Thursday, March 31, 2011

Unfolding Cleanliness or Just Free Products (I can't decide)

I am a Bzz Agent.  I signed up at years ago, and I periodically get invitations to join product campaigns.  When I join a campaign, I receive a product in the mail to try.  I only ever choose the free invitations.  I then tell my friends about the products I have used and give them coupons for said products.  I have received some interesting things to test.

So, let me tell you about my latest products.  I received 5 cleaning products: Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel, Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower foam, Pledge furniture polish, a Glade scented candle, and Glade Plug-In refill.  Sadly, I have no Plug-In, so I cannot use the refill.  Does anybody want it?  It's yours.  I used the Glade candle, Sparkle of Spring.  It does the job of deodorizing the room, so I give it a thumbs up.  The toilet cleaning gel makes my bathroom smell nice, and my toilets look clean; but they didn't really look dirty when they were put in, so I'm not sure what they are doing.  The kids really love putting them in with the plunger that comes with it that just sticks the gels to the side of the bowl.  They think it's cool.  Um, okay, I don't really think doing anything with my toilet is cool, but I won't tell them that.  I haven't used the Pledge, but can it be any different from what it was like in the '80s when I had the chore of dusting furniture as a kid?  I know that when it comes time to dust my furniture (an all-but-forgotten task), it'll work just fine and remove the dust.  The last product I used was the Mega Shower foam.  It definitely has mega foam, but I wasn't impressed with its ability to clean my shower.  Maybe my shower was too dirty.  I just know it doesn't work as well as my Comet Bathroom Cleaner spray.  I'll stick with that.  I do have lots of coupons to hand out, though, if anybody wants some.  Hope this review is helpful if you are trying to decide whether or not to purchase any of these products.  Most of my friends probably won't because they are not natural products, but they were my favorite price....FREE!!  Join BzzAgent, and you can get free stuff too!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Unfolding Math

    I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person, but my son's math makes me wonder.  Jake and Nate have been using Singapore Math for the past 3 years.  Jacob liked it so much that, as he entered 7th grade, he asked to keep using it, but the program changed.  Instead of two thin books, he now uses one very thick book.  He is doing algebra and geometry.  Today he has been trying to calculate angles of triangles given the least amount of information the book could possibly give.  He has had trouble understanding it.  So, I came to the rescue... I mean, I scanned the page of the book and sent it to John at work so he could rescue both Jacob and me.  As I wrestled with it myself, I started to get a headache.  I am now exhausted, and I still have to explain it to Jacob.
    I just said to my mom on the phone this morning, "We plan to homeschool the whole way through 12th grade.  John can do science and math, and I've got the rest."  I didn't think that would start in 7th grade.  I'll be looking for math curriculum for next year that explains things a little bit better in the text so that we can both understand it, and I can look a little smarter.  :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Wow, I can't believe it's been 5 days since I've written anything.  Really?  Time sure flies.  I've been busy.  The kids only have 4 days of school left (we started in June).  They are begging me to give them schoolwork so they can be done on time and not have the year stretch out any further.  I almost feel bad that I'm going to keep giving them things like math to do at least every other day. I don't.  ;-)  Hopefully with having to teach less I'll be able to write more.  For now, though, it is time to type someone else's thoughts.  That is, I have to go to work.   :-(

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Unfolding Uncertainty

I was talking to a 9th grader at my daughter's dance recital the other day.  She was relating to me how her school makes the kids do some major research report on jobs they'd like to do and then meet with interviewers and recruiters in their senior year.  She said there is a lot of pressure to figure it out already.  Really, 9th grade?  I told her I changed my major 5 times in my first 2 years of college.  I'm not even sure I know what I want to be when I grow up yet!!  I know, at my age I better figure it out soon, right?  Back in college I took a writing class which I loved.  I poured my heart and soul into my papers, only to be met with relative indifference by my professor.  Three or four years later I tried again but on my own this time.  I started writing a novel.  I wrote the first chapter, and it was good.  Then my computer froze.  I could have handwritten it, but I didn't.  I shut the computer down.  Fast forward 17 years...I'm at it again.  I restarted that novel.  My computer hasn't frozen, but I haven't written in weeks, at least not my novel.  I type for a living doing medical transcription.  I type someone else's thoughts.  Ho hum.  Not exactly creating, but I'm getting the grammar and punctuation rules down.  ;-)

I started writing homeschool curriculum.  I'm researching ragtime and jazz musicians and the history around that time to create something for an early 20th century American music class.  I love doing the research but, again, it's been weeks since I've touched it.  I started this blog 2 or 3 weeks ago.  It is the one thing I have been relatively consistently writing, probably because I don't have to write a lot if I don't have the time.  I want to write more.  I want to share my stories with people, if I could just finish something.  It's kind of like my house.  I have so many unfinished projects.  My office has 2 completely painted walls, one partially, and one not at all.  The bulkhead in my kitchen has one Wallie (those wallpaper stencils).  I intended to put up about 10 or 12 and stencil words in between.  I should just take the one Wallie down.

If I could just get to writing and find out whether or not I'm good enough to make a living from it, then I could maybe move onto the next stage of my life and try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Unfolding for No Reason

I haven't written for two days, so I felt like I should write something.  Hopefully I'll write something meaningful tonight.

Last night I watched storm clouds merge from 3 directions and start to spin in the sky behind my house.  I was seconds away from telling my kids to get into the basement.  I was scared.  I always thought it'd be neat to see a tornado (from a great distance), but if there would have been one there where I saw the spiraling it would have dropped in my backyard.  That's too close!  Nathan, my 11-year-old son, started praying, and the clouds moved on and the sky brightened some.  It is always amazing to me to watch the faith of my children.  Guess that's why Jesus tells us in the Bible to have faith like little children.  They don't come to God with baggage.  It's just them and God.  I surely could learn a lesson here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Unfolding Pages

I've wanted to write a book for a long time.  I started a novel at the beginning of the year, but today I thought of a great idea for a book.  It would be one of those books that relates people's so-pathetic-they're-actually-funny stories about businesses that are incompetent.  I had a great story just today of my own I could add, and a friend gave me another.  If I get enough to fill a book, I'll write it, and your story could be in it.  Tell me yours.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unfolding the Variables

My kids had a science fair yesterday.  I was a judge (for the other kids, not theirs).  They each had to identify the constant, the independent variable, and the dependent variable.  It got me thinking about my Christian life and if that could be related at all to it.  I think it can in some small way.  Let's start with the constant.  That would be God.  James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  The dependent variable is the thing to be measured.  I would say that is where we are in our walk with God, how close we are to Him.  The independent variables are the things that are changed to produce a result.  These are the struggles we come across in life.  These things are constantly changing.  They are different for everybody, and each life will experience many, many struggles before it has ended.  No matter what the struggle, though, I know one thing for certain, GOD IS CONSTANT.  He NEVER changes.  When things are good, like the verse says, God doesn't change; but when things are tough GOD NEVER CHANGES.  In no way am I making light of any struggles anyone has.  I just know that whatever I am going through I can always go to God.  I know right where to look. I know He will hear every word I utter.

Hebrews 12:2 says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  How do we fix our eyes on something that is always moving?  We can't.  If we don't know if God is going to hear us, why would we go to Him?  If we don't know if He's going to be mad or happy, why would we go to Him?  God's Word tells us that we should FIX our eyes on Jesus.  This means He is constant, unmoving.  His love never changes.  He loves you just as much today as He did yesterday and as much as He'll love you tomorrow.  He wouldn't have gone to the cross if His love changed from day to day.

Hebrews also says He is the author and perfecter of our faith.  The more we depend on Him, the more we become like Him.  He perfects our faith.  It can't be helped.  When we are in his presence, we are changed.  May we all remember in good times and in bad God wants us to look to Him.  He loves each and every one of us.  He NEVER changes, but thank God he changes us!!!!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Barely Unfolding ...I'm Too Sleepy

I've thought all day about what I could write.  Now, I'm just too tired.  It's been a long week with a lot to reflect upon.  Have you ever had those times when you've had issues and you put the pen to paper only to wish you had phrased something a different way?  I do that often, but I don't want to do it again this time.  As I reflect, I will share what I have learned, if anything.

I did have an opportunity to relax today.  After our homeschool co-op, I had lunch with two other families.  As we sat there, with kids running all around us (we were in a "private" room away from the other customers) I was able to, for just a moment, think to myself, "I am slowly unfolding right now."  I was not working or teaching, just enjoy some company and conversation.  That was nice.  Until tomorrow...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Unfolding Sloppily

So, I'm pretty sure the Amish don't do science fair projects.  They're so lucky.  My DD grew bacteria in petri dishes that came from overused kitchen sponges.  She tried 3 different ways of getting them clean.  My advice after this experiment: DON'T run them through the dishwasher.  It helps a little but not enough to make me want to use them again. Lemon juice and boiling water work about the same and get rid of most every germ but, of course, it's not very economical to put your sponges in lemon juice every time you use them.  "Why does it work?" you ask.  Lemon juice is an acid and, as such, has antibacterial properties.  I digress back to the dishwasher.  I have hated my dishwasher for quite a while now.  It is an LG large tub, supposed to be the "quietest" dishwasher they make.  LOL!!!  Six months after we bought it, it started screeching like a banshee.  Sometimes it makes noises like it is going to explode, but we keep using it.  Sometimes it behaves and only squeals a few times during the cycle.  So, it doesn't seem to work right just based on the noises that it makes.  Now I really wonder if it works at all except to just throw water around inside.  Since it leaves all kinds of germs on sponges, I now wonder what is left on the plates.  Sounds like a science fair experiment for another time.  It also sounds like I should start rinsing my dishes in the hottest water my hands can stand and then air dry them.  I think the more I learn from the Amish the more I may become like them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Unfolding Slowly

     I spent two days this week in an Amish community in Ohio.  It was a chance to learn how they live.  I got a feel for their "unrushed" way of life, kind of hard not to when you're following a horse and buggy at a whopping 2 miles an hour, okay, maybe 5, but it is unlikely.  It made me wonder how many things I might be able to learn from the Amish.  Let's start with taking life a little more slowly.  Obviously, as with just about everybody else, I find my life runs like the merry-go-round at the local park, you know, that round spinny thing the kids all pile onto while the one unlucky kid gets to grab hold of the metal bar and run as fast as he can while pushing it and then try to jump on without breaking something or getting thrown off in the process of jumping on.  I feel like I've got my head hanging over the edge going 30 miles an hour, trying not to throw up because I can't tolerate spinny things anymore, and praying that I don't bang my head off some other kid's leg who decided to jump off mid spin.

     So, what happens in life that forces you to take things slowly or take a step back?  How many times do I end up behind a slow driver and get frustrated?  Too many times.  Could it be God's way of giving me some time to relax?  Could it be God's way of helping us to avoid something dangerous we might encounter if we were rushing to get somewhere?  A friend's daughter sprained her ankle last week.  She has no choice but to slow down.  It's kind of hard to race from one place to another when you're on crutches.  Why don't they put wheels on those things?  Wheeled crutches and one roller blade...that would work, right?  Okay, maybe not.  You might be looking at traction then.  That'll really slow you down.

     Okay, I know what you're saying, "God doesn't give me broken bones because he wants me to slow down." Granted, but I would say he turns bad into good for his purposes.  We rush around expecting to do the impossible...finish all our tasks in one day.  LOL!  That's like when I come home from the grocery store and think I can carry every bag in one trip.  It might happen, but my arms are about 2 feet longer and my shoulders are dislocated by the time I reach the kitchen.  So, no matter what the circumstance that gives you a chance to pause, thank God for the time you now have.  The important stuff will get done.
I set this blog up two weeks ago.  I am finally writing my first entry.  Living life as it unfolds sometimes means not being able to get to the things I want to do but simply taking care of the things that happen as they happen.  I work full time as a medical transcriptionist at home and homeschool my 3 children who are in grades 3, 5, and 7.  When my oldest was only three, my husband, John, said he wanted us to homeschool.  I told him I could use an 8-hour break a day.  I decided to go to a homeschool conference to find out more about, but I told him that I'd need to see the handwriting on the wall if he thought I'd even consider it.  I called him before the last session and told him we were going to homeschool.  He asked, "How long?"  I told him, "The whole way through," to which he replied, "Wow!  Must be some seminar!"  It definitely was.  We are in our 8th year now.  There are definitely hard times.  Like today...