Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pansies for Poverty

Plant Pansies for Poverty

And help feed those living in poverty in Madison County

October 1-19

Bring in a cake mix and a can of icing to
Moore's Greenhouses
and receive a FREE
6-pack of bedding plants.
Choose from: pansies, violas, snapdragons and more!

Monday - Saturday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

P.O. Box 217
Canton, MS 39046

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Final Vote

We made it into the finals of the Kenn Kington "ISMS" contest. We are competing with four other finalists for the grand prize which is an all expense paid trip to Atlanta for the live filming to Kenn's brand new DVD.

Would you take 2 seconds and visit this website and vote for Deanna Germany's "ISM"?

Also, would you invite some friends to go and visit the website and vote too?

The race is REALLY close. I think the refresh button on the boy's computer is going to break because they keep checking to see what the scores are!

Thanks so much for helping us with this fun contest!

Monday, September 28, 2009


There is just no place like home. I am so thankful to have this part time work at the concession stand, but when I get home I am so tired. On Saturday I worked from 9 until 4 which is a long day of running when you are the only person working.

When I got home, all three of my guys were outside. Big Guy and Little Guy ran up to the car, threw the car door open and grabbed me up into a big bear hug and said, "Mom, we are so glad you are home. We missed you today."

There is just no place like home.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

6 FREE Audiobooks - Today Only!!

Want to enjoy good classic books? Listen to them on your iPhone or iPod Touch!

For an amazing price, Audio Classics gives you 6 complete classics, read to you by professional narrators.

Get 6 of the world's greatest classics in full length, personally narrated in your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Audio Classics contains the following masterpieces:

- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (the original story that inspired the recent movie)
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- The Time Machine
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- Aesop's Fables (a selection of 141 fables)
- A Christmas Carol

Enjoy these world renowned classics without ever having to read a line. Simply relax and listen while working out, on the go or during your day-to-day activities! Disconnect yourself from reality, and tune into the best fiction in the history of literature.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Exercise Your Brain!

One of the elements of the boy's morning work is logic.     There are so many benefits to developing critical thinking and logical reasoning skills.   Not just for kids, but for anyone of any age.   Studies show that people who work on these skills daily improve their abilities to take all types of tests whether college entrance or job placement.     It also exercises your mind in the same way physical exercise does your body.     It gives you the extra ability to stay focused which is something that we all need!

Our new brain game is Pentago.   

The object of the game is to create five marbles in a row anywhere across the board.     Wow... that sounds simple.   But wait!  There is a twist -- literally -- because as part of your move you will twist one of the quadrants.     Trust me.   What they say about Pentago is very true.   It is easy to learn .   Fun to play.   Tough to master!

Another game which has challenged all of us is Stare Jr!    

I would love to play this game with someone who is in law enforcement or is trained to recognize details because that is what this game is all about.    You are given a card and given 30 seconds to stare at it.    When your time is up you are asked a series of questions about what was on the picture.     Boy, you really start to question your memory at that point.

Now if you believe good things come in small packages, you really need to invest in Logic Links!

Each Logic Links puzzle is comprised of a series of clues that tells you where to place colored chips and solve the puzzle. Logic Links requires you to think sideways, backwards, right to left and up and down as you read the clues that lead you to the one and only correct answer.      This is a great game to not only play at home, but to pack into your "car box" for taking into a restaurant.

We have also subscribed to a website called Five Minute Mystery.     It is only $9.95 for a year.      If you have someone who loves puzzles this would make a great virtual "stocking stuffer".   

Each day you visit the site for a new mystery.   Read each mystery carefully and select which clues either incriminate or exonerate each suspect. Earn points for finding all of the clues.   Select the guilty suspect from the list once you've found all of the clues.    Submit your clues and suspect decision to earn points. The more difficult the case, the more points you'll earn. The solutions are released the day after each mystery is published.     The educational benefits to this website are priceless, but the boys don't think about that because it is so much fun.    

Well, that is all for now.      Hope you guys have a great weekend.    Don't lose your voice screaming for your favorite football team!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Settling Into A Routine

"So, how are you liking homeschooling?" I have been asked that question a lot lately. The questions are sincere and I am very glad to sincerely answer, I LOVE IT! More importantly, my boys love it too. Last year was such a rough school year for all of us that we are all happy to be settled in a routine of learning and enjoying learning.

My boys are smart. I wasn't worried about that. However, with all the unnecessary junk that Big Guy has had to deal with at school the past few years, he had lost his love of learning. That was truly at the top of my prayer list as we started this adventure.

One of my initial worries was that I was going to have a hard time getting the boys to transition from summer into school since they didn't have to get up and go anywhere. Why did I worry about that? The only person who has had that trouble is ME! The boys are up and going as early as 6:00 in the morning sitting and working on their morning work. Big Guy has gotten in the habit of making my coffee to help entice me out of the bed. Please, boys, let me sleep to 7:00!!!

They LOVE this advantage of homeschooling. I print their lesson plan for the week on Sunday night. Below is an example of one day so far for both of them:

Big Guy
This Day on History: On this day in 1789, the Supreme Court was established.
SAT Word of the Day: culprit n. A guilty person.
Logic – 5 Minute Mystery
Bible – Day 4 (Genesis 8-9)
Morning Work: Factmonster Word Quiz/Analogy/Spelling Bee
History: Review Chapter 9 for Chapter Test/Volcano Project Due (Studying Napoleon & Nicholas I)
Science: Chapter 11: Aristotle and His Teacher (Quest Sheet: Compare and Contrast Plato and Aristotle)
Pre-Algebra: simplifying expressions with exponents
English: Developing Paragraphs by Using Examples of Telling an Incident
Continuing Project: Book Report on Swiss Family Robinson
Foreign Language: Greek Roots
P.E. 30 minutes
Art: Homework for Co-Op Art Class

Little Guy

This Day on History: On this day in 1789, the Supreme Court was established.
SAT Word of the Day: culprit n. A guilty person.
Logic – Mind Benders
Bible – Day 4 (Genesis 8-9)
Morning Work: Factmonster Word Quiz/Analogy/Spelling Bee
History: Review Chapter 9 for Chapter Test/Volcano Project Due (Studying Napoleon & Nicholas I))
Science: Lesson 25: Uranus
Math: Timez Attack
Easy Grammar: Day 84-86 Verb Review
Daily Grams: Day 84-86
Foreign Language: Greek Roots
Reading: 30 minutes
Spelling City (Put your words in alphabetical order.) Test tomorrow.
P.E. 30 minutes
Art: Mark Kistler Lesson 3 pg. 41 Shading

It looks like I am KILLING them with work doesn't it?!? Well, they are up working at 6:00 and by 10:30 they are done. Free as birds to do what they want to do. Read, build, do science experiments, take field trips, go to the library. Whatever!

I have talked to other homeschool moms and they tell me this is right on target. When they are at school they have to wait for other students, take bathroom breaks, stop for a hundred things or wait their turn to ask the teacher a question.... but at home they can go at their speed.

Now if I can just keep up with them!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Roll Tide Babies

When my BIL dropped the twins off last week they had a surprise... they were dressed in Alabama t-shirts. You knew I was going to take pics, didn't you?!? My sweeties dressed in my favorite football team apparel? Oh, yes!

I was trying to get LK to say "Roll Tide". She is such a little mockingbird and will say just about anything, but you can imagine how it sounded with this star crammed in her mouth. She had the boys in stitches!

Of course, not to be outdone, MM started imitating Little Guy waving his arm around while saying Roll Tide. After that anytime he said "Roll Tide" she would wave her hand around. I'm telling you these babies know a good team when they hear or see it!

MM has been trying to teach Little Guy where his nose is for weeks now but he keeps forgetting. He must because he keeps asking, "Where is my nose?" and she keeps having to show him. Silly cousin!

LK has lost patience trying to teach the boys about such stuff and decided that she will move on to bigger and better things like refining her skills as a GRITS (girl raised in the south). What better way to do that than reading the latest issue of the "Mississippi" magazine?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Punt, Pass & Kick

The City of Ridgeland hosted the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition this past weekend.   Big Guy had participated in this through his school when in grades 3-5 so Little Guy wanted the opportunity to do this as well.

I had big expectations for this event since the PP&K competitions at Big Guy's schools were always so well organized and planned.     However, I was a little disappointed.     I have to say I was also a little surprised because this is not the norm for the City of Ridgeland and especially not for our Parks and Rec.   However, using a really bad pun, they really dropped the ball on this event.

Little Guy before the PP&K competition.     All the advertisement said that the event started at 9:00.   That meant Little Guy wanted to be there at 8:45.    When we got there no one else was there.     When they did show up they said that the event didn't start until 10:00.   Registration started at 9:00.      Hmmmm....

A friend showed up to be in the competition as well.     I was glad to see a familiar face for both myself and for Little Guy.    There were a group of kids who walked up to the park who were from out of town.   They had no adults with them and they asked if they could be a part of the competition.      Obviously that was the director's call.    I didn't have a problem with it.   What I did have a problem with was when that group of kids started "practicing".    They weren't practicing.   They were bullying all the other kids who were actually trying to practice.     Intead of the event staff watching over and managing the event they were absent.     Some of those kids stole items that weren't there.    They event went so far as to try to steal my son's football and football tee from me at my feet.   They literally walked up to my chair, picked it up and tried to walk off.    They said, "This is ours."     I told them it wasn't and the other adult standing beside me said it was my son's.     They went crazy and accused us of stealing their ball.      Again, where was the event staff?   Nowhere.



My friend's son won first place in his age division, but as my friend kept telling the event staff, they had put him in the wrong age division.   Ultimately what that meant was that he was disqualified from competing in the next level.

The NFL PP&K is a great event.     I especially loved when I watched Big Guy's coaches use it as part of the P.E. curriculum at school.     However, I hope that the City of Ridgeland will take this one small event and improve their implementation next year.      Some small changes could make a BIG difference!

Movie Review

The boys found "The Swiss Family Robinson" at the library this week.      Since it has been rainy this afternoon they settled in with some popcorn and decided to watch it.    It is quite a long movie so settling in was a good idea.

The fact they both loved the movie was obvious as they barely moved the entire three hours.   

Little Guy came out to the living room and I asked him what he thought about the movie and he said...

"Well, I thought it was perfectly great until the end 
when two people had to mess it up by kissing!"

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Shane!

Shane receiving a birthday kiss from her husband

Last Saturday night we threw a little party for my BFF, Shane. Her husband and I coordinated it and fortunately we were able to pull it off without blowing it. She was truly surprised. Whew!
I think the only reason we pulled it off is because we planned it a week early.

We hosted the party at Olga's Restaurant. If you have never had dinner there.... go! The food was absolutely delicious. Olga and Yuriy, the Russian restaurant owners, have created a menu that is a beautiful marriage of Russian and southern cuisine.

Stuffed mushrooms, quesadillas, ribeye with crawfish cream sauce, tiramisu.... oh heavens!

Olga's is even open for lunch from 11am - 2pm which means you don't have to settle for a cold sandwich.

It also means that the next date day for Hubs and I..... I know where we are going!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

100 Days to Christmas.... YIKES!

Can you believe it? Today is 100 days to Christmas! That could freak you out, but DON'T let it. Seriously.

I LOVE Christmas. However, I don't love it when things get all hectic and crazy. Generally I try to get all of my Christmas shopping and Christmas cards done before Thanksgiving arrives. That helps, but it doesn't take away all the stress.

I stumbled across a wonderful website last year that I fell in love it and this year I wanted to share it with you!

It is appropriately named after today - "100 Days To Christmas"

Every day the website gives you all types of ways to plan and prepare for Christmas: party planning, meal planning, gift giving ideas, and even little words of inspiration and encouragement!

It may be a little too early for you to think about planning for Christmas, but whenever you decide to start I pray that you will always keep Christ the center of your celebration.

"Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart,
you won't find it under a tree."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Need Your Vote!!

I can't believe it!    I was chosen as a finalist in Kenn Kington's "ISM" contest.     You would have to know what HUGE fans of Kenn Kington we are to know what a big deal this is to us.    

I need all your help by going to this website and clicking the "star" beside my name to vote for my "ISM"!

If you are friends with hubs and I you know that we refer to our responsibilities as you/we, me/we, and we/we responsibilities.    We first heard of this concept from Kenn Kington.    The way he explained this cracked us up and was so on target that it just stuck and instantly became part of our marriage.

(Have I mentioned that I need you to go to this website and click the "star" next to my "ISM"?)

If you have never heard an "ISM", I have included a YouTube video of Kenn talking about how ISMS originated.

After you finish watching, would you mind going to this website and voting for my ISM?     I really appreciate it!!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Little Girls Under Construction

Have I mentioned to you that I have two beautiful and incredibly smart sisters.    I have?   OK.    I just wanted to make sure I made that clear because I am just so proud of them.       My baby sister's career is in national security and I will leave it at that because I don't want her to shut down my internet connection.      Yes.   She can do that.

Because of how smart she is, she was asked to teach a class at a local college which means we scored some babysitting time with her twins.... MY NIECES!!    

It has been so fun!    It has also been a great experience for the boys.    They are amazed at what sponges the girls are.     They have already learned so much about what 9 months old are capable of doing and learning.    

The girls love to be outside.     My BIL brings the girl's strollers so we take them for a walk around the neighborhood every time they are here.      The boys wanted to take a different path every time but I pointed out the importance of taking the same path.      I gave them assignments of naming things as we walked around the streets:   cars, mailbox, flags, etc...   The girls are such mockingbirds that I know at some point they will begin to mock these things back to the boys.

They also love when we take them into the backyard to play.      They don't love, however, the neighbor's loud barking puppy.    

Our outdoor quilt has lots of squares so the girls can spend a lot of time pointing as we name colors.

These girls won't let the quilt give them borders.   They crawl off exploring the backyard.     We keep a close eye on them.   You never know what they will find.     MM sat up last week with an earthworm in her hand!

LK is very fascinated with Big Guy's glasses.    She is constantly saying "Oooooh!" and getting up in his face to look at them.

Our precious LK

 Our sweet MM

Nieces are just special packages sent from heaven, aren't they!!!    And I am lucky enough to have THREE!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Summary

In case you missed it, here is a summary of the President's speech last night...

The Democrats were ecstatic (as evident in the 22 standing ovations).
The Republicans were not impressed
A great deal of our Country watched something else entirely because we are tired of hearing speeches.
P.S.   I think when Nancy Pelosi career is over in politics she could get a second life 
coaching beauty pageant contestants on how to fake smile endlessly for hours.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We've Created A Monster

We gave Little Guy this cookbook for his birthday. He loves Food Network and loves Paula Deen. He also LOVES to cook.

Since he received the cookbook he has been cooking like crazy. He makes grocery lists and begs us to let him try new things that he has thought up.

Last night I had to work and he asked if he could cook supper. I told him that there was a banana nut muffin mix in the cabinet that I hoped he would make so we would have those for breakfast.

Do you know what his response was?

"Mom, real chefs do not make food from a mix. They cook from scratch."

He acted insulted that I had asked him to open a box to make those muffins.

Yes, my blogger buddies, we've created a food cooking monster!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Book Description:

Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear.

They're talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, turnovers at headquarters, downturns in the housing market, upswings in global warming. The plague of our day, terrorism, begins with the word terror. Fear, it seems, has taken up a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversized and rude, fear herds us into a prison of unlocked doors. Wouldn't it be great to walk out?

Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, or doubt, what would remain? Envision a day, just one day, where you could trust more and fear less.

Can you imagine your life without fear?

Book Review:

Fear is such a weird emotion. I know that God put it in our lives to help us cope with certain situations. I mean we need fear to help us know to run when we see a snake. Fear is handy when in the path of a dangerous situation. However, how many times do we find ourselves in those situations? Fear is one of those emotions that we pull out and use when we don't even need it.

I had an relationship with fear from an early age. I was afraid of the dark. I developed what could be considered an Olympic sport in jumping from my bed to the wall to turn on the light without my feet touching the floor. As I grew, so did my fears.

I love Lucado's analogy of running a magnet over your heart and extracting those fears out. However, more than that, I love how Max has written a book that shows how God gave us the ability to live fearless in His presence and filled with faith.


Germany has a great tradition for the first day of school. It is called a “Schultüte”or a school cone. It is same concept as a Christmas stocking except it is stuffed with back to school supplies and small candies. When we left our friends in Atlanta, she gave the boys a “Schultüte” box to open on their first day of homeschooling. Taped to the outside was the note you see below telling the boys to open it on their first day of school.

The boys were so excited about it and it definitely gave them something fun to look forward to on that first morning. Can you believe all the special stuff she packed into that box? Thanks, Sheri, for always doing something special for your boys! I love this tradition so much that I hope to do it again next year.

The corners of our dining room have now been transformed into learning spots for the boys. They both have their own desks and all the supplies they need to study. We have thoughts and plans to turn our hobby shop into a classroom, but for right now we are doing well in the dining room.

Here is Little Guy on his first day of school. His first day's assignments are on his Expo board behind him. Since then I have gotten more organized and print out their assignments a week at a time, but when we first started I was writing it out every night.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Long Weekend

(Love Marshall's take on Labor Day!)

Praise the Lord for long weekends. We are doing a lot of vegging which has worked out fine since I have been knocked flat with a major fibro flare. Thank the Lord these major flares don't come along very often.

We didn't necessarily plan to spend the entire weekend at home, but I am lucky to have guys who can make the best of any situation. They did what they always do and spoiled me rotten by cooking all the meals. We also had a just piling on the couches and enjoying the the opening weekend of SEC football. MSU won. Alabama won. Not a bad way to start the weekend!

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Isn't She Lovely?

I am so lucky to be the aunt of the three most beautiful nieces in the world. Below are photos of my niece, J. She is a senior in high school. She asked me to take photos of her to submit for a "Most Photogenic" contest they are having at her high school. Being photogenic is definitely not an issue for her is it?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ugliest Birthday Cake for the Cutest Kid

I have been a total slacker with my blogging lately.     Homeschooling has set an entire new set of priorities and blogging has been pushed down the ladder.    However, the whole reason I started blogging was so I would have a "journal" of our lives and things that are going on and I still want that to be the case.

Little Guy turned 8 and, because of the fact that he still had a cast on his arm, we didn't make big plans for a party.     We weren't sure what the surgeon would say -- cast off or on, any restrictions, or whatever.   So he asked if we could just invite his best friend over to spend the night.     I asked if he would be interested in inviting his family for supper along with cake and ice cream.    We decided that we would make it a simple celebration.

I am so lucky that neither of my boys are very much into "themes".     When I asked Little Guy how he wanted to decorate he said he really didn't care.      He just said "fun".      So I told him that I thought I could accomplish that.

Here is out on the front porch with the big sign that we have had for about five years.   We hang it for every birthday the boys have.    It is worth the entire $3 I spent on it.   Ha!

For supper, we just grilled lots of yummy vegetables....

and sweet Hubs honored Little Guy's request and made his "famous" BBQ chicken.    The grill was Hubs' birthday present which Big Guy put together for him.     Didn't he do a GREAT job?  

I made a huge container of homemade lemonade which seemed to be the hit because to the soft drinks were never touched!

And used simple items we had around the house to decorate the table...

However, the big item was the cake.      The birthday cake is supposed to be the big centerpiece right?    Well, Little Guy wanted a chocolate cake with my homemade fudge icing.      I made two layers and put them out to cool.    When I came back I flipped the first layer on the cake plate and iced it.    When I flipped the second layer on top it literally broke into chunks.      I don't know if it was still warm or what, but it was a disaster.       Big Guy looked at me and said,  "What are you going to do?"  

I had my hands full of cake trying to think fast.    I told him to grab my trifle bowl and a knife.    We cut that cake up into chunks and layered into the trifle bowl and drizzled it with the fudge icing.       Then we put candles on top.      We named it....

The Ugliest Birthday Cake for the Cutest Kid!
Oh, isn't it hideous?
But once you put some of that in a bowl and cover it with homemade vanilla ice cream... 
it was YUMMY!