for several hours, happy to be back on her doggy bed. I told Colin she was probably chasing birds in that field this morning. She's been very affectionate today and this evening while Colin was tucking Ian into bed she looked out the front door and saw some people walking she actually barked at them. She rarely barks so I looked at her and asked 'who taught you how to bark?' I wonder what our runaway did all night and all morning. Judging by how muddy and wet she was, she had a good time!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

We have been fighting bugs at our house this week. Colin and I had a tummy bug over the weekend and mine lasted until today. Ian has had a flu bug, running a fever and complaining of an earache. He slept for 2 hours this afternoon, which is pretty much unheard of for Ian.
Yesterday I really wanted my mom's homemade chicken noodle soup. I sent Colin to the store for some supplies and suggested he bring home mom's chicken noodle. He just chuckled.
Today I finally felt good enough to make the soup, so I did. I even made mashed potatoes to go with it. Colin wasn't too keen on the idea, he was set on having pbj sandwiches, but I persuaded him. I told him he liked it. He has a very poor long term memory regarding whether he likes something I make or not. Although, I must admit, I don't make chicken noodle all the time. So he ate the chicken noodle and I guess he liked it because he asked me to pack some of it for his lunch tomorrow. That's just like him, he protests something and then he finally remembers he likes it. Silly!

Friday, April 4, 2008


I got up this morning and had to take the dog out immediately (as usual). When we stepped outside I realized it was raining. I'll let you in on a little secret, I like the rain.
Now before you get too excited over the idea that someone likes the rain, let me specify. I like gentle spring rain. I like the way the earth smells while the gentle rain falls. I like the sounds associated with it. Tires swishing on wet pavement, the gentle pitter patter as it falls, the sound of it falling on the neighbor's English Ivy. Did you realize that rain falling on Ivy sounds nothing like rain falling on grass? It sounds more like the rain falling on all the deciduous trees back home.
That's something else I like. The sight of deciduous trees turning their leaves upward to receive the rain. It's like they're raising their hands open to God to receive a blessing. I don't see that as often out here in the land of the evergreens.
I like spring rain. I think it brings a sense of cleansing. All the dust and dirt and pollen gets washed away for a while and life is renewed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is Ian's birthday. I can't believe he's 7 already. Time sure does fly. We're having a party for him at his Grandma and Grandpa O's house. We're having pizza and salad and shrimp cocktail (Ian wanted shrimp on his birthday). Ian picked out a Nascar cake, not because he loves the cake but because he loves the car on the cake and to quote him "I don't have that car". So yes, we bought a birthday cake based on a toy car that Ian wants. You only turn 7 once.
Ian had a special breakfast this morning of French toast casserole and sausage. Ian loves sausage.
After breakfast we are off to get a haircut for Ian and then back home to wash up from the itchy haircut.
We should have a fairly busy birthday. Right now Ian is playing with a little Lego police set that I gave him at breakfast.
Happy Birthday Ian!