Wednesday, October 31, 2007

guess what's true

WAY cool thing on Pezlady's blog. You make a list of four things you have done in your life; 3 are true and 1 is a lie and you have to guess which one it is.

1) I used to be able to walk on my hands.

2) When I was a teenager I was so self-conscious about the hair on my arms I used to fantasize about shaving it off.

3) When I was pregnant with my third child, the doctors told me off for not gaining weight.

4) When in high school I dated the vice-principal's son who was 18 months younger than me.

So there we go. Winner gets a million dollars! =) Ok..well, not really.

I have a massive headache

One of my children seriously misbehaved last night and it totally depressed my husband and I. We were kind of shell shocked last night, and are trying to get ourselves together today.

I was going through my email this morning and found an email from my mother that has lightened my mood and cheered me up considerably. I think I've probably posted it before, but I'm going to do it again in the hopes that it will lighten someone else's mood as well. =D

Whenever your children are out of control,you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve, and the first thing he said was"DON'T !"

"Don't what ?"Adam replied.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit." God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve..we have forbidden fruit!"

"No Way!"

"Yes way!"

"Do NOT eat the fruit!" said God.


"Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.

A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked !

"Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?" God asked.

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?" said the Father.

"I don't know," said Eve.

"She started it!" Adam said.

"Did not! "

"Did too!"


Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.


If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you ?

1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.

2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.

3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.

5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.

6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.

Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.

If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the bottle: "take two" and "keep away from children"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just babbling

I have been reading babycatcher and it's left me teary eyed and feeling helpless. I can't believe the amount of natural multiple births there are! The high level of death in childbirth tears at my heart.

Andrew has a cold and threw up a few times this morning because of all the phlegm. Poor little man.

I'm still in my nightdress and have accomplished nothing today except taking care of the Drew. I feel like such a failure sometimes. Ok, most of the time.

Maybe I should drag myself to the treadmill, but I'm kind of afraid that if I go into my bedroom I'll just take a nap instead.

We have some friends who are moving to the area and asked if they could please stay with us for two days. Bert was fine with just the two days. Now, however, it appears to be extending into four or five...and I'm just such an appalling hostess.

Bert and I are basically hermits, happy to be left alone. My parents are really good with guests, but I feel kind of...lost.

The missionaries called last night and asked me to come to the church at 12.45pm-2.30pm "or something like that" so that they and other missionaries could practice "Feed my Sheep". I said Andrew was sick with a cold and that was his nap time and asked if they could call around but that I'd come if they couldn't find anyone else.

One of the elders called a while later and after smarming a bit (it sounds harsh, but that's really what it was) asked me to come along because they'd called people to come help but they had to go to work and contractors were coming around and all they had all kinds of excuses like that. This all said with the attitude of "what's wrong with these people that they won't drop everything to do what we want?"

Excuse me?????

I called him out on it telling him that in ten years he'd see just exactly what working life was like.

He then said that he'd like me to come at 12.30pm and later amended that to 12.45pm so I could sleep in a bit longer.


I didn't let that pass either, immediately asking him what time he got up. "6.30am" he proudly declared, "every morning". I nearly wet myself laughing (to myself, not aloud - didn't want to hurt the poor chap's feelings). Do you remember the luxury of sleeping in until 6.30am? WOW! Do you remember when that seemed incredibly early? ROFL! =D He was a bit surprised to learn what time we got up in the morning.

Later I thought I should have let him know that while he was calling me in the evening, in the warmth of his own flat, his day's work over, about to go to bed, my husband was still at work. But yeah, you know, all members are just lazy slobs who never do any work and can't even be bothered to arrange for people for the missionaries to teach, you know?

I really didn't intend to write about that whole situation at all. I guess it must be bugging me a bit more than I thought. I need to remember that scripture in Romans that I posted on Sunday and quit being judgmental. I was a self-absorbed 19 year old as well, and I only served a mini-mission for two weeks, not two years. So I should just calm down, you know? He's a greenie for goodness' sakes, and perhaps needs a bit more time to adjust. He has given his time to the Lord, he is the Lord's child, and the Lord loves him. How can I do less? It's a failing in me that I'm offended by his words and attitude.

Bert was more than a little miffed at this particular Elder's attitude and in a fit of extreme miffness asked me to please not make any more dinner appointments with the missionaries until this young man has moved on to pastures greener. Ouch. Pity, as his companion is a lovely young man who we very much respect.

As a Post script, Andrew threw up a few times so I had to cancel the thing with the missionaries. I was relieved. Andrew needs to rest. The missionary was not happy, but managed to say he hoped Andrew felt better soon. =)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Scripture of the Week

Romans 2:1

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.


I'm behind in my Sunday School reading, therefore I'm only on Romans. Anyone else finding Paul as difficult as I am? He really stretches my head and I often find myself thinking "huh?" =Þ

The Hillbilly Housewife

Upon hearing that Tristi had budget issues as well a myself this month, I thought it likely that others were also experiencing the same opportunities to grow in creativity. =) Thus, I thought I'd post here my favourite website for budget cooking:

The Hillbilly Housewife

This website also has a fantastic recipe index and an excessively helpful emergency $45 menu. I imagine the $45 menu runs about $50-$60 these days, but that's still good for a family of five.

I'm looking for a fabulous pattern for an apron - anyone know where I can get one?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tag! I'm it.

Oh! I've been tagged for the first time! =)
Carrie tagged me. =)

Ok, so here I go.

1. I used to be a gothic punk. One of the first wave ones: Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Souixsie and the Banshees, The Cure to a certain extent, but they were more mainstream by the time I got around to hearing them. And how is it that the above article forgot the Cramps??? Man that band was cool. I remember seeing them at Loughborough Uni and the singer was wearing rubber trousers with no waistband and they were slowly edging down his body and the whole audience was staring fascinated, wondering if they'd actually fall ALL the way off. As it was, the set ended with them incredibly dangerously low. And I was after Nelson Piperides but he was more interested in....some other guy. =( TOTAL bummer. I hasten to point out I was not LDS at this point. =D This "other part of Mummy" sometimes freaks the kids out...they look at me like I'm a totally different person to who they thought I was. Like I was always old and fat, you know? =D

Anyway, I was not "goth" as it means today. Goths back then were on the hippie side of things, not on the "really profane filthy music hating judging everybody and shooting people" side of things. Plus, goths these days wear COLOUR! I mean! Come on!

2. I was born in Kowloon, Hong Kong

3. I'm essentially an incredibly selfish and lazy person and it bugs me to death.

4. I'm really annoyed by feminists who claim to be all about upholding women but really disparage true womanhood and femininity.

5. I have Political Views and Social Views and am truly Opinionated but unfortunately am not very good with words so mostly end up sounding like a wally.

6. I used to make cards, write poetry, cross-stitch, do tapestry, paint (it was only paint by numbers, but STILL), make bracelets, etc etc....but now I have a computer and homeschool. It was an excellent trade. =) I can do all that other stuff some other time, but my children are only young once.

7. I am married to the most gorgeous hottest guy I know. Furthermore, he's incredibly hardworking and lets me lie in on a Saturday while he takes care of Andrew, thus depriving himself of his only lie-in of the week. How cool is that?

Aaaannnnd, I tag Ritsumei, TC, Tristi, Pezlady, Candace, Ms. Parker, who is not a spaz in any way at all, even though the name of her blog declares she is. =)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Date Night Aural Ecstasy

Bert brought his work home this evening. That is to say, an Infinity G35s. It's an old model which will be replaced by the car (one of the cars) he's working on.

This Infinity G35s has a sound system by Bose.

O h M y G o s h .

We listened to various songs which sounded AMAZING.

When we came home from our date (El Guadalajara again - they know us in there now. =D) we just sat in the driveway listening to music. =D

It all sounded good.

And then...Bert put on "Time" from Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon".

I just about wet myself. There was something inside me screaming and fainting like a tweenie at a Beatles concert. I melted into the (very comfortable) seat.

You haven't heard anything until you've heard music in that car. Run, don't walk, to your nearest Infinity dealer (taking along mega cool CDs), and listen to that music. Loud. Don't take your kids, the intense sound will frighten them. Or, if you do take your kids, make sure you keep them at least 20 feet away from the sound system. =)

Bert's still in the car listening to CDs....he's in the driveway and I can hear him through the garage and the door... =D

The only problem I have now is that the car costs about $30,000 more than the one I have now. Furthermore, my kids can't fit comfortably in the back seat, especially as they're used to my beautiful spacious blue VW van. Dang.

Just what the heck is wrong with me?

Ugh. Something's different about you, and not in a good way. Whenever people look at you, they probably sigh dramatically, because they're so nostalgic for the way you used to be. Yes, everything changes eventually, but we wish you hadn't changed so much so soon. We know you weren't trying to hurt us, but this "new you" just feels all wrong. Is there any chance we could convince you to change back?

7% of the people who took this quiz got the same evaluation.

Hmmm, yeah well maybe

Feeling Blessed

Well, it's been a difficult week considering we were out of money. =Þ

I learned that when you THINK you are low on food, then you're constantly hungry no matter what you eat. It was amazing! I ate the same amount as I ordinarily do, but was STARVING the first few days of the week. Furthermore, I was craving comfort food; chocolate, chips etc.

Luckily I had basic food in my freezer so we were all good. I even had a packet of chocolate chips so made chocolate chip pie. =)

It was a good lesson to me about food storage. What did I crave when I thought we were out of food? Chips, chocolate, bread, oatmeal.

It also let me know that the food I have in our 72 hour kits - yeah, they're not going to cut it. When you think you're in a deprived situation, you eat MORE than you need to. So I need to put all kinds of fun comfort foods in my kit.

Luckily, Bert gets paid on the 26th which is...yeah, today. Hooray! =) Just in time as it's the birthday of one of the ladies I Visit-teach. So I bought her some coolio flowers...crazy daisies. I love those things. =)

By her house there was a garage sale. With a toy car. Now....I don't know if I've mentioned how much Andrew likes cars. He's kind of obsessed. So there's this very feminine VW bug....and we're kind of nutty about VWs in this house. Soooooo, I checked the price. $20. I though "Ok, I'll offer them $10" until I realize it's a POWER WHEELS. And, furthermore, it WORKS!

So I bought it. Yeah. That's why I'm out of money the last week of the month - I buy things from garage sales as soon as I get my money at the almost-beginning of the month.

Now, this picture LOOKS like Andrew would stay in the car and drive it. Ohhhhh no. What was he more interested in? Checking the engine. He walked all around trying to figure out how to get the hood up or the boot open and finally realized he could flip his seat up and inspect the battery. Which he duly did.

After that he went back and forth: climbed into the car, shut the door. Opened the door, climbed out of the car, flipped the seat up, checked the "engine". Flipped the seat down, climbed back into the car, shut the door. And so on and so forth. Screamed when I said it was time for food. "FOOD??? What are you talking about woman??? I have ENGINES to check out!"

Meanwhile, Ben came out of the bathroom with toilet paper shoved up each nostril and trailing on the ground. I said "AGH! Look at all that toilet paper you're wasting!" He looked at me like I was COMPLETELY INSANE. "Mum!" He declared, like I was an idiot, "I'm a Chinese Monk!" Oh! Wow, sorry, I have no idea how I didn't see that at first glance.

Here is the Chinese Monk in a Manly Pose. I guess the normal monk pose is unmanly??

I forgot to mention when I said I had no money. Actually, I had $3 in my wallet. This was fine until I remembered that Ben had a guitar lesson. Bert keeps change on his dresser top, so I snagged it and took it to Kroger to one of those coin machines.

I had the $3 so I knew I needed $12 after Coinstar took their hit off the top. I looked at the amount of change I had - it looked like mostly pennies - and I thought it would be about $5. Luckily Ben's guitar teacher is really cool and thus wouldn't freak out if I didn't have exactly the right amount - he'd let it slide until next week.

I didn't want to let it slide, though. I'm not comfortable with that. So I was saying a little prayer in my heart as I walked into Kroger with the stash. It was more of a wish, really, "Oh please let there be enough. It's ok if it's not that much, I'm sure it's only $5 but oh please let it be enough...."

I stuck the money in the machine.


I got teary eyed right there looking at that total. I'm SO THANKFUL to my Heavenly Father for hearing and answering prayers. Because of that I was not only able to pay for Ben's guitar lesson in full, but I was able to buy:

a can of tuna fish
4 pkts ramen noodles
a can of peas
a box of saltines

Doesn't sound like much - but oh gosh it felt better than buying a bunchload of groceries. I felt SOOOOOO blessed and grateful. And the kids were ecstatic about the ramen and saltines. =)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A little ditty dedicated to my beloved children

To the tune of "Give Said the Little Stream"
by John Bytheway.


Clean up your room you slob
What a mess, get a job
You'll get an avalanche
When you open up your door
Your bed's in there
But you're not sure where
'Cos your junk's piled everywhere.

Mounds and mounds of dirty clothes
Mouldy crusts from Dominos
They're offensive to my nose
Use a firehose.

I feel so boring.

Vanilla! Vanilla! How dang boring is that???

Ok ok, the description of the character is pretty dang cool, and with vanilla you can put gads of el yummo toppings on and all that but come on!!!!

I'm more of a peanut butter cup perfection person myself.

In other news, last night I made two chocolate chip pies. There's tons left over. Please feel free to help yourself to a slice. Only make sure you have a glass of milk too because woooeeee is it rich. =)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Predatory behaviour

After having read this disturbing and horrifying article, (also seen here,)I wanted to have my scriptures refer to children, and how precious they are.

Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Isaiah 54:13
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

My mother remembers when she was little she had a teacher would would put his hand into ALL the little girl's pants. So this kind of predatory behaviour has been going on for years.

And here from a homeschooling group I belong to are some absolutely brilliant homeschooling quotes - mostly from LDS leaders, but a couple of wonderful zingers from non-lds personalities. =)

"In many places it is literally not safe physically for youngsters to go to school. And in many schools - and it's becoming almost generally true - it is spiritually unsafe to attend public schools. Look back over the history of education to the turn of the century and the beginning of the educational philosophies, pragmatism and humanism were the early ones, and they branched out into a number of other philosophies which have led us now into a circumstance where our schools are producing the problems that we face."
Elder Boyd K. Packer
Charge to the David O. McKay School of Education at BYU, October 9, 1996
http://education. archives/ prophets/ packer.html/
___________ ______

"Whatever you do, be choice in your selections of teachers. We do not want infidels to mold the minds of our children."-- John Taylor
____________ _________ _

We feel that the time has arrived when the proper education of our children should be taken in hand by us as a people. Religious training is practically excluded from the District Schools. The perusal of books that we value as divine records is forbidden. Our children, if left to the training they receive in these schools, will grow up entirely ignorant of these principles of salvation for which the Latter-day Saints have made so many sacrifices. To permit this condition of things to exist among us would be criminal. The desire is universally expressed by all thinking people in the Church that we should have schools where the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants can be used as text books, and where the principles of our religion may form a part of the teaching of the schools. (Messages of the First Presidency, 3:168) --Wilford Woodruff
____________ _________ _

There is a spirit working among the Saints to educate their own offspring. If our children will be all we will have for a foundation of glory in eternity, how needful that they be properly trained... There are wolves among us in sheep's clothing ready to lead astray our little ones... Wolves do not devour old sheep when there are any young ones. I have herded sheep long enough to know that. Look after your children. (Collected Discourses 2:138.)
John W. Taylor
Wow, this one is really apropos to the topic of the day innit?
____________ _________ _

"We advised them to follow the counsel of the Brethren. If they cannot attend a Church school, and this will be increasingly the case, they should gather with other members of the Church at a school where an institute of religion is available to them. Then, as they study secular subjects, they may learn the “covenants and church articles” as the scriptures tell us we should. (D&C 42:13.)
They will not be judged on how many degrees they hold or how extensive their schooling may be, but on how well educated they are in those things which are of eternal value.
We told our family that we will be quite as proud of them learning a trade as we would a profession. We will be equally pleased with them if they choose vocational schools and make their living with their hands.
After all, education continues as long as we live. If there is ever an end to secular learning, surely there is no end to spiritual learning."
Boyd K. Packer
____________ _________ ___

"We can see that not all activities we could engage in are equally important even though they may appropriately be a part of a spiritually balanced family unity development program. Some concerns have higher priorities. We remember the words of Nephi as he counseled: 'And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ . . . that our children may know to what source they look' (2 Ne. 25:26). What inner strength would be in every person if he knew that
the Master and His teachings were indeed his great source of guidance, his
great source of correct example, his great source of help! That is our prime goal in all our teaching in the home."
Spencer W. Kimball
"Therefore I Was Taught"
Tambuli, Aug. 1982, 3)
____________ __

True education does not consist merely in the acquiring of a few facts of science, history, literature or art, but in the development of character. True education awakens a desire to conserve health by keeping the body clean and undefiled. True education trains in self-denial and self-mastery. True education regulates the temper, subdues passion and makes obedience to social laws and moral order a guiding principle of life. It develops reason and inculcates faith in the living God as the
eternal loving Father of all."
David O. McKay
Conference Report
Apr. 1928, 102
____________ _________ __

"One of these days they are going to remove so much of the 'hooey' and the thousands of things the schools have become clogged up with, and we will find that we can educate our broods for about one-tenth of the price and learn 'em something that they might accidentally use after they escape."
Will Rogers

"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."
Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The incredible invisible woman

My friend just sent this to me. Wow. It's fantabulous.

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going - she's going - she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eye s of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to my self. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As invisible women, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not an Austin Healey

The other night when Andrew was a crazy man and wouldn't stay in his room, Bert eventually grabbed him, firmly stuck him in bed and told him in no uncertain terms he was to stay there, did he understand?

Andrew looked up at him with his huge bright blue eyes and sweetly replied, "Yes dear" =D =D

For this next cute story, for those of you who don't know, my name is Keeley and my husband owns an MG midget.

We went to a British car show on Saturday. It must have made a big impression on Andrew because he was showing me his bright red convertible car toy car. "Look!" he said, "It's an MG!" There was a slight pause and then he corrected himself thusly:

"It's an Austin Keeley!" =)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shock and review

Just before I came online to write a little bit about the books I've just received from Amazon, I read an email from my Mum and Dad. In England gas is $16/gal. Yes, you read that right.


Oh my GOSH. I don't think we're going to be traveling around England too much when we go over there.

Anyway, so the second and third shipment of books arrived from Amazon.

The first shipment contained The Giant Jam Sandwich . This book is BRILLIANT and WONDERFUL and just as fantastic as I remember. I got all excited and giggly inside as I read it. It isn't on the sonlight level A list of books to read, but it's quite probably the very best one I've bought for Andrew to read. =) Highly recommended to absolutely everyone. =)

101 Favorite Stories from the Bible is a fine book. The stories, I think, will be a bit old and complicated for Andrew and I'll probably wait until the end of the year before attempting to read them to him.

There is a lovely colourful picture, a scripture and some questions on each of the stories. For example, after Esther the scripture is:

"He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness and honour." Proverbs 21:21

The questions are:
1. Who was Esther?
2. What made the king angry?
3. Why did the king choose Esther?

As you can see, it's going to be a bit difficult for a 2 year old to answer those questions... =D

It seems kind of odd reading the stories in the language we speak today rather than in scripture (I'm so used to the KJV). However, on a second flip through of the book I find I'm enjoying the stories. If it proves too difficult for Andrew in the next year, no doubt we will enjoy it when he's older.

A First book of Fairy Tales is a really lovely paperback book. It's small enough to not be an uncomfortable hardback digging into your leg and making your arms ache while you read it. =D It has really beautiful illustrations and the stories are just about the right length for a 2-3 year old. =) I'm looking forward to reading this one with Drew.

A Robert McCloskey Collection, however, is an uncomfortable hardback that will dig into my leg and make my arms ache. =) However, it's a beautiful book. I already own "Make Way for Ducklings". "One morning in Maine" is going to be WAAAAAAYYYY too long for Andrew. However, I was absolutely delighted with "Lentil". =) It's going to be fun reading that story, though I imagine I'll only be able to get through a page or two before Andrew loses interest. I would say these stories are better for a 4-6 year old. The book is really lovely though, and the stories are good.

Lastly, Noah's Ark is, I think, going to be the perfect book for Andrew. There is some text, which I can probably skip if I need to, and the pictures are chock-full of things to look at. Andrew's going to rabbit on forever when he sees it. =) It will be less a case of me reading to him than him reading to me. =) I will, however, definitely be skipping the page where the animals who didn't get on the ark drown...that might be a bit difficult to explain to a sensitive little one.

A word about Amazon customer service. "Noah's Ark" arrived with a paper in it saying "Damaged". It looked like one that would be used for inter-office communication rather than one that should be sent to a customer. The spine of Noah's Ark was indeed damaged; it has a kink in it and has been abraded. It hasn't rendered the book unreadable though.

So after some time of searching I FINALLY found a number to call at Amazon. (Actually, I entered my number and they called me.) I talked to someone with a decided Eastern European accent; I wonder if he was even in this country. It made him a little difficult to understand, but with concentration it was fine. He was a very polite young man. He was calm and efficient. He listened to what I had to say and immediately said he'd send a replacement - he did not ask me to return the damaged book, which blew me away. WOW! Maybe he hadn't got to that bit yet, but what incredible customer service. However, I didn't need a new book as this one is perfectly readable, so I asked instead for a discount. He thanked me (?!) and suggested a 20% refund which was just fine for me. So that will be credited to my card in the next 2-3 days. Very quick, very easy, very polite and I was offered much more than was needed to correct the problem. =) 10/10 for Amazon customer service.

And now to get Drew ready so we can go to the British Car Show here in Franklin. Bert's taking his MG and is very excited about it. =)

Friday, October 12, 2007

How Insulting

Thought I'd share these little witticisms with you. Enjoy. =)

When Insults Had Class

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
- Winston Churchill

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
- Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
- Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
- Moses Hadas

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
- Abraham Lincoln

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
- Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
- Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in reply

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some of the books arrive! =)

The Sonlight shipment arrived today:

Instructors Guide
Ian and the gigantic leafy obstacle
Poems and prayers for little ones.

My first impression: Neah, it's ok.

I don't know what I was expecting with the IG, I mean, for goodness sakes, this is a TODDLER curriculum. All I know of IGs though is the one I got with Ben's Core 6; HUGE. I mean, the binder is like a 15". =D Humongous.

The Toddler IG is an extremely slim bound volume of maybe ten pages. Ok, hold on, let me count. Yeah, it's ten pages. It's basically a list of books and stories, divided into Trimesters. There are some suggestions of activities to do with your child once you've read the book.

For example, after "Goodnight Moon" cook and enjoy Cream of Mushroom Soup or Cream of Wheat. (A bowl full of mush. Andrew loves that bowl of mush in the book. =D)
After reading "The Princess and the Pea" the suggestions are "eat peas for dinner" and "Glue dried peas on a sheet of paper to create a design."
After reading The Ugly Duckling, make animal noises.
After reading "A Chair for my Mother" start a penny jar to save for something for the family.

Hmm, well. I don't know. I paid $10 for this thing, and $6.50 shipping. That's a whopping $16.50! For ten pages! That's $1.65 a page for goodness sakes. YEOW! Is it worth it? Well. No. No it's not. It's worth about ...hmmm, I'd probably pay $3-$5 for the guide, and another $1 shipping. That's it. I going to send it back? I don't know. Probably not.

The other two books in the shipment were a disappointment.

"Ian and the Gigantic Leafy Obstacle" was WAY too long of a book for Andrew to sit through. He managed about two pages and then I had to condense the other pages into a few words each. Andrew really liked the book because it had a picture of a jeep in it. Frankly, give that kid ANY book with a picture of any vehicle in it and he's happy. The story, while a lovely one about how God answers prayers, did have an evangelist feel to it that made me uncomfortable. I feel that maybe I could have found one at or something that would be a better fit for our family, and would have cost the same amount. Will I send it back? I don't know yet.

"Poems and Prayers for the very young", again, is a really lovely little book. It's just really weird to me to read prayers that little children are meant to recite. They're beautiful prayers - it's just kind of odd to have a prayer written and prescribed. I prefer it when Andrew speaks what's in his heart at the time. (Dear Hefader, pease bess a Mama an Daddy an Emmy an Ben an Andew a cheerios an mok (milk). In de name a Desus Cwis amen) There are some sweet little poems in here though. But there's sweet little poems in other poetry books I have so I feel like this one is superfluous.

All in all, I'm quite disappointed and it makes me happy that I didn't just order the whole thing from Sonlight. I'm most excited about "Bread, Bread, Bread" coming and "The Giant Jam Sandwich"...both of which, actually, weren't on the Sonlight list at all.

Maybe I'll just send all the Sonlight order back and wing it. It seems I'm most comfortable doing that anyway. =)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


In an astonishing coincidence, I came across the word "Venery" again, in an entirely different setting.

Ben and I are reading "Children of the New Forest". In chapter four, Jacob and Edward go on their very first hunting trip. Jacob shoots a Hart Royal, and they bring the stag home.

"During the walk home, Jacob initiated Edward into the terms of venery and many other points connected with deer-stalking, with which we shall not trouble our readers."

And I thought, "hold on a mo...that sounds like the same word Benjamin Franklin used for sexual gratification". So after we finished reading I looked on and lo and behold, it IS the same word.

1.The gratification of sexual desire. Origin 1490-1500
2. The practice or sport of hunting; the chase. Origin 1275-1325

Middle English: venerie, from Old French
Medieval Latin: Veneria
Latin: Venus, vener- meaning Desire, Love.
Which is the same root from which we get "venereal Disease."

Ah HA! Now I see the connection, if one looks as the gratification of sexual desire as a chase between a man and a woman, I can see how that meaning developed from the original meaning of the word being the chase of the stag or whatever. It later came to mean the act of sexual intercourse itself, as a further corruption of the original meaning.

Etymology is a beautiful thing. Absolutely fascinating. =)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Benjamin Franklin - a very human man beset with frailties.

"Oh, that cunning plan of the evil one, oh the vainness and the frailties and the foolishness of men. When they are learned they think they are wise and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for the set it aside supposing they know of themselves. Wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsel of God."

Benjamin Franklin, it appears from his autobiography, fell into this trap on numerous occasions. Furthermore, he appeared to want to save himself, negating the Atonement of Christ. He says, "It was about this time I conceiv'd the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish'd to live without committing any fault at any time;"

Yes, very admirable I'm sure. The impression I get of Franklin thus far in his autobiography was that he was incredibly stubborn, headstrong, and had quite the mouth about him. He was very strict with himself; an exceptionally hard worker, qualities I admire very much. He was an incredibly independent man from a very young age. However, he had other qualities which I do not admire at all. I can see no evidence, as yet, of his affection for his wife; he entered matrimony as a business arrangement.

He was before almost betrothed to Miss Read, then went to London and as soon as he got there wrote to her telling her to get lost, basically. (Lovely) While in London he attempted to seduce the fiancee of a friend of his (The friend, btw, was married to another woman and had abandoned her after she had a child. What great company Franklin kept. He and his friend are quite the pair) but was repulsed and this caused a great rift between his friend and himself.

After he came back from England he wanted to marry a young lady, but because her family wouldn't give him enough money he didn't marry her (See what I mean about it being a business arrangement?) He later met up with Miss Read again and acknowledged she was pretty miserable and it was probably due to him dumping her. He said it was a "great erratum" on his part to have done that, and so married her.

I don't think I would have touched him with a ten foot bargepole.

Anyway, so he's trying to be perfect and acknowledges he can't be and so decides to created HABITS to work on. Sounds kinda like Charlotte Mason. =) These habits are pretty dang good. And here they are:

1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid
trifling conversation.

3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of
your business have its time.

4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without
fail what you resolve.

5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself;
i.e., waste nothing.

6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful;
cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly,
and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits
that are your duty.

9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as
you think they deserve.

10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or

11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common
or unavoidable.

12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to
dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or

13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Venery: the gratification of sexual desire. Rarely use Venery but for health? Anyone know what he means by that?

And putting Socrates on the same plane as Jesus? Hmm, yes well. See what I mean about "When men are learned they think they are wise"?

I am finding Franklin's biography absolutely fascinating. One sees his pride in his learning so clearly. While he certainly set an absolutely admirable example of self-education, he was also lifted up in his heart because of this. He delighted in confounding others with twisty logic - lifting himself up by putting them down. Not very nice at all.

I believe he was so prideful that he cut off all contact with his only son, and never reconciled with him. What a waste! I've yet to read about that in his autobiography though.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Books Books Wonderful Books

During the Saturday morning session I was standing at the kitchen sink washing some dishes whilst the beautiful music played. I was thinking about the books I wanted to buy Andrew from Sonlight and wondering about them.

I right then I felt a confirmation that homeschooling Andrew is the right thing to do. How thankful I am for personal revelation and for the tender mercies of our Saviour! =)

So on Saturday night I sat down and wrestled with Sonlight Core A. It took me several hours of checking prices looking up information etc, but I finally made a decision and plonked down the money (Agh! Scary!). After that I felt SO good about it and at peace. =) This is what I bought and from where I bought it:

Instructor's guide for Level A.
Ian and the Gigantic Leafy Obstacle. (Because it was cheaper from Sonlight)
Poems and Prayers for the Very Young. Again, because it was cheaper. I'm still unsure as to whether I really want both of these books. I guess if I don't like them I can always sell them. =)

Items we did NOT purchase from Level A:
Book Labels, Scissors, crayons and construction paper. We already have enough. =D
Hans Christian Anderson's Fairy Tales. Mainly because I HATE HCA! Such awful depressing stories.
Horton Hatches the Egg. Way too expensive.
Mighty Mind. We have something similar already
Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm. I read that there was some pretty disturbing text and pictures in the book.
Richard Scarry's "What do people do all day?" I think I can get that one at the half-price book shop near us.
Teddy Mix and Match. Andrew prefers cars.
Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies. I have a Toddler Sing and Dance with a gazillion songs already and that will work just as well, methinks. =)

Sonlight Level A books that I bought from Amazon cos it was way cheaper:
Hop on Pop. Substitution for Horton Hatches the Egg
Dr. Seuss's ABC. Substitution for Horton
Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics.
101 Favorite Stories from the Bible.
Mike Mulligan and More. I really hope this book is worthwhile...
Noah's Ark. Since we got the Little People's Noah's Ark at a garage sale on Saturday for $2 and Andrew fell madly in love with it, I'm kind of excited to get this book. =D
A Robert McCLoskey Collection. I'm hoping this one is worth it too...we already have Make Way for Ducklings, but none of the others.
Go Dog, Go!
20th Century Children's Book Treasury. I must admit I would have preferred to have bought all these books individually in order to make them more toddler user-friendly; however that would have cost over $200, so I stuck with this book. =D
The Bee Tree.
The Year at Maple Hill Farm. Substitution for Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm by the same author.
Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs. I really thought long and hard about whether we needed this one. After all he doesn't know anyone that's going to pop their clogs any time soon, so why introduce the subject? However, the incredibly positive reviews at Amazon convinced me to give it a try.
A First Book of Fairy Tales.
Flip Flap body book. I didn't buy this actual version, but one exactly like it. However that one doesn't have a picture on the page. =)
Eloise Wilkin Stories. I've never even HEARD of this before. Hope it's good.
The Tall Book of Nursery Tales.
Vehicle Mix and Match. Substitution for Teddy Mix and Match.

I also bought, just because I wanted to because I thought they were really nifty even though they don't have anything to do with Sonlight Level A:
A Child's Book of Art.
Bread, Bread, Bread. I've wanted to share this book with my children for years but have been too cheap to buy it. I'm so excited to get it! =)
The Giant Jam Sandwich. One of my favourite books of all time when I was a child. I found it at the library in MI and read it to Ben who loved it too. I mentioned to him today that I'd bought it and he was SO excited. =D We're both really looking forward to this one arriving. =)

So there we go. In a couple of weeks we're going to be having an early Christmas. =) Hooray!

All this, even with the extras and the substitutions, cost me about $25 less than if I'd simply ordered from Sonlight. And if I'd done THAT I would have ended up with a bunch of stuff I didn't want and none of the nifty stuff I did! =D

Scripture for the week

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

I have been trying to internalize this scripture for my entire married life. Still haven't got it down. =Þ I'm getting better though! Maybe by the time Bert and I pop our clogs I will finally have learned not to snarl when I'm irritated. =D

Friday, October 05, 2007

What a super day. =)

Had a WONDERFUL day.

Field trip day, and thus, LIE-IN! =) Woo hoo! And then we faffed about and had fun before we went off to The Morning Glory Apple Orchard. We had a really good time. Andrew made a friend with a lovely little girl called Mia Grace - he even shared his CAR with her. WOW! =)

Right afterwards Ben went to Jack's house and was there until we picked him up just after 9pm. He had a good time. =)

Andrew and I went to the second hand shop and I bought:
Four pairs of trousers for him ($15)
Two Leap Frog books for Christmas for him ($2 ea)
Blueberries for Sal for his homeschool ($2)

Then we went to the half price books store where I bought more books for his homeschool:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar ($5.50)
On Mother's Lap ($2.50)
The Cheerios Halloween Play Book ($1)
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything ($1)
A Hole is to Dig ($3.50)
Goodnight Moon ($5.59)

I also found Capt. Marryat's Children of the New Forest which is WONDERFUL because Ben and I start reading that book together next week and the only copy I have is one my Mother was given when she was 11, so it's very precious to me and I was worried about something happening to it. So that set me back a whopping $4.

Then I picked up at random a book by E.Nesbit called the Phoenix and the Carpet or something like that. Looks fun. =) Cost a couple of dollars.

Bert checked the finances and has said I can officially begin Andrew's homeschooling. Hooray! =) I've wanted to do so ever since I saw this nifty little package.

I'm trying to decide if I want to get the books from Amazon or from Sonlight. I think I'll probably go with Amazon because it will save me about $50. OTOH, I like the Sonlight forums and my subscription there will end next year. (I got it free when I ordered Ben's books last year. The free subscription lasts 2 years.) I really have found the forums fun and useful, though I only go on them once a month or so. SO maybe they're not worth $50.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Favourite (Hutchinson) Poem of the Day

by Mary Ann Hoberman

I had a little brother
And I brought him to my mother
And I said I want another
Little brother for a change.
But she said don't be a bother
So I took him to my father
And I said this little bother
Of a brother's very strange.

But he said one little brother
Is exactly like another
And every little brother
Misbehaves a bit he said.
So I took the little bother
From my mother and my father
And I put the little bother
Of a brother back to bed.

Hahaha! Ben and I loved this poem - especially as Ben's on the last chapter of "Master Cornhill" and Andrew's been disturbing him by his yelling and screaming because he didn't want to go down for a nap. =D

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Really great bread recipe

From the "Cookin' in Canton" recipe book made by the Relief Society of the Canton Ward.

Recipe submitted by Kimberly Murray - who is a WAY COOL lady.

Yummy Quick Wheat Bread.

5 1/2 cups hot water
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp salt
12 to 14 cups wheat flour
3 Tbsp yeast

(I halved this recipe and made two loaves. The whole recipe will make 3 large loaves)

Warm oven to 150 deg
In a large electric mixing bowl (ie bosch or kitchen aid or whatever) whisk water, oil, honey and salt for 30 seconds.
Add 5 cups flour
Using dough hook (I ignored the "whisk" bit above and used the dough hook the whole time) mix until batter is smooth and cakelike.
Add yeast, run machine for 30 seconds.
Add 2 more cups flour. Add two more. make sure the flour is being incorporated.
Add 3 more cups flour.
(I added the five at first then dumped in 2 more after the yeast was in and called it good)
Turn on high speed for 5 mins. (My mixer has a "knead" button so I just pushed it. Love that button, though my mixer sounds like it's going to explode any minute.)
Grease bread pans with a little bit of oil.
Make 3 even dough balls.
Shape into loaf and place into pans.
Put in warm oven for 25 mins.
Turn oven up to 350f for 30 mins.
Tkae out of pans and place on cooling rack.
You may brush tops with butter, if wished.

This makes INSANELY good bread. Enjoy. =)

Olympic Court

Please vote for my very dear friend, Lonnie Wadley, to be an Olympic Torchbearer. We used to be in the same ward in Canton, but now she's in China and we're in Tennessee. My how things change.

What else was I going to post? Man, where's my brain?


ACK! I have bread dough on my nightdress!

Anyway, where was I?

Uhhhmm. Ok, yeah, yesterday we were up at the crack of dawn and off to the City Hall for a 7.30am court session. None of us had eaten breakfast so I gave Andrew a ziploc baggie of cheerios and stashed a water bottle in my handbag.

When we arrived I noticed the sign that said "No food or drink" AGH! I thought the judge probably wouldn't mind Andrew having cheerios to keep him quiet but thought I'd better ask. So I asked the clerk who said "Ask the judge" so I asked the judge and he said "sure! and if he's noisy we'll give him a sucker" =D

So off we went into the courtroom. The first case involved a construction company who had improperly parked some equipment. They allege it WAS correctly parked. The policemen allege it WAS NOT. Not only this but a motorist had smashed into this equipment and died. =( After much discussion the judge found the defendant guilty of obstructing the roadway.

The rest were traffic violations. We learned:

If you're pulled over and have no insurance and/or registration, and later you produce them in court and did actually have insurance/registration at the time but they weren't in the car with you, then there was no fine or court costs to pay.

If you're pulled over and have no insurance and/or registration, and later you produce them in court and you were NOT insured or registered at the time but now you are, then the fine is waved and you have to pay court costs.

If you have a moving violation and it's your very first one, you can opt to go to safety school and the violation is not put on your record.

There was a case of a young man pulled over without registration, insurance or a license. He only spoke Spanish, so the policeman there translated. He doesn't have a license and said he will not be able to get one. He was fined and let go. I can only presume - and I may be incorrect - that he couldn't get a license because he's illegal. And he will continue driving because he must, to get to work. That's pretty dang scary to me.

We were there just over an hour. Andrew behaved pretty well, I think. =) Near the end Judge Thomas (who ran the courtroom with quite an acerbic and very direct sense of humour) asked Ben to come up front. Ben was fairly uncomfortable up there but handled it quite well. The judge asked him about his merit badge, said he hoped he'd get it. He talked to him about the first case and said it was going to be a huge major one with much sue-age and tons of money changing hands and for Ben to watch the newspapers. Then he said "I hope your brother learns to shut up." See what I mean about an acerbic sense of humour? He wasn't being mean, but it came out kind of that way.

Ben is exasperated with me and says the Judge was being sarcastic because Andrew was actually quite quiet, but I don't think he was being sarcastic. Ben says he thought it was awesome that the policeman translated.

Anyway, it was a really cool experience.

It's a Caterpillar Hungry!

Considering I had four hours of sleep last night, I'm doing quite well. =)

Andrew got up with us for "scrippures" at 5.30am and was delighted to have his very own Book of Mormon. He sat squashed up next to Ben and flipped through pages as we read. Ben helped him to read two verses. =) It was really cute.

Since then I've:
1. made oatmeal
2. handwashed the gazillions of dishes (still no dishwasher)
3. cleaned up the kitchen
4. made bread
5. put the soup in the slow cooker
6. helped Ben with his math and grammar (progressive tense)
7. called and found out the name of the judge from yesterday...oh, I guess I need to post about that experience. That was for Ben's "Citizenship in the Community" merit badge.
8. had Ben write a thank you note to said judge.
"No, that's not funny, do it again." (Ben had written a ransom note to the judge saying he'd stolen his dog, Fifi.)
"Hmmm, I think you should say...."
"No, that's not funny."
"Ben, please stop wasting paper."
"BEN! Stop wasting paper!"
"Ok, that one's good." =D

9. Read my scriptures
10. Written in my journal
11. Read the Spencer W. Kimball Sunday School book
12. Studied Isaiah Made Simple
13. done "Andew's Homesool" with Andrew. =D I.E. I read a few pages of The Hutchinson Treasury of children's poetry to him. I highly recommend this book. It's absolutely fantabulous. Not only that, it's English so on the potato poem page there's a picture of kids sitting on potatoes and eating chips out of newspaper. =)
14. Fed the birds
15. Noted which birds drank from which bird bath. We have one on the ground and one raised up. Thus far, the birds seem to prefer the raised bird bath. This is for Ben's "bird" merit badge.
16. Eaten some of the yummy bread. Recipe to follow cos it rocks.
17. Put Andrew in bed for a nap because he was up so early in the morning and was getting reeaaaally sleepy already. =D

And it's only 11.09am. WAY cool.

My Favourite Poem from today:

Little Arabella Miller
Had a fuzzy caterpillar.
First it climbed upon her mother,
Then upon her baby brother.
They said, "Arabella Miller,
Put away your caterpillar!" =D

Andrew immediately pointed at the caterpillar and said excitedly, "It's a Caterpillar Hungry!" =)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tale of Two Mormons and verdicts that make me sick

So there's Harry Reid again. He's so embarrassing. Bert says to me "No-one is attacking Harry Reid for being a Mormon, probably because they can't believe he is one, he's so out there."

To which I reply, "It really shows the tolerance of conservatives that they have not used his religion against him, as the liberals are doing against Mitt Romney."

Bert added the conservative Christian element could really roast Harry, saying he's a cult member etc...but they don't.

How come everyone's freaked about Romney's Mormonism but not Reid's? Is it because Reid is politically correct and totally buys into their Gadianton Robberness?

The verdict forcing Brittney to give up her children tomorrow freaks me out. That whole situation freaks me out. If I had to give up my kids....oh gosh. I'm thinking about the kind of state I'd be in if I knew this was the last night my kids would be under my roof; if I knew my kids were going to live with a guy who had treated me like dirt, who was a male slut and who had behaved in the lowest manner. My gosh. There's screaming going on in my head thinking about it.

OTOH....come on!!!! Drugs and Alcohol??? That poor girl desperately needs some help! The nudity in front of the children thing...yeah, I grew up in England where that's no big deal at all so it doesn't bother me. Anyway, I pray that this will help her drag herself out of the hole and sort herself out. She always seemed like such a lovely lady. I pray she does that for her children. They need their Mummy to be responsible and take care of them.