Monday, March 31, 2008

Conflict Resolution in Blended Families

This is a follow up to Sunday's post on eating habits. If you weren't already familiar with this marriage saving concept, the following is from wikipedia: Agree to disagree or "agreeing to disagree" is a phrase in English referring to the resolution of a conflict (usually a debate or quarrel) whereby all parties tolerate but do not accept the opposing position(s). It generally occurs when all sides recognize that further conflict is unnecessary, ineffective or otherwise undesirable. They may also remain on amicable terms while continuing to disagree.
While this is a helpful method for resolving conflict in many areas of life, it is VITAL in a blended family environment.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Resurrection Eggs

Our Walmart had about 8 boxes of Resurrection Eggs in their 75% off Easter Clearance. This is a set of 12 eggs that help tell the amazing story of Easter to young children. Family Life, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ is the organization who markets these. I've wanted a set for a while and was happy to be able to pick them up for only $2.47. Check your local Walmart Easter clearance for your own set.

Dinner: A Logistical Nightmare

My husband has been a "selective" eater all of his life. So when it comes to feeding our group he feels they don't need to eat if they don't "like" it. As you can imagine, we never have healthy salads and some of our children rarely consume any veggie except corn, which I personally consider a starch not a veggie.

I serve chicken nuggets over 10 times each month. Other popular dishes are: hot dogs, hamburger, hamburger helper, and pizza(every Friday). This diet has led to among other things, a frequently clogged toilet in the children's bathroom.

This is one of those "agree to disagree" issues. I am a very adventurous eater who enjoys all different types of cuisines and lots of fresh veggies. We have come to the compromise that the children are allowed to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when they don't like what is for dinner. This has worked fine until Brooke recently converted to her own brand of vegetarianism, which for some reason does not include an intense appreciation for the vegetables at the root of it's name. Also, Emma came home from the church's youth group spring break trip to Myrtle Beach with the same conversion.  (I'm not sure that's the conversion the leaders were hoping for.)

Now in addition to having a houseful of selective eaters, I have to pander to two girls who won't eat the main dishes most often served at the "Family of 9" dinner table. Our own personal Golden Corral annexed to the back of our house is unfortunately out of the question.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Angel Food Ministries

I learned about this nationwide grocery ministry on my Cafemom group Dave Ramsey Fans. Angel Food Ministries began in 1994 in a rural Georgia community. Now it is in over 35 states. The best I can describe it is that it is a HUGE grocery co-op. Angel Food partners with churches and community organizations throughout the country to distribute reasonably priced food items.

We are giving this a trial run this month. Today was the once a month "pick-up" day. I walked in the door after my workout at Curves and was warmly welcomed by a gentleman who had been on the lookout for me all morning. He had seen my name on the order list and knew about the Good Friday Miracle Fishsticks. He called me a local celebrity.

Then I came home to find a message on the machine from an old friend in Florida. Seems we were a trivia question on a NPR radio show.

But Oprah hasn't called yet....

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mix 97.1 DSW Shoegasm Haul

I had a wonderful time shopping BY MYSELF with a $200 gift card courtesy of Mix 97.1 Columbus. I bought Kevin a much needed new pair of dressy work shoes so he looks sharp going out to make the big bucks. Unfortunately, I got them 2 sizes too big but can exchange them in North Olmsted. I wanted to purchase "Ugg" like boots for Brooke but they were completely sold out. I was able to replace my Adidas Adissage slip ons. My old ones belong in the toxic waste dump. Also, bought a pair of trendy Rocket Dog Corderback tennis shoes and navy BareTraps dressy slip on sandals. Topped it off with a new black leather purse with chunky silver buckles from Nine West. AND I still have over $20 left to get the "Ugg" like boots when they return in the fall.

Not bad for a bunch of minced fish.

The radio station now has pictures of this event on their website! I've included one here so you don't have to browse through all 12 to find the fishstick lady!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Mother's Helper

It's times like these, I wish I was Amish.

Today I had the great pleasure of having Catherine here to help us out. I have a home daycare so on days off school, in addition to our 6 youngest children, I have up to 5 additional daycare clients. After last summers big changes to my husband's visitation schedule, I realized that every other full week during the summer with up to 11 kids was going to quickly overwhelm me.

With Kevin's help I located the modern day equivalent of the old fashioned "mother's helper". An ultimate overachiever from the local senior class, Catherine is amazing. Today was a dry run for her. We took a field trip to the NASA Glenn Visitor's Center. If she wasn't scared off, she'll give me a hand entertaining the kids this summer. We decided on a rate of $7 an hour plus $.50 a mile.

I wish I could afford her everyday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Life with a pint sized genius

My second youngest didn't do anything but grunt and sign until he was 3 so I'm daily in awe of little George.
Yesterday my 24 month old son asked to call "Poppy" on the phone. I dialed my father's phone number and my mom answered. She informed me Pop was in the shower and couldn't talk. When I relayed this bit of info to my son, he furrowed his brow for a moment in thought. He then informed me in a loud voice, "Poppy's NAKED."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Dinner

It was a quieter Easter for us. We had George but all the other kids were away at their other parent's. The Easter Bunny hasn't even stopped at our house yet, I think he's waiting for the day-after-Easter sales!

After church we drove out to my hometown to have dinner with my family at the Grange. I think there were 47 people in attendance.

We had a nice dinner. Someone in the family was thoughtful enough to even bring a pan of fish sticks. Lo and behold, some of them appeared to be cross-shaped too! This clever person even set up a "silent auction", which was won by Judas who bid "a small bag of coins". He didn't pay up either.

After dinner (and after waiting about 3 hours) I went on a long run with Keith.

On our way home, we stopped at WalMart and did some shopping for the week.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fish Stick Frenzy!

Jesus fed thousands of people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread.

Our fish sticks aren't going to ever be that effective, but they have certainly lasted longer than we ever expected!

This morning we awoke to find yet another story in the local newspaper and another reference in a blog called elevating a generation. We still haven't heard a peep from the high bidder and I'm not sure if we will.

But we did get a message through eBay from Melissa. She was listening to Mix 97.1 in Columbus, Ohio and they were offering a prize to any listener that could get the "Fish Stick Lady" to call in. We called in and did a short radio interview and they gave us an invitation to the spring SHOEGASM which includes breakfast from Supper Thyme USA and a $200 gift certificate to DSW, at the Easton Town Center.

The Real Good Friday Miracle

Almost 2000 years ago, God used the death of His Son on a cross to work a miracle. Jesus’ death on those wooden beams was enough. It was enough to forgive our sins. ALL of them. It was enough to make a personal relationship with the God of the universe possible. For everyone.

God can do amazingly and exceedingly more than you can even imagine. He came so that we might have life and have it to the fullest. If you don’t have this relationship with Him yet, make Good Friday 2008 the most important day of your life. Make this the day you bow and confess Jesus as Lord. The Bible says in Romans 14 " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "

Do it today. It will be the best thing you ever did!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blog Love

This one gets a post of it's own. We were the subject of David Crowder's blog yesterday.

Yes that David Crowder, a top Christian artist and one of the headlining acts at Alive!

We also got blogged by mamakit , elevated generation and get in the way but those aren't nearly as exciting.

Fish Stick Evangelism

Hi All, This is the Fish Stick Lady checking in. No Kidding.

In the last few days I've been called an Abomination, a Blasphemer, and received my first official death threat. And those were the only 2 terms fit to print.
I guess it's just very hard for some Christians to actually appreciate the antithesis of Bullhorn Guy.

By the time the auction closed our page was loaded over 7000 times. It would have been neat to be blessed with a new van, but the really cool thing is that a LOT of people got a chance to read God's plan for our salvation and see that not all of us want to beat them over the head with our Bibles.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fish Sticks In The News

Here are a few links to some of the publicity from the Good Friday Miracle Fish Sticks sale on eBay. The auction ended with over 500 watchers and nearly 7000 views.

Holy Fish Sticks - Elyria Chronicle-Telegram - this resourceful writer actually contacted us through eBay!

Cross Shaped Fish Sticks Get A Bite - the follow-up story from the Elyria Chronicle writer Lisa Roberson

Cross-shaped fish sticks go for $78.77 on eBay - (AP Story) - Dayton Daily News

Same AP Story - / Akron Beacon Journal

Same AP Story - / Cleveland Plain Dealer

This AP story is all over the web now!


NewsNet5 - Cleveland TV

19 Action News - Cleveland TV - I think this one is hilarious!

MSNBC - print story from NewsNet 5

ArkLaTexHomepage.Com - repeat of the Channel 5 video

Channel3000 - another repeat of the Channel 5 video - under the heading "And The Number of Legally Insane People in Ohio Keeps Growing"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Free Lunch - Thanks Paul!

I got a free lunch at my day job today. Our group had pizza from the Rascal House to celebrate Paul's 35 year anniversary with the company.

Paul started as a shipping clerk, 2 years later became a computer operator, and has been a programmer now for 31 years. He shared some amusing anecdotes about the early days of computing and things like punch cards.

In other news, Victoria has had a newspaper and 2 TV interviews in the past 2 days over the Good Friday Miracle Fish Sticks she has listed on eBay! All of them approached her. The newspaper reporter actually contacted her through eBay. The first TV reporter contacted her through the newspaper reporter and the 2nd one contacted her through our church. The church secretary laughingly forwarded the message.

Finally, if you are a college basketball fan, hop on over to my pizza blog and join the free NCAA basketball tournament pick 'em contest. You could win a free pizza!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fishing for a Miracle...

Check this out...
Good Friday Miracle Fish Sticks
This is my attempt to get my husband early retirement or at least a new van.

Up for auction just in time for the Holy Days, a COMPLETE set of Good Friday Miracle Fish Sticks.
It's not unusual to find a couple of fish sticks stuck together in each box. But imagine my shock when I poured out the contents of my Super Walmart brand fish sticks to feed my horde of "rhythm method" spaced offspring. I didn't find just one or two stuck together in any haphazard way. There were 3 sets of 2. And what was unusual was that they formed an almost perfect replication of the hill at Calvary on Good Friday.

It was all I could do to keep the Catholic schoolgirl in me from falling to my knees and making the sign of the cross.

I have been praying for a long time for a new van. Maybe that's why God sent me these fish sticks.

Winning bidder will receive the complete set of Good Friday Miracle Fish Sticks in their original packaging (minus the other fish sticks my hungry children consumed). I will pack in dry ice in a Styrofoam cooler and ship immediately according to BUYER's preferences. BUYER will pay ACTUAL shipping. I will ship UPS or FedEx. Free Local Pickup is available.

March Date

Since our previously scheduled March date got canceled due to the snow, Victoria and I went out to dinner last night. We had a nice dinner at Mr. D's at the local Holiday Inn. It was quiet and relaxing as we were the only diners in the place. There were several people at the bar.

I had a sirloin steak and Victoria had rosemary chicken. Mine was good and she said hers was also. Then we shared a piece of chocolate cheesecake.

Best of all was the price, we had a coupon for a free dinner so our bill came to only $22 and change!

On our way home, we stopped at Rack & Roll for a few games of pool, like we did a couple months ago. Much to our surprise, the bartender Heather remembered us from when we stopped in 2 months ago, and even what we were drinking, Smirnoff. Victoria got a Smirnoff Green Apple and I tried the Raspberry. Victoria tried a sip of mine and quickly switched to Raspberry for her 2nd round.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Big Snow

Nearby counties are under Level 2 and 3 Snow Emergencies (we don't live in a county that issues official snow emergencies). Northeast Ohio is being walloped with a ton of snow. But George had run out of diapers. And instead of our big monthly date night that I was HUGELY looking forward to, we are snowed in with all 7 of our combined offspring. So I had to drive around the corner to Walmart for a few things to get us through. Near the top of the neighborhood I applied the breaks and hit a patch of ice. I slid in our tiny white Chevy Prism into the snow bank on the opposite side of the road. A very treacherous spot to be stuck. Right in the path of incoming traffic.

God sent us an angel in the form of a Gerent-Doane employee. This company deals in poured walls, concrete, development and excavation. This man had no reason to stop to help some stranger who was buried 3 feet in a snow bank. He could have gone about his merry way, but he didn't. In this day and age this is rare. Me and my daughter would like to tip our hat off to him and his friend who used their bulldozer to drag our little car out.

Baby George is especially thankful because now he has a enough diapers and milk to get him through this blizzard.