Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Monday, March 31, 2008

Starve or Go Broke?

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the price of groceries have gone up. I did our bi-weekly grocery shopping tonight at Wal-Mart and it amazes me that the prices continue to increase even from last month. It would better benefit us to either buy a cow or milk truck than to continue to pay what it cost for a gallon of milk, seeing that we can go through 2 gallons a week. Not to mention own a few chickens for the price of eggs.

Being a SAHM means that we live off 1 income. While my monogramming business brings a little extra, it doesn't make up for the increasing prices of gas and groceries.

With the price of groceries increasing, I find myself struggling with a particular issue. Because I stay home with my boys, I have to feed them breakfast, lunch and snacks, while children who attend school or daycare are fed through their organization. (Which of course is included in the cost of care).

I find myself struggling with choosing to eat healthy foods which cost more or make my money go further by buying the regular, sometimes less healthy foods.
I can buy large bags of chicken nuggets, little pizzas, corn dogs, etc. These items, though, pricey are less expensive and go further than lean lunch meats, fresh fruits and vegetables. Fat free, low fat, lean, fresh and organic foods are so much more expensive and stretch my grocery budget while less healthy foods fit my budget better.

I don't know all the ends and outs of the no grocery tax, but just the sound of it is appealing. I know that it has been debated in our State government several times but never passed. It times like now it should would help to keep in my pocket as much as possible even taxes. (By the way, there are some states that have temporary eliminated the state tax on gas to help ease the burden).

I would love to hear how any of y'all balance these issues, that is, if you struggle with the same.

Until next time, HB

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Social Networks

For those who are not familiar with social networking websites...they are websites "offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos for teenagers and adults internationally" (Wikipedia). (I tried to explain it in my own words but after about 3 paragraphs of rambling, I thought I would just look up the definition and give credit to someone else).

This post is about parents being involved with their child's online activity including any profiles that he/she might have on any social networking website. (I am only familiar with MySpace and Facebook). And by being involved, I mean physically looking at your child's profile, knowing his/her password, and randomly checking when your children aren't expecting it.

And to those parents who think it's invading your child's privacy, get over yourself! I know this sounds blunt and forward, but it is a serious issue. I don't understand a parent's justification when "privacy" is a reason not to be involved. You are the parents, it IS your responsibility to be involved, because if you're not, I guarantee, someone else will gladly take that responsibility and the outcome can be tragic.

There are predators lurking and stalking on innocent girls and boys. There are teenage girls that will post half-nude if not completely nude pictures of themselves all for reason of attention, popularity, teasing, to be apart fo the crowd. Boyfriends will post nude pictures of their girlfriends on their profile for all the world to see as their "prize trophy". And, yes, this includes "church kids", your next door neighbors and even maybe your child. Their friends are doing it and getting all kinds of attention...and when I say "all kinds", I mean all kinds. Attention from sex predators, attention from the older brother of a friend, attention from the father of a friend, attention from complete strangers. The pictures can even be dowloaded without your knowledge or permission and posted on other websites including child pornography sites.

Did you know that MySpace and Facebook will not give the parent the password to their child's profile. Nope, not for any circumstance, unless they have since changed their policy. It wasn't until recently did the courts have to step in and make MySpace hand over any information shared on the profiles of sex predators. SEX PREDATORS... and to think, parents don't want to invade their child's privacy.

Parents, your child may be so innocent to the point that they don't know the dangers that may be around the corner in cyberspace, that's why you love them enough to protect them and watch over them. That means sometimes invading their privacy. That also means making it your responsibility to learn all there is to know about the web and what your children do on it.

It's the same principle of teaching your children to drive and to respect guns. You wouldn't give your child a car without you knowing how to drive it first, right? Why not? You know it's dangerous. You wouldn't hand your child a gun and say "have at it". If not monitored properly and responsibly, both these can hurt your children and even kill them. It's the same way with the Internet and social networking.

Not all aspects of social networks are evil. I have a profile on both MySpace and Facebook. I have enjoyed re-uniting with high school and college friends. I have enjoyed seeing pictures of their families and receiving fun comments and messages via these social networks. Social networks can be fun but at the same time they can be dangerous, vulgar and obscene if abused and not monitored.

Parents, get involved. Invade your child's privacy, be aware, learn, be responsible for no other reason than because you love them.

Until next time, HB

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stuffins Takes a Nap

One day last week, the boys slept longer than normal for their nap. When I went in to get them up, I found Stuffins lying on BB. They both were sound asleep. I don't know if BB put Stuffins on top of him or if Stuffins crawled up there. I'm thinking the latter. However, I could be wrong. BB certainly believes Stuffins is real and capable of life like activities.

BB is so attached to Stuffins at this time in his life. I have enjoyed sharing with you his world with Stuffins. It's truly a "boy and his dog" relationship.

Until next time, HB

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter 2008

This past Easter weekend was full of Easter egg hunts and family. The fun started Saturday with a Easter egg hunt at my cousin's church, Central Baptist Church. The boys enjoyed all the festivities of jumping, balloon art, magic show, petting real rabbits, clowns, face painting, and the great Easter egg hunt. It was even more enjoyable with cousins Abbey, Alex and Ashlyn. My Aunt Myra was there to help with the little ones along with my mom. The Easter Bunny was there...Alex and Abbey took advantage of the photo op, but CB and BB wanted no part of it. CB waved and said hey and bye from a far, but that was the extent of it.

After the church egg hunt, we went to visit my grandmother. She fixed a great lunch and the little ones hunted eggs again and played outside.
Easter Sunday we went to church and then to visit more family enjoying more food and egg hunting. The boys enjoyed playing with cousins Cannon, Chandler, Abbey, and Alex.

It was a beautiful weekend celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord for without the Resurrection, my Christian faith would be in vain. His death paid the ultimate sacrifice for my sins allowing an eternal life with Him.
Hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend and lest we not forget throughout the year, that He is risen Indeed!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Birthday!

We would like to welcome 2 additions to our family:

To our extended family:
Colton Payne W.
7lbs 14 oz. 19 1/2 inches long
Proud parents...Liz and Jimmy W
Proud big brother...Brennan
Proud Grandmother: AKA---Nannaw
Proud Aunts....Denise (Deese) and Wendi (E)

To our family friends:
Joshua David
7lbs 9oz 20 1/4 inches long
Proud Parents...David and Ann
Proud Sister....McKenzie

They were born down the hall from each other, how neat is that!

We love you all and will enjoy watching each little lad grow up as we have enjoyed watching their siblings. God Bless both families.

Until next time, HB

Thursday, March 20, 2008

From Possessed to Obsessed

For the past few months, we have been "mildly" potty training. The boys are 2 1/2 years old...old enough to know what to do on the potty, but still a little young to know when to tell me.

When we first started putting them on the potty, CB caught on quickly. He immediately got the hang of it and now goes without any hesitation when you set him on it. However, BB was not as easy. The first attempt was terrible. He hollered, kicked, screamed and cried wanting nothing to do with it. This same behavior continued with each try. I don't know if was scared or just not interested. After the first few tries, I decided I wasn't gonna fight that reaction every time I tried to get him to tee-tee in the potty. So for awhile, CB has gone when I say, "let's go tee-tee in the potty". BB would just shake his head and reply, "Don't want it, thank you though".

The past 2 weeks BB has gone from possessed when on the potty to obsessed with the potty. He asks to go quite often and not wanting to discourage his excitement back into possessed, I take him. And he usually shows results if not but a trickle. He seems to be enjoying the rewards of the candy, washing hands, and flushing.

JB and I aren't stressing about it, but I have let them run around without a diaper. When they are diaperless, they tell me when they need to go and even sometimes they go by themselves. However, with the diaper on, they still feel free to refrain from the bathroom and use their diaper as the toilet.

I am sure as time continues, they both will eventually be potty trained.

Until next time, HB

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stuffins Gets a Diaper Change

The other morning after changing the boys' diaper, BB thought that Stuffins needed his morning diaper change also. I was in the kitchen preparing their morning strawberry milk when I walked into the den and found BB in the process of changing Stuffins diaper.

Here's a little play-by-play for you:

The wipe: He said Stuffins had "doo-doo"

Preparing the diaper before being applied.

Covering the "booty" with the diaper.

And of course, it's always good to make sure it's velcroed on really tight so not to leak.

Pick the changee up for reassurance.

And, Taa-Daa! We have a successful booty change for Stuffins!

Until next time, HB

Monday, March 17, 2008

Counseling Southern Style

Earl and Bubba are quietly sitting in a boat fishing, chewing and drinking beer when suddenly Bubba says, "I think I'm gonna divorce my wife - she ain't spoke to me in over 2 months.
"Earl spits, sips his beer and says, "Better think it over - - - - women like that are hard to find."
Thanks, Granny for the smiles!
Until next time, HB

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sometimes, It's Worth the Cost

January trip to the vet......$200.00

2nd trip to the vet.............$130.00

Surgery trip to the vet......$530.00

Having Gizmo home and healthy........$ priceless

Well, Gizmo came home Thursday evening after her surgery on Wednesday. She has recovered very well with still more to go. She has a bacteria that the vet referred to as "rods". Apparently this is a complicated UTI caused by the stones because there are only 2 antibiotics available to treat it.

I have been homebound for the last couple of days to watch her to make sure that she tolerates the medication. There are serious reactions when the medicine is not tolerated.

She will have to go back in 3 weeks to have your urine cultured again in order to make sure that the antibiotic is working. They have also sent the stones off to be analyzed. Once they are back with a report, the vet will then be able to tell us preventative measures, if there are any. Sometimes a simple change in diet will help prevent future stones from forming.

Again, thanks to all of you have shown such concern and love for pets.

Until next time, HB

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Update on Gizmo, II

Gizzie went through the surgery yesterday just fine. Her vet said that they removed 5 stones and there was alot of infection from the stones. They immediately started her on antibiotics to keep the infection from spreading. I asked why we didn't start antibiotics before to which he replied,"It wouldn't have helped as long as the stones were still in the bladder. They were causing the infection therefore, we need to get the stones out before the infection can be treated and cleared up." Made sense after he explained.

They kept her overnight for observation and hope to send her home sometimes after 4:00pm pending there are no complications throughout the day. I called this morning to check on her and the report was very positive. The vet tech said that Gizzie's vet was extremely pleased with her recovery; however, she was giving them a hard time with taking her medicine. I asked if they put it in cheese, which of course was a quick reply of "NO!" "Well, there's the problem", I informed them. "At home she takes it just fine if you put it in cheese." She's so spoiled!

I hope to bring her home this evening. It sure has been quieter around here without her. No barking, no "fighting" with the boys over chair and sofa space. Even the boys have been asking "where's Gizzie?"

I'll keep you posted on her recovery. Thanks again to those who have shown much concern.

Until next time, HB

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stuffins Gets a Bath

Meet Stuffins. This is BB's stuffed dog that typically follows him around even to the great outdoors. This past Monday, the boys were outside playing when BB came through and asked if Stuffins could "pay outside". I told him that was o.k. but be careful not to get Stuffins dirty.

As I was cleaning my bathroom, I heard all this commotion coming from the hall bathroom. When I walked in, BB was standing at the sink with poor Stuffins in the above predicament. I asked BB what he was doing. To which he replied, "Stuffins got dirty, he need a bath." Apparently, Stuffins was dropped in the leaves as I don't believe he came alive and rolled in them himself as Gizzie tends to do.

I proceeded to rescue Stuffins from the cold water running down his back. I put him back outside to air and dry out only to have to rescue him again from the rain later that night. He now sits on the counter in my bathroom drying.

Until next time, our dogs have had "ruff" days here lately, HB

PS. Please remember my little Gizmo as she will be having her surgery in the morning (Wednesday).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Update on Gizmo

I talked with Gizmo's vet this morning and it appears that the her bladder stones will have to be removed via surgery. She also has a severe UTI due to the stones so he wants to do the surgery ASAP which will be this Wednesday.

I will take her about 8:00am and she will have to stay over night. Provided there are no complications, she should be able to come home Thursday.

I have been most pleased with her vet. He has been so professional, yet friendly, compassionate and concerned. He himself has called me several times to check on her and has answered all my calls. I have been grateful for their personal care of Gizmo and her mom.

I'll keep y'all posted as I ask for your prayers. Thanks to all of you that have shown such love and support.
Until next time, HB

Friday, March 7, 2008

Good News...Bad News

Since the beginning of December, my little dog, Gizmo has been having random "tee-tee" accidents in the house. I took her to the vet in late January only to be told it could be one of several things. 1) bladder infection...UTI 2) Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC)...cancer 3) Bladder Stones 4) Inflamation of the bladder.

We treated her for 1 month with antibiotics for the most common and probable...UTI. She did seem to feel better and the accidents stopped. If it was TCC the antibiotics would not have any effect and the accidents would become more frequent, however, this cancer is rare but still possible.

Well, this past week, she had 2 accidents within 24 hours. And of course, I lost it in the form of worrying and tears fearing the worst, TCC. This form of cancer in dogs is very aggressive and once diagnosed, typically they have 3 to 6 months to live with no successful treatment or cure.

Today, I took her back to the vet for more testing which included x-rays, ultrasounds, urine cultures, etc. When talking to her vet, he seemed less hopeful since the antibiotics did not work and wanted to go ahead and rule out TCC if that was not the problem. However, the problem with testing for TCC, the specific testing is not definite and can give false positives and false negatives leading to more tests and of course more expensive vet bills. Instead, he tested her for Bladder Stones in which he found 3 in her bladder. So the good's not TCC. The bad news, she does have Bladder stones which have to be treated either through diet or surgery depending on the type of stone. The best news would be that the type she has can be treated through a special diet, however, I will take having surgery over only 3 months to live.

I know to some, dogs are just pets, but to me they are another member of the family. Loosing a pet is devastating to me and causes such emotional sadness. I am so thankful that Gizzie doesn't have cancer and we have several more years of her as our little blessing of a pet.

"It's difficult to understand why some people don't realize that pets are gifts to mankind.”~Linda Blair

Until next time, Ruff! Ruff!, HB

Monday, March 3, 2008

Prayer Request

I typically don't post prayer requests but felt to do so in this case. (Some have received emails regarding this).

I have a distant cousin who is 26, pregnant and has breast cancer. Her cancer was not discovered until after she was pregnant. She has been taking low doses of chemo throughout the pregnancy. However, the doctors will be taking the baby today at 32 weeks in order for her to begin much higher doses of chemo to save her life. She will then eventually have a mastectomy.

Please pray for the baby's health in that she will thrive even after being born so early. Pray for the mother as I can't imagine such fear both physical and mental. Also please pray for her family as they will be her support for the long, hard months ahead...especially her husband as he balances becoming a new dad and a concerned husband.

Thanks for your prayers and I will keep you posted as I receive more news.

Until next time, HB

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Perfect Husband

I got this through an email from friend, thanks Leah. Hope you enjoy:

Several men are in the locker room of a golf club.

A cell phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands free speaker function and begins to talk.

Everyone else in the room stops to listen.

MAN: "Hello"

WOMAN: "Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"

MAN: "Yes"

WOMAN: "I am at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's only $1,000. Is it OK if I buy it?"

MAN: "Sure, go ahead if you like it that much."

WOMAN: "I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the new 2008 models. I saw one I really liked."

MAN: "How much?"

WOMAN: "$90,000"

MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."

WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing...the house I wanted last year is back on the market. They're asking $950,000"

MAN: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer of $900,000. They will probably take it. If not, we can go the extra 50 thousand if it's really a pretty good price."

WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you so much!"

MAN: "Bye ! I love you, too."

The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths agape.

He turns and asks: "Anyone know who this phone belongs to?"

Until next time, HB