Beware the Shy One

This is my shy child. The one in the center…trying to sleep.

Jungle Book 1

There are people in our immediate family who has only seen Baby open her mouth to eat.

Jungle Book - 9

She didn’t really talk to anyone except the Ranger, Miss Mandy, Big and myself until she was 4.

I think her Grandmother thought she should have seen a specialist.

She went an entire year of Pre-K without ever actually speaking to her teacher!

However, she has gotten over that.

Jungle Book 6

Mostly.

She still doesn’t talk to Tom unless she has to.

When she found out there was a play of the Jungle Book here she wanted to go see it.

When she found out the cast was all going to be kids, she wanted to be in it!

“Mama, can I do that?” She asked.

Are you sure? I asked her.

“Yup!”

And for weeks all she could talk about was trying out for that play!

So, I found myself sitting in a theater one Saturday a few weeks ago watching her stand center stage auditioning for the director.

Jungle Book 12

Looking at Baby on stage, I was amazed. This was my shy child?!?

Jungle Book 13

How was it? I asked her.

“GREAT!” she replied.

Were you scared?

“NOPE!”

So this weekend is her big debute. She is a vulture. She was afraid she’d look like a pigeon, but then I pointed out there are no pigeons in the Jungle Book.

Jungle Book 15

She has one line.

Unfortunately.

Jungle Book - 11

Seriously, that’s her line.

Unfortunately.

Oh, and she gets to be on stage for the entire play! That’s her favorite part. She gets to do all the dances and stand on stage!

She’s already asking about doing another one. She’s hooked!

Look out Oscars! Here comes Baby!

It’s always the shy ones, isn’t it?

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A. Rose by Any Other Name

My beautiful niece ws married this last weekend.

We missed it.

I. feel. like. the. worst. auntie. EVER!

I know I’m not, I love my nieces and nephews.

This particular niece was in my wedding.

She was a junior bridesmaid.

She was 12.

I sometimes have trouble telling myself that she isn’t 12 anymore.

So, anywho, I decided that I wanted to do something nice for her.

She had specifically asked for no gifts. They didn’t need anything. In fact, they were requiring everyone who attended the wedding to take something from their house with them as a parting gift.

But, I didn’t want to just give her money. I wanted to give her something that would make her feel special, loved and to know that we would be there if we could.

For several months photos had been appearing on her facebook page of things she liked, and one particular type of item showed up a number of times – a “Fascinator.”

Have you heard of these?

No? Yes?

Basically a fascinator is a mini-hat or hair adornment.

I thought to myself, “I can do that!”

So off I went to…wait for it…

Hobby Lobby!

I L-O-V-E that place!

You can find just about anything there!

Except a hat form to make a fascinator.

I found a very pretty blue fabric, I found some cute adhesive pearls, I found a gorgeous butterfly, some feathery stuff and A. Rose…

…but nothing to put it on!

So, I went to the next best store…

LOWE’S!

It’s amazing what you can find at a home improvement store!

I had looked everywhere for something to use to act as a form to build my fascinator on, but since I couldn’t find anything I went and got some aluminum screening (like you would use on a window screen).

And I made my own form!

Emptying July 7, 2011 123

I covered the aluminum with some white duct tape, and made it look a little turtle-ish.

Emptying July 7, 2011 124

But, then I covered it with some fabric, and voila! a fascinator form is born!

Amanda's Fascinator 12

I added some pearly things…I cheated and got the kind that were self adhesive.

Amanda's Fascinator 9

And A. Rose, butterfly and feathery things…

Amanda's Fascinator 8

And a fascinator was born.

Amanda's Fascinator 6

I had sent her this fascinator in the hopes she would know how much she was loved and missed, with no expectations.

I think she understood because this is what she wore in her hair on her wedding day.

I felt loved and missed.

Google+ Becky = One Happy Mama

So, I don’t normally do this (DON’T LAUGH!).

But I’ve got something to say.

Google+

Heard of it?

Yes? No?

Well, it’s basically taking social networking to a whole new level.

Right now it’s kind of like Disney World on a holiday.

Full to capacity!

They’re not letting anyone else in…

…yet…

unless someone invites you!

But…

I’m in.

They say it’s because the program is still in the testing phase.

I just like to think that I’m finally one of the cool kids and get to hang out in an exclusive club.

No?

Well, I did say, “I JUST LIKE TO THINK” that!

Seriously, they are still testing things out.

But, let me tell you it’s gonna be pretty cool when it is all happy, happy – joy, joy!

Wanna know what its’ got?

Circles
How many times have you posted something on FaceBook that you only wanted a few people to see and not, I repeat, NOT the whole world?

In Google+ you have that ability.

You want to say something to your friends, like, ohhhhh, complain about cousin Myrtl, but then Myrtl sees it and calls her mom who calls your granny who calls your mom who calls you to ask why you would do such a thing?

In Google+ you have Circles of people who you can share things with – currently I’ve seen circles of Friends, Family, Acquaintances, Following (kind of like Twitter), and High School Friends.

There is also the ability to create new circles.

I will probably make one of Laura Bush Scholars, ‘cause I am one and we have a support group.

I will probably make one of Sept2Kmom, ‘cause I am one of those too and WE have a support group.

(I didn’t realize I needed this much support!)

Once you have someone in your Circle, you can start a Hangout.

Hangout

I L-O-V-E to hang out with my friends, but how do you do that online?

In Google+ a Hangout is kinda like Skyping.

Living THOUSANDS of miles from family and friends, I use Skype ALL the time!

In fact, Big’s best friend received a web cam from us for her birthday this year so that she and Big can talk face to face!

Once things are up and running, so to speak, I’m really looking forward to this feature…

Why?

It will give me the opportunity to basically video chat with not just one but numerous people at the same time!

I will be able to talk to my Mama, my Sissy, my Great Aunt Eunice, and my friend all at the same time!
YIPE!

Sparks

Okay, I have to admit, this one confused me a little at first.

Then I played with it,

And it was GOOOOOD!

Basically what you do is take the happy little search line,

Type in whatever *SPARKS* your interest,

Click the search icon,

And add it to your spark list!

The spark will then list out all the articles on the subject of your choosing for you to peruse for
scathingly brilliant ideas!

I happen to have 4 current sparks – couponing, crafting, library, young adult books and recipes.

My basic go to list of what I like to look at when I am scanning the web!

Games

If you are someone who likes the whole “social network” thing but hates all the game notices posted on your wall, this could be the platform for you!

I have YET to find a game on Google+!

That is not to mean that they aren’t there…

I just haven’t found them yet!

Photos

Google+ was designed by the people that brought you Google! (duh)

It was also designed with those who use their smart phones and tablets to access the internet.

There is an ap that allows you to take photos and have them upload instantly to your Google+ account!

How cool is that!?!

Now, I just need a smart phone…

*******************************************************************

Anywho,
I’ve gotten mixed reviews from people about Google+, most aren’t sure about it.

But that’s pretty much the norm for anything at this phase in production.

We aren’t sure if we like it or not.

I say, give it a chance!
(and not just cause I know a guy who work s for the company)

You have to remember that Google+ is still being tested.

They will probably tweak things as the testing progresses.

Technology is constantly evolving, and this will most likely be no excpetion.

Take the time and get to know the program,

Watch the How-To videos,

Upload some photos,

Build your circles,

Hangout,

Spark your curiosity.

I’m thinking as time progresses I will find that

Google+ Becky = One Happy Mama!

Playing in the Rain

Holy heat wave, Batman!
It’s been hotter than hot here in the-Middle-of-Nowhere Tennessee!
Today was 100 on the thermometer, but there was an actual temp of 110!

I took the kids to the pool today, and I jumped in for a few minutes to cool off…
…it was like swimming in a lukewarm tub!
I should’a known better, after all the radio gave the surface temperature of a nearby lake as being 84 degrees!

ACK!

I wasn’t raised for heat!
I was raised in the foothills of the North Cascades!
I was raised for RAIN!

I think Big was raised for rain too.
Last week I was going to take the girls to the pool when the clouds rolled in, the lightning flashed and the thunder boomed!
NO SWIMMING!
To say that Big was disappointed would have been an understatement.
To say that Big whined about her disappointment would have been an understatement.

So, I did what every Mama in her right mind would do!
I sent her out to play in the rain! (I waited until the thunder and lightning were gone).

Big in the Rain 8

Big in the Rain 9

Big in the Rain 10

Big in the Rain 11

Big in the Rain 12

She got soaked!
But I think she had fun.
I love to watch her laugh…

Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge: Patriotism

Today I am participating in the  Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge with Live and Love Outloud and Project Alicia. The subject this week is Patriotism.

I have been missing out on this the last couple of weeks due to some technical difficulties with getting my blog to accept photos. I think I’ve got it all figured out now…

Sorta…

Anywho, instead of taking a photo of fireworks or little kids waving flags or wearing red, white and blue I picked a photo I had taken a few weeks ago during a luminary remembrance in a national cemetery. To me, those who give their life in service to their country show the greatest form of patriotism. The 4th of July celebrates our freedom, this photo celebrates those who gave it to us.

Luminaries 5

Luminaries 4

Luminaries 2

Luminaries 1

Websites I Coupon With

So, we now know that I
1. Coupon like a (kinda) sane person
2. Get my coupons from inserts and online ….and….
3. Am slightly OCD
4. Can organize my coupons even if I can’t organize my house

I have heard over and over and over again…

That’s great that you can save so much money, but I just don’t have the time!

Don’t have the time?
Who really does have time?

I don’t!

Did I mention I have kids?

Did I mention I’m married?

Did I mention I work?

No?

Well, consider yourself informed.

I don’t have the time to sit and peruse all the local store circulars and play the matching game to if I have a coupon that goes with whatever is on sale!

So, where do I get this information?

The internet!
*pause for angelic voices singing the hallelujah chorus*

There are any number of websites out there that are devoted to saving money and couponing.
The ones I use?

Ms. Couponista – Ms. Couponista is great! I follow her both on her webpage and on Facebook. Whenever she posts something new to her page it shows up on my Facebook page and I can click the link if I want to read more. Her website is easy to read and navigate. She has some fabulous links and I have found some great freebies from links on her site! She gives a preview of upcoming sales by each individual store. It also shows what coupons match sale items, where you can find these coupons and what the final price SHOULD be.

The Krazy Coupon Lady – You might recognize this lady from the very first episode of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing.” Her website is really good too. She does the same thing with upcoming sales as Ms. Couponista. BUT, the Krazy Coupon Lady and her partner in crime also have “how to” videos – I learned a lot from the video “How to Shop Walgreens” – and a radio program. I haven’t caught the radio program yet, but I have hopes of getting there. These ladies know what they are doing! They even have a book! Pick Another Check-out Lane, Honey!

The Coupon Mom – This lady is one of the first coupon gurus. She had appeared on morning television programs, written a book, and has her own website. The thing I don’t like about this website is that you have to subscribe. It’s free, but still kinda annoying to sign on each time I want to check out her pages. There are many things I like about her website, mainly that I can get shopping sales that are happening in my state! A lot of times websites will tell you of a great deal and list the sale, coupons, etc. and you go to the store all excited and WHUMP! This item isn’t on sale / the same sale price / or NON EXISTENT! With the coupon lady, you select your state and then your store and BAM! There are sales that are relevant to your area! Her sale preview pages are a love / hate relationship. I love how I can click next to items I want to purchase and then print out the completed list at the bottom to make shopping easier. I dislike that I find her sale / coupon / final price spreadsheet confusing.
 Couponing to Disney – LOVE this site almost as much as Ms. Couponista! What I like here is that she has a list of items for $1 at WalMart and Target! She has much of the same info as Ms. Couponista and The Krazy Coupon Lady, but she shows that your savings can add up to something huge! There are money saving challenges and forums for sharing and support.

Do I need this many?

Nah… the first three are just different versions of the same thing. The last one is one that I find inspiring. It goes to show what you can accomplish by couponing, and, well, I want to go see Pooh Bear.

Another website I’ve recently discovered is Coupon Cleanout. This webpage, hosted by Celeste, fulfills a specific need. It tells people when they can throw out complete inserts. You see there is a faction of couponers who leave their coupon inserts complete until they need a specific coupon out of it. Then they go to their inserts, find the correct date (every insert has a date on the spine), clip their coupon and go shopping!

I don’t do this, but I have thought about it…I’m fairly obsessed with my clear coupon holders…

Anywho, with individual coupons it is very easy to see exactly when a specific coupon expires. With a complete insert, not so easy – so how do you know when all the coupons inside are expired? You go to the Coupon Cleanout, select your state and go down the list. The website is FREE (a coupon clipper’s favorite word), easy to use, and gives you places to “recycle” your expired coupons to people who can still use them, namely the service families living on military bases overseas.
If you want to know how I put it all together, I will “show” you in my next couponing installment…with pictures and everything!

By Jove I Think I’ve Got IT!

Okay, I think I’ve got this picture thing figured out.
I am computer competent.
I sometimes have delusions of being computer brilliant.
Not so much.
I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong where my photos were concerned!
They filled up my available memory on wordpress.
Wordpress wanted money to post more pictures.
This Mama don’t play that game.
Someone told me to copy the pictures from Flickr.
I’ve been playing with it for the better part of a week.
But, now, I think I’ve got the hang of it…
The Baby Girl
I’ll be back soon with a FABULOUS post about what you’ve been missing!