Wednesday, September 30, 2009
To update you on my dad - he had the surgical biopsy on Monday. We know that it is definitely lung cancer, but, are waiting on pathology reports to come back and tell us exactly what type. Once that is determined, the oncologists will be able to decide on a treatment plan. It looks like it's going to be chemo and radiation. Because of the location of the lung mass (right next to his main bronchial tubes), they cannot surgically remove it. His scans that he did last week did show one small spot on his brain. But, it doesn't appear to have spread anywhere else in his body. He is still in the hospital to recover from the surgery. We hope he will be home today or tomorrow. Then, it sounds like his treatments may start as early as Friday. My mom is holding up okay on the outside, but, I know she is really taking it hard. These long days at the hospital are wearing her out. As a former hospital nurse, I tend to scrutinize everything and everyone who is working with my Dad. I'm happy to say that we have had excellent care - everyone at the hospital has been so kind and thorough. I will keep you posted....
Monday, September 28, 2009
Today, I am the featured blogger at The Secret is in The Sauce, or SITS. If you are not familiar with SITS, it's a wonderful network of women bloggers, a.k.a. Sitstas, who are committed to supporting one another and leaving comments. Check them out!
If you are coming over from SITS, welcome! I'm so happy to be the featured blogger and hope that you will enjoy your visit.
I'm a stay-at-home mom to four kiddos - my boys are 16, 11, and 9, my daughter is 13. I've been married to my high-school sweetheart, firefighter husband for 18 years. I am also a registered nurse, and have recently been thinking about returning to the work force. We have a big, spoiled-rotten dog, an airedale terrier named Emma. I've been blogging for a few years now, and I'm constantly amazed at how many great people I've met along the way. Topics I like to blog about include movies, tv, books, music, family life, and parenting/teen issues.
Things I Love:
Dark and cloudy days ~ snowflakes ~ big dogs ~ Earl Grey tea ~ Christmas ~ Fox News Channel ~ bookstores ~ babies' laughter ~ dark chocolate Hershey kisses ~ staying up late ~ foreign films ~ Twilight ~ fashion magazines ~ guacamole
Three Posts To Check Out:
What Do I See?
I'm a highly accomplished female business executive...sort of
Teens and Driving
I also do a weekly feature every Tuesday, called Movie Trailer Tuesday. This is where I post a video trailer and a little blurb about movies that I like and recommend. If you click on the button below, you can check out all my Movie Trailer Tuesday posts.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you'll come back again. And, a big thanks to The SITS Girls for all that they do!
On another note:
While I'm extremely excited about being the featured SITS blogger, I actually won't be able to be around my computer today. Last week, we discovered that my Dad has a mass on his lung, probably cancer and probably inoperable. Today, we are at the hospital where he is to undergo a biopsy to find out exactly what we are dealing with. I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this very stressful time. I plan on visiting each of you who stop by and comment, but, it may take me a few days to do so.
Friday, September 25, 2009
It's Friday - time to take it easy and get ready for the weekend. I will post something quick and easy for you to respond to.
Today's topic is names. According to Baby First Year, here are the top ten baby names for 2009:
Top ten baby names for girls in 2009:
Top ten baby names for boys in 2009:
My Aloha Friday questions for you -
What are your favorite girl and boy names? (any names, not just from the lists)
Do you like your own first name? If you could change your name, what would it be?
My first name is Kari (pronounced like Carrie). I've never really disliked my name, but, do hate that so many people seem unsure how to pronounce it spelled this way. If I could change my name, I would probably choose Audrey or Georgia. I think they are both beautiful, feminine names.
~For more Aloha Friday, visit An Island Life.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Thanks to One2One Network, I recently received a copy of the new Harry Connick, Jr. CD titled Your Songs. Along with a full jazz big band and string orchestra, Harry performs his rendition of 14 classic songs. Check out the tracklist -
I have always been a fan of Harry Connick, Jr., so I couldn't wait to listen to this CD. Many of these tunes are already songs that I love. Hearing them sung in Harry's smooth, beautiful voice made them new and fresh. Seriously, this man's voice is like velvet. And, the orchestration is great, too. Harry Connick, Jr. is truly a talented artist. Check out this CD, available now.
Here's some information about Harry Connick, Jr. (from One2One newsletter):
Harry's been indulging his musical passion since the age of 3, and played publicly for the first time at the age of 6! His career has been studded with awards and recognition, including several multi-platinum and gold albums, 25 million albums sold worldwide, Grammy, Tony and Emmy Awards; Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, and so much more.
Married since 1994 to model Jill Goodacre, they have three daughters ranging in ages from 7-13.
For more information, visit Harry's website
Moxie Media is a network of women bloggers who are passionate about blogging as well as the power and influence that women have in the world of social media and marketing. To learn more about Moxie Media, click here.
In order to draw attention to the creation of Moxie Media, they are hosting a week-long event beginning September 21 known as Around the Blogosphere in 5 days. Follow the virtual journey of Moxie Media’s mascot, Mona, as she travels round the U.S., “visiting” the sites of approximately 65 different blogs
I am so happy to be invited to take part in this event. Check out some of the places we "visited" when Mona stopped by to see me in my state of Kentucky...
First stop in Louisville, Kentucky - Churchill Downs - the home of the Kentucky Derby. A great place to go with your friends to watch horse-racing and enjoy some good food and drinks.
The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in downtown Louisville is a fun place to visit. You can take guided factory tours, learn about the history of the world-famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat, as well as how the sport of baseball has changed through the years. When you arrive, you can order your own personalized baseball bat that will be ready to pick up by the time you leave.
Mona thought these miniature Louisville Slugger baseball bats were a fun souvenir.
Mammoth Cave National Park, in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 365 miles of explored cave passageways.
Kentucky's Bourbon Trail
Kentucky is home to bourbon. Take a scenic drive through Kentucky's Bourbon Trail to visit eight distilleries (Maker's Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace, and more). At each stop, you can learn how bourbon is made and sample various bourbons (if your are over 21). Click on the above link to read the fascinating history of bourbon in Kentucky.
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
(from the Shaker Village website)
"Discover America’s largest restored Shaker community, where a remarkable society once flourished and where today, you can experience a true national treasure. This 3,000 acre National Historic Landmark charms guests with distinct Shaker style and the beauty of Lexington’s Bluegrass Region. A stay at the Inn offers peaceful accommodations, gracious dining, exceptional shopping, historical activities and invigorating recreation."
There's so many great places to visit here in Kentucky! Check out these links for more top tourist spots:
Old Fort Harrod State Park
My Old Kentucky Home State Park
Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace
Cherokee Trail of Tears
Thanks to the ladies at Moxie Media for letting me be part of this fun blog tour.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I think this is a great movie. Hayden Christensen is amazing as a troubled teen struggling to discover who he is, while also trying to figure out his relationship with his father . Kevin Kline, always one of my favorite actors, plays the father. As he works to tear down his shack of a house to build a new one, he is really trying to rebuild the relationships that are important to him. Very moving - you will cry.
Rated R for language, sexuality and drug use.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I'm having a rough time - could really use some positive thoughts and prayers.
--We discovered on Friday that my Dad has a very large mass on his lung. That's all we know right now. His next step is to visit a cardio-thoracic surgeon on Tuesday to set up an appointment for a biopsy.
--I've had lower back problems off and on for awhile. Usually, when it flares up, I can load up on some ibuprofen, spend the day laying on the heating pad, and then it's better. But, not this time. I've been in excruciating pain since yesterday. I woke up in tears this morning around 5:30 as I could barely move. I'm back on some muscle relaxers and pain pills, but, it doesn't seem to be helping. Bending over, getting up and down, and changing positions is next to impossible.
--During the last several months, I made the decision that I would have to return to work (after being a SAHM for 11 years). It's strictly for financial reasons, as things have been very tough for us this past year. I have been job hunting for about two months with absolutely no luck. As an RN, I thought it would be pretty easy to find a job, but, I guess I was wrong. I think the length of time that I've been out of nursing is going to be more of an obstacle than I thought.
Kay Marshall Strom is an author who has visited countries where such atrocities as human trafficking and modern day slavery occur. She has recently released a work of fiction, The Call of Zulina, to help draw attention to these issues. "Through her diligence and commitment to help resolve inhumane issues revolving around slavery and trafficking Strom has become an expert in the field."
Kathy Carlton Willis Communications offers this timely free content article by Kay Strom to bloggers who would also like to draw attention to these relevant and current events in society.
Stolen Identity by Kay Marshall Strom
Enormous eyes in a bony-thin face, and a baggy green dress that dragged the ground. Because of all the cast-off children at the village school in India, the raggedy girl stood closest to our translator, he gently asked her, "What is your name?"
The girl stared.
"Your name. What is it?" the translator asked again.
The girl whispered her answer: "I have no name."
A child with no name. A little girl abandoned so young she could not even remember what her parents had called her. She grew up begging at the train platform, snatching up the scraps harried passengers dropped, watching other children picked off by traffickers. Now that she was seven or eight--perhaps even a scrawny nine--the traffickers had come for her. But the girl screamed and kicked and clawed so ferociously that someone called the police. Someone with clout, evidently, because the police came and pulled her away from the traffickers. Somebody in the crowd suggested that instead of putting the child in jail, the police might take her to the village school, which they did. They dropped her at the door and left.
Human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, is rampant around the world. We think of it as an eastern European problem, or Indian or Nepalese or Thai. It is. But it's also a Western problem. The U.S. State Department estimates between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the Untied States each year, but concede that the real number is far higher. According to the U.S. Justice Department's head of the new human trafficking unit, there is now at least one case of trafficking in every state.
The little girl with no name was fortunate that someone responded to her screaming pleas. What would you do if you heard a child shriek for help? Of course, if she were a trafficking victim in this country, she wouldn't likely scream or kick. She would probably shrink away in terror, or act submissively. You might see wounds--cuts, bruises, burns. Perhaps what would catch your attention would be the constant work: babysitting, cooking, washing dishes, scrubbing floors--never just being a child. Or maybe you couldn't say exactly what was wrong--only that something about the child's situation made you profoundly uneasy.
Please, please, if you suspect a person is being trafficked, call 911 and report it. Yes, it is okay. Yes, even it you are mistaken. In fact, eighteen states require citizens to report possible child abuse or neglect of any kind.
In the 1700s, Quakers led the fight against the African slave trade. In 1885, the Salvation Army took up the abolition banner, and since then it has led the fight against a different kind of slavery. More and more, 21st century abolitionists are followers of Christ determined to see slavery of all kinds ended in our day.
Oh yes... Before I left the school in India, I asked if we might give the little girl a name. She is now Grace.
About the Author:
Author Kay Marshall Strom has two great loves: writing and helping others achieve their own writing potential. Kay has written thirty-six published books including Daughters of Hope: Stories of Witness and Courage in the Face of Persecution and In the Presence of the Poor. She's also authored numerous magazine articles, and two screenplays. While mostly a nonfiction writer, the first book of her historical novel trilogy Grace in Africa has met with acclaim. Kay speaks at seminars, retreats, writers' conferences, and special events throughout the country and around the world. She is in wide demand as an instructor and keynote speaker at major writing conferences. She also enjoys speaking aboard cruise ships in exchange for exotic cruise destinations.
Schedule Kay for an interview or request her book for review by contacting Kathy Carlton Willis Communications at WillisWay@aol.com or call 956-642-6319.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered this giveaway. The randomly selected winner of the Rubbermaid TakeAlong container set and Blue Ice Fun Shape Reusable ice pack is:
Jenna Z said...
To pack my OWN lunch! whenever I have errands to run at lunch and don't get to come home to eat, I usually slam back a granola bar and an apple but a real LUNCH would be awesome!
September 11, 2009 2:12 PM
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 9
Timestamp: 2009-09-16 00:05:58 UTC
Congratulations to Jenna Z. I will be contacting you soon with details on your prize.
Thank you to Rubbermaid for sponsoring this giveaway.
Set during Sierra Leone's bloody civil war in 1999, this thriller stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer, a smuggler who sells "blood" diamonds used to finance terrorists. When Archer meets a local fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) whose son has been forced into a child army, the two men's lives become intertwined, and they set off on an adventure that leads them through the world's major diamond centers. DiCaprio and Hounsou earned Oscar nods for their performances
This is very violent but such a powerful story. And sad, too.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The premise of the show reminds me of The Bachelor. Only, this is like the B-movie version. The trashy, late-night version. Think The Bachelor meets Jerry Springer meets cheesy soap opera. It's called My Antonio and it's on VH1.
It stars Antonio Sabato Jr. He is the hottie celebrity who is looking for love. For his soul mate. And, he's come to Hawaii to let VH1 help him find her. In case you are not familiar with Antonio, he is a daytime tv star who had roles on the popular General Hospital as well as The Bold and The Beautiful. Antonio was also hugely (no pun intended) popular as a Calvin Klein underwear model.
So, he's in Hawaii. There are a group of young ladies, all eager to meet, and maybe fall in love with, Antonio. In the opening episode, the ladies are waiting on the beach. A boat approaches, and as it nears the beach, we see Antonio, peeling down to his ve-ry small swim trunks. He dives into the water and swims to the beach to meet the ladies. Of course, the ladies are all smiles, tongues wagging, as he walks up to them and introduces himself. One by one, the ladies present themselves, telling their name and shaking hands, etc. As Antonio approaches one of the women (I don't remember her name), we see him checking out her feet (which are in flip-flops). He immediately pulls her aside to talk to her privately. The other women are thinking, he must really be impressed, what does she have that I don't have. Antonio talks to her, asks where she's from (she is French, I think). They converse in another language for a second. Then, he asks her what part of a man is it that instantly attracts her. "The chest" she says. Antonio replies, "for me, it is the hands and the feet." He then proceeds to tell her, basically, he can already tell by looking at her, that it's not gonna happen between the two of them. He's just not attracted to her. And, he sends her on her way. Right there, in the introductory meeting line. Oh. My. Gosh. The drama! The other women are stunned.
Speaking of the other women, there are some characters. Most are of the "huge-fake-boob-fake-tan-heavy-makeup" variety. One of the girls is so strange and backward - she literally cries when Antonio talks to her and runs from him when he tries to approach her. I felt sorry for her, but, I have to admit, I had to close my eyes for a minute. She was just so very bizarre. I was embarrassed for her. Antonio tries his best to console her and put her at ease. At another point in the episode, everyone is together at a pool party. A mysterious older woman shows up and motions Antonio over. It's his mother. She certainly has her own thoughts on which girl is or isn't right for him. Finally, another mystery woman appears. It's Antonio's long-lost ex-wife, that he hasn't seen in 18 years. Surprise! He looks shocked to see her. She says she's still in love with him and here to win him back. You go girl!
Have you seen this show? Are you hooked, too? If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing Antonio and his ladies, look for them on VH1. You might or might not be disappointed.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wow! Thank you so much, Modernmom!
Here is the Dish on this award:
The Splash Award is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspiring blogs.
When you receive this award, you must:
* Put the logo on your blog/post.
* Nominate & link up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
* Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
* Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash Award.
I am choosing to pass on this bloggy love to:
Daily Mish Mash
Just Livin' Large
Rue's Peanut Butter and Jelly Life
I received a complimentary review copy of Saving Ben A Father's Story of Autism, written by Dan E. Burns.
"Take him home, love him, and save your money for his institutionalization when he turns twenty-one" - that's the advice given by doctors when three year old Ben, the third child of Dan and Sue Burns, is finally diagnosed with autism. Two years later, Dan and Sue's marriage comes to an end. Though they still worked together to raise Ben, Dan became the primary caregiver. Fighting the school system, the medical providers, and even his own family at times, Dan was determined to do everything possible to "recover" Ben. He dove in head first, searching and learning all that he could about autism treatments and therapies.
Other aspects of this story are Dan's struggle with his own sexual orientation and Sue's realization that she was abused by her father as a child. This is a touching, at times difficult, story of a family raising an autistic son.
(from the inside book jacket):
Ben, now 21 years old, is a work in progress. The full force and fury of the autism storm have passed. Using new biomedical treaments, repair work is underway. Saving Ben is a story of Ben's journey toward recovery, and a family's story of loss, grief, and healing. "Keep the faith, never give up." These are the lessons of the author's miraculous journey, saving Ben.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
It's Friday - time to take it easy and get ready for the weekend. I'll post something quick and easy for you to respond to. For more Aloha Friday, visit An Island Life.
It's almost time for the fall tv season to begin. Personally, I'm a big tv junkie - I have so many shows that I love to watch. I can't wait for the return of Grey's Anatomy and Survivor.
What about you? Do you have any favorite shows that you will be watching this fall?
~Click here to enter my Rubbermaid giveaway~
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Rubbermaid recently sent me their new 4-pack of TakeAlong square containers and a Blue Ice Fun Shape reusable ice pack to try out in my kids' school lunches.
Some features of the Rubbermaid Take Alongs:
-New and improved "Quik Clik" seal; lid clicks onto container for tight seal
-Ridged lids for secure stacking
-Microwave, freezer, and top rack dishwasher safe
The Blue Ice Fun Shape reusable ice pack that I received is a cute little monkey. These are perfect for lunch boxes, keeping things cool without the mess of ice. Other available shapes include a frog, football, and baseball.
With four kids in school, packing lunch boxes is something I'm very familiar with. Not only does it save us money, it also helps me to ensure that my children are eating a healthy lunch.
Here are the makings of a healthy lunch (taken from Better Homes and Gardens magazine):
* 1-2 servings of vegetables and a piece of fruit or serving of fruit salad
* A whole grain food such as 100% whole wheat bread, pasta, or brown rice
* A good source of calcium, such as milk, cheese, or yogurt
* A good source of protein, such as lean meats, chicken, eggs, or beans.
* For beverages, water is good. Avoid soda, sugary fruit drinks or energy drinks.
~perfect size for holding a sandwich and string cheese
For the giveaway... Rubbermaid has generously offered to give one of my readers a set of TakeAlongs and a Blue Ice Fun Shape ice pack (shape of ice pack cannot be guaranteed). This is what you need to do to enter:
Comment on this post telling me how you would use the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs.
After you've done that, you may earn extra entries by doing any of the following (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):
1. Follow @rubbermaid on twitter and tweet about this giveaway
2. Follow my blog
3. Subscribe to my blog via email (see sidebar)
I will choose a random winner on Sept. 15, 2009. Winner must reside in the U.S. or Canada.
To see more Rubbermaid products and read helpful tips and solutions, visit Rubbermaid and their blog, Rubbermaid - Adventures in Organization.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
For this meme, you are to list a favorite film for each letter of the alphabet - the letter "A" and the word "The" do not count as the beginning of a film's title.
(for more detailed rules, visit Blog Cabins)
Here's my list - all great movies that I have seen
After the Wedding
Black Hawk Down
Good Will Hunting
I Dreamed of Africa
Life as a House
Me Without You
New Waterford Girl
Pride and Glory
Quantum of Solace
Sense and Sensibility
The Usual Suspects
You've Got Mail
If you would like to play along, leave a comment below with the link to your post. Thanks again to Blog Cabins for a fun movie meme.
Friday, September 4, 2009
For your listening pleasure - I love this song; it's such a happy, feel-good tune. It will surely make you want to smile, and sing and clap your hands!
In real life tonight, I'm headed out with my neighbor for dinner, a cocktail, and a movie. We try to sneak away from our husbands and kids about once a month for our own girl's night out. I'm thinking a strawberry margarita is in the works for me. We're going to see the new movie, All About Steve, which looks like a lot of fun....Sandra Bullock - hilarious. Bradley Cooper - yummy. Can't wait. What about you? Seen any good movies lately?
Happy VGNO! Everyone have a safe Labor Day weekend!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I want to say thank you to Jennisa from Once Upon A Blog for designing this cool button. I think it's so cute and fun! Click on it and it will bring up all my "Movie Trailer Tuesday" posts. If you would like, please feel free to grab it to display on your blog - you can find it over in my sidebar. I appreciate it!
When I was checking out this movie on Netflix, it didn't seem to have very good reviews. But, the plot sounded intriguing and I'm an Anne Hathaway fan, so I went ahead and rented it. I thought it was a great story with an unexpected ending. It was just mysterious enough to be a little spooky. And, as you probably know, I always appreciate a movie that makes me cry