Sunday, November 20, 2011

Statistics Show... Kids In Sports Are Less Likely To Do Drugs

I'm thinking football is FINALLY over, right?  

No more going to practice 3 times a week.
No more games every Saturday.  
No more washing his practice clothes every night and hanging them to dry so the sewn-in-pads won't get messed up in the dryer.
No more having football 5-7 and kickball 7-8:30 on the same night and having tired, grumpy kids the next day.


Anyways.. I can go on and on.

Well, after the championship game on Saturday, which Daeton's team WON, the whole team went to Topper's Pizza.  We were there for a few hours and are saying our good-byes and leaving when Daeton sees two boys from football outside by the door and they ask if he is joining baseball with them!

Daeton tells me, "Coach Thompson told us about it."

 Kaela wants to sign up for ballet or gymnastics and I told her she had to wait until football was over and track starts in February!  So, statistics show that kids in sports are less likely to do drugs.  But, can we wait a few weeks? At least? LOL! I know if we are at home too much with all down-time they were either watching tv too much or fighting.  But, taxi-mom is tired.

And, yes, yes, yes.  I am super proud.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Bought A X-Box Kinect For $90

I found a GREAT deal on an Kinect for X-Box this week.  Daeton has been waiting since his birthday (in September) for one.  The game systems are just so darn expensive.  I often sell books and educational games on a few 'used curriculum' chat groups via Yahoo Groups but seldom look on them or read them.  Most of them I am no-mail on.  For some reason I read one last week and found a homeschool mom selling a brand new Kinect game system for the X-Box for $90 and it included one game.

Timing between her and I was hit and miss so last night was the first time she was home and I was able to go get it.  So, I drove to her house about 1/2 hour away and meet her family and picked it up.  Her husband explained to Daeton that they bought it for their son but he has the older version of X-Box and it won't work.  They were going to buy something to upgrade the whole thing to make it comparable but their their son's X-Box broke and they just decided to sell the Kinect.

I am super happy!  The cheapest one I have found, even used, was approximately $150, plus tax so this is a great savings to pay only $90 for it.

Daeton is happy to finally get the game system he has been waiting over a month for.  We got home late last night so he woke up early today to play it.

The system takes photos too (shows a camera on the screen and a 3-2-1 countdown).  These photos can be uploaded to a PC or Facebook to be shared.

I walked onto the screen, next to Daeton and the X-Box automatically added me in the game as a two-player game.  I'm liking this already!

Buzz Lightyear Operation Game for $1 Christmas Shopping!

I am not one to usually plan ahead and get my Christmas shopping done.  I always have the intent to, but often never do it.  Mainly because I hate shopping.  I just saw this sale and had to buy it.  I have a ton of friends and families' children that I buy Christmas presents for.

So, I signed up a 30-day free trial with Shop Runner and clicked on Toys R Us and went to their clearance page.  From there I clicked on 'board games' and the Buzz Lightyear Operation game is on sale for $1.

With Shop Runner I got 2-day shipping for free.

I bought two games.  Paid $1 each and 15 cents tax.

I'm proud of myself for getting two games, brand new, for $2.15 with out having to leave and go shopping!
Maybe I should have bought 3 or 4?  I guess I need to get my Christmas list written.

**** Update on this.  I received an email from Toys R Us that said they are out of inventory and are not going to ship them!  :-(  I printed it, saying the cost was $1 each.  I want to take it into their store and see if they have them there and see if they'll give me the games at the price on the sale.  Not sure if they will but it is worth trying.

They also sent me an email with a promo code offering $5 off my next online purchase.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Homing Pigeons- Homeschooling With Animals

My dad has been racing and breeding pigeons for about 20 years now.  Daeton has always been fascinated with the pigeons.  From when he was an toddler and my dad let him hold an egg, while it hatched, to him bring a box of baby pigeons to 'show and tell' in preschool.  Daeton is always quick to show friends the loft when they are at my dad's house too.  So, it comes as no surprise, besides that it didn't happen earlier, that Daeton now has his own loft at our house.

It is a small cage that they hooked up to the side of our fence in the back yard.  They put a long table in front of it for the birds to be able to sit on.  This is so they can hang out by the loft.  Once they get a little older and know to go straight in when they get home the table will be removed.

They started with three birds that were a gray/blue color and a few days later my dad gave him three more that were white.  All six of them were quiet young.  Old enough to be away from the nest but not really knowing how to fly yet.  Daeton is learning how to feed and water them, how to let them loose and how to whistle to get them to come in and land.  In the first week he lost one pigeon (it just never made it back to the loft).  My dad said this was probably due to Daeton letting them out so late in the day.  Pigeons can't see good at night and crash into things like power lines or get eaten by owls and hawks.

Right now when they are released they come back in a few hours later.  Daeton is teaching them to be used to being in a crate (special one for the birds) too.  Last week they were crated a few times for about an hour and released.  A few days ago Daeton and my dad crated them, drove them a few blocks away, and released them.  They will take the pigeons farther and farther away and get them used to finding their way home.

Taking care of them is a daily job.  Daeton has to check their food and water in the morning and release them after they see they have food but before they eat it (so they are trained to come home to eat).

He has names for some of them and was worried today when he thought one was grabbed by a hawk (4 were flying in a circle for a while and we didn't see the fifth).  The kids had enrichment classes today but when we got home the fifth one was in the cage.

Loosing them when racing often happens, even under the best circumstances.  This will be another life-lesson.  Some get lost in races, get eaten or even follow a group and go to someone else's loft. .

We Have Kittens 'Twin Boys'

Okay, it has been a few weeks and I keep forgetting to post this but we adopted two boy kittens.  They are brothers and look like twins.  The kids can tell them apart from the markings on their faces.  I tell them apart by the tip of their tails.

Cheetah (Daeton's kitten) has a black tip on his tail.

Pumpkin (Kaela's kitten) has a orange tip on his tail.  He is also a little bit more orange and this color is showing more the older they get.

We got them at 8-weeks-old.  Staci's friend had them.  There was a litter of '6-8'  (she wasn't sure) and these were the last two.  Staci said her friend was going to drop them off at the animal shelter if she couldn't get someone to adopt them and I gave in and said yes.  I knew the kids would love them and with two they wouldn't fight so much.

We also still have Jett.  She is 3 1/2 years old now.

So, am I a 'crazy cat lady' or do I have to have four or more to meet that criteria?  I'm not sure but I KNOW that three is the limit.  The litter box is crazy and if it isn't emptied EVERY SINGLE DAY Jett decides it is 'too full' for her and she will poop in the corner of the living room.

All I keep thinking is 'What did I get myself into?????'

But I look at them and they are so cute, love to cuddle and have great personalities.

I am making the appointment with the vet tomorrow to get them both fixed (I was told to do it before 4 months or they might start marking.).  The local animal shelter has a voucher for a $20 off and our vet has a voucher too, making it $20 each kitten to fix them.

Lets see if they still love me after I put them both through that surgery.

Yummy Dinner For Mom; Weight Watcher's Smart Ones

I recently purchased two Smart Ones dinners by Weight Watchers.  I'd heard about them and expected to find them in the 'boxed food' section, by the 'just add liquid pasta dinners.'  But, to my surprise, they were in the freezer section.
 I bought two, Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese (9 Points Plus if you are doing Weight Watchers and 340 calories for the whole bag) and Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo (8 Weight Watcher Points Plus and 300 calories).

Both looked like decent portions, to say the least and the picture on the bags looked good.  I waited until the kids had a 'not so healthy dinner' of pizza and the Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese for myself.  Only one word can describe it: amazing.  Definitely a yummy meal.  Better than I can cook.  The kids probably would have loved it too and... healthy!! YEAHHHHH!!!!  It completely filled me up and I got four food groups in one meal, vegetables, meat, grains and dairy.  :-)

I was completely full from the serving but not 'I-can't-move-stuffed.'  The flavor the chicken and noodles were well seasoned and a little cheesy while the broccoli tasted fresh and was not soft or mushy from being pre-frozen.  The price, per bag, is about $4.00 but I have seen two $1-off-one-bag coupons recently.  I mostly shop at Ralph's and Von's so with the coupon being doubled the whole meal was $2.00.

I was going to save the second bag for another occasion when the kids were going to have higher calorie food but decided to eat it the following night for dinner.  The Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese was just as good.  Again, the chicken was tender and lightly seasoned and the Alfredo sauce on the noodles, chicken and broccoli was yummy.  There was some excess liquid at the bottom of the bag after cooking but I can honestly say that is the only complaint I had.

I liked the Chicken Broccoli and cheese the best, of the two but definitely want to try the other ones the store sells.  They have a chicken stir-fry variety that looked delicious and about three other variations of rice or noodles with meat to try.

I have started to incorporate a better diet and exercise now in my daily routine and not wait for a New Year's resolution.   The Weight Watchers Smart Ones were very low in points for a dinner meal.  Something to consider with the holidays coming up.  I want to look good for all the Christmas pictures too!

These Smart Ones meals are definitely better than a dry piece of boneless, skinless chicken and a salad that I usually make!  My meat cooking skills definitely lack in flavor on most occasions, but I am trying.  Next time I buy the Weight Watcher meals I'll cook two.  One for the kids to share and one for me.

Disclosure: This post is part of a SocialMoms product evaluation, for which I’ve been selected. I’ve been compensated for my time with 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SocialMoms or Heinz.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weather Conditions- High Winds

1:40 am and I am up. I've been doing computer work and was calling it quits for the night but decided to check on the tarp one last time. It covers the 'car port' frame that is on the side of my house. The last tarp fell apart. It was brittle from the sun.

My dad brought this one over a few days ago but it wasn't completely tied down on all four sides. This tarp wasn't the right one for the frame and was twice as wide as it is. My dad folded it back over a second time and on one side it was weighed down by the brick wall, on the back by my shed and the other side by some angle iron on the ground. I added my refrigerator dolly & lawn mower on that side two days ago, feeling that wind was coming soon.

And, now it has HIT! It started as a warm breeze around 8:45 pm and now is a severe wind advisory!

So, I checked on the tarp about 10pm and it was fine. I checked one more time before bed... It has fully blown off the frame and is barely there. The furniture dolly & lawn mower are the only things keeping it from blowing away.... And that would chaos!

I bunched it up as much as I could. Put the dolly & mower back on it, covering more of it. Put a large folding table on a section of it and put a metal crate on another section. I think it will be fine now!

It is so windy that I can't sleep! I am hearing my gate rattling, trash cans crashing and rolling down the street, and my wind chimes crashing around! I'm glad I decided to wait until the morning to put my trash cans to the curb.

The city is living up to its name tonight, 'Valley of the Winds.'

This below is from on my cell phone:

Local Severe Weather Alert for location

High Wind Warning in effect until 3PM PDT WED