December 28, 2009

My Child's Education; Finding what's best

Making a decision about your child’s education can be heart wrenching. It can be frustrating, even perhaps discouraging. If you’ve been told that your child has processing issues and you are not sure where to turn here are perhaps some options for you to explore. I hope that you can learn from my experience.

In 2005, Halle was in kindergarten when teachers began to tell me that she had a short attention span and that she seemed to stare off into space as though she were not mentally present. I called her a dreamer. I noticed that she was fully capable as long as she was doing something that she was interested in. Halle has a love for dinosaurs and at a very young age decided that she wanted to be a Paleontologist. She also loved to art and anything that allowed her to be creative. Teachers did say that Halle did well if someone worked one on one with her. I also noticed this and began to look at my options.

My searches lead me to homeschooling. At the time I had a thriving business and could not see myself giving up part of that time homeschooling. After a discussion with a seasoned teacher she referred me to SST (Student Support Team), a group of teachers who come together to evaluate and offer suggestions to the lead teacher. They work under the leadership of a school appointed student support team administrator. I had been through this process with my boys so with the knowledge that I had about learning disabilities (ADHD, Aspergers syndrome, ADD) I decided that Halle needed a little more one on one time. My online searches suggested homeschooling so I followed my heart and removed her from public school and homeschooled Halle for kindergarten and first grade.

After those two years it became necessary for me to regain the success I was having in my business. Our finances were getting tight so with a heavy heart I sent Halle back to public school in 2008. Third grade was not good at all. Academically she did well in language arts, spelling and all other subjects that did not directly deal with numbers. In math Halle was behind. Although the information that was being covered had already been covered in home school she failed to retain it and the teachers also felt that she was unable to retain the math she learned from the previous day. Shortly after taking an assessment test to evaluate her abilities Halle was hurt in school. She ran into a brick wall while running from the trailer to the inside of the school building. She was sent to the bathroom with 3 other students and without an adult present she was being chased by the boys who accompanied them. She hit her head above her left eye. She had 14 stitches and her skull could be seen through the hole. I decided from that point that I would find an alternative to public school.

I later in 2008 placed her into a private Montessori school to complete the third grade. She is currently attending the school now and is in the middle of fourth grade. I strongly believe in the Montessori way of teaching but this situation is proving not to be the best environment for her. The work load still requires a lot of one on one for Halle. So here I am again at the same crossroad. I know what needs to be done. I have to be the one to teach her. I now have removed her from school again and have enrolled her into an online school. Halle remains on grade level with the exception of math which I believe she is a half grade behind. All the decisions I have made in regard to her education have all been in the thought and mind of what is best for her individually. I certainly could have just sent her to school and let the teachers work it out or let her fall through the cracks. I could not and I am at peace with my choices because I made them for Halle and I was not willing to settle for the status quo.

When you get to know Halle you realize how special she is. She has an interest in learning and desperately wants to be successful in school. I am excited to home school her again but this time online. I’ll be her coach and with the help of a teacher that is provided by the K12 program, I know she will reach her goals in mathematics and excel beyond her wildest dreams.

I’ve learned three things through this, the first is;

It is okay to change your mind. If you make a choice and later feel that something else would work better than it is okay to make a change to a better situation. What is important to make sure of is that your child is on his/her grade level or above.

Secondly, do not try to recreate what goes on in the public school classroom. Make sure you cover the basics; reading, writing, math and language arts. You can cover all the other subjects as well. They will fall into place. You will find that your schoolwork will take about 4 hours. So much of the public school day is fluff.

Thirdly, do not let family or friends discourage you. They seem to have all the answers but none of them would have the heart that you have to remove your child from public school for a better education or situation.

Halle is a 4th grader and currently being homeschooled. She will be 10 years old in 2010. I am her homeschooling coach. I am still running my business from home. I just had to rearrange my priorities.

December 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Tony!!

Today is Tony's birthday! Happy birthday honey, I hope you had a great day. I love you so much - even when I'm on the computer:)

December 14, 2009

Yummy yummy for my tummy:)

Sunday I baked 4 sweet potato pies. I've been trying to perfect the recipe for quite some time. I didn't have trouble with the taste of the pies but it was the texture I couldn't get quite right. I planned to bake one for my brother-in-law Marvin who had a birthday on 12/13. The same day I baked an apple crisp. It was the perfect day for baking since it was very cold and rainy outside and no one wanted to venture out for any reason. The pies came out perfectly and the apple crisp was really good too. Tony ate it on top of his oatmeal as well as ice cream. Now I’m ready for Christmas. Here’s the recipe.

Original Recipe Yield 1 - 9 inch pie


  • 1 (1 pound) sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


  1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
  2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a soufflé, and then will sink down as it cools.

Now remember I made 4 pies so you will need to double the wet and dry ingredients. I used 6 medium sized sweet potatoes.

December 8, 2009

"Look, - I just answered the questions."


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

I found this today. I thought it was very cute. I posted it so you could take the test. I had no idea that I would score a 96. Shoot, I don't even cook every night. Well I do every night except Wednesdays. It depends on what's going on. Anywho take the test and post here. I'd like to know your score. By the way, there's a test for men too:)

December 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today is my birthday. I'm 44 today. Lots of calls and posts on Facebook wishing me a happy b-day. I had fun today. I took a long nap and it was fun. I even received flowers from Melaleuca. Another year gone by. Tough year. I'm looking forward to 2010.

December 4, 2009

As merry as the day is long

Last night at 10:45PM I sat in the loft area with Halle working on homework. She had several projects that were due on Friday, almost all of which she started on Wednesday. Without going into every assignment we ended the evening practicing for her spelling test today. So into the night we went "c-o-n s-t-i-l-l-a-t-i-o-n-s", NO listen to the word and hear the letters". "Listen and spell it again c-o-n-s-t-e-l-l-a-t-i-o-n-s, Yes that’s it"! "Ok now retriever"…..into the night we spelled, circled nouns and looked up definitions.

Now I understand why most mommy blogs have titles like Confessions of a Suburban Housewife, Redheaded Temper Tantrums, Desperately Searching for my Inner Mary Poppins, The Mommy Trenches, the list goes on. I certainly named this blog perfectly. As my children get older, more and more gets plied on my plate. Last night Tony sat in the loft area with me while I was working with Halle and he said “I cannot get over how long our days are”. Sixteen hours of the day are spent doing things for other people, the children or taking care of responsibilities. That leaves 8 hours in which we must feed ourselves, spend time a little time together which is when we usually end up nodding in and out of sleep on the couch together and actually sleeping in bed. There’s no room for anyone else. Now there’s talk of Wesley taking some karate classes. Between working, school, housework (which there is never time for) homework, parent teacher meetings, fundraising and more parent meetings, MY Melaleuca business, and being everyone’s Girl Friday, I am crazy.

Right now I am sitting here about to wake up Kyra for school. Wesley and Justin left for seminary at 6:35am this morning; Tony drove them. I made them a quick hot breakfast after waking up at 6:15am. I could get up earlier but I don’t. Perhaps if I woke up at 5:00am I could squeeze in a post to my blog. I listen to XM radio in the van as I travel back and forth because if I don’t I would never know what was going on in the world. There is ZERO time to watch TV which is why we cancelled our cable subscription last year. No one had time to watch TV in my house. I opened a Netflix account so that we could at least watch movies on the weekend. Also with everyone being so busy I found that the TV was getting in the way of us connecting when we could. Without the TV I feel I have their attention more often.

In all the chaos we still have Family Home Evening occasionally on most Monday evenings for about an hour. It helps to keep everyone in the team effort. It also reminds us that our family is the most important thing above all else and above everyone else. These 6 people and our purposes are number one. All these little world’s with their own trials and tribulations, the homework, the chores, the scripture memorization, earning merit badges for Boy Scouts, the school projects, the half painted walls, unfolded laundry, the sink full of dishes, the 2 dogs pooping in the garage, the constant flow of trash being emptied from smaller receptacles into a larger one for Friday pickup. When does it end? And it the midst of all of this chaos we are supposed to be madly in love, have mind blowing sex, remember to say I love you, meet all the kids emotional needs, keep a clean house, be friends, manage finances and this house and be a good Latter Day Saint. All of this while obeying the words of wisdom and keeping our bodies clean and free of drugs, caffeine, alcohol and anything else that is harmful to the human body. I tell you if it were not for my beliefs and my commitment to the gospel I would be under the influence of something everyday…LOL.

And after saying all of this I say “This is a day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”

November 30, 2009

Taking a look back at 2009

I can’t say that I am unhappy to see 2009 leave us. It has been a tumultuous year to say the least. There were celebrations, salutations and disconsolation, to deal with. As 2009 passes by I will remember this year as the year that I did a lot of growing up. If you are under 40 or still in your 20’s I am here to let you know that this thing called life is a never ending lesson. It’s one of those things that you just have to find out for yourself unfortunately. No one can teach you the lessons that you need to learn to complete the person you are supposed to be. You can’t read it in a book or read it on a blog, although a book about what you need to learn can point you in the right direction, there is NOTHING like life experience. You have to go through it. This is the year that made me think, “Why God are we here and why does it have to hurt so much”? In an effort to make note of the lessons I’ve learned this year I am listing and reflecting on the following events.

January 2009 – President Obama’s Inauguration – I received invitations from the Presidential Inaugural Committee to attend this historic event but I did not open the envelope until a month after the inauguration. I was so busy with family stuff that when the envelope came I didn’t open it. I thought it was just junk mail. A month later I noticed the envelope on the kitchen counter upside down. What made me look at it were the words Handle With Care printed on the corner of the large envelope. When I opened it I was stunned. I was sent an invitation from the Presidential Inaugural Committee in Washington, DC. and I missed out on it.

February 2009 – My Dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer. We were very optimistic since his type of cancer is highly curable. It was too late since he like most men would never go to the doctor. By the time he was diagnosed the cancer had spread too much and after a series of biopsy’s and an attempt at surgery he was given 6 months to live.

February 2009 – My 8th Wedding Anniversary – Tony and I went to dinner to celebrate the day we were wed. I am absolutely in love with my husband. I am blessed to be married to my soul mate. He is the wind beneath my wings. He is my very best friend. Sometimes the 2nd time around is the charm. There is a line in Avatar, the smash hit new movie (with the blue people) where during different times in the movie the 2 main characters would say to each other with a gentle touch, “I see you”. I so connected with that line in the movie every time it was spoken. If you haven’t seen Avatar yet I’m telling you that you must see it. You must see it in the theatre before you see it on DVD. See it in 3D if possible. It was an awesome movie, the best I’ve seen this year. Oh excuse the little rant there for a sec…as I was saying, this is how I felt that day. I felt that he could see me. Okay now I’m crying. Time to stop and move on to March.

February 2009 – On Feb. 14 it was Valentine’s Day but it also marked 8 years I have be a successful work at home Mom. I replaced my income in 2003 and my husband’s income in 2007. I help others do the same thing.

I am always looking for new partners to team up with. Wanna work at home? Contact me today!

March 2009 – Sweet Repeats consignment sale – I love this sale! Twice a year I shop for the girls here. Designer labels and the clothing is great! Looks like new and saves us a lot of money. If you are shopping retail for your kid’s school clothing I urge you to try a consignment event or store near you. Each year I have been spending about $200 on clothing for the girls. All designer labels. You can’t beat that with a stick.

March 2009 - I went to CA on a business trip and spent 3 days training and spent some time with friends and colleagues without the hubby and kids. I spent my free time sleeping and it was wonderful!

DANG! THIS IS A LONG POST…..(it was a long year. What can I say?)

April 2009 – Beyond The Canvas – As the fundraising chairperson of my daughters Montessori school I assisted in the schools largest fundraiser by booking the talent. The event consisted of lunch, an art show/auction, as well as performances by the children and talent I booked. The event was a success!

May 2009 - Started Monday morning prayer with my 5 sisters and my Mom. We prayed together for my Dad who was undergoing treatment for cancer.

June 2009- Attended luau at the Brentlingers who have a house in the middle of nowhwere. Miles and miles of greenery and very few neighbors. After driving on a dirt road for about a half an hour we reached the destination. They had a beautiful pool and the decor took us back to the Hawaiian Islands – Big fun!

July 2009 – Working my business, visiting Dad at the hospital, and took our annual family vacation to Buffalo, NY.

August – attended company convention in Florida. Tony and I were finally sealed in the Florida temple, started big push for merit badges by attending merit badge clinics almost every weekend.

My son Justin at a court of honor ceremony (age 14)

My son Wesley at the court of honor ceremony (age 16)

My mother and her sister, my Auntie Marion in the black suits with white tops in front. The rest are sisters and cousins.

My Dad passed away on the Aug. 18th, almost exactly 6 months after he was diagnosed just like the doctors said. Lots of family visiting, we all chose the casket and flowers, we spent some time together, we laughed and cried, I worked hard and had a very successful month in an effort to suppress my grief and we all did some growing up.

My sister Debra (center) and her daughters, my nieces Sana and Jannah

Rest in Peace Dad

September – more grieving, merit badge clinics and fundraising.

October – Halloween, baking, grieving, and more Boy Scout merit badge clinics.

November - Thanksgiving with just me and the kids, nephew Dawud visited and stayed over a few days and spent a lot of time with my children. (Tony went to NY to visit his 88 yr. old Mom), grieving, and more Boy Scout merit badge clinics.

December – Job hunting with Tony, retyping resumes, faxing, My birthday, Tony’s birthday and Christmas.

I'll add the Christmas pics another time. Thanks for reading:)


Okay I am addicted to Sudoku. Yes, I just started playing. I thought it involved math so I would not play it but now I see what all the hoopla is. I showed my son Wesley and he started playing in about 5 minutes and beat my time by 30 minutes. Some people are just nerds have a good aptitude for numbers. The NY Times version is my favorite. The only way I will be able to play regularly will be in the bathroom. Can you picture that?

It actually stimulates the brain. I have already felt the results. My memory has improved. I have also gotten rid of some nonsense in my life. There’s no time left in the day to do anything for me and definitely no time to waste. Print this one off and see how you do. Time yourself. After you've completed it post your time here.


November 27, 2009

And then we said , Amen

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving this year with the kids. Tony went to Buffalo to visit and we missed him terribly, haha. To fill the void I added something to our traditions which are still forming. First let me tell you what I prepared. For appetizers we had small crab cakes and scallops. Just a few each, I like to add something different each year to the menu.

Here’s what we ate:

Small 10 lb. turkey

stuffing with apples and cranberries

macaroni and cheese

green bean casserole

homemade mashed potatoes (special recipe) made with cream cheese and sour cream super fattening

corn pudding

dinner rolls

and for dessert I baked sweet potatoe pies

This year after we said grace, I had each child take 10 beads and place them on their charger near their plate. I then placed a small bowl in the center of the table. I asked them to think of 10 things they were grateful for…it could be anything or anyone or anyplace. They were to keep it to themselves. No blurting out. Just quietly while they were eating dinner or while we were talking and in their own time to one by one drop a bead into the bowl when they thought of something they were grateful for. It was so awesome throughout the evening to see beads being dropped into the bowl from time to time. We laughed at Wesley’s jokes and the girls being silly. We could not help but notice the empty chair where Daddy is supposed to be.

Kyra set the table for us and set up the grateful game for me. Everyone had contributed in some way. After dinner I asked the children to share just one of the things they were grateful for. We went around the table and I was surprised by what they said;

Wesley – was grateful for the Priesthood and the power it gives him

Justin – was grateful for the church he is a member of

Kyra - was grateful for Heavenly Father and her family

Halle – was grateful for Wesley…..we all laughed, but I thought it was sweet as she loves her brother…

I was grateful for having the Gospel in its Fullness, for a wonderful family and a loving husband

Then we had dessert which Justin ate too much of… I ended the meal with a letter emailed to me from President Barack Obama about Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to next year. This Christmas I will decorate the table really pretty I think. I already have the Christmas spirit.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

You MUST click on Pumpkin Pie at the end!!!







November 25, 2009

Sandy had puppies!

I told Tony we didn’t need a 2nd dog but you had to see him standing at the door with another dog who is now Sandy. After a few weeks we had Dutchess spayed we made an appointment to have Sandy spayed. We had a trip to New York planned to visit in-laws so we postponed the spaying and left Sandy with my mother on the other side of town. We were away for too long about 10 days. When we returned we were going to reschedule the spaying right away. We did but it was too late. Apparently a neighbors dog had already gotten his groove on lucky. I remember driving home and seeing a strange dog. It looked like a brown Bullmaster, male. He had a red collar. I had left Sandy outside tied up with Dutchey and ran a quick errand. I remember thinking that I hope the dog was not coming from my house. Needless to say a few months later we helped Sandy with her dang puppies brood. I fell in love with all the puppies and I really enjoyed going through the maternity experience with her. I watched her nurse and helped as much as she would let me. It was amazing to watch her clean the puppies and clean up after them, literally. I didn’t know that the female dog lapped up the puppy urine and ate the feces. It was disgusting harmless since the only thing they ate was her milk. They puppies grew so fast. Poor Sandy seemed to always be hungry. Nursing a brood of that size is a big strain on a dog. Large amounts of calcium is taken from the female during nursing. Sandy looked like a crack head thin to me. After about 5 weeks she began to wean them. She would not let them nurse. Sometimes in the evening she would let them nurse but only for a few minutes. The puppies were getting very big. They all looked like the Bullmaster. Check them out. They were only about 3 weeks old and very big for puppies I think. So for the past 5 weeks we had 7 dogs.

All the puppies are gone now. A few days ago we were able to find really good homes for every one of them. One of the new owners works at an animal hospital in my neighborhood. All of the homes already have other pets or other dogs as members of their family. We were very lucky. I know it was because the puppies were so gorgeous. Anyway I am estatic happy they are gone. It was a lot of work taking care of them and 4 brats kids.