Tuesday, May 15, 2007

To Plug or not to plug, it's really not an option

My mother's day was a bit eventful. Here's a picture to give you a hint.

It started out with breakfast in bed fixed by my oh so adorable children. Pancakes with just a bit of egg shell, sticky cup and gooey cookies. Yum! All was going great, when we got THE CALL...

Our soon to be boat was ready for us to test drive. We hurriedly packed all of our children and headed down to Table Rock Lake in Branson. We met the current boat owners and saw the boat.

We had decided to get a used boat, because we both were NEW boat owners and owning a boat has responsibiities, that we would later learn.. The deal was made. They let us take the boat home, so we loaded it out of the water, hooked it up to the trailer and we were on our way home.

and then the question...

"Dad", asked on of the sweet innocent children. "When can we take the boat out?" This was followed by the other innocent children getting excited and wanting to know too. so, the question we would learn to regret, ponder, question and later laugh about. I looked at "the man"- love of my life and said, sure let's go find a spot and we'll go on our first boat ride..."

What was I thinking? I was nervous, but our kids can swim. We had life jackets. What could possibly go wrong?..

We find a spot, pay $5 for the priviledge and go to the "staging area". (Note: staging area is where you prepare the boat for the water, taking off harnesses etc.)

We take off the hooks, wraps, etc and then Dh asks me if I'm going to drive the boat or the truck? Hmm. 4 wheel drive truck that I've NEVER driven or a boat that I've never sat in or driven. Choices...

I chose choice number 1.. Me in the boat..

So I climb up into the boat, get positioned and tell Dh I don't know how to drive a boat..

He says it will be fine, "just turn the key." Um, Okay... (said sarcastically)

So we're backing up downhill straight into the water. We make it.. So far so good.

Kids are excited. Dh unlatched boat from trailer. Ugh oh.. I still don't know how to drive a boat.. I tell Dh I don't know how. His response "just turn the key". I turn the key, it won't start... I try for 5 minutes, slowly drifting farther out.
He has to move the truck with the kids, out of loading area, so I'm stuck out on the lake, in a boat that won't go. It's okay.. I'll be fine..
His parting words to me are "go over there to the docks, reach and grab"..
Okay.. the dock is at least 20 feet away. Not exactly an arm's reach. So I'm sitting out in our new boat that won't start wondering how I'm going to get "over there' to the dock..Rest assured, Dh takes care of us, so of course he jumps in the lake, wading out to the boat to push me "over there". I'm laughing saying I hope you get wet. I can't believe you put me out here. I don't know how to drive a boat!
Meanwhile he's up to his head in his non lake clothing attire ;o) He pushes me and the boat "over there" to the dock. I turn the key, turn the key, turn the key. Nothing.
He gets in the boat probably thinking he can turn the key better than me ...it wont' do anything..
About this time, he notices water in the back of the boat. Hmmmm
He gets out of the boat and tries pushing me and the boat back to the unloading,, it won't go, becase I've tied us off."let go of the boat, I've got to go get the plug"...Okay, so he pushes over there. By this time my oldest daughter leaped into the boat with daddy long legs and says dad, there's water in the storage compartment... Dad comes back with "the plug". It turns out that the plug is what you use to drain the water when getting the boat out of the water, so if you don't put the plug in.. Um. your boat takes on a lot of water and you could sink.....Well we put the boat in without a Plug! A definite new boat owner mistake. We almost sunk our boat that we had bought an hour before... DH gets the plug put in and then it's time to load up the boat. Ever tried loading up a boat onto a trailer that won't start with two people and one not knowing what to do? This must be when it becomes a "1 Man Show".I try to help but he won't tell me what to do, just does it. By this time, he's frustrated, a little tired from him improptu swim and has to break the news to me what really happened and why the silly boat wouldn't start...We load up, go back to the staging area, and he releases the plug and water flows and flows and flows.We've been boating with friends and normally it takes a minute, maybe 2. It ran for 20 minutes and it wasn't done.We're laughing now and he's telling everyone about his boat experience with a smile. We weren't smiling on Sunday.
The kids will remember this Mother's Day for awhile. LOL So my tip for the day is "Don't forget the plug!"By the way, "just turning the key" will not drive a boat. You have to turn the key to start the engine and push the throttle- and there are no brakes!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Child Safe Kids Browser

I used to cringe when my kids would ask to the
use the computer to do research or play a game. It usually meant I would either have
to stand over their shoulder making sure they didn't type anything into the search engines Or I would end up with spyware on my computer from the "harmless, free kids games". Now I don't have to worry about it.

We also tried password protecting the computer so they could only go to approved
sites. This didn't work out so well because the older kids wanted to go to different sites and every 5 minutes they were asking me to type in the password and approve each page.

After much searching, we heard about
who offers a free kids safe web browser, My kids love Tuki. It has age appropriate content
and is a browser that I feel safe letting my children use. Each child has their own log in, so they're preferences are saved. The developer and owner believes in keeping kids safe while allowing them the opportunity to learn.
He has launched a campaign to give away his free kid safe browser, no strings attached. Our family loves it. Best of all there are different levels you can choose, from the free version to the Premium paid version.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Busy Mom's Chicken Cacciatore

I believe in quick cooking any chance I get.
Here's a recipe that involves the crock pot, chicken, and spaghetti sauce.

3 frozen chicken breasts- could use other chicken
1 can of spaghetti sauce- I doctor mine up with garlic and a bit of brown sugar
1 can of tomato sauce
Put all 3 in crock pot and cook for 4 hours. Stir and break up chicken into bite size chunks.
Boil noodles/spaghetti and add cooked noodles to crock pot. (I’ve done it in the CP but lately haven’t had luck with noodles in CP, so I precooked them.
Add noodles to Crock Pot, stir all together and sprinkle cheese over the top. Turn Crock Pot to low and let melt for 10-15 minutes.
My family loved this.

National Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Don't forget that Saturday, May 12th is National Stamp out Food Hunger day.
Leave your non-perishable food items like canned meats, soups, cereal, rice, pasta, and vegetables by your mailbox in an easy to carry sack.

Your donation will be taken to your local food pantry.
Let's all join together and make a difference.

Visit http://www.HelpStampOutHunger.com for more information on what you can do.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Feed The Hungry

Click and tell them a story. They will donate one meal to a needy family.
A great way to feed the hungry.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Mother's Day Contest-Enter to win!

http://www.TwomomsInABlog.com is hosting a Mother's Day Contest and all you have to do is write a tribute to your mom.
Enter now at http://www.twomomsinablog.com/?p=1224

Free Online Virtual Classes

If you are a resident of Missouri, you can sign up for free online virtual classes at
http://www.dese.mo.gov. Sign up is limited to the first 2500 that sign up. Registration starts today.
Elementry curriculum and high school curriculum, including Latin and Trigonomety courses are available.

Working From Home Can be Rewarding and Exhausting

Working from home can be very rewarding, however it can be exhausting too. I've found that incorporating daily exercise into my routine helps motivate and give me energy. http://www.sparkpeople.com sends out a daily newsletter with great information including exercises you can do from home. They even include a small video of how to do the exercise of the day. Best of all, becoming a member is free!

Being a work at home professional, I spend "quite a few hours" working from home running my scratch-off business. I've realized I need to move more and take breaks through out the day. Rebounding has become my exercise of choice. It's great for my ankles, burns calories, moves my system and motivates me to move more. Rebounding has helped me get rid of the lethargy that would hit me around 2 in the afternoon after working all day on the computer. I highly recommend this exercise for others that work at home.