Oh, He's a Sneaky One
Friday, September 28, 2007

When I was growing up, my mother had a devotion to St. Anthony of Padua. We had a picture and a statue.
Whenever she lost anything, she would make us all say a prayer to St. Anthony.

I never really had a special devotion to him. If anything, I had an "antidevotion" to him, a childish rebellion. (See Mom, I can find my keys perfectly fine without his help!)


My boys are in Boy Scouts. We have one uniform shirt, but I took the opportunity on Tuesday, when husband dear was unexpectedly home, to take Mr P to the Scout shop to buy another shirt, the patches and numbers, and the various accoutrements that accompany Socializing in the Real World.

A shirt - for a 7 year old - is $24.99. And the hat is $12.00. And the bandana with the wolf logo? $6. Plus a $2 slide. And a belt. And a book.

Well, we put the shirt back. And the book - I still have Mr R's, and despite the clerk's insistence that each child needs his own book, Mr P is going to save the earth by recycling it.

And so we set off to find a Boy Scout shirt.

We found a Salvation Army that had a ton of furniture, but no clothes.

We found a Community thrift store that had a ton of clothes, including 3 full karate uniforms, but no Scout shirt. I did get an exersaucer for Baby X for 99 cents though.

We stopped because of car sickness. Our Hamster (we call the station wagon the Hamster because it is white and brown and round on the hind end) was bought from an elderly woman for $400 in June, and the shocks aren't the best. Mr P claims that all the shaking and the old woman smell are what did him in.

We traipsed through several more Goodwills.

Right before our last stop, I did say a prayer to St. Anthony to find a shirt. Because I'm all about asking for intercession for the important things, you know.

And we did find a shirt - a long sleeved one which Mr R prefers- for $3.15

And I didn't even remember until I was reading Ask Sister Mary Martha this morning.

Thank you, St. Anthony.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/28/2007 08:19:00 AM | Permalink | |
More recalls
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Thomas the Tank just can't catch a break.

More toys recalled:

Thomas the Tank

Gardening tools - sold at Jo-Ann Fabrics (I saw these listed as a great find on a Montessori loop earlier this year - check your kid's school too!

Gardening Tools and Furniture - sold at Target

Knights of the Sword figures
Knights of the Sword
Are you sitting down? Here's a shocker: All of these things are Made in China.

And... your baby's bed might be on a recall list:
Kolcraft recalls 425,000 playyards

Simplicity recalls 1,000,000 wooden cribs

Our children receive $1.00 as allowance, and a trip to the Dollar Store is much anticipated. Husband dear and I discusses disallowing them to purchase toys there because of the Made in China recalls, but it never really got off the ground. Guess what? No more Made in China toys around here for a while!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/27/2007 07:18:00 AM | Permalink | |
Well, at Least Someone is Paying Attention
Nuns excommunicated in Little Rock

Because they don't believe the same things Catholics do.

Excommunication is an often misunderstood action. It is not a condemnation to hell for all eternity. It is a call to repentance, and the strongest penalty the Church can levy on a public sinner.

Our mother the Church loves all of her children, and wishes to see her Prodigals return. But she cannot allow them to be bad influences on the others!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/27/2007 06:08:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: 40 Days for Life
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Works for Me Wednesday
Another edition of Works for Me Wednesday, brought to you by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!

Since becoming a mother (again, and again, and again...) I've become more passionate about activism - which is ironic, because picketing anywhere with toddlers in tow is a nightmare unless it is a McDonald's Playland.

I wish I could be more active in the pro-life area, in particular. When the two boys were babies, I volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center. However, I'm not able to do that now, in this season of my life, and so my prolife activism is restrained to internet commenting, prayer, and education of others. And if its one thing I love it's giving what for and how to educating others.

A movement in America is underway, called 40 Days for Life. It is prayer, fasting, and round the clock vigils at abortion mills for the next 40 days.

It starts today, Sept. 26.

Why does this work for me?

They are encouraging everyone, wherever they are, to pray and fast together. That's right, join the movement from the comfort of your own home! This is especially important right now, on the cusp of a possible Planned Parenthood defeat (they may have to abandon their prohappy little guyperty in Aurora, IL, due to fraud). (Latest on that story here)

From the 40 Days For Life website:
The most important thing anyone can do to ensure the success of 40 Days for Life is pray. Each day between now and the end of the campaign, take time to pray:
  • Ask God to guide you in determining your role in this effort - as a leader, participant, or prayer warrior
  • Pray for wisdom -- for you and others in your community -- as you discern whether 40 Days for Life is right for your city at this time
  • Ask God to guide the national leaders of this effort
  • Pray that the right people around the country hear about 40 Days for Life and participate as God leads them
  • Ask that America repents and turns to God, honoring Him by once again protecting the right to life for all members of our human family
  • Pray for an end to abortion
Saving babies while at home works for me!

For more ways to be involved in the prolife movement, I recommend Joe Scheidler's book Closed:99 Ways You Can Stop Abortion.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/26/2007 06:47:00 AM | Permalink | |
History of the World #1
Monday, September 24, 2007
This blog is a journal of sorts for me, so infrequently I'll be posting lessons and such that we do. Let's face it, this is about the one place where I won't lose it!

For our History curriculum, we are using The Story of the World series by Jessie Wise Bauer. I'm also using her grammar curriculum, "Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind".

This week: Cavemen! (When she says Story of the World, she starts at the beginning!)

Vocabulary word: Nomad

We read a story about Tarak, an 8 year old nomad girl who hunted up a lizard for breakfast. Mr P would be a champion nomad - he catches Carolina Anoles every single day!

We talked about what nomad tents were made of, and why they would sleep in caves. We also talked about how they would cook their food, without stoves, pots or metal of any sort, and without refrigeration. Having watched much Discovery Channel, and being big fans of Survivorman, this was all review to them.

We made cave paintings as well. We looked at paintings on the internet, and talked about what kinds of things cavemen painted (animals) and why (they were important for food and shelter; the tribe revolved around following the animals and hunting). We used materials similar to what prehistoric nomads might use - beet juice (ground roots), coffee (boiled plant matter), and sidewalk chalk (closest I could come to ground up colorful rocks and ochre).


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/24/2007 01:58:00 PM | Permalink | |
Catholic books
I just signed up as an affiliate for Aquinas and More Catholic Books. I've been a subscriber to their blog, Musings from a Catholic Bookstore, for quite a while.

If you need rosaries, medals, prayer cards, et al., they've got it! Just use the search bar on my sidebar (and say that five times fast!)

They have lots of Latin Mass/1962 Missal items, as well.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/24/2007 08:14:00 AM | Permalink | |
Welcome to Oz
Sunday, September 23, 2007

Where the Lollipop Guild and Lullaby League are amply represented, and you'd better watch your kneecaps.

Rollcall, from Left to Right:
Me, Baby X, Husband Dear
Mr P, Miss E, Mr R
Miss V, Baby C, and Mr S.

Dressing everyone in the same color worked out well! I'm the one in the blue shirt ;)

**** UPDATED TO ADD ****
Barb asked how the p\hotographer did. He was excellent - we were done in record time! He used a turtle puppet and a stuffed fish and all of the ones he took came out with everyone looking at the camera. Our biggest problem was getting one with nobody's hands on their faces.
He would make the puppet talk or tell a joke and take the picture a split second after we said cheese. I think that made us look more natural.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/23/2007 06:46:00 PM | Permalink | |
Friday, September 21, 2007
5 Minutes for Mom is giving away another vacuum - a pink one this time, and they will also donate the value of their vacuums to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I don't support Susan G. Komen Foundation, but I don't know much about the BCRF - at any rate, the vacuum is a free giveaway!

Do you think my husband would use a pink vacuum? He would if it were a Dyson! Go enter!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/21/2007 07:20:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday Fun: Brian Regan

claims this guy is funny - and she's right!

Thoughts on poptarts:

On food labels:


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/21/2007 06:49:00 AM | Permalink | |
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Well, Google thinks I'm the #5 best hit for the words "LDS Homeschool mom blog".

Sorry, folks, if you are looking for LDS info. You won't find that here. But I am a homeschool mom with a blog and an apparent bee in my bonnet for politics this week.

I'm sure that will change next week, as there was a big sale on hamburger ($1.20 a pound!) so I'm investigating every. single. possible. way to cook it. And inexplicably avocados are going for a quarter so I'm trying to figure out what to do with those. Stay tuned for guacamole burger recipes or green salisbury steaks or Avocado Spaghetti.... okay, you see why I have to search the Net. I can't do it on my own!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/20/2007 05:33:00 PM | Permalink | |
The Right Decision
In February of 2006, my son (age 7) was prescribed Risperidone (Risperdal), an atypical antipsychotic. It was widely used in BP children, although not labeled for such, and was the first medication suggested.

We took him off the drug in October, because I was able to get the same effect using a more natural diet and supplements (specifically, zinc, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and choline). In fact, the results on the diet, etc. were so dramatic that we forgot to give him his medication for a few days (husband dear thought I was giving it to him in the morning, I thought he was giving it to him at night) and we didn't even notice. I didn't tell the school about the change - they didn't notice either, and Mr R continued to do well there.

We took him off the drug because:
  • It was expensive ($180 for a 30 day supply) (That's with insurance)
  • It had many serious side effects reported, including irreversible diabetes, high cholesterol, liver damage, and breast growth in males requiring a mastectomy. There were also very rare, but fatal side effects involving rashes.
  • It tied us to our doctor/psychiatrist, who was not helping our son and did not listen to us as parents. He was the only doctor in our corner of the world that took our insurance and treated children.
  • If Mr R did anything wrong, had a problem, or was active, family members and teachers would immediately ask "Has he had his medication"? I did not like the attitude that society assumed - give him a pill and he'll be a malleable, un-spirited child. Pop a pill so he won't inconvenience us. I also did not want him defined by his medical treatment.
Recently I came across an adverse events report for the AMA. Risperidone ranked #9 in prescription drugs that caused death between 1998-2005. Oxycodone was #1, Tylenol (acetaminophen) was #5.

When I first asked about the drug, prior to accepting a prescription, the doctor told me it was "very safe" and "commonly used in children".

Mama says:
Do your OWN research, and trust your instincts.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/20/2007 10:05:00 AM | Permalink | |
WMFW: Family Closet
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Works for Me Wednesday
Ever since I saw a special on the Duggars (that's the family on the Discovery channel with 17 kids), and how they do laundry, I've been coveting their family closet. They have one room where they store all of the clothes. No more trekking through the house dropping off clean clothes. They installed closet rods, lined up the dressers, and put everyone's socks in dishpans on top.

Every time I refolded the same stinkin' stylish outfits that my daughter tried on and then discarded, I envied their family closet.

Every time I found a pair of socks still folded but stuck to dirty underwear so they had to be rewashed, I dreamed of having a family closet.

When the kids pulled a cheap dresser's drawer out - again - or rifled through the entire stack of clothes to find a particular shirt, I wished for a family closet with open shelves.

Finally, we have a laundry are that is not in the living room, garage, or hobbit hole behind the hot water heater. I have my family closet! The room isn't big - it's a leftover bit of hallway, and it holds my washer, dryer, and big freezer. There is roughly three feet between the wall and the appliances.

And it is even more awesome than I ever dreamed.

I put the clothes away
literally inches from the dryer. I am better - but not perfect - at keeping up with the laundry. Since the kids clothes are in the laundry room, when they change their outfits, even if they drop it on the floor - they drop it on the laundry room floor. It's awesome. Oh, I said that already!

We've got seven kids, and I bought three sets of these at Target for $12.99 each. I think they are normally $14.99 though. That makes a total of 18 cubes. I use four each for the three older kids (one for jammies/underthings, one for shirts, one for shorts/pants, the bottom on is socks and undies, and dresses for the girl) The two preschoolers have a stack of three (they are short); I throw their jammies in with the undies. Miss C is not quite two, and her clothes I stack on the top of the older kids organizers. They have to be out of her reach. She's a prima donna. Baby X has a drawer for clothes near his diaper changing things, it's more convenient that way.6 cube wire storageThey are 14 inches wide, which accomodates two stacks of clothes side by side. I make a stack of short sleeve shirts and a stack of long sleeve shirts, in one cubby; shorts next to long pants; jammies next to undershirts/slips. Socks and undies go in plastic bins on the bottom.

family closet
When the dryer is done, I open the door, pull a piece of clothing out, fold it, and put it away! There is a space to hang clothes above the cubbies, and I've taken to hanging clothes straight from the washer as well - save on electricity, and I can make sure all the stains are out and delicates are cared for. No more Mount FoldMe (well, okay, I've got a basket of socks to be matched...) and no more surprise grease stains!

Works for Me! Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more ideas.

Just a Note: You may notice that my boys have Superman pajamas. I do not recommend any type of caped superhero jammies if you are going to make them sleep on bunk beds. Consider yourself warned.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/19/2007 06:31:00 AM | Permalink | |
Just for My Sis
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/18/2007 05:13:00 PM | Permalink | |
I Actually Don't Agree with A Democrat...
Monday, September 17, 2007
Well, no surprise there.

Hillary's unveiled the "details" of her universal healthcare plan. I use quotation marks because I haven't actually seen the details, just an endless repetition of the key talking points, namely "higher quality at lower cost". There are many references to "ending discrimination", which means that insurance companies can't deny coverage to anyone (not sure how that works with reducing costs). Comparing it to Medicare is not a plus, Hillary, FYI!

What I like about the plan as I understand it:
  • It would be portable across state lines and not tied to a job - useful for us, because husband dear changes companies about every 6 months, and we move about every 18 months.
  • The plan would "[Provide] more oversight over pharmaceutical companies’ financial relationships with providers." and "ensure 'truth inadvertising' to crack down on misleading and costly prescription drug advertising and direct-to-consumer advertising."
Unfortunately, I haven't heard that Hillary is planning to revamp the FDA, so how that will be accomplished remains to be seen.

Basically, the plan seems to be an extension of federal benefits to the general population. She claims that by modernizing things, quality will go up and costs will go down. Apparently she's never been charged full price for cutting edge technology. Oh, and undoing tax cuts and health insurance credits employers currently receive and "redirecting" them - everyone will be forced to choose insurance from the same menu, and small business owners will be forced to offer insurance from that same menu.

Again, I haven't been able to find the nitty gritty - I doubt anyone has really tried to figure out exactly how this will work. What good does it do to save $300 a month on an insurance premium, if taxes increase by $500? Make no mistake - if you raise taxes on corporate America, we pay higher prices somewhere along the line. It also will cause just one more incentive for a corporation to hire workers not in America.

Here's something I have a real problem with:
Individuals: will be required to get and keep insurance in a system where insurance is affordable and accessible.

(Or what? Jail time? Is it going to be like FICA, where they hit your paycheck up before you feed your kids or pay your heating bill?)

I know lots of people who do not have insurance, on purpose. They truly and heartily believe that insurance is wrong. Extreme? Maybe... but the Amish do not insure anything, for example. Then there are conscientious objectors, who will not give money to any company or medical facility that engages in immoral acts. Many people view not only abortion, but birth control, IVF, gender reassignment surgery, and even cosmetic (not reconstructive) surgery as immoral. This mandatory federal insurance would further erode religious rights.

And, as someone who has been in the Medicaid system, seen the Medicare system fail our elderly, frail, and most vulnerable population time and time again, and has been without insurance many times - this does not sound like a good idea. Medicare is running at a huge deficit - how is adding more people to the rolls going to help? I like Glenn Beck's analogy of throwing more people on board the Titanic as it is sinking. Medicare and Medicaid are touted as awesome, choose any doctor, any hospital. The reality is, the government is so slow to pay, and pays so little, that many doctors do not accept Medicaid patients. What good does insurance do if no doctor will take it? This is already a problem in the child mental health field. It is not uncommon for a child psychiatrist to accept cash only - no insurance accepted. Why? And there is still a six month waiting list to be seen. Do we really want that for all of our healthcare?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/17/2007 01:11:00 PM | Permalink | |
The Princess Bride
A movie is most unusual if you can begin a quote, and have most people complete it with a smile- no matter where you are (bar in Wyoming? Wal-Mart in suburbia? Christmas play at the kids' school? Construction site? Church picnic? Everyone loves Wesley, it seems!)

The Princess Bride is one of those movies.

From Mr. Besilly:

Mr. Besilly's - 10 Things I've Learned from The Princess Bride

1. It's possible, with the right strategy, to best a giant.

Princess_bride_2 2. Outsmarting the one who thinks he is smartest of all is not inconceivable. Pride creates vulnerability.

3. Don't believe everything you hear. It appears people can actually survive the fire-swamp.

4. The obvious bad guy isn't always the bad guy, but a reputation can be bigger than reality.

5. Reciting your name and life's purpose with passion to everyone you meet can gain you the resources you need to reach your goal. Plus win you a few lifelong friends along the way.

6. Good fighting is as much about style as it is about skill. Add style to your skills because style is more fun to watch.

7. The six fingered man was wicked then and he's wicked now. Pay attention to track records they tell a true story.The_princess_bride764981

8. There is such a thing as true love if you are willing to fight to the death for it.

9. Having a great gift for rhyme can bring levity during a difficult time... I mean it. Anybody want a peanut? A sense of humor is priceless.

10. Fairy tales are a great reminder that happy endings are possible if you believe in them. We sacrifice for those things we believe in.

H/T Life in a Shoe

Fans and writers might be interested in this snip from Creative Screenwriting Magazine:
Imitating the frame story he devised for the novel, Goldman recreates the narrative distance he fabricated to remove the audience one-step from the fantasy element of the story. This has the effect of softening the suspension of disbelief burden for the audience while reaffirming the "found narrative" construct that holds the imaginary novelist responsible for devising the tale long ago. The meta-fictional frame also empowers the young boy hearing the story, along with his grandpa (who doubles as the film's narrator) to interject commentary into the course of the fairytale. In this fashion, Goldman creates a point of identification for both young and old viewers and allows both segments of the audience to have a voice in the telling of the story. While the boy speaks for every kid who's ever been grossed out by kissing scenes, his grandfather is on hand to suggest that he might not find such romantic interludes inconceivable one day -- a notion that punctuates the final kissing scene of the fairytale where Goldman, through clever deployment of framing characters, has earned a final fairytale kiss from his young audience and delivers, at long-last, one for the adults.
A couple of other movies I'd add into this "must see/must have/quote often at family functions" would be A Christmas Story and OfficeSpace. My husband would add Caveman, which I hate and proves rockstars shouldn't act, even if they don't have any actual lines. I've posted on them before, here and here.

Although Officespace is not for kids, I always feel a vicarious thrill when they beat down the printer. At my last job, the printer could best be described as my archenemy. It almost matched my boss' wife on the aggravation scale.

What movies are part of your family culture?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/17/2007 06:46:00 AM | Permalink | |
Free Art Program
Friday, September 14, 2007
*** UPDATED *** 9/18
Apparently the link is no longer working. I downloaded the Mary Cassatt program (pdf) so e-mail me and I'll forward it to you - mommyjo2[at]yahoo{dot}com.

Hands of a Child is offering a free download of a project pack for a lapbook:

Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt was one of the original impressionists, and a woman. She would probably be a much better subject for study during women's history month than the traditional icons of Amelia Earhart and Oprah! (Here's what I really think about women's history month)

I found an art book of her paintings in the bargain bin of Barnes and Nobles for $3.98 last year, or you could purchase art cards from Dover Publications for less than $3. They also have a coloring book of Mary Cassatt paintings.

Check back to HOAC, their next freebie is a unit on Pilgrims.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/14/2007 07:49:00 AM | Permalink | |
How do you say Duh in French?
Thursday, September 13, 2007

French biophysicists have discovered that straight hair is more tangly than curly hair.

FYI, the Ecole Polytechnique is the French equivalent of MIT. According to Wikipedia, students not only attend for free but the government pays them a salary. I think I'll learn French and move before I finish my degree!

Can't wait for those stunning breakthroughs in Velcro technology. I bet my daughter still won't be able to keep her shoes on for more than five minutes at a time.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/13/2007 11:28:00 AM | Permalink | |
More Thoughts on Amnesty International
**** A response to comment made here ****

Specifically, their document on Stopping Violence Against Women.
Mostly, I'm left with a lot of questions - this document seems intrinsically irrational. Why is the Stop Violence Against Women statement almost entirely focused on one of the most violent acts against women - abortion?

Here's a snip:
Amnesty International supports women in claiming their rights. The lived experience of girls and women including of those with whom we work directly, shows how central are sexual and reproductive rights to their freedoms including their right to be free from gender-based violence and as a remedy where they have been subjected to such violence:
Now, this document is self contradictory. It claims that women have a right to be free from gender based violence, but then goes on to say that denying women access to safe abortions is a violation of their human (not civil) rights. Yet, the problem of Asian countries aborting specifically female babies is so great that there are laws against it (I don't understand, if abortion is merely a choice over one's own body, what the reason for the abortion has to do with anything. Either it is a child, and abortion is murder whether the fetus is boy, girl, Downs Syndrome, etc.; or it is not a child. End of discussion.)

If being drawn and quartered (as in partial birth abortion) because you are a girl is not gender based violence, I don't know what is. The Amnesty International statement does not define particulars of what they consider to be acceptable forms of abortion, so I'm assuming all
methods are allowable, by their standards.

AI states that forced abortions is a grave violation (I totally agree), but then seem to define "forced" as being ordered by an official. What about the coercion a woman might suffer from her family, or the father of her child? If her parents say they will disown her (in many countries, leaving her without any rights whatsoever, without food and shelter, and without identity), isn't that in a way a forced abortion? If the father of the child threatens to beat or kill the woman or child if she gives birth, is that a forced abortion?

Let's not even get into the vague assertions that seem written more to be politically correct than to actually help women.
There are multiple references to "access", and "unreasonable restrictions". What constitutes access? Does AI advocate an abortion mill on every corner, so that a woman is not inconvenienced? If one country, say Ireland, does not have any abortion mills but an Irish lass can visit one in London, is that "access"? Is there a geographical limit - must be able to get their within a day's journey? What is an unreasonable restriction? What is a reasonable restriction?

What constitutes affordable healthcare, anyway? Should it cost no more than 10% of income? 30%?

Where is the AI statement on father's and men's rights? Or a child's right to be free from torture (and not chemically burned in utero, or cut apart)?

Why is it okay to have an abortion for some reasons (rape, incest, etc.) but not others (gender selection)? Again, either abortion is wrong, a moral evil, or it's not. If it is wrong, then all abortions should be prevented. If it is not wrong, than it should be available any where, any time.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/13/2007 07:34:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Free Ink
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Works for Me Wednesday****UPDATED TO ADD ****
I just printed out the coupon, and I find it quite ironic that they have a printable coupon to have an empty cartridge filled.
I hope they take my grayscale coupon or that there is one in the store flyer!

WhenI saw that Walgreen's was offering a new service - ink cartridge refills - I thought that was such a great idea! I've refilled our ink for years, but the color cartridges are very tricky and it's easy to mess them up. Once the colors mix, you can't use the cartridge.

Normally, Walgreen's charges $10 for black, $15 for color cartridge refill. But today, Sept. 12, they will refill one cartridge FREE!

Now that's my kind of price. I can't wait to try out their service! They are only offering free refills for selected cartridges - check the Walgreen's site for a complete list.

FREE ink - Works for Me! Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more handy tips!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/12/2007 06:40:00 AM | Permalink | |
September 11
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I do wish they'd come up with a name for this day. I personally favor calling it Patriot Day.

We'll be reading this,
which is available free online. We'll find New York on a map, and the Middle East, and Pennsylvania. We'll discover facts about the Pentagon (constructed in 6 months, from Sept. 1941 to the first week of April 1942) We might talk about how Pearl Harbor Day inspired the workers on.

I kept Mr. R home from school today.

I started thinking about this.

And I remembered this, which happened about two miles from his school.

My original slight uneasiness turned into quasi-paranoia. I mentioned it to my husband, and then watched Glenn Beck together which put us over the edge. BTW, this week he's running a series called Exposed: The Perfect Day which you should catch, if you can.

Anyone else change their routines today?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/11/2007 08:04:00 AM | Permalink | |
Overheard in the Pew
I'm always slightly amazed when people approach me after Mass and compliment me on my children's behavior. I always feel like saying, "No, you're confused. MY children are the ones in the green shirts who act as though they've never seen an altar before...".

Overheard in the pew this week:

Stop eating your tie. (To the 4 year old)

Do not pick your teeth with the holy card. (Said the the 7 year old who has to be forced to brush his teeth at home)

The kneeler is not a guillotine. (Said to the 7 year old after he took the card out of his mouth and placed it on the floor, reenacting the French Revolution with St. Sebastian)

Don't lick the window. (To the 3 year old - the pews are right next to floor to ceiling windows with some token stained glass squares on the top)

That's Jesus up there and you'd better kneel down right now or else!
(There is a fine line between whispering and hissing, and I tend to, umm... hiss.)

The rosary is not a helicopter (Said to all male children at one point, except Baby X)

Interesting fact: My oldest boys attended a Latin Mass every single day last year at school, and I never got a bad report, not even on Mr. R. Now we go to a more laid back Mass and all *heck* breaks loose...the boys have miraculously forgotten the Our Father and the Hail Mary, despite saying the entire rosary every single day as well. They had to wear a uniform consisting of undershirt, button down shirt, tie, and sweater, plus black socks and black dress shoes. Now they whine and complain about the clip on tie I make them wear once a week. Oh, how our standards have slipped!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/11/2007 07:55:00 AM | Permalink | |
I Actually Agree with a Democrat...
Monday, September 10, 2007
Bill Richardson thinks No Child Left Behind should be scrapped. I heartily agree.


He wants a return to the three R's - as defined by the teacher's union : Respect, Responsibility, and Resources.

He wants preschool to be available to every child (kindergarten isn't even available for every child!)

He thinks the best way to raise test scores is to pay teachers more. What? Is he saying teachers aren't trying hard enough because they aren't paid? That they aren't doing their best already? That paying them more will suddenly cause them to give 150% instead of 110%? What a slap to our educators.

He thinks that the best way to make sure first graders show up ready to learn is pre-K programs... um... what about the K programs?

And, he wants more state and federal funding. Because we all know throwing money at the problem will solve everything, right?

My view? Respect the parents, and acknowledge that they are the best judge of what is an appropriate education. Give them the resources to see that their child is educated well (yes, I'm talking about vouchers!) Give them the opportunity to be responsible by giving them two days a year for parent-teacher conferences - FMLA style (that is, they can't get fired if they take the afternoon to go to their kids' school.) Parent responsibility and involvement is the key!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/10/2007 06:33:00 AM | Permalink | |
Why We Homeschool
Friday, September 07, 2007
Wednesday night, at the Virtus training, a mom asked me why we homeschool. I told her I missed the kids and the school didn't do a good enough job last year, so I fired them.

Dawn at By Sun and By Candlelight is so much more eloquent with her story!

Maybe I'll post someday in greater detail about why we homeschool (you wouldn't even believe the Colorado public schools if I did post it!).

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/07/2007 10:16:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday Fun: Guilty pleasures

Babushka Cat

This just made me laugh.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/07/2007 09:17:00 AM | Permalink | |
Moving tips?
Demeter at Insert Witty Blog Here is moving, and wants your tips!

She wants to know what she should pack in her survival box, and any ideas you have for fast, quick dinners for the days right before, and right after the move.

She's got a special prize - $5 Amazon gift card!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/07/2007 07:18:00 AM | Permalink | |
Nursie Nursie
Thursday, September 06, 2007
That's what we call it at our house. Actually, the Miss C has a New York accent and calls it Noissy Noissy.

Apparently, Applebee's restaurant doesn't think breast is best for their customers and caused some controversy. Check out Radical Catholic Mom for the details of the story.

There is a nurse-in at local Applebee's restaurants this Saturday, Sept. 8. That's Our Lady's Birthday, so order cake for dessert and remember she nursed Our Lord, too. A Yahoo! group has been set up to coordinate. There are no official "nurse-in" sites near me, but I'm not gonna let that stop me from trying Tyler Florence's shrimp salad standing up for my rights!

This is especially timely if you've been following the breastfeeding in public/past the age of 8 discussion going on with Jen over at Et Tu?

Here's SC law on breastfeeding -it's short and sweet:

SECTION 20-7-97. Breastfeeding.

(A) A woman may breastfeed her child in any location where the mother and her child are authorized to be.

(B) Breastfeeding a child in a location where the mother is authorized to be is not considered indecent exposure.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/06/2007 02:38:00 PM | Permalink | |

I am a control freak like to be involved in my kid's life. I am also very careful about who they play with, what they are exposed to, and what adults I let into their life.

This often takes the form of me volunteering. This is how I became a boy scout leader (I volunteered to be an assistant leader, so I would know exactly what was going on and the leader stopped coming after the first meeting).

This is also how I am now a catechist. CCD classes start next week, and I will have four children attending. Another mom asked me if I were interested in being a teacher... I was just, at that moment, wondering how I could get ahold of the program ahead of time so I could read it. I thought about it, and talked to husband dear (who doesn't care. I'll be there anyway whether I teach or not). I thought it would be nice to have older children and that I definitely did not want to have any of my own children in my class. It turns out I've been assigned 5th and 6th grade.

The new policy of the Church is that every adult who comes into contact with children must be formally trained to spot warning signs of abuse. The program is called Virtus, and takes three hours; once a month an article is emailed to you and you are required to read it for ongoing training. I went last night and now I am certified!

But, Oh. My. Word. They had a couple of child molestors talking about how they gained parent's confidence, how they isolated their victims, and so on. One of them started at the age of 10 years old! TEN! The other one was so proud. No remorse. He talked about his "dream doll" having blue eyes, blond hair, being 5-10 years old...it was sickening.

If you have the opportunity to go to one of these classes, I highly recommend it. If not, PLEASE get Gavin DeBecker's book, Protecting the Gift. His other book, The Gift of Fear, is a must read for any adult woman, in my opinion.

Knowledge is power, and will help you keep your kids safe!

BTW< we are using Faith First! curricula at our church. Any thoughts or opinions about this series? I know nothing of it. I have a K and 1st grader, a 2nd grader going through the First Communion prep, and another 2nd grader who has to be with the 3rd graders since he already had his First Communion. Any thoughts, tips, or warnings are much appreciated! I also have to plan a 20 minute fellowship for all of the children (age 5-12) on the Rosary, and again on Advent Wreaths. I'm having trouble - all of the activities I can find actually involve making a rosary, which we will not have time for. Any links or ideas?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/06/2007 06:41:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Brand Loyal Edition
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Works for Me WednesdayI'm a brand hopper. I always go for the cheapest version of almost everything consumable. My toilet paper is $1 for a 6-pack, and it does it's job but it's not quilted (why? I'm just going to toss it when I'm done!) My medicine cabinet is an ode to Equate, the Wal-Mart store brand. My pantry has shelf after shelf of Sam's Choice (the other WalMart store brand).

There are a few places where I almost always buy the brand name, though. Sometimes for health reasons, sometimes it's actually cheaper, sometimes it's just so I know what I'm getting.

We have Kikkoman soy sauce. Ingredients: water, wheat, soy. It doesn't contain MSG, or wood filler, or any other fake stuff. It's real soy sauce. I buy a jug of the refill to fill our table sized bottle. Also, husband dear hate La Choy and every time we go out gripes about the unfair monopoly LaChoy holds over Chinese restaurants. Pretty soon our life will be like a Seinfeld episode and start sneaking bottles in under our coats. Except we live in South Carolina now...

Mott's Healthy Harvest
My oldest son takes four capsules a day of choline and inositol, which are supplements from the B-vitamin family. However, he won't swallow a pill. So I open them up and sprinkle the powder in applesauce. I had been buying large jars of applesauce (generic, naturally), but it was getting harder and harder to convince him to take it. He always wanted more and more applesauce, and then he'd end up with a bowl too large to eat in one sitting.
Mott's Healthy Harvest are relatively expensive (6 cups for $1.50 = .25 each) but they are individually sized and have a more robust flavor to hide the flavor of his pills. They are all natural, too. We like peach, strawberry, and mixed berry.

Mott's Fruit Snacks
Again, these do not have any artificial colors or preservatives. They are gummy apple sauce nuggets, and colored with fruit and veggie extracts. Don't leave them in the car. They melt into goo.

Kraft Cucumber Ranch
The only regular brand I've found that does not contain MSG. Annie's organics taste weird to me, and no one else around here likes that brand either, plus Kraft is often on sale and there is always a coupon!
Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies
'Nuff said.

Spring CleaningIn the Broom Closet
Well, I don't actually have a broom closet. What I have are a loose collection of random locations I put cleaning stuff - generally any flat surface more than 48 inches from the floor.

Swiffer Dusters
I'm still on my first box, actually, and I've only used two. You can wash these (just don't put them in the dryer). Great for ceiling fans and the kids think they are fun, which means the kids fight over dusting. Win-win!
Glad plasticware
I've blogged about Zoo Pals before. I also buy Glad brand trash bags (I know, I'm just going to throw them away, but I do want the trash to stay inside the bag!) Trial and error has proven to me that Glad is the best. Love the ForceFlex, but I don't always buy those.
Glad Clingwrap is cheaper than the WalMart generic, and works ten times better. It actually clings, and I've never have the metal cutting thingie fall off.
Incidentally, I'm still using my ZooPals that I bought last August. I will probably need to buy a new set - we've lost some - but they are still going strong despite everyday use and Play-doh adventures!
Purex Laundry Detergent
Husband dear is allergic to Tide. Purex is generally amongst the cheapest choices, and there are often coupons, making it a great frugal choice. Purex also makes a detergent with Renuzit stuff in it to neutralize odors. Sometimes vinegar and borax are not enough and I bring out the big guns!

Spray N' Wash is cheaper than Shout! and works better, IMO. When my kids Crayola crayonswent to private school and were required to wear button down white shirts, a bar of Ivory soap was the best ring around the collar remover I've found, also.

And, of course,
Crayola brand crayons. Never buy crayons made in China, and Crayola just write so much better than RoseArt!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/05/2007 08:36:00 AM | Permalink | |
50% Fatality Rate
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
A woman in Nebraska is suing her abortionist for nearly killing her.

The abortionist did do his job - killing her child - but almost killed the mother in the process. An ambulance was called after the woman fell down, still bleeding, and had a seizure. Notice the wording - "While in the recovery area, her friend tried to help her to a bathroom"... Planned Parenthood cares so much about women that they don't even help them after surgery.

H/T to Radical Catholic Mom

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/04/2007 02:36:00 PM | Permalink | |
Outrageous Reality TV
CBS has a new reality show debuting this fall: Kidnation.

The premise is simple: children age 8 to 15 try to make an utopian, adult free society in the New Mexico desert. (Because we all know that kids in the throes of adolescence are much more capable of administering a fair and balanced local government than adults with experience, educations, and a consciousness of history, just look at how gym locker rooms are run, without adults present!)

Why New Mexico? They needed to keep the project secret. Entertainment Weekly reports that the parents were required to sign a 22 page waiver, acknowledging that their children would be put into dangerous situations and could possibly even die. They agreed not to hold producers responsible for heat illnesses, shark bites, falls, and any other contingencies the lawyers could think of. The waiver also stipulated that the parents would be responsible for any fallout (physical or emotional) from sexual relationships formed with other kids. Hmm... send my 9 year old into a camp with 14 and 15 year olds, unsupervised, for 40 days? I think NOT!

New Mexico is now investigating the producers to determine if they violated the child labor law (the kids were filming for 40 days) as well as possible child endangerment. The Screen Actor's Guild is looking into it, as well, and they will have influence even if it is determined no laws were broken.

I think the parents should be charged with child endangerment - knowingly placing their kids in a dangerous, unsupervised environment for days at a time. The parents were not on site during filming. Several children accidentally drank bleach and one girl suffered grease burns while cooking on a campfire.

Is this what we've come to? Instead of protecting and nurturing our kids, we hand them over to TV producers to make a quick buck ($5000 each)? We are outraged over dog fighting, but are willing to lounge on the sofa and be entertained by the exploitation of children.

Parents, let your CBS affiliate know that airing this show is a bad decision! I wonder who the corporate advertisers are?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/04/2007 07:19:00 AM | Permalink | |