Stepmom's Disengaging Essay

>> Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sometimes stepmoms take on too much responsibility for parenting the stepchildren and doing things for the stepchildren...taking away some of dad's duties who might just eagerly be handing them over to you. When you do so much and don't get respected, it can really wear on you. If you are wondering how to disengage from your stepkids to ensure your husband (dad) takes up his slack in parenting his kids, the disengaging essay is for you. How to disengage without causing more chaos and conflict around you is within reach.
*this is not a sponsored post.


Itchy Scratchy Scratched by The Superfamily 13

>> Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thanks to The Superfamily 13 for the scratchback! I thought our family was big with six kids but I realize now that it's small compared to The Blender-Mom. Her family makes ours look small with 11 children between them! The Blender-Mom, according to her web site, hopes "to be an encouragement and a lighthouse to other families working the process." Your family is beautiful!

If anybody would like to scratch my itch, check out the scratchback in the right sidebar. Scratch my back and I'll post about you with a link to your site!

*not a sponsored post.


Hanging Booger

>> Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I was beginning to get a complex or think I had something embarrassing like a booger or something the last few days and was being avoided, lol. I had texted my stepdaughter twice the last few days and I didn't hear back from her. She's at band camp right now (away from her mother for the week...good for her) and she texted me back from there tonight. She's been texting my daughter throughout the day since getting on the bus to band camp. I guess she is more comfortable texting me when she's not near her mother (no surprise there given the history). I hope she has a good time (and behaves herself somewhat, lol).


Can Joel Comm Hit the Bestseller's List?

One web site that I subscribe to is Joel Comm. I am hoping to pick up pointers so I read the feeds daily (along with several other popular feeds/blogs regularly). Joel Comm has had success as an author and for those of us who blog and are interested in Google AdSense and other ways to ensure success with internet marketing, he has a new book that is about to hit called Click Here to Order: The Stories Behind the World's Most Successful Internet Marketers. If it goes the same way as The AdSense Code, will it hit the bestseller list?

If you are struggling with how to get your internet marketing out of the hole and you don't subscribe to Joel Comm, you might want to change that. Quick.


Who is Grammar Girl?

>> Monday, July 28, 2008

I had no idea who Grammar Girl was but she's the hot thing around the Internet right now so I thought I would look her up. It turns out she is somebody I should pay attention to. With her book, Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, and her audio book with the same name, Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, she gives information on how to write and speak well.

I have to admit that I have become somewhat lazy with my grammar skills in recent years. I am forgetting rules that should have been ingrained into my skull since school. I often wonder what this age of instant messaging is doing to the younger generation as well, especially when I get an e-mail or text from my stepdaughter in all IM. Sometimes, I have to google it to see what it means, lol. Uh-oh, I just used IM language.

*this is not a sponsored post.


Countdown to Moving Day

The countdown is four years and ten months until moving day. I actually have it figured to the day that we can move too but that is close enough for here. We know where we want to move (same school district, more land, house with more room and more storage) but we don't need to get the moving boxes ready yet. We can't afford to move until my husband's two oldest kids graduate from high school. Sometimes it stinks that we can't afford to give our own kids things we would like to while my stepkids eat out all the time, shop for a hobby, go to the movies all the time, etc. when we can't afford the movies but once every few years or anything else like that but there's nothing to be done about that. I'll keep my countdown going and just wait for the day when we won't be so financially strapped anymore.


Our Deaths

Nobody wants to think about their death, much less plan for it. However, once I became a parent, planning for it became a necessity. My husband and I didn't want our kids left behind with nothing if we were to die while they were children, left to become an expense for my sister to shoulder the full financial burden to raise. We have had life insurance through our employers but it wasn't enough so we took out our own life insurance policy outside of work. We've had the same outside policy for about eight years and we haven't looked around since to see if we need to find a better price or need to make adjustments to it. I think it is time I get a few life insurance quotes and make sure we have everything covered for our children. I hope to never have to use it, but I think it is the responsible (if somewhat morbid) thing to do.


Paternity Fraud

>> Sunday, July 27, 2008

Paternity Fraud - what is it?

It is the act of naming a man as the biological father of a child or children for the purpose of claiming child support when she knows or suspects that he is not the biological father.

This is the ultimate parent trap.

When I wrote an article a few days ago about Judge Hanschen, I didn't expect the huge amount of traffic on this topic. I knew it was an issue but I never suspected it to have the interest level this article did (and still does as traffic is still pouring in on it).

Studies are being done in different states to try to determine just how rampant paternity fraud is. In New Hampshire, the numbers are as many as 30% of child support paying fathers are paying for children that are not their own.

The repercussions of such immoral an unethical fraud is wide. Financially, the repercussions for the man can be devastating up to and including loss of businesses, homes, and freedom if they are jailed for non-payment of support for children who aren't their own.

Emotionally, it is far reaching...

For the man, he may have an emotional attachment to this child or children thinking he is the father for whatever amount of time (in many cases it is years up to and including into adulthood). For the child, it is the loss of knowing who their true biological father is and the possible loss of the father named fraudulently who they have bonded to as a parent. Medically, it is depriving them of knowing their genetic medical history.

What about the true biological children of the man? They suffer when their financial security and support from their biological father is stretched so thin to support children that aren't even his, when their father loses their business, license, or goes to jail for non-payment of support for kids who aren't his own. It's a vicious cycle that ONE person could have prevented - the mother before she falsely named a man as the parent of her child when she knew he wasn't, or there was a chance he wasn't, the father. Once paternity is determined it is then also on the state's head when they continue to order support for children a man didn't father. Nobody thinks about the other children. The state doesn't care about the other children but if things are "really" done for the best interests of the children, then it should be ALL children and not just the children who get the state their federal funds. What do I mean by that?

One reason why states may be so willing to overlook paternity fraud has less to do with the children and more to do with the fact that the state receives federal kickbacks from the federal government for every dollar they collect in child support no matter what they have to do and whose rights they trample to get it. It is in the state's best interests to order child support paid through the state because they get federal funds based on every dollar they collect.

With infidelity on the rise for both men and women, assuming that a child born during a marriage is the product of a union between those two married people doesn't appear to be true anymore. We aren't living in Leave It To Beaver times anymore.

So, who pays if the man who was falsely claimed as the father sues for back child support he has paid for a child that wasn't his? Does he go after the true biological father or does he go after the mother who falsely claimed him as the father? Personally, I think the mother is at fault. The bio-father may not have even known he'd fathered a child. The mother knows exactly who she slept with and what resulted. She is also the only one making the false claim as to her child's parentage. She had the option to name the true father, or the possibility if she didn't know which man fathered her child, so the true biological father would be known and child support ordered from the appropriate man. I think if more women were sued for paternity fraud, we would see the percentage of men falsely named as dad decreasing.

I also believe that if the state knows a man is not the father through DNA testing and still seek and order child support, I think the state should be sued as well. Let's have some accountability for this and make it stop!

Women have had the upper hand in court, including paternity issues. This is changing and I hope it continues to change until we see more fairness towards men in family court for the children's sake as well as people behaving more responsibly and ethically for their children. I hope it is done during my generation and doesn't follow my children into adulthood and haunt them as well.

There are landmark cases across the United States concerning paternity fraud. When we make consequences for it, hopefully we will see the percentages of paternity fraud decrease for the child's sake.


Personal Loans When You Need It

We all know the struggles that some stepfamilies go through financially, especially when you are the non-custodial home paying child support. There has been countless times where we had to choose between paying a utility bill or groceries to feed our family. It would have been nice to have a Quick Personal Loan to get ourselves caught up so we weren't in the position to choose between necessary utilities or necessary food on the table.

At, all types of credit is accepted. Your application, which is a short three minutes or less, is processed instantly so you have the answer you need without waiting around for hours (or days) like other places on pins and needles wondering if you are going to be able to make your bills this month or not when your check is two weeks away but your bills are overdue now. With nation-wide service, check them out!


What's a wigger?

>> Friday, July 25, 2008

When my stepkids were here in March, my stepson was swearing a lot in front of his younger siblings and calling my 11 year old daughter "b**tch" a couple times. We found out about it after the fact. That was bad enough.

My stepkids were here again last week and are now back at their mother's house. My three year old picked up "shut up" from my stepson on this latest trip. It wasn't nice to hear her regurgitating that back at me yesterday, but that's not the bad part though. Today, we are driving through the downtown area of a small town near ours and I hear my 11yo daughter say "that's a wigger" about a young man walking by. I wasn't sure what it meant so I asked her. She told me what her older sister (my stepdaughter) taught her the word meant when she was here last week. I was disgusted.

The "W" stands for white and "igger" stands for what is considered derogatory by many...that n word that is all over the news again.

Is this acceptable with the younger crowd or is it derogatory? Regardless, I didn't like the word and told my daughter why I didn't like it and she wasn't to call anybody that again. She's 11. I'm not sure if it is considered derogatory to the younger crowd though. I just know it makes me uncomfortable.

All this language my kids pick up when my teenaged stepkids come over. What's it going to be next time? Moving on up to whipping out a bottle of Boones Farm and passing it around? Geez.


Call Me Stupid and Childhood Memories

I messed up my expensive photo software. I am not very happy with myself right now. I am not sure I can fix it and I hadn't even had the time to learn it. I was looking forward to all the different features I could learn to enhance my photos - layering, airbrush, etc. since I take a few thousand pictures a year. When you think about it, everything gets enhanced anymore with air brushing - automobiles, t-shirts, tanning, and celebrity pictures are a few I can think of right now.

My aunt and uncle had a van that had a scene air brushed onto it through my entire childhood. It always made me think of them as free spirited nomads when they traveled. When I was a child, I wanted a pink mustang with horses air brushed onto it. The only thing wrong with that now, as an adult, would be the PINK. Then there are my childhood dreams on how I would dress as an adult (think Olivia Newton-John in her last scene in Grease with tight leather pants and top). Hmmm...I do own two pair of leather pants but in black, not in the brightly colored hues in my dreams of my childhood. Coming from a kid who fantasized about Prince and kissed my Duran Duran poster, it's not surprising I guess. (Shhh...don't tell anybody about the kissing part.)


Gardasil Deaths and Adverse Reactions

>> Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Adverse Reactions
as of June 10, 2008
per the FDA:


This is an important topic to me because my daughter's pediatrician was putting on a little bit of pressure last year about giving it to my daughter and I know she will again at her next well-check. I didn't agree to it a year ago because I didn't know enough about it (other than what the drug company advertised in commercials and magazines). That was one-sided information from a company who would make money off of me if I bought into it and a doctor who probably gets perks from the pharmaceutical company for giving it to their patients so I wanted to look into it myself.

The latest I found indicates ten new deaths since September, 2007. Since January, 2007: 140 serious reports with 27 of those life threatening; ten spontaneous abortions; and six cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

When a vaccine is causing children to pass out and fall off the examining table, foaming at the mouth, grand mal seizure, paralysis, Bells Palsy, and coma, why would it be promoted the way it has been?

From the President of Judicial Watch:

“Given all the questions about Gardasil, the best public health policy would be to reevaluate its safety and to prohibit its distribution to minors. In the least, governments should rethink any efforts to mandate or promote this vaccine for children,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

One problem for about 25% of the children with adverse reactions is that these vaccines are being given at the same time as other vaccines. Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, didn't conduct studies on giving them in combination with most other vaccines. So why the serious reactions in the other 75%?

According to Medical News Today:

"Out of the 385 individual GARDASIL adverse event reports made to VAERS, two-thirds required additional medical care and about one-third of all reports were for children 16-years-old and under, with nearly 25 percent of those children having received simultaneously one or more of the 18 vaccines that Merck did not study in combination with GARDASIL. NVIC is calling on the FDA and CDC to warn parents and doctors that GARDASIL should not be combined with other vaccines and that young girls should be monitored for at least 24 hours for syncopal (collapse/fainting) episodes that can be accompanied by seizure activity, as well as symptoms of tingling, numbness and loss of sensation in the fingers and limbs, all of which should be reported to VAERS immediately.

Because Merck only studied GARDASIL in fewer than 1200 girls under age 16 in pre-licensure trials, it is critical that doctors and parents be made aware of the nature of the initial adverse event reports coming into VAERS and that they report serious health problems after vaccination when they occur," said NVIC President Barbara Loe Fisher. "There are twice as many children collapsing and four times as many children experiencing tingling, numbness and loss of sensation after getting a GARDASIL vaccination compared to those getting a Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) vaccination. There have been reports of facial paralysis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. And doctors who give GARDASIL in combination with other vaccines are basically conducting an experiment on their young patients because Merck has not published any safety data for simultaneous vaccination with any vaccine except hepatitis B vaccine.

NVIC also found that there were several VAERS reports of HPV infection, genital warts and cervical lesions after GARDASIL vaccination. It is unknown if the girls were infected with HPV before being vaccinated or if GARDASIL failed to protect them. One case of HPV infection occurred in a 22-year-old girl who had participated in a Merck GARDASIL trial in 2003 when she had shown "strong conversion to all 4 vaccine types" but "tested positive for high risk HPV" in 2006, according to the VAERS report.In a May 18, 2006 Background Document for the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRPBAC), the FDA staff stated that Merck clinical trial data indicated there may be "the potential for GARDASIL to enhance cervical disease in subjects who had evidence of persistent infection with vaccine-relevant HPV types prior to vaccination." Girls and women now being vaccinated with GARDASIL are not routinely being tested for active HPV infection before vaccination."

They also wrote this:

"If only 1 to 4 percent of all adverse events associated with GARDASIL vaccination are being reported to VAERS, there could have been up to 38,000 health problems after GARDASIL vaccination in 2006 which were never reported," said Fisher. "How many girls are really having short-term health problems associated with getting this vaccine that could turn into long-term neurological or immune system disorders? And how many will go on to develop fertility problems, cancer or damage to their genes, all of which Merck admits in its product insert that it has not studied at all? We just don't know enough to be mandating GARDASIL for anyone, much less vulnerable 11 to 12 year old girls entering puberty."

My children do get vaccinations. They have all had the "required" vaccines. However, this is one vaccine that they will not be receiving.

For more of my posts about Gardasil, click here.

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Today's News

I just woke up. I was up until about 2:00 a.m. online and then reading. Once I start to read, I have a hard time putting the book down. I don't feel like working yet so I am just goofing off right now thinking about what I want to write about.

I could write about the big news about the WNBA fight but the WNBA is struggling and needed the publicity that a brawl would give so staged ya think? Don't know, don't care. I could talk about the mega millions lottery won and how I wish we could win the Ohio lottery...but we'd have to play it to win it and there isn't anybody in this little town to buy tickets and I don't feel like driving to the next town to get them. I could write about the alleged John Edwards affair or the alleged resulting love child, but I don't want to give that anymore publicity other than to say if he's cheating on his wife while she's fighting cancer, he sucks. More popular news tidbits is some search engine, but eh. Barack Obama went to the Middle East but that's all over the news already so why be redundant.

So, instead I will leave you with a cute picture because I don't feel like working (though I better kick my butt in gear soon) but I was up sooo late (whine, whine, whine).

Isn't she just the cutest? She's sweet like this, but believe me, her three year old self can be a little bugger too, lol.


You Go Judge Hanschen! Paternity

>> Monday, July 21, 2008

A judge in Texas is bucking the system. The system I am talking about is the one that says "we don't care if you really fathered these children or not...just pay up the child support for them."

There is a father in Texas who started hearing rumors that one of his children wasn't really his. Shortly before his ex filed for divorce, he was served with papers to enforce child support. He was beyond the "four year" rule (a man has four years to challenge paternity of the children). Paternity tests were ordered by Judge Hanschen to be done immediately (and they were) but the Attorney General's Office filed on behalf of mom and the children to halt the paternity order. It was too late though. The results were released.

It was determined that BOTH of his daughters weren't really his (I believe his son was determined to be his). Not just one - BOTH OF THEM. That "woman" (I use the term loosely rather than referring to her as the slang for a loose woman) was trying to force him to pay for children that weren't his after denying him visitation all along. Get real! Make up your mind. Mom wants "dad's" money but doesn't want him to parent? You see, she'd kept the kids from him for two years so he went to their school and couldn't see them because they were in class. He left $2,000 with the school administrators and then was served with child support enforcement papers after that - for children that were later determined not to be his after he questioned paternity in court. You can't have it both ways lady! Well, a lot of women do have it both ways but it shouldn't be that way! This guy didn't father either one of these kids yet the state was trying to force him to pay anyway. Where was this woman's pride?

The Appeals Court ordered the DNA results be sealed and they were later ordered to be destroyed. What about this man's rights? What about these children's rights to know who their father(s) are? What about the biological fathers' obligations to support their own children rather than forcing a man with no biological ties to do it for them?

Here is a sample of the Dallas Observer article (and what I have been saying all along for YEARS about what is wrong with the current child support system):

"But to critics, the office's unwillingness to acknowledge that some of its practices may railroad poor, uneducated men into financial hardship is evidence of more sinister motives. The office receives federal funds based in part on the amount of child support that it collects and distributes, giving the Child Support Division a budgetary incentive to close as many cases as it can, no matter whose rights it might trample."

Did you get that? "The office" (referring to the state child support agency) "receives federal funds based in part on the amount of child support that it collects and distributes, giving the Child Support Division a budgetary incentive to close as many cases as it can, no matter whose rights it might trample."

The state receives federal kickbacks from the federal government for every dollar they collect in child support no matter what they have to do and whose rights they trample to get it.

Why should men be financially threatened and face jail time and seized assets for not paying child support for child/ren that are not their children? What about the rights of the children to not only know who their father(s) are but to be supported by the biological parent (rather than the male figure most easily saddled with the child support bill)?

Child support is a necessity. I think both parents have a financial obligation to their children. However, the holes in the law that allow men who father children to get out of providing support because other men are not allowed out of support obligations for children that aren't their own is WRONG.

Why should the wrong "dad" be ordered to pay support for another man's child? How is it in a child's best interests not to know who his or her biological parent is? Where is the man's equal protection under the law?

Men are also being denied due process when the Texas courts say they mail notices to the fathers to show up in court but they don't receive it. The courts assume they do but it hasn't actually been received. When he doesn't show up, he gets screwed in court in a default judgment and surprised when child support is taken from his paycheck and he has no idea what is going on. (We were recently sent a notice from the court to send objections within a set amount of days on a notice they said they sent us when they didn't! It happens.)

Not all mothers are honest. Some are liars sleeping around with a hand out to the gullible man for his money to pay for children she created elsewhere. Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I am a mother. I would be damned before I would allow myself to treat somebody so dishonestly and unfairly and deny a child of mine the right to know who their dad was...these women must have no morals or pride.

I wish for the 100th time at least that my husband had requested DNA testing on one of his children before acknowledging paternity after hearing some of the things his ex said when she was withholding the child from my husband. It would settle the questions after she told him during one argument that she was going to tell everybody that the child wasn't his. Was she speaking out of anger? Who knows. It really brings to mind that you never really know.

See the news article here.

For more of my thoughts and posts on this topic:

Teen Sues Mom for ID of Father


Who's Your Daddy?

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Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction Indecent?

The FCC tried to fine CBS for that very famous "wardrobe malfunction" during the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake live performance at the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show. Everybody remembers that I am sure. If you didn't see it, you were sure to hear about it. The $550,000 indecency fine was just thrown out by the court.

There is now a video delay for live performances that went into place within days of this occurring.


Expensive Vacations Not a Loss

What happens if you have booked an expensive vacation for you and your family but you have a death or other family emergency that cancels your plans? If you have travel insurance, you are thankful for not losing all that money. If you don't have it, you are likely kicking yourself and regretting not having it. With basic plans, along with plans for the student traveler, international traveler, and group travelers, you can be assured against losing the funds that you've put into your vacation.


Skin is a Wreck

My facial skin has been a wreck lately. I am assuming it has to do with the 90 degree heat and perhaps all the volleyball games outside sweating in it. I am breaking out on a daily basis. A 36-year-old woman should not be breaking out everyday! I enjoy playing volleyball (and it is speeding up my metabolism which I need to work on other areas of myself) but at this rate, I will need to break out the Proactiv acne pun intended. Hm...acne vs. weight. I will put up with the acne for the time being and work on removing pounds for now.


Ex Reads Kids' E-Mails From Us

>> Sunday, July 20, 2008

My stepdaughter told me yesterday that her mother definitely reads her emails. I knew that already because our emails were being read at times when my stepdaughter was in school and the responses were not my stepdaughter's, but I didn't tell my stepdaughter that. I knew her mother was responding and pretending it was my husband's daughter responding. Pathetic of a mother to do this!

WHY? Why does a parent have to stick their nose into the communications between the kid (not even a small child...she's a teenager) and their other parent, their other home? Why can't a parent allow their child "without guilt" access to their other parent? Seriously, what message does that send to the kid?

I am a mother and I monitor my 11 year old's emails all the time, however, monitoring emails from one parent to their child? I could see if my stepdaughter had a lot of emails from friends and such in her email to monitor her every email but she doesn't. She uses myspace for that (don't even get me started on the big fiasco of myspace with her mother pretending to be somebody else on there - 25 years old from Georgia and pretty ha! - and denying my husband access to his own kids' myspace pages and all that stuff...yes, she did that). Her email is mainly emails from our home. Even at that, monitor her friends' emails but leave emails from her dad alone. It's none of her dang business!


Transitioning Back is Hard for EVERYBODY!

After my stepkids went back to their mother's yesterday, my 11 year old spent a good five hours crying. Pretty much non-stop. We went out to eat, thinking it'd help get her mind off of it all and she'd cheer up. She sat at the table in the restaurant and tried not to sob. Every once in awhile, I would see her face screw up and her lips start to tremble...she was trying to hold it back. She was a wreck yesterday. She texted her older sister a lot yesterday until I had her put her phone away after 9:00 p.m. last night.

Everybody talks about the transitions for the kids going between the two homes - their adjustment period. Nobody talks about the adjustment period of the kids in the non-custodial home who are being left when the other kids go back to their custodial parent's home. Those kids have needs and feelings too. They hurt. So the family court can take that and shove it. Unless my husband and I were to divorce - so the state family court could get federal kick-backs from the federal government for child support collected - the court doesn't care about my four children.

For me personally, my "adjustment" was getting some order back into my home finally and the excitement of knowing this next week's grocery bill wasn't going to be $400 like it was last week. We are SO far behind in our budget now. I spent a good hour or so this morning trying to figure out how to make our next house payment after this last week's bills with the stepkids. Between gas to get the kids from their state to ours and then home again, and the increased grocery bill for two teenagers (one of them a vegan so it's a different menu on top of the "regular" menu), having my stepkids is a huge blow to our budget that we can't afford to do but do anyway obviously.

On a funny note, my husband said last night as we were leaving dinner that his ex isn't aging well at all. He must think she is aging VERY badly because he said that the last time too. I've seen recent pics on my stepdaughter's camera (she asked me to take her pictures off her camera for her and email them to her email address because her mother won't let her take her pictures off of the camera WE bought for her at home) and he's right but I wouldn't say it first, lol. I see those pictures and wonder what the heck my husband was thinking...too much alcohol was involved obviously. Blech! That "relationship" would be a great advertisement on why you don't pick up somebody in a bar after drinking too much and the proper use of birth control. Looks aren't everything. Any decent person knows that, but she doesn't even have a good personality! It had to be the alcohol. There was nothing else but alcohol.


Stepkids Went Home

>> Saturday, July 19, 2008

Well, the exchange of the stepkids just took place. My daughter, who went with my husband to take them back, is in "waterfalls" mode according to the text I just received from my husband. I expected that. She was crying from the time she woke up this morning. My son was as well but as soon as dad left with the kids to take them back, I took him and our other kids out to run errands with me and took his mind off of it. He's better now (until bedtime when he has to go to his room by himself, without his older brother).

My kids don't understand why their brother and sister can't stay longer. They don't understand at all. Eventually they will. They think their siblings' mother is mean. That's about the extent of their understanding. *sigh*


Dayton Air Show

If you are looking for the admission information for the Dayton Air Show, click here. Buy a family package or buy general admission tickets.

This weekend is sure to be a great weekend for Ohio residents who attend the air show. Bring your camera to get pictures of the Air Force's supersonic fighters!


My FICO Score and Free Credit Reports

>> Thursday, July 17, 2008

If you have ever had credit problems in the past, are currently having credit problems, or just want to keep track of your credit and ensure it is accurate, obtaining copies of your credit reports at least once annually is a must. At Annual Credit Report (sponsored by TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax - a free credit report by each agency once every 12 months) and MyFico (where you can purchase credit reports/scores), you have access to not only your credit reports but your FICO credit scores too. We use Annual Credit Report to get a free credit report from each of the three agencies for free once a year.

It's very important to keep track of your credit to ensure accurate scores as well as to protect yourself against identity theft.

*this is not a sponsored post.


Ack! I need a new template

>> Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I do not like this template anymore. The graphics are ok, but I want a three column template. I can't find one that grabs my attention to save my life. Wordpress has so many nice templates and blogger has "blah" for three column templates. I should learn how to make them myself and then I don't have to search high and low for the perfect template for my blogs. Ack!


Another Day with the Stepkids

>> Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Well, another day with the stepkids is coming to an end. Everything is going ok...just some minor bumps (regular stuff mostly) that I've noticed for the most part (unless my kids aren't telling me things which is a possibility like last time).

I let my stepdaughter and oldest daughter (11) walk into town today. We live on the edge of town and I've never let my daughter walk that far but with her older sister with her, I hesitantly let them go (along with each of their cell phones, my daughter's inhaler, instructions on how to cross the main road, a map of the town since neither one of them know it that well in case they got lost, and money for the store they were going to buy junk food at). No, I'm not an over-protective momma, lol. They came back early because when they were sipping their Icee's on a bench in town, a guy at the stoplight was looking at them too closely (they thought) so they hightailed it home. They probably over-reacted because they are both drama queens but I was happy to see them home early since I was nervous about their first venture out together in this new town.

The kids also swam today again. I can't believe all six of them get into that little pool. With the littlest one in there, they have to sit quieter than usual and behave themselves but as soon as I take her out, they start splashing and jumping in and out of the pool.

I had a few good conversations with my stepdaughter today. She is just like the way she used to be a few years ago with us and it is nice to see that. She's laughing and joking around. She's not acting overly sensitive or distant anymore. She is growing up fast...too fast. I can see my husband struggle with that (if struggling is just refusing to want to know certain things about his oldest "little girl", lol).

Tonight, my stepson and my son rocked together - my stepson on his guitar and my son on his drums. They didn't sound half bad really. My stepson is taking guitar lessons and my nine-year-old son starts drum lessons on the fall. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't all sound like noise.

So, that was the day with the kids. There are three full days left and then on the fourth day, they go back to their mother's.


Dateline and your unclaimed and missing money

Families dealing with paying child support often have times making ends meet when supporting two homes. I know we have struggled for years to pay our own bills, though we have always paid the child support first and on time.

Wouldn't it be great to find out you had extra money you didn't realize you had. Did you know that you might have unclaimed money just sitting out there unclaimed? According to Dateline, there are 33 billion dollars in unclaimed monies between 17 million individuals. You might be rich and not know it! Anybody can be on the list from your grandmother to yourself to the rich celebrity in Hollywood.

I just watched a video from Dateline and about a show called "You Might Be Rich" where they find your unclaimed money and surprise people with it. They showed a segment where they found $2,760 of unclaimed monies for an elderly couple. That sure would be a nice surprise wouldn't it? How they do it is by utilizing computer records as well as archives of non-computerized records in storage, trying to locate you and what is yours. It's a feel good kind of show which is a nice change from some of the shows on television today.

You don't have to wait and hope to be on this show one day to find out if you have unclaimed money. You can check it out for yourself at or I used Missing Money before. I didn't find my name on there but did find the names of a few people that I know.


Mom Supports Dad's Relationship with Children

>> Monday, July 14, 2008

Yeah, that title is a joke in this house but the information below that it relates to may help somebody.

Today I came across this site, Dads & Daughters. I found an article that some stepfamilies can relate to so I thought I'd share it here about how the mother should support the relationship that dad and the daughter share. It is something I wish I could print up and send to my stepkids' mother! It is something I wish their mother had done 13 years ago. It is something I don't think their mother can ever do and that I'd be wasting part of a tree printing it up at all for her.

Here it is:

Live-With Mom Tips for Supporting a Daughter's Bond with her Live-Away Dad


Barack Obama Camp vs. New Yorker Magazine

Amid rumors for the last 1-1/2 years about Barack Obama and his wife, the New Yorker Magazine gave them both their cover! It's caused quite a controversy. Apparently Obama won't respond to it but his camp has - calling it tasteless.

Personally, I don't like Obama. I don't trust him and will not be voting for him. I really don't care what the controversy is about. Caricatures of past presidents and presidential candidates and other famous people have been done before. It's not like this is anything new. If Barack Obama wants to be President, they should all get used to it.


Stepkid Won't Listen To You

Welcome to my world, lol.

The stepkids are here until Saturday. It's been a busy past few days. Yesterday, we put up our pool for the kids to cool off in and watched them for awhile playing in it. It was the first time my three year old would get into a pool (she refused her two inch kiddy pool last year) so it was an event for her. Then we played several games of volleyball while they dried (I have the sore arm and sunburned face to prove it) and watched Moondance Alexander afterward. That is a good family movie, especially for families who have little girls who are in love with horses. Then we hit the cake from my stepson's birthday the day before while the girls waited impatiently for Camp Rock to come on...again. I did get to talk to my stepdaughter for a little while kind of like how we used to talk so that was nice. Another busy day in our household.

I am finding that the problems of the past (stepson not listening to me) are still present. While playing in the pool, he was getting rough with the younger kids who have a certain level of fear with water, especially on their faces and of going under. I would tell him not to do something and he would look at me while still doing it - gauging if he should listen to me or daring me to stop him or something. I don't know what it was. I would seriously tell him to stop and he would stop (only to return to doing it when he thought I wasn't watching). Ahh, brings back old memories.

The next few days should be interesting.


1st Day with Stepkids

>> Sunday, July 13, 2008

The stepkids arrived yesterday afternoon. We had a busy afternoon.

First, we ordered pizza and chicken wings for dinner. While waiting for that to arrive, my husband and stepson got out their electric guitars, hooked them up to the amps, and gave me a headache. To work off all of the pizza, we went outside and played three games of volleyball with all of the kids. After we had worked that off, we came back inside to celebrate my stepson's birthday (just in time as a strong storm hit). I had a cupcake cake made into an electric guitar.

After cupcake cake and banana split ice cream, we gave my stepson his present from us. We bought him a guitar processor for his electric guitar, which he really liked.

The kids did karaoke for awhile before coming back upstairs to watch Encino Man with us. Then it was off to bed for all of the kids. They'd had a busy evening.


One Day Until Stepkids Arrival

>> Friday, July 11, 2008

There is less than one day left before my stepkids will be here. My husband will leave in the morning to pick them up in their state.

I'm not sure what the plans are. I know the girls have a little party planned around watching Camp Rock Behind the Scenes on Sunday, July 13th. My oldest and my stepdaughter are Camp Rock/Jonas Brothers fans. I believe they are going to have the Camp Rock movie on with behind the scenes footage in between, but I'm not sure yet. That's what the girls are hoping for anyway.

We will also celebrate my stepson becoming a teenager. We bought him a guitar processor for his electric guitar and I am having a cake made in the shape of an electric guitar using cupcakes (with icing the same color as his new guitar). Cool eh? This stepmom isn't a dud! Of course, it won't be appreciated but oh well, nobody can say I didn't try. Ever. Well, I'm sure there will be criticism from the peanut gallery (always), but not my problem.

I will schedule a riding lesson for my daughter and stepdaughter together. I had a few other ideas that I can't remember right now. It's too late to use my brain this much.


Second Hand Smoke & Kids

I have asthma and the triggers are varied. It can be an odor, exercise, or it may just be time to take my medicine again.

I was in line at a drive-thru a few days ago with my window down. I was next in line to place my order. The man in front of me had his window down with his arm hanging out of his window - holding a cigarette. Despite the distance between his cigarette and me in my car, despite the fresh air in between his car and mine, I got a whiff of cigarette smoke and had an asthma attack right there. That was all it took. Hey, if the food doesn't kill me, some stranger's cigarette will!

Now imagine if you are a primary caregiver or babysitter who is smoking around children. One whiff of smoke is all it takes. It doesn't have to be the actual smoker smoking at that time either. I can walk through an area where somebody had smoked previously and have an asthma attack. I can smell cigarettes on a person (let's face it, smokers smell like smokers) and have an asthma attack. Are you doing this to your own children? If you are a babysitter, are you doing this to the kids who you are entrusted to care for and protect?

Something to think about. As an adult, you have the right to make the choice on whether to smoke or not but children have very little say in what you choose to do or what they are forced to inhale because of it. I hope you choose to protect their lungs from current and future damage.


Swiss Army

>> Thursday, July 10, 2008

I have heard about Swiss army knives. I keep a small (legal) one in my purse just in case I ever need a box (protect myself). I didn't realize they make Swiss Army luggage too. Did you know that?

Our luggage is kind of embarrassing. We squeeze all four kids' clothing into one large suitcase (it is a very tight squeeze) and my husband and I each grab a duffel bag and shove our clothes and toiletries into those. We really need to get better luggage.


Moms Take Time For Yourself

I have this problem - I feel guilty when I want to take time for myself or need a break. I shouldn't but I do. I work from home so I am home with the kids 24/7. I do my work, take care of my kids, pick up the house (it's nowhere near spotless as my grumbling husband can attest to), prepare the kids' meals, laundry, yell at the kids and dogs, etc. It's a madhouse. I get to the point where I have to get out before I lose it (my mind, my patience).

I feel guilty though. For years, I felt like I had to clear it with my husband's schedule first. It's not like he would ever clear his bike activities around my schedule so I'm not sure why I felt that way. Why should I have to "ask" dad to watch his own kids? He didn't expect me to. I just felt that way.

I've been getting better this past year on scheduling my time away for a couple hours here and there. If I don't, my husband reminds me. When I get to the limits of my frustrations, he tells me to go to the stable. He kicks me out of the house to unwind.

It's not healthy to not take care of myself. I know that, however finding the time and money to do things for myself is difficult for me. There is always a bill that needs to be paid so I feel like my need is secondary to that (not sure why that is because my husband has no problem requesting his wants, lol). I schedule all my kids doctor appointments but can get a few years behind in my check-ups. It's not good.

Moms need to take better care of themselves. I know I do. We have a lot of people depending on us to stay healthy and sane. My family could definitely drive me batty if I let them.


Gas Prices Affect School Buses

>> Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Even schools have to figure out how to deal and manage with today's gas prices. Some schools are cutting out bus transportation for extra-curricular activities on weekends. Some have switched to four days a week (boy, what kid doesn't love that one). Others have changed their distance guidelines for walkers and riders so more kids are walking.

So what's the problem? The problem is this increases the risk to children that they may or may not get to and from school safely if they aren't on the bus. It also affects attendance - kids deciding not to go to school instead of arranging transportation and how many kids will participate in school activities without bus transportation.

I know our school taxes each year are higher than any other we have ever paid anywhere. We can't afford to have those raised to pay for the increase in fuel charges for schools. If it came down to it, my schedule can be arranged to provide transportation for our kids so that's ok. A lot of families would have a difficult time doing that though with work schedules.

Have you heard of any changes being made at your child's school due to the rise in gas?


Aging Jamie Lynn Spears

Why does Jamie Lynn Spears' hair look gray in this cover photo at OK! magazine? Are they trying to make her look older than the "teenager who got knocked up and had a kid" teen that she is?

The baby's name is Maddie Briann. Cute kid considering most newborns look like little old people. I can say that because I've had four of those "little old people" kids.


Eating Out Too Much

My teenaged stepdaughter recently decided she is a vegetarian. She emailed me to let me know and to tell me some of the things she eats (so I can have them here for her when she comes this weekend I suppose). She says she likes "a house salad." I'm not a restaurant so I don't know what this is, lol. I thought "house salad" meant whatever a particular restaurant deemed to be their house/specialty/restaurant salad. Am I wrong here? All that tells me is that she eats out obviously too much!


Feeding Picky Kids

>> Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Getting kids to eat can be a job on its own, especially my kids. They are the pickiest kids I've ever known (guess they got that from me, lol). Sometimes it takes changing things up a bit or sneaking things in to get them to eat.

For instance, I will chop up spinach really small and throw it in a spaghetti sauce. As long as they don't know "what that dark stuff is" (it's spices right?), then they will eat it.

Making it fun is another way I get my kids to eat. This "egg in the hole" was something I started doing with my stepdaughter 12 years ago. I would take a small cup (cookie cutters would make it even more fun) and I'd cut the middle out of a piece of bread. Then I would butter both sides and throw it in a pan. I would crack a single egg right into the hole and fry it up. After waiting for the bread to brown on one side, I'd flip it and do the other side. What you get is what is in the picture at left. I started doing this for my toddler and now she loves eggs cooked any way. This was like the step in between "yuck" and "yum, momma."

Another thing that I do with all the kids is flip the dinner. My kids call it "breakfast for dinner" (guess they saw it on Hannah Montana or something like that my oldest said) but I will feed them breakfast for dinner. Who says breakfast is only for the morning? Tonight for dinner, I made hash browns, bacon, french toast, and blueberries rolled in pancakes. They all ate it right up - no fussing, no complaining. All I heard was "can I have more?" That's a lot better than threatening them to eat another bite:)

Now I have to find more ways to hide the veggies:)


Pest Control in the West

To keep the creepy bugs like this Brown Recluse Spider at left out of our home, there are times when pest control assistance is a must. It's not just for the "scare" factor but some pests, like the Brown Recluse, are actually harmful to humans causing destruction of the tissue surrounding their bite.

If you live in the southwest, the Black Widow is a venomous pest you might find in Phoenix, Arizona or surrounding areas. The males are considered less harmful than the females as they contain less venom than the females. The females are known for killing the males too. I would most certainly find Pest Control in Arizona for my residence or business to ensure these spiders didn't make their home inside mine.

Alpha Ecological offers same day/next day service plus if you give them all the necessary information, they can give you a quote right then rather than be surprised after the fact. Their specialists are experienced, honest, highly trained, and friendly. They specialize in pest and dry rot inspection, FHA/VA inspection, and crawlspace inspection for commercial or residences.

They use gentler products for the environment too. They are so gentle, in fact, that most of the time you don't have to leave your home. There are no odors or fumes. If you are asthmatic (like me) or elderly, they won't affect you like a lot of other pest control methods would. This is important because fumes usually set my asthma off right away and it is quite dangerous not to mention what these harmful fumes would do to my children's lungs. Your children and pets won't be put at risk with Alpha Ecological.

Some of the pests they treat for include: carpenter ants, termites, beetles, spiders, roaches, fleas, silverfish, earwigs, mosquitoes, wasps, rats, mice, and moles. Alpha Ecological covers all the pests you want removed from your home and they do it safely. So if you live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, or Texas, give them a call and clear your home of pests.


Matthew McConaughey is a Dad

Matthew McConaughey and his girlfriend (not in the pic) had a baby boy this morning. I am sure there are women around the world offering to have his baby right now, lol. The baby boy was 7 pounds, 4 ounces and arrived last night. He said last night that the greatest adventure is now starting - raising a child together.

While I like his movies and he's not bad on the eyes, I kind of doubt that they will be raising the baby as a couple forever. Call it instinct or call it just a "knowing" that this guy who likes to play doesn't seem like the type to settle with one woman permanently any time soon. Hopefully I am wrong and he'll transfer his playfulness into just playing with his kid and setting up a family with the baby momma together. We shall see.


Gardasil and Adverse Reactions

A comment on my other post about Gardasil prompted me to do more research online about people who pass out after receiving it. This is what I found:

  • Injury Board: "A study of the vaccine's safety by The National Vaccine Information Center ( found more than 80 reports of adverse reactions to Gardasil upon being administered. These adverse reactions have been reported to include Syncopal Episodes and Seizures (a temporary loss of blood flow to the brain resulting in loss of consciousness, e.g., "passing out."), seizures, Guillain-Barre syndrome, falls, etc."
  • National Vaccine Information Center: "A 16-year-old Illinois girl was vaccinated July 7th and 13 days later developed symptoms eventually diagnosed as Guillian-Barre Syndrome. A 14-year-old girl in the District of Columbia was vaccinated on July 11th and complained of severe pain immediately following the injection, fell off the examining table and experienced a 10 to 15 second fainting spell ending up in the emergency room with a headache and speech problems. The report of this reaction, the first in the nation, was filed on July 14th, 15 days after the ACIP vote.
    Six months later, 82 reports of GARDASIL reactions have been submitted to VAERS on behalf of at least 84 young girls and 2 boys.[1] Reaction reports have come in from 21 states and the District of Columbia.[2] Reactions were reported for children and young adults ranging in age from 11 to 27. Of the reports indicating what day the vaccine was given and the reaction occurred, 63 percent stated that the reaction occurred the same day the vaccine was given. All but three of the reports were for reactions that occurred within one week of vaccination."
    There is a lot more information at the link at the start of this bullet point that you can read.
  • Read this article too...discusses deaths, adverse reactions and disruptions in pregnancies.
  • Judicial Watch: Reports of the FDA's adverse reaction reports are here.

My daughter will not be getting this vaccine.


State Stomps On Line Separating Them From Religion

Have you heard that South Carolina is putting to the test the "separation of church and state" with their religious license plates? I saw it on the news tonight and couldn't believe it. Doesn't anybody realize what those words mean? I posted about my opinion of it here.

The lines are being blurred, oh heck they are being downright stomped on and crossed, to be honest. In no way do I want the government being able to do this. Some people may just say, "well, it is only a license plate so what's the big deal?"

The big deal is, if you haven't noticed already, that if you start to let the government encroach where they don't belong, they keep doing it. If you allow them to blur the lines, they will eventually cross over them more often. Before you know it, they are treading on the rights of its citizens who put them in office to begin with.


The government sticks its nose where it doesn't belong often enough as it is. They need to stay out of the religious arena. Their own personal religious beliefs are fine - for themselves and their families - not the state they govern or the nation they represent.

No matter what your religious beliefs, this should worry people.


Reading is a passion

>> Monday, July 7, 2008

I LOVE to read. I have probably read at least four books in the last week alone. My problem is that once I start, I have a hard time putting it down. That usually means I am up until 3:00 a.m. finishing it. I get a lot of my books from the library, Amazon books, and neighbors giving them away.

I never give mine away (when I really should). I have bookcases full of books. I have boxes full of books. I don't let my kids throw their books out either. They're all sacred to me or something.

When I read, I get very involved in the book. I become a part of the book for a little while. When I was a kid, it was a way to forget about the dysfunction around me. Now, it is something I just really enjoy.

My older brother calls me "nerd" and I guess he'd be right in that respect. I'm a definite reading fanatic.



>> Sunday, July 6, 2008

Three out of six of our kids have mp3 players. The pre-teen and teenagers in our household really enjoy them. It seems like everybody today has ipods except me. There is a lot of music that I like that I wouldn't want my kids to hear (I may be getting older but I'm not a fuddy duddy in the music department yet) so listening to them on our stereo is out of the question. I am limited to the times when I am in my car by myself, which doesn't happen often with all these kids! An iPod is the answer to that problem for me.

If I could get one today and money was no object, I would get the iPod Touch. I like the way it looks and the features it has. The multi-touch interface is what I like the best. My cell phone is like that and it's pretty cool.


Countdown to Stepkids: 6 Days

Well, the stepkids will be here in six days. I still don't have a solid idea on how to feed my vegan stepdaughter. If you missed it, she's just recently decided to be vegan (though I don't think she realizes those chicken flavored ramen noodles she loves are made from chicken fat and chicken powder).

We will celebrate my stepson's birthday while he is here. We bought him a guitar processor unit since he loves playing guitar. He takes after his dad with his musical ability and my husband does all he can to encourage my stepson, and the rest of our kids, musically.

I am going to keep my fingers and toes all crossed, hoping my stepson doesn't lose his temper and fly off at anybody. The nasty name-calling had better not happen either unless he's talking to a dog and using "that" term for a female dog and not his little sister!



>> Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!! Stay safe!

Yeah, our country may be messed up a bit right now because too many of our politicians pretty much suck (our presidential candidate choices are downright embarrassing) and can't make decent decisions to save their lives, are too involved in self-interest groups and are more interested in lining their pockets, but I can guarantee you, the rest of us Americans aren't. We love our country. I wouldn't live anywhere else in the world. We are what makes America great; not the bass ackwards politicians! Unfortunately, there aren't enough good ones to counter the bad ones right now.

I know I get a lot of readers from other parts of the world on my blog. I hope they realize that America is so much more than our government. America's reputation may be a bit tarnished right now in other parts of the world but that will change. We have strength, courage, and hope.


Dress Your Vette

I have owned sports cars before though I have never owned a corvette. I have been an excited passenger in one however. The vette was black, sleek and fast. My brother drove me to high school in it. You can imagine the looks I received at school getting out of that. The lowly freshman getting out of a corvette. I loved it! That was my start to sports cars and I went on to have my own sports cars beyond high school. I love them for their great lines to their handling to the speed to their wheels. The vette is no exception. It is one sexy sports car. Most cars, you couldn't call sexy but corvettes? Most definitely!

How do you dress your vette? You start with the wheels and tires. The right wheels and tires will not only change the allover appearance of your car, but the high performance tires offered by Corvette Guys will give you the handling and traction to truly enjoy your ride in your vette. At, can shop for your sportscar by corvette generation, size, style, and color. Knowing your sports car looks good and handles well around curves will give you an added thrill when you take it for a spin.


Would You Do It Again?

>> Thursday, July 3, 2008

According to

A Boston University psychologist researcher reported that of the career women who had married men with children over 75% said that, "if they had do it again they would NOT marry a man with children."

This is a question many step-parents have asked themselves countless times. Some say yes, but most I have spoke to say no.

My answer is if my marriage were to fail or if I were to lose my husband, I would never marry a man with kids again. Never. Ever. Did I say never yet?

Are there any exceptions to this? Perhaps if the man was a widow and the children had gone through their grieving process and wanted their father to move on and find happiness again. That would be my only POSSIBLE exception, but in all likelihood, it would be never ever ever still.



I found out today that one of my sisters was pregnant and had miscarried all at the same time. No matter how common miscarriages are, it doesn't make the pain any less in my opinion.

I remember when I miscarried almost 13 years ago and the feelings that were buried most of the past decade have started to work their way back up again with the news of my sister's miscarriage. It was a devastating time. That pregnancy was not to be, however, I did go on to have four children. They are all children who were desperately planned for and wanted and worked for (I don't get pregnant easy despite the number of kids I have). We tried to conceive for well over a year with most of our kids with our last child being the most difficult. My doctor was just about to give me fertility drugs when I found out I was pregnant with her. I have a hard time getting pregnant and pregnancies are rough on my physically (which is why we are done having anymore children).

However, they were worth every pain and tear shed.

LOL, though I am ready for school to start now:)


Is Gardasil hurting and killing our kids?

>> Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I came across some articles tonight claiming that the Gardasil vaccine has caused death, paralysis, illness, spontaneous abortion, and more to some individuals after taking the vaccine. If you read my other blog, you know I have been on a mission to find out all I can about this vaccine as our pediatrician is encouraging it be given to our oldest (who just turned 11). I wanted to share this information with readers here too so its not missed.

Finding out what is true and what isn't is always difficult to decipher. So, I am putting all the information that may play into a parent's decision-making out there so families can make informed decisions on this vaccine.

Read more here.

Here is the CDC's response. In my opinion, this response leaves too many questions in my mind as to the safety of the vaccine at this time.

As of right now, my opinion is that my daughters will not be receiving this vaccine. It has always been my intention to ensure they knew all they need to know about safe sex to protect themselves. That intention remains.

More CDC information.

EDITED 7/8/08: I have another post about Gardasil with links to adverse reactions that include passing out, seizures, disruptions in pregnancy. Read it here.


Deadbeat Mom?

A lot of people think that mothers can only be nurturing and loving towards their children. However, if you watch the news, you know that always isn't true though the news doesn't seem to publicize it as much when a mother behaves unethically or illegally as much as they do fathers (hence the "deadbeat dad" phrase being so well-known). How often do you hear the news mentioning the term "deadbeat mom"? Not often, let me tell you. In fact, I don't hear it from the general public. When the news discusses non-payment of child support, it's not mentioned how many mothers have fallen into support arrears or just aren't court ordered to pay child support for their children. It's always the "deadbeat dad" chant that can probably be heard around the world.

It seems like dads are presumed deadbeats. That was my impression when dealing with the family courts, sad to say.

Being a stepmother with involvement with hundreds of other stepmothers over the last decade or more, I have heard the term used more often by individual families. There are mothers who either aren't court ordered to pay child support on their children if they are the non-custodial parent. If they are court ordered and fall into arrears, the court is less likely to legally enforce the child support order. If they do fall behind, the fathers are less likely to pursue it as well (though if it were reversed and dad was in arrears, it'd be a different story most likely).

I wonder why? Why aren't mothers held to the same ethical and legal standards as fathers are? I know there are some areas in the country that do hold them to the same standards but I think there are more that don't seem to.

Just one of those random thoughts that flitter through my brain periodically.


Shannen Doherty Moving Back to 90210?

If you are around my age (mid 30's), you might have watched 90210 way back when. Did you know they are remaking it? Did you know that Shannen Doherty is rumored to be a part of the cast? I never thought that would happen since it seems like trouble seems to find whatever set she is on and she ends up off whatever show it is.

I did watch her in Charmed and I liked her in that. Though, I liked that whole show in general (Rose McGowan was good in her role too) and wish it was still on the air. I catch reruns once in awhile. My husband actually watches a rerun every morning (shh, don't tell anyone). Personally, I think he's just staring at the pretty girls but he won't admit to that.


Countdown to Stepkids: 10 Days

Ten days left until my stepkids are here. I am still trying to figure out how to feed my newly turned vegan teenaged stepdaughter, while feeding five other non-vegan children, without busting our budget. The last time they were here, we busted the budget (we didn't just bust it, we smashed it to smithereens) and she wasn't even vegan last time (yes, it was just in March...things change quickly I guess). We can't do that again (go beyond budget). We couldn't afford it then and we certainly can't afford to do it now. I have to figure out how to buy a week's worth of groceries for six kids and two adults, one of the kids vegan, on a tight budget. This is going to be interesting.

Does anybody know how to feed a vegan teen affordably?


Where were the police?

>> Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Yesterday, when I saw two cows trotting down the street in front of our in-town home, it was quite the shock and amusement. You don't expect to see large cows trotting down the street heading towards the village where I live.

When I called our local police department, there was no answer. I'm sure that didn't mean there were no police patrolling our streets. It just meant they had nobody answering their phones.

We live in a small town and I understand that during certain hours, the county sheriff's office takes over for calls. However, this was within normal business hours. We pay a lot of taxes for being such a small town, not including the school tax that just about kills us every year. Our kids could be in private school you'd think for the taxes we get hit with. Anyway, I would have thought that this village could afford to keep our local police department in full operation within regular business hours!


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