Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Dallas World Aquarium

You may remember that our family always subscribes to a membership at a local attraction so we will have something constructive to do at a moment's notice throughout the year. This year, we went with the Dallas World Aquarium, which we've subscribed to in the past and absolutely LOVE. Don't let the name fool you, this place is more like an indoor zoo than your typical aquarium. Yep, believe it or not, ALL these pictures with the exception of one (can you guess which?) were taken inside! I predict that with the summer coming up, we will spend quite a lot of time hanging out and listening to the waterfall.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


We don't watch too much television. I know you would never think that considering the SIZE of the thing, but we're not one of those families that keep it on all the time. Now don't get me wrong, we popped popcorn and had a Crocodile Hunter watching party this afternoon at lunch time. We're gamers, though and rather than watch prime-time (which for the most part is highly inappropriate for kids anyway), spend most evenings online with various friends playing WoW. Tonight, Tatiana came in to the family room (we don't have a separate office in our house, and I LIKE having our computers in the family room where we can all be together!) and said "I don't want to play anymore, Mommy. Can I just stay in here with you?" LOVE IT!!!!! After all day of being in the house with me, she still just wanted to be in the same room we were in! It didn't take five minutes for Celestia to follow her out with a book. Life is good!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Happy Earth Day!!!

In honour of Earth Day we have been doing a mini unit on conservation this week. Today, Earth Day 2009, we spent the day outside attempting to beautify our somewhat neglected front yard, and limiting our use of electricity. After breakfast, I turned off my computer and told the girls that we would be using the minimal amount of electricity possible until after dinner.
A couple of years ago, our front tree bit it. We had the tallest one on the block and one day it suddenly developed large brown patches in the leaves. Despite our efforts to save it, it was gone within the week. We've been meaning to put another one in since, but never quite got around to it, so Tuesday night I went in to Wal-Mart and bought a little live oak. The girls had NO idea I was planning this, so it was a fun surprise for them.
After we finished planting the tree, arranging bricks, and topping it all off with organic potting soil, we had our (mostly) electricity-free picnic lunch of cheese, baked potato chips, peanuts, juice and organic vanilla yogurt with fruit and organic granola. YUMMY!
We finalised our yard work by pulling (some of the) weeds, and mowing. Yes, that is me you see with an old-school push mower, and yes that is the mower we use all the time. We always try to make a conserted effort to be environmentally friendly, and that is one of the ways we do it. Not to mention that you can mow at ANY time of the day without disturbing your neighbours!
After all of our tiring yard work, we enjoyed a chapter out of Anne of Windy Poplars while lounging in the shade on the front porch, and then went in to do a bit of conservation-themed school work. Most days we don't turn on the lights at all beacuse we have so many windows, so we of course didn't this afternoon, either.
The (mostly) electricity-free festivities were wrapped up with veggie "turkey" and meunster cheese sandwiches for dinner!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Just a little late

So, I know I promised a post about my new business yesterday, but that obviously didn't happen. Between Jonathan JUST getting home late Friday night, and my friend, Lisa, who presented this opportunity to me having family in town, we were all busy on Saturday. Well, we got together on the phone this afternoon, and I am now officially a Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing representative. One of the great things about FHTM is that you don't have to purchase any product to sell!

A few years ago, I tried to sell Mary Kay, and it was NO good at it. I don't wear loads of make up, and what I do wear is all either natural or organic, and completely paraben free, so I just wasn't mad on the product. To make matters worse, every time I went to the meetings they spent a good 20 minutes talking up their wonderful make up brushes made of mink! Now, you may or may not know this, but I am something of a tree-hugger. I am also married to a vegetarian, so happen to be VERY conscious of animal products coming into my home. With few exceptions, we don't use leather, and I never cook any kind of meat when Jonathan is home. So, here I was, sitting in meetings listening to women wearing caked-on make up and talking about mink make up brushes, thinking "Small animals DIED for me to have super-soft brushes?!" Needless to say, I never made any money selling Mary Kay.

Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing is completely different! How it works is you buy things online from stores you ALREADY shop at through my website. Because these stores are partners with FHTM, they get a kickback, which is how I get paid. If you don't want to actually shop online and have things shipped to you, gift cards are also available. Lisa purchased one to CVS for $25.oo and when she went to use it, there was actually $50.00 on it. Now, I am still learning, so I can't promise that all your gift cards will have twice what you paid for on them, but that's FREE MONEY!

I've been looking for a home-based business opportunity that I could actually make money at for years, and was never truly comfortable with any of the research I did. The internet makes it SO easy to find out all you can about a company before you invest in it, so you'd better believe that I did my research! The only disgruntled people I found really sounded as though they had NO idea what marketing is all about. They wanted to pay their fees, and sit on their bo-hiney and make money. Nice try, but it's called a home-based business because there will be some kind of WORK involved! I have enabled comment moderation for this post only, and would LOVE to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to leave a phone number, or E-mail address and I will contact you to chat!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Best news ever!

I'm not going back to work. I'm. Not. Going. Back. To. Work. Oh man it feels good to say that! As a matter of fact, I'm shaking as I type it! You see, in the entire two months I've been home we've been fine. This is something we've been working towards for literally years, and it's FINALLY happening!
The other really great news is that I am starting a new home-based business. If you've been reading for a while, you'll know that I tried to start a dog walking service on my own. That went absolutely nowhere, so I've sort of given up on pushing it. There was just no interest, and I suppose in this economy, I'm not terribly surprised. That said, I WILL still walk doggies and house sit for fellow Anna-ites for the same awesome rates! ;) No, THIS business is one which is already established, where people purchase things they already buy through my website. I will explain more later today when I've actually set everything up, but I just HAD to share my excitement with you RIGHT NOW!!!! :)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Crazy stuff!

Tonight was mismatched clothes night at AWANAS. Man, those are some crazy outfits!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Love it!

As you may know, we are a home schooling family. When I am working, my mother is our teacher, but since I got laid off, I have gotten to really dive in and teach my kiddos and it has been AWESOME!!!! I must admit that we've taken about a month to settle in, but now that we have I am loving it! We're working on writing skills, reading the Anne of Green Gables series, learning about American history, and all kinds of fun science. Our current math book is Using Math to be a Zoo Vet and we all LOVE it! We have a pile of books stacked behind the sofa that has slowly grown into 3 stacks, and much of what I bought is STILL over at my mother's house. Many of our lessons are pulled right off the computer on a daily basis. The latest addition to our curriculum is (drum roll, please) intro to HTML. That's right, Darling Jonathan is teaching our girls how to program! He's started with a brief history of the internet and will be moving on from there. Perhaps even I will learn a thing or two, and you will see a few changes to our blog in the weeks to come!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!!!! I have a confession to make on this most holy Sunday... I cheated on FBC Anna. Whew! It feels good to get that off my chest! We don't have Sunday school classes on Easter, so I didn't have to teach, and with the new singing rotation, I was able to arrange Easter Sunday off of that too, so we went to visit some wonderful friends for a very special day! Our former pastor is now preaching at Northgate in the north Fort Worth area. Pastor Joe (pictured here) and his wonderful wife Becca have a special place in my heart because they helped to lead both of my sweet girls to Christ and baptised them. In addition to Joe and Becca, our former minister of worship, Shaun, is also at Northgate, so I was invited to sing there! (Yep, the short one is ME!) Following service, the church held an Easter egg hunt in the children's area so that we didn't get all muddy from the rain that morning. After all the festivities at Northgate, we went out to lunch at the Olive Garden, and stuffed ourselves silly! Normally, we would meet my parents for lunch, but my mom is not feeling well at all, so we'll have to take a rain check on that. The rest of the day we have spent relaxing, and enjoying some of our Easter Bunny spoils. What a great day! :)

Saturday, 11 April 2009

I wish I'd taken a picture.

**Update** I just realised that I talked about Tatiana alphabetising the seeds for us, but didn't post the picture of it! Bad MJ!

I'm firmly convinced that the "landscapers" hired by home builders don't fully think things through. We have this little strip of flower bed about 6-8 inches wide between our house and sidewalk. In it, the builder put 2 full-sized bushes, 3 bunches of monkey grass, and a blue spruce tree. We have been talking about doing something about this travesty since we moved in almost five years ago so, today we all spent the day working in the yard. Now, we have a blue spruce tree in the corner of our back yard, a bush on either side of our air-conditioning unit, and 3 bunches of monkey grass in front of it. Tomorrow and the next day it is supposed to rain, so hopefully they will take root and flourish in a place where they actually have room. In our front FLOWER BED, we planted four o'clocks, lupines, morning glories, and violas which Tatiana so thoughtfully arranged alphabetically! Now, I have never worked in a garden. I absolutely LOVE flowers, but I have something of a brown thumb, so I've never tried. My hope is that the coming rain will also make these flowers happy, and I will have a beautiful strip of colour up to our front door. Regardless, we no longer have a jungle, so that is a major improvement.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

I knew it!

Well folks, it's happened. At exactly 60", Celestia is now officially taller than her momma. I suspect that before the year is out, I may be looking up to HER.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


This afternoon, I came home to find this:

The chain that had previously been holding my oh-so-shoddy back gate (many thanks to the subcontractors hired to build the fences here in Oak Hollow!) together had broken.

So, after a trip to Lowe's, out came the trusty power tools (a sincere thanks to Dad Martin for making sure Jonathan has nice power tools!) and the rest of my afternoon was spent installing a new latch in the middle, and two hook and eyes on both the top and bottom of our gate.

SOOOOO glad I'm not the helpless type! ;)