Sunday, June 28, 2009

MoBlogTues...Better Late than Jan!

Thanks for coming by to join us for the next installment of Mommy Blogger Monday Tuesday! Grab you're mug and pour something hot, take a seat and help me welcome, Jan! Name: Jan Your city/state: Wiltshire UK Blog URL : Ladies, Jan is a mother of two from the UK...our first "across the pond" Mommy Blogger! She has been blessing the blogosphere with her journalling of her needlework projects. Would you shareyour favorite blog with us? A Woman of no Importance We all have seen the untruths in tabloids as of late. If a tabloid wanted to know YOU and called for an interview, how would you describe yourself? I'm a 50 year old full time office worker , married for 23 years with two children- a son aged almost 21 and a daughter aged 9. I love all forms of needlecraft and can happily spend a day in a museum or Art Gallery. I love many different forms of music and am interested in history and archeology. I've lived in the south of England since 1975 when I joined the WRAF (I was in the mob for 13 years) I was born in Liverpool , North West UK where I lived until I joined up. I left the WRAF when my son was born. OK ladies, the "mob" in the UK is similar to the "armed forces" in the US. She was not referring to the "mob" as we know it. :o) So, Jan, now that you have gotten our attention with the "mob" thing...LOL...tell us about your best Mom moment. My best Mom memories are when my children were passed into my arms - the sense of love was overwhelming. Jan, I am a writer, as you know, and have written my fair share of product reviews. Give me a short product review of something you can’t live without. Chocolate !!!!! It's yummy , inexpensive , lightens my mood quickly and never disappoints. Oh, I am so with you on the chocolate thing *says as she pops another Hershey Kiss in her mouth*! OK, now I am drooling, let's change the subject. What is the dorkiest thing about you? I love wearing hoodie's and jeans and that is probably not a good look for a short fat fifty year old. Hoodies and jeans are my FAVORITE things to wear...while I am eating chocolate, of course!! OK, quick fire round....3-2-1-GO! What’s your biggest passion? My needlework What’s your guiltiest pleasure? eating a whole packet of jaffa cakes and reading some chick lit What do you wish for? Enough money to pay off our debts and live comfortably without my going to work What do you hate? Small minded people who talk down to others If your spouse would agree to let you go on a date with ONE celeb…list your top 3 picks. David Essex, Mel Gibson , Marti Pellow (Wet, Wet, Wet) Your least favorite house chore. hoovering Your greatest achievement. Passing pharmacy course What can you, under no circumstances, tolerate? bad manners Do you have any phobias? heights If you could speak one sentence for the rest of your life, what would it be? Yes please I'll have one of those And, last but not least, what do you always hope people see on YOUR inside? A good person and a good listener

Well, Jan, it has been a wonderful treat enjoying some latte and chocolate with you! You have blessed us with your wit and UK-isms! Thank you so much!

Well, until next time...or until my kids make me looney...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


So sorry, summer has kept me from my regular Mommy Blogger Monday feature! I know you all enjoy it so I am going to slip it in today instead of skipping the whole week. Put your hands together for... Hally!
Name: Hally

Your city/state: San Jose,CA

Hey Hally, thanks for being here! Let's start with the question every mom asks within 5 minutes of meeting another many children do you have?

2 boys, ages 3 and almost 1.

I'm pretty sure her youngest is 1 by has taken me a whilt to work down the list, she's been waiting a while to be featured....thanks for your patience, Hally!

So, you are an avid Semblance commenter so you must spend time blog-hopping. Share the scoop! What is your favorite blog?

Besides 'Semblance'?!?! :) [awwwww, thanks! *blushes*] Okay...I'm a blog fanatic, but here are my top 5 that I check daily in RANDOM order. ( in addition to Semblance)

*Because I Said So - she's on my list, too! She's my BFF Dawn! :)

*Adventures of Super Mommy & Spit Up Boy - can't find it...?

*Green Lite Bites - YUUUUUM!

*My Plum Pudding - OK....I went here, you have to check out THIS POST! You SOOOO know I am trying this!!!!

*Dalai Mama Dishes - I'm thinking Hally loves to cook!

OK...enough chit chat! Let's get to know YOU, Hally! This will be fun! Refill your latte and let's go, Mama! In 100 words or less, tell me your best MOM memory.

Oooohhhhh. A toughone right off the bat. I love the way my boys love each other. I'd have to say, that one that takes the cake so far is when my 3 yr old met his baby brother in the hospital. My toddler came running into the room and literally skidded to a stop in his sneakers. You could see the gears of his brain clanking around. Then he crawled into the bed with me and the baby and began tracing all the babies tiny features. I looked up at my hubby and to this day I will still swear that I actually felt my heart grow bigger.

OK....tears....that is beautful! Hey, gang, now we KNOW why she writes....could you SEE that scene? I could! Thanks for sharing that! I love it!

Your biggest life lesson?

Don't sweat the small stuff, there isn't time. And it just isn't worth it.

AMEN, Sistah!

Your most embarrassing moment?

They happen daily, but the latest is showing my toddler how cool his mom is that she can ride his scooter. And went toes over tea kettle over the handle bars in the middle of the park play area...husband is still bummed that he didn't have the video camera to send it to AFV.

Sorry, but I am giggling! WITH AT you! *smirks*

What is the dorkiest thing about you?

I check out kids' books at the library and read them and LIKE it. :)

Ummmmmmm, and this makes you a DORK? Really? Cuz, I don't know, I think it makes you FREAKING COOL! But, that's just know, me....the (wanna-be) CHILDREN'S AUTHOR! :)

What do you wish for?

Whirled Peas. no...okay...seriously, for my boys to grow up and be their father's biggest joy.

Oooo Oooo Oooo...there's a really FUN book about PEAS...have you all read it? It's by Amy Krouse Rosenthal...

Little Pea! Check it out! It is darling!

What do you hate?

Ignorance and people who preach/soapbox about topics without firsthand knowledge then get the attention because they are famous or rich or related to someone who is famous or rich.

OOOooooo that's a GOOD reponse! I like it! I get on a soapbox from time to time but I am not rich or famous OR related to anyone like that, so is it OK when I do it, Hally?!

If your spouse would agree to let you go on a date with ONE celeb…you would pick.....

Harrison Ford. Mike Rowe. And chick crush on J.K.Rowling. [tee hee, first chick crush answer! Yay, you!]

Your greatest achievement is...

My boys and letting them see a healthymarriage that includes hubby and I hugging and kissing anddisagreeing/making up and laughing in front of them. :)

WONDERFUL ANSWER!!! Could we all link to this answer and maybe most of AMERICA would GET A FREAKING CLUE about what's important??!

Oops...was that considered a soap box?

Anything whacky about you? Any weird phobias?

Yes...birds as pets...birds that swoop and eat your lunch...birds that talk...but ironically I like eagles and birds of prey that eat rodents.

So, it would be wrong to send you a singing birthday BIRD on your birthday? Right? Crap. I will have to cancel that one!

If you could speak one sentence for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Thank you.

What do you always hope people see on YOUR inside?

A sincere love for my family and a gracious heart that helps friends ANY time of day or night.

Hally, it has been a PLEASURE meeting you and chatting over a latte in our jammies...what? You're NOT in your jammies? Oh. Oops.

Well, I welcome your comments here on Semblance are a loyal fan and an awesome person! Thanks for stopping by as often as you do! :)

Thanks for joining us, once again, for MoBlogMo! It's always a blast!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Jon & Kate's BIG Announcement...

Those of you who read my blog know that I am more of a Jon & Kate advocate than a fan. Yes, I enjoy the show, I have read her books, made the children gifts, met her a few times but I am the FIRST person to NOT take pictures, to NOT blog their every move, to NOT get caught up in the tabloid CRAP!

But, as you know, you can't get away from it. It is everywhere and that makes me so sad. Sad for all of them.

So, I probably won't be watching the show tonight when they deliver their big announcement. My husband and I have been married almost 16 years and over those years, we have had many friends who have been in a similar situation to Jon & Kate...would I sit in their living room and WATCH as they drop the divorce bomb or let it all out and decide to reconcile? No. I wouldn't dream of it.

I am NOT at all insinuating that I am Kate's friend, I am simply saying that if it wasn't for comments like this reported in the Philadelphia Examiner, "Television viewers are obviously fascinated with the possibility of the Gosselin marriage unraveling," I don't think TLC would require them to make their announcement on the air. It's all about the ratings...and I think this crosses the line.

So, to TLC...I think there are times when integrity comes FIRST and you come to the aid of those you helped climb to the top (and put millions of dollars in your corporate pocket) and assist that family in being discreet about their issues and help them to go unnoticed as they deal with personal troubles.

Many people say, "They asked for this. They made this decision." Well, I made the decision to be a teacher, so if my school is taken over by gunman and I am shot and killed, does that mean, "I asked for it," too? If I wear a revealing dress to a party, am I "asking" to be raped? I also made the decision to have three children, if one of them makes life choices that cause our family strife and unrest, does that mean that my decision to become a mom is the reason for our family's demise? No. No. and NO!

Someone on my facebook friends' list had this to say and I LOVED IT!:

"I've never watched the show and don't know much about them other that what you've blogged about, but saw her on Rachel Ray, and just think wtheck people, she's a human being, her marriage is her and her husband's business and stay out of it, let them get through it like any other couple would. I have no tolerance for people who find their jollies by bashing other people going through a hard time. They must have very sad lives of their own."

("K" I wasn't sure if you wanted your name attached to this so I kept you anonymous.)

I know the Gosselin's made a decision to go on the air as a reality show. But as far as I know they are not circus freaks who have a crystal ball in their closet and can tell the future. I am certain that, without a doubt, if someone had told Jon & Kate that thier current situation was eminent within 5 years of the first show, they would NOT have signed the contract. If you have read her words in her book, MULTPLE BLES8INGS, you would feel the same way. The Kate in this book is NOT the Kate TLC portrays at times.

My thoughts about tonight's show?

I am going to go with my heart and say I believe their big announcement is that they are going to put their family first, work on their marriage and call it quits on Jon & Kate + 8. And you will hear the loudest applause come from THIS corner of Berks County!

I invite your comments and thoughts...but, as always, BE NICE!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

School Artwork Part 2

Alrighty, it's abouttime to follow up on the School Artwork assignment. I think I have given you ample time to complete step one. If you haven't or you need a refresher, check out the first School Artwork post.

Now you have your pieces chosen, you may have 10, you may have 20 or 30...any number is fine. The more pieces you have the more work but all the more beautiful in the end, too.

Find a well-lit hallway in your house or an exterior wall lit by sunlight, grab your camera, a roll of tape (painters' tape works the best but any scotch-type tape will work) and your stack of artwork and get ready to capture your child's creative history.

Place a small amount of tape at the top and the bottom of the artwork and adhere it to the wall at eye level. Make sure it is straight. Grab your camera and start clicking...fill the frame evenly with each piece and take a couple photos of each.

Load the photos on your computer and choose the best ones.

Hints for choosing photos:

straight, clear, glare-free

I will give you a couple days to complete assignment 2...check back (or subscribe) to make sure you don't miss Assignment 3...the FINAL assignment.

Have fun!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Relay for Life...

Thanks to CANCER, so many kids will never see this many candles on their cake. I feel blessed to have three healthy kids but that feeling felt selfish as my dear friend Mimi was losing her four year old Julian to a horrible monster called, Medulloblastoma or brain cancer. Julian passed away in January of 2008 and the impact this sweet angel had on thousands of people around the world was divine! He changed lives! His faith and his strength was that of a superhero! That is why I walk in RELAY for is why I support is why my buckets of change end up in the slot for the Ronald McDonald House in the McDonald's drive-thru. This year I am walking with a group of wonderful people from my church. We are walking for our captain Becky who lost a dear friend, a newlywed named Meredith. Meredith lost her battle with cancer last year, she was in her early 20's. Even though my team shirts say Meredith's Miracle, my heart walks for all the babies, toddlers and precious kiddos that will fight this year. No child should have to go through what these kids go through. If you have never known a family dealing with childhood cancer, you have not known HELL! Visit the following carepages to get to know some families who will amaze and inspire you to change the world. Go to and's free and you won't get any spam. Then click on visit and type in the following heroes names (no spaces, all one word)... JuliansWorld passed away at 4 ColemanScott passed away at 5 (left his twin brother) SuperBay has been fighting for over 3 years and is finally off chemo! (You can also search my blog for the names Julian, Coleman and Bailey and see posts about them) These families are very close to my heart - like family. I ask you now to donate ANY amount you can afford to this cause. There are kids lives LITERALLY hanging in the balance. Please. Go to MY RELAY PAGE and pledge - even $1 - anything will help! Thank you and may God bless you for your generosity and your prayers for these families. ALL donors on my RELAY site will be entered to win some AWESOME prizes, jewelry, art, etc! Peace.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

School keep or NOT to keep?

So, it's the end of the school year and your kids are bringing home papers and projects by the TRUCKLOAD! The spelling tests aren't difficult to toss but those sweet handprint reindeer or the crayon rubbings of fall leaves do the "do I keep it/do I throw it" dance...from the hope chest to the trash and back 100x as you try and decide which to keep and which to toss.

As an art teacher, one of the BIG lessons I learned was taught by a very smart professor when I was doing my undergraduate work. She said, "NEVER let a child see you throw away their artwork!" ANY artwork is a one-of-a-kind, a sort of miracle, something that can never be duplicated, it's a snapshot of sorts into a moment of their childhood that they will never relive and you will never see again. pressure, right? You will just have to build a new wing on your home to house their creations K-12, right? No. I have a simple answer that I will be documenting for the next few posts.

Your FIRST assignment:

Make a stack/fill a box/locate any and all artwork you have saved over the years and go through it to pick your favorites or let your children choose their most memorable or favorite pieces.

If you are having a hard time choosing and if you are like me and you have saved almost EVERYTHING they have painted/drawn/collaged in their school career so can think of a THEME....colors, seasons, objects. Maybe you have 15 pieces that have mostly red as the main color or maybe you have equal numbers of seasonal artwork...Choose a theme if you need to to help you organize your thoughts.

Once you have those pieces chosen, put them in a pile in a safe place. Go to your local super center and purchase an under-the-bed sweater box . Label (with name/grade/teacher) the remaining artwork and place in the sweater box for safe keeping. Repeat for each child.


We will do Step 2 in the next post.

Leave your ideas/questions/comments below and I will be happy to advise!