Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How Racism Works

A friend of mine posted this on her blog today. Regardless of who you are planning to vote for, I find it thought provoking.


What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review? What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class? What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said “I do” to? What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization? What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard? What if Obama were a member of the “Keating 5”? What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

— Kelvin LaFond, Fort Worth

Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

And wow, I'm up way too early! I guess this is what I get for taking a nap yesterday afternoon and then going to bed before 11! :)

Getting back into the swing of things on Menu Plan Monday. :) This week's menus are pretty simple, I'm not trying too many new things.

Monday: fajita quesadillas (a perennial favorite around here)
Tuesday: chicken cutlets with french fries/mashed potatoes (we have enough leftover mashed potatoes for one person so Steve will probably eat those)
Wednesday: meatloaf (not sure what side dish yet, we have a bunch of frozen veggies in the freezer)
Thursday: Pioneer Woman's lasagna (new dish for us) with garlic bread/salad
Friday: baked mac and cheese (Alton Brown's recipe); meatloaf leftovers for Steve because he doesn't like mac and cheese)
Saturday: hamburgers/french fries (Steve is cooking yay!)
Sunday: CORN/DIY night

So what are you having to eat this week? I'm also currently hard boiling eggs for lunch for myself and Jamie. His pottery class is from 11-12:30 and we're headed to the store immediately afterward so I'm making us bentos to take. There's a park right next to where his class is so hopefully it will be a nice day to sit outside and eat. I am thinking the bentos will have a hard boiled egg each, some mac and cheese from last night, ham and cheese skewers (I'd do sandwiches but we are out of bread!) and some apple slices. Lots of good protein to keep us going through the afternoon. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bullet point updates!

I know it's been a while and I have a lot to update about so bear with me. :) Gonna try to do it in a coherent form.

Health: Had an ultrasound on Monday of last week. The tech was awesome and she pretty much said that everything looked normal with the exception of a couple of small areas on my right ovary which could be either very small cysts (the largest was 1.7 cm and she said they don't even count as a cyst until they are 2.5 cm) or "follicular changes" which could indicate ovulation (which would obviously be positive!). I have a gyn appt for my annual exam on Wednesday and they are probably going to just wait and talk to me about the u/s results at the appointment. I also had blood drawn on Tuesday--6 vials between what the gyn wanted and what my regular doctor wanted!

Crafty stuff: I have been doing a lot of crocheting lately. I made two granny square pillows (one of which I have pics of to put up on Flickr at some point) for my mom and Jamie, and I'm currently in the midst of making squares for a blanket. I'm doing cream, pink, and lavender squares, each in a different design but all the same size, and I think I'll be making around 24 squares total. It's been fun and relaxing--and a good thing to do while I'm waiting around for Jamie's various activities. ;)

Homeschool stuff: Jamie starts his pottery class this week and he's looking forward to it. I'll update you guys on how it goes. :) We've started Sonlight Core 1 and aside from one book we're really enjoying it so far. I was trying to make this one book work with my philosophy and I just can't so we're dropping it and reading something else instead. :)

Other Jamie data: He lost tooth number 5 last week (there are pictures on Flickr of that!) and has been enjoying playing Zoo Tycoon lately. We took a field trip to Baltimore yesterday and visited the Science Center and the Aquarium. We really had a blast doing that except we ended up doing a lot more walking than we had intended because they were having dragonboat races in the harbor so the water taxi wasn't running over to the Science Center. So needless to say we were quite tired by the end of the day. It was a lot of fun though. :)

Oh also about Jamie (and also me): he had his church choir performance on the 31st of August and that went wonderfully. I'm now singing in the adult choir and really enjoying it. We rehearse in the morning before church (from 8:30-9:30) and then on Sunday evening for an hour from 5-6. So it's not really time-intensive but the choir sounds good and the people are so nice. The church is having the "Explorers Class" for people who want to join the next 2 Sundays and I'm excited about that--it looks like I'll be joining soon.

Other than that--I'm going to try to get back into Menu Plan Mondays! I actually sat down and wrote out my whole meal plan for this week. Last week we were bad and did a good amount of eating out so with that and the amount of money we spent in Baltimore yesterday this is going to be a week of all cooking, and the majority of our meals are coming from stuff we already have in the house or freezer. For our whole week's meals I only have to buy meat for two nights and it's ground beef both times so not even expensive. :)

That's what has been going on here--I'm going to try and get some pictures up in a post sometime soon for you guys!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Long time no see!

Has it really been almost a month since I posted? I've had a lot of stuff going on.

In mid-July I had to undergo an overnight hospital stay. I was having an irregular heartbeat, very fast, that wouldn't go away. We went to the emergency room. I'll cut and paste what I wrote on July 20th in my other blog.

On Friday night, we went out to dinner because the air conditioner is broken in our apartment, and although we have a window unit it doesn't cool particularly well and I felt that heating up the house with the stove was a bad idea. ;) When we got back, I started experiencing some irregular heartbeat type stuff. Those of you who've known me a while know that I have this every now and then, but it usually goes away in a minute or two.

It didn't. In addition, I started feeling a tightening in my upper chest/throat, was having shortness of breath, and was sweating (although some of that may have been from the no a/c to speak of). I looked on the WebMD symptom checker and like three things were saying "go to the hospital now!" So after waiting a few more minutes to see if the symptoms would go away on their own, we went.

Apparently at the ER if you say you're having chest pains you get right in. Who knew? They got me back and hooked up to the monitors, and started messing with my notoriously bad veins to try and get a blood draw and an iv site in. 6 sticks and 3 nurses and a doctor later, my blood was drawn and my IV was in......and I was mysteriously back in normal sinus rhythm, down from 130-160 bpm. The doctor speculated that it could be because of holding my breath and bearing down when they were sticking me (because it hurt so damn much)--she said sometimes that can fix an irregular rhythm.

So about an hour after I got to the hospital the thing I went in for was gone and you'd think maybe they'd let me out, but of course not so easy. The labs showed I have low hemoglobin, which I already knew, plus they wanted to do a few more EKGs and tests on me. They ended up admitting me at about 5:45 am on Saturday so that they could do an echocardiogram on me. So I spent all day yesterday as a guest of the hospital, with them running various tests on me. My hemoglobin had actually gone *down* at my 6:30 blood draw (it was 7.1) so they ended up giving me 2 units of blood in the late afternoon. The cardiologist signed off on me (with the stipulation that I'd see his colleague in the next couple of weeks) around 7, but I had to wait until 9 to have another blood draw and have it read to see if my hemoglobin was up, and fortunately it was 9.2 so they finally let me go home.

Synopsis: they think it's possible the low hemoglobin was causing the atrial fibrillation, and they're not entirely sure what is causing the low hemoglobin. I'm to start iron pills and follow up with my PCP, a cardiologist, and a GYN. Fun stuff. I feel fine now, btw.


So that was some excitement I definitely did not need! Since then I've been trying to take it easy. We've done some swimming and such, and my best friend Kris came to visit last weekend. We're getting ready to get back into the swing of things with schoolwork. I'm hoping to get back to doing Menu Plan Mondays and posting here more regularly by next week. :) I had a re-check with the cardiologist today and my EKG looked good, and I have an appt. with the gyn on the 21st.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Best Laid Plans

So my menu plan has fallen by the wayside this week I think, at least partially. I've been having some stomach problems--well, I have had them off and on for a while, but lately they've been almost continuous and so finally yesterday I caved in and went to the doctor. She decided to do some testing for (among other things) H. Pylori to see if that's what is causing my problem, and in the meantime, she wants me to treat it more or less like reflux--so I have to follow the reflux diet which means no spicy food, no tomatoes, no caffeine, and the worst for me, no citrus fruit! I love orange juice so I don't know what I'll do. :(

Unfortunately a lot of my meals for this week include, what else, TOMATOES! So we are having a bit of a change of plans. Ugh. Hopefully once my test results are back everything can get back to normal.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

It's that time again! :) The Rachael Ray chicken is making another appearance on the list and I am going to actually try to COOK it this week. We had to reschedule our beach trip and we are hoping to go down on Saturday so I have no meal scheduled for Saturday night. :)

Monday: fajita quesadillas
Tuesday: Rachael Ray Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Wednesday: Bobby's Goulash with garlic bread and salad. Thinking about halving the recipe because I'm not sure the boys will like it and if they don't I don't want a lot of leftovers.
Thursday: baked pork chops with Fresh Corn Casserole
Friday: C.O.R.N. (if we don't decide to go down to the beach early)
Saturday: at the beach hopefully!
Sunday: chicken fingers and fries

Mostly making pretty simple stuff this week, I'm trying not to overwhelm myself with making too many new recipes. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Story

Once upon a time in 2000, these two people got married.

Time went on and in July of 2001, July 5th to be precise, this happened:

He got cuter. :)

His birth was somewhat sudden for us. Having had no complications throughout my pregnancy, I was astonished to be diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at my 36 week appointment and sent to the hospital right away. Two days later Jamie was coming into the world via an emergency C-section.

He was teeny, teeny tiny at first. Weighing only 4 lbs. 9 oz. when born, he was down to 4 lbs. 4 oz. when we left the hospital. He swam in his preemie clothes, hastily purchased when we realized he was going to be a whole month early. Over time, he grew. By December of 2001, he was still tiny by growth chart standards, but I thought he was getting pretty big by Jamie standards. :) He took his first trip to Grandmommy's house, had his first solid food, and celebrated his first Christmas.

We celebrated his first birthday with cake, of course. Jamie had 2 cakes; one at each grandmother's house. Here's a picture of his second one.

Over the years since, he has grown and grown. I put together a photo collage last year that illustrates this so perfectly I felt justified in reproducing it here.

Jamie at age 6 (shown here with cousin Maddie) was a sweet child who constantly delighted us all with his intelligence and curiosity.

In this last year, Jamie has lost 4 teeth, made new neighborhood friends, done excellently with his 1st grade schoolwork, and continued to be the bright, loving, and curious little person he has always been. His interests this year have been dinosaurs (a long continuing interest), space (ditto), geography, and of course his Playmobil worlds. He's enjoyed playing games on our Wii and spending time with his cousins both in Delaware and Tennessee whenever he can. He's becoming more and more involved with the other children at church, including singing in the children's choir this summer. As we move on to 2nd grade work, he will be starting the new adventure of joining a homeschool co-op where he'll be learning with other children one day a week.

Every year with Jamie has been such a blessing and an adventure for me that I can't wait to see what this year holds for us. Happy birthday, dearest boy. I love you so much.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Solar System by Jamie

Solar System by Jamie
Originally uploaded by bafleyanne
Jamie really, really amazes me sometimes. He's so interested in space. I went into the bedroom to fold clothes a few minutes ago and found this (amazingly detailed) drawing on the floor. Notice how Uranus' rings are even going the correct way! He's a pretty awesome kid. :)

In case you're not sure, the labels are Sun (with solar flares!), M(ercury), V(enus), E(arth), M(ars), A(steroid Belt), J(upiter), S(aturn), U(ranus), N(eptune), P(luto), K(uiper Belt).

Chicken Karaage

Well the Chicken Karaage turned out really nicely last night. Even Jamie ate it with no complaints! I thought it was really good. Next time we have it, I'm going to try adding some garlic to the marinade...I think that will be even better! Just....remind me next time to NOT make something that is involved and has a pan full of oil in the recipe when my garbage disposal is broken. Ugh, cleaning that up was NOT fun.

Tonight's Shepherd's Pie is cooking up as we speak, and there's not much better as far as I'm concerned than the smell of onions and celery sauteeing in butter. Mmm mmm good!

Tomorrow we are heading to a friend's house and hopefully the beach on Friday....thunderstorms are forecast though! Cross your fingers, we'll be really disappointed if we don't get to go. :(

Monday, June 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

It's Menu Plan Monday, so time for me to share what we're cooking up around here this week! Last week's menus were a success overall except we had some issues in the middle of the week and didn't end up making Wednesday or Thursday's meal. Wednesday we got a craving for pizza from our local pizza place so we had that, and on Thursday Jamie and I were out all day so we ended up just stopping for Wendy's on the way home.

This week is somewhat of an abbreviated plan because we have a number of special things going on.

Monday: spaghetti with garlic bread/salad
Tuesday: Chicken Karaage with rice (and french fries for Jamie)
Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie. Jamie probably won't eat this, but we have plenty of leftover Chicken Cacciatore he can have.
Thursday: DIY/C.O.R.N. night (we will be out all day again)
Friday: no menu plan, we'll be at the beach!
Saturday: going out for Jamie's birthday! Not sure where yet.
Sunday: Rachael Ray's Parmesan Crusted Chicken.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chicken Cacciatore

Well, I made Giada's Chicken Cacciatore tonight and I think the verdict was a thumbs up from everyone. I was expecting Jamie not to eat it at all but he came into the kitchen while I was cooking it and really surprised me by agreeing to try the chicken without the veggies. So I served him chicken with plain pasta with butter and cheese. I was happy because I didn't have to cook anything extra. ;)

Anyway, I made just one change to the recipe--well actually two. I left out the capers because no one here likes them and I substituted yellow bell pepper for the red bell pepper. I thought that came out really well. :)

I'm excited about the recipes I've chosen for this week. Since we're taking the week off school I will hopefully be a little less stressed and have plenty of time to cook. :) I'm really starting to get into the swing of the menu planning thing and it does make things much less stressful to know exactly what we're going to have on each night. :)

Tomorrow I think that we are going to Target in the morning, and then maybe the pool in the afternoon. We need to get a few beach/sand toys for our trip to the beach on Friday. :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Homeschool wrapup, 6/23-6/27

Reading: James Herriot's Treasury for Children. We've really enjoyed the stories in this book this week, even though some of them are a little sad.

Language Arts: Finished up Little Bear.

History: Hero Tales. Neither Jamie nor I like the book at all, so we're not reading it anymore when it is scheduled. This week was David Livingstone and Harriet Tubman, both of whom he found interesting, but the ones scheduled in two weeks are John Wesley and someone else and I just....don't think so. I don't think that will hold his attention at all.

Math: Continuing in Horizons 1. Subtraction maybe getting a little easier this week. Next week while we're off school, we are going to work on subtraction flash cards and workbooks, hopefully that will help.

Science: This week we learned how telephones and televisions work, as well as something else I'm completely forgetting.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Ok Angela, I'll bite. :)

What was I doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago in 1998, I was living in Winston-Salem, NC having just finished my first year of graduate school. My dad had died in March followed by my (maternal) grandmother in May, so yes, kind of a rough year. Little did I know that just one year later I would have completely uprooted my life and be living in Delaware. :)

Five snacks I enjoy:

1. Strawberry ice cream
2. Guacamole and chips
3. Popcorn
4. Peanut butter M&Ms
5. Cheese and crackers (to be more specific, Colby-Jack cheese and Toasteds wheat crackers!)

Five Things on My To-Do list today:

Cheating a little on this one, going with tomorrow's to-do list. It's almost tomorrow!

1. Make grocery list/meal plan for next week
2. Go to library
3. Go to the grocery store
4. Pick up my prescription
5. Make Greek Pasta Salad with Feta and Chicken for the party I'm going to on Saturday.

Five Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Pay off all my debt.
2. Buy a house.
3. Buy S. a new car.
4. Adopt a child.
5. Put away lots of money for Jamie's college.

Five jobs I have had:

1. Cashier at KMart
2. Preschool teacher
3. McCallie bookstore worker
4. Working at a cross-stitch shop
5. Part-time proofreader

Five of my bad habits:

1. Procrastination
2. Starting things and not finishing them
3. Ordering takeout/doing drivethrough/eating out way too much
4. Texting while driving (me too Angela!)
5. Being lazy about cleaning because I hate to do it

Five places I have lived:

1. Hixson, TN
2. Spartanburg, SC
3. Winston-Salem, NC
4. Christiana, DE
5. New Castle, DE

And actually.....those are the ONLY five!

Five people I would like to get to know better (yes, this means you are tagged!):

Um...I'm going to tag Kristin, and I'm not sure who else is reading this at this point so if you are, and you haven't done it, consider yourself tagged!

Five Random Things:

1. It's really hot in here right now for some reason.
2. I just had a Frosty from Wendy's a bit ago (see bad habits, above)
3. I hope school goes well tomorrow.
4. I need to do laundry and I'm so not looking forward to it.
5. I think it's bedtime!

Taking a break

Jamie has been increasingly frustrated with school this week and in turn of course that has made me frustrated. So we've decided that we're going to take next week off from doing schoolwork. (Or rather I decided, I haven't told him yet.) I got to thinking about it and realized he hasn't had a break from school for quite a while. So next week is it, then I am going to try and condense the rest of our schoolwork that I want to do for this year into the remaining few weeks of July and take August completely off. Then we'll be ready to jump back into things come September.

In talking to my friend E. today (the one who is going to be doing Sonlight Core 1 with us in the fall) I came to realize that I've been pushing way too hard on the expectations of "getting everything done", which is possibly (probably) to Jamie's detriment. I really wanted to finish with the Horizons 1 math book before the end of the "school year" but I have come to realize that with nearly 40 lessons to go before we're done that is just not going to happen. So we're going to get as far as we get, and pick it back up when we start Core 1 in the fall, and not worry about it. As far as our Core work is concerned, I am definitely going to read House at Pooh Corner but we are just plain dropping Hero Tales after this week, Jamie hates it so we will do something else instead. We're going to do language arts until we're done with HaPC and then call it quits on that, it's not like it's crucial to do *every* LA lesson.

I think taking a month off is going to be pretty crucial to our well-being and approaching Core 1 with an open mind and heart for getting everything we can out of it. So I'm excited about getting finished up. We're going to finish memorizing "Trees" which we're about halfway through. I'm going to spend the month off finding some good poems for us to memorize for next year because I'm not crazy about doing Bible verses for his memory work just yet.

As for next week, we're planning to spend some time at the pool and seeing some friends, and then on the 4th we're going down to the beach and spend the day. I was thinking of getting a hotel room down there and spending the night but at this late date we probably can't. The 5th is Jamie's birthday, so we will probably do our celebration with S's family that night. We usually go out to eat some place that he picks. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday, Monday

Good morning!

A couple of things to note. First, I was really sad to hear that George Carlin had died. He was a brilliant comedian and he will definitely be missed. I feel like watching that very first episode of Saturday Night Live just because he hosted it. As awkward as that episode was overall, Carlin's standup made it shine.

Second: Ok so I don't normally do this sort of thing, but this is for a good cause because this little munchkin is my cousin. :) If you feel so inclined, can you please go to http://www.parents.com/app/sharemy/photoDetails.jsp?photoId=214701243 and rate the picture of the cute little baby there? That's my cousin John's son Mitchell, he'll be 2 in July. I happen to think he's pretty darn cute even without being biased. ;) They've entered him in the Parents Cover Model Search contest and the top 5 finishers get a free trip to NYC. No pressure but you know, if you feel like it, go check out his picture. :)

Third: It's Menu Plan Monday! :)

My menu plan for the weekend got a little altered because we decided to go out and get pizza on Saturday. So we have basically pushed everything back a day. Here's what this week looks like:

Monday: chicken tenders with sweet potato fries (and regular fries for the boys probably) and salad.
Tuesday: pork chops with broccoli and brown rice
Wednesday: Parmesan Crusted Chicken a la Rachael Ray with green beans and mac and cheese (at least for Jamie, the grownups may have some sort of potatoes)
Thursday: spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread and salad
Friday: burgers and fries (hoping to talk S into cooking because he does awesome burgers) with raw veggies
Saturday/Sunday: we're having Giada's Chicken Cacciatore at least one night. We'll either do a C.O.R.N. (Clean Out Refrigerator Night) or order in the other night.

Trying to be more organized and maybe succeeding! :) Anyway, it's school time, so I've got to run! Bye for now!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Messing Around

Ok, I think I'm finally done messing around with the website--at least for tonight! I have added a couple of things and I think I'm going to leave it alone for a while, because tweaking it is a lot of work. ;)

Tonight's dinner was Pioneer Woman's Linguine with Chicken Thighs. That link is going to break but she doesn't have it on her recipe index yet. I'll try to remember to fix it when she does. I am a total Pioneer Woman devotee and I can't say enough good things about her food. This recipe was great as always. And best of all we had some leftovers that we can use for lunches over the weekend probably. Tomorrow night is fajita quesadillas, and since I have already cut up the green pepper and onion (while I was cooking something a couple of days ago) and I'm using the frozen grilled chicken breast strips, they will be a snap to put together. Then Sunday night's dinner will be chicken tenders (homemade, I found some in the back of the freezer that we need to use up!) and fries. I'm making sweet potato fries, which I love, but I doubt Jamie will eat them so I'll be cooking up some regular fries as well, and making a salad. Check back on Monday for our menu plan for the rest of next week. :)

Jamie recycling

Jamie recycling
Originally uploaded by bafleyanne
This was part of our errands today; dropping off the recycling. Not quite as convenient as curbside, but still easy enough to do it. We also had to go to the library and the grocery store--getting our menu together for next week!

Homeschooling Wrap-up 6/16-6/20

Here's what we did for schoolwork this week.

Reading: finished up "Green Eggs and Ham", started "Little Bear" (grammar worksheets go with these) Yes, these are way below his reading level--the point is more the grammar really.

Read-Alouds: finished up "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (my favorite book this year!)

History/Geography: Wild Places: Deserts continues; this week we learned about nomadic people and how they live.

Science: Everyday Things, we learned how cameras work and how bread, milk, and cheese are made. Science experiment for this week is making play dough and bread dough, which we'll do tomorrow. After we make the play dough we might also make a volcano.

Math: Horizons 1; we continue to work on subtraction to 18, also 3 digit addition, adding 3 2 digit numbers, and time, money, measurement. Jamie struggles with subtraction. I don't know if he needs more drill or just doesn't like it. He does the problems without getting them wrong almost all the time if we can just get him to DO them, so I don't think comprehension is the problem really.

Next week we read some stories in James Herriot's Treasury for Children, and then the following week we start "The House at Pooh Corner". It's our last long book and I'm super excited to read it with him. :) Also next Friday is the day we'll get to order our schoolbooks for next year, yay! I'm going to be doing Core 1 along with a semi-local friend and our kids are going to be doing the activities together, so that should be all kinds of fun. :)

Hey guys :)

This is my official first post on this blog. You might know that I've been keeping a blog over on Livejournal for several years, but that one is more private and I decided it might be time to keep a more public blog. I'm hoping to share tidbits about my life as a homeschooling mom, my cooking, craft projects, and whatever else happens to come up.

A few things about me: I've been married to my husband S for about 8 years and we live in Delaware. We have 1 son, Jamie, who is almost 7 (his birthday is July 5th). I homeschool Jamie using Sonlight materials. We've been homeschooling for 2 years now, and we are loving it so far! I have recently gotten a lot more into cooking and doing other "domestic" type things--which is good, we need to be more frugal with our money!

Anyway, welcome to my new space! I'll probably be doing some remodeling over here in the next few days, but feel free to make yourself at home. :)