Archive | March, 2009

Complaint Department & Give-Away

17 Mar

 Click for more funny stuff

I’m going to hang this on the door of FringeMan’s office.  Isn’t it a riot?

In fact, I may hang one in my kitchen!

A woman was shot in the Bronx the other day.  Not big news, I know; however, she was shot will an arrow.  Go figure.  They are going to have to start a campaign to register all bow & arrow owners.  Forget gun control.  Apparently guns are no longer the weapon of choice.

I am being SO completely random today.  Please excuse me.  The little green men have invaded my mind. 

Whisperwood Cottage is having her 100th post give-away and the grand prize winner will receive a chandelier wall decal (pictured below).  Click HERE to enter.


I’m all about wall stickers.  Incase you missed the pictures of FringeKid’s room, decorated with lots of stickers, click HERE

Anyway, the designer of this wall decal has an Etsy shop and I just fell in love with a few of her designs.


I mean, who wouldn’t love this sticker?  It would look adorable in a child’s room.


These flowers are enchantingly cheerful.


I’m tempted to use this in my room.  I think it’s girly, romantic, and mysterious.

If you’d like to check out more great wall stickers by Wilson Graphics, please click HERE.

I just had to share these with you.

Have a Happy Wednesday!

Teacher’s Revenge

17 Mar

My kid’s homework is killing me!

My daughter requires active involvement in homework if it’s going to get done correctly.  I’m really not concerned with correct; I’m concerned with complete.

Her teacher requires correct.

I coax, encourage, refocus, yell, bribe, and at times I’m forced to admit defeat.  My first grader gets home at 4pm and wants to do nothing but eat a snack and play.  Can’t say that I blame her, but her focus doesn’t magically return after dinner.  Doing homework at night is like plodding through a field of knee deep mud.  It’s squishy, dirty, and requires the effort of your entire mind, body, and spirit. 

Each night ‘we’ have spelling, reading, reading comprehension papers, and a few math papers.  After that’s finished it’s independent reading time (to be done aloud), and every so often the teacher throws some additional projects our way just for sake of educational torture. 

This is one of the weeks were I’m acquiring new greys faster than Nice & Easy can rinse them away.

We had to write a poem for share time, read yet another book, and complete a small paragraph explaining which book’s world we’d like to travel into.  It all sounds simple until you try to finish each assignment from the perspective of a seven year-old.

Did I mention the piano flashcards we need to practice?  Scales?  Finger Exercises?

Is dropping out of the first grade an option?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely thankful for academic excellence.  I just wish we could spread some of this homework out over the next 12 years.

If you’d like to link to Tuesday’s Tantrum, please click on Mr. Linky below.  You can even link an older post.  It’s ok with me.  I’m an idea person, not a rule person.  So play along however it works for you.

Parenting Advice

15 Mar

Obviously I have nothing better to do with my mind than to mull over topics of little or no importance, because I’ve been thinking about receiving unsolicited parenting advice.  Since Nina brought up the topic in Friday’s Spotlight, I thought we should discuss it.

I have the kind of face that causes people to talk.  I’ve had women in Wal-Mart tell me about their failing marriages, I’ve listened with tears in my eyes as a family in Kohl’s recounted the recent death of their mother, and I’ve been given parenting advice.

When my son was approximately seven months months old, my cousin and her boyfriend came up to Maine for the weekend.  We spent a day on the coast, had dinner, and we were walking along a path on the ocean’s front called the Marginal Way.  Stopping at a bench for a few minutes, we took some pictures and enjoyed the sunset.  It was then that I was assaulted by the baby police.  I had no idea that I was ruining my child’s life, ensuring he’d never potty train, and thwarting his chances of getting into graduate school.  All because he wasn’t settled snug in his crib by 7pm. 

She scolded me as well as any nun had in my kindergarten class and left me with the title of book written by some baby whisperer type expert.  Since I was afraid she might show up at my house the next week and inspect my bedtime rituals, I purchased the book and even read it.  FringeMan and I lost two week’s sleep attempting to follow the baby soothing rituals.

My first-born didn’t not sleep through the night once until he was well over one year-old.  He still doesn’t always sleep through the night, but I do.

My second memorable bit of advice came from a well-meaning mom’s group leader.  Our young family left our home and friends in order for my husband to attend Bible school.  We moved from Maine to Florida and our three-year old did not acclimate himself quickly.

During this mom’s group a nursery was provided in an adjacent room, and each week I’d schlep my children along in hopes that they would make friends, steal cheerios, and bite our neighbor’s kid.  Each week, I peeled my three-year old off my body attempting in vain to keep my shirt securely in place.  The nursery worker knew two things about me – I wore a white bra and my son was psychotic.

Since he’d never had separation anxiety before, I welcomed advice and tried many tactics to no avail.  Moving had a bigger impact on this young child than I thought possible. 

As we sat eating, talking, and listening to wail of my son through the uninsulated walls, the mom’s group leader pulled me aside and suggested I have my son screened for autism. 

Believe me, you cannot diagnose my kids with any disease, disorder, or syndrome that I haven’t already tried to have the doctor’s diagnose.  As a new mom, I was well-read and paranoid.

Over the years, I’ve realized that offering to babysit for two hours is much more helpful than any advice I could give or receive.

So, what about you?  What kind of memorable parenting advice have you received?  Or, perhaps you give parenting advice with the same frequency hospitals dispense Tylenol.  Tell us about it! 

Comments are officially open.

Remember When?

14 Mar

Do you remember when we were kids and we played games consisting of folded pieces of paper?  On snowy days, I remember playing indoor ’football’ with a triangle of paper.


So when FringeBoy came home with one of these, memories of adolescent giggles and crushes washed away my adult stress.  I had to play!

jcgame2 First I chose a color, then a number, and yet another number.


Anticipation built as I waited for my inner secrets to be revealed.  Would I have a secret crush?  Would I have to kiss the dog’s nose?  Would my breath smell like a cricket’s guts?


My fortune wasn’t so kind.  I have a giant butt!

And this sent FringeBoy into a million giggles.

For the life of me, I can’t remember what we called this game that revealed our hearts and the size of my seat. 

Do you remember?

Portugal Bound

13 Mar

Today on Friday’s Spotlight, I am privileged to introduce you to Nina.  Incase you watched my vlog yesterday, I pronounced Nina’s name incorrectly.  Thankfully she forgave me, but probably only because she’s in the spotlight today.  You see, my being nice to people has special perks.

Nina is pronounced N*ee*na.

Nina and her family are missionaries in Portugal, the country of my father’s birth and where he now resides.  We had an instant connection and I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to develop a friendship despite the miles that separate us.

If you haven’t visited her blog, you must.  She has adorable children, big feet, and throws ‘mamma-fits’ on a semi-regular basis.  She’ll fill you in on the rest!


How long have you been blogging and what or who motivated you to launch your site?

I began blogging in Oct. 2007.  Just a few short months before our departure to Portugal.  I saw it as a means of keeping everyone in the Sates, family & friends updated.  My friend, Tabatha Bentley showed me the ropes.

When you were a child what did you dream of becoming when you ‘grew up’?

I didn’t have dreams as a child.  As strange as that sounds.  It’s probably what’s wrong with me now.  However, I remember writing in a “school days” book that I wanted to be a moviestar, nurse, or mom.  Hey…the way I look at it, I’ve accomplished all three.  Folks around the world see me and hear from me on my blog, I’m nursing boo-boo’s daily and I’m a Mom, five times over!  No, seriously, nothing in this world would give me the satisfaction I have in raising my kids and serving my Lord.

How do people in Portual view American missionaries?

Depends on who you talk to and what problem they are currently blaming on America.

No, really, overall they are accepting.  America is such a strong power in this world that Americans are either loved or hated.  Mostly, to the average Portuguese person, we are strange.  They wonder why we’d leave America to come here.  They wonder why we have 5 kids (one is plenty for them) and they wonder what religion we are.  The people in our village are accepting and very friendly.  But who knows what they say around the dinner table!

What has been the biggest adjustment for your children in this foreign country?

Going to school.  They were all homeschooled before this school year.  So their first time ever in a public school and it was in a different culture in a different language.  You can imagine I’m sure!  However, 5 months after that first day our oldest is basically fluent in the language and the other two are not far behind her.  It was the best thing for them.  They can communicate very well, they’ve made friends, and they have a respect for the people and the culture in which we live.  It was the biggest adjustment, but also the biggest blessing for them.

Tell us what you are passionate about…what makes your blood boil, your hackles rise, your heart soar?

Blood Boil:  For someone to ‘beat around the bush’ when they want me to do something for them.  “Just say what you want already!”

Hackles Rise:  When someone questions my parenting ability.  “Back Off…these are MY kids!  Go have 5 of your own!”

Heart Soar:  My kid’s laugh, my husband’s eyes, and my Lord.  The look on a persons face here in Portugal when my husband is teaching them the Bible and it ‘clicks’ with them.  When they see ‘truth’ for the first time.  When God opens their heart!!

Do church members in the states have unrealistic expectations for foreign missionaries and their families?  

I dont’ think so.  If they do, it’s out of ignorance and I can overlook that.  I would say that the average church member doesn’t really know what to expect from a missionary, so in a sense we’re the ones setting the standard.  I am very thankful for that average ‘church member’.  It’s as a result of their praying and giving that we are able to be here today.  We’re like a team, us and them.  I wouldn’t ever fuss about my team members.

What was your funniest experience on deputation?

Definition:  “Deputation” /noun/-the period of time when and independent missionary raises his/her support before reaching the field.

Our funniest experience was early in our deputation time.  (It lasted for 16 months.  It involved constant traveling and visiting of churches sharing our burden for the Portuguese people.)    We were having a fellowship dinner before a church service in a fellowship hall.  Upon leaving the building headed for the church, my child who was almost 5 at the time, stepped on a “sticky pad” thing that people use to catch mice and bugs.  Her curiosity had gotten the best of her, or maybe she was trying to kill those huge dead camel crickets that were sitting there, who knows?  Anyway, when she tried to pull her foot away, the entire thing came with her.  She freaked out!  Panic. Screams. Kicking her foot so hard she kicked her boot off.  We were all laughing so hard we couldn’t help her.  She was still screaming after her boot was across the room.  her daddy just about had to do surgery to free her boot from the pad.  The more we laughed, the more she screamed, the more we laughed…we had quite a crowd surrounding us before it was all over.

I’m sure I received some unsolicited parenting advice after they saw how we responded to our terrified baby girl.

What is your “15 minutes” of fame?

Are you kidding!!  Being on the Domestic Fringe is better than any 15 minutes of fame!

Give us a bit of parenting advice…

Since you’ve asked…because remember I don’t take unsolicited parenting advice very well.  But I would say to lay down the law and stick to it.  I used to think I knew about kids.  Knew what all parents should do to have well behaved ones, but after having 5 I’ve learned that I don’t know a thing.  I’ve been humbled.  Read the Bible.  The book of Proverbs is an excellent start.


What Portuguese custom simply baffles you?

They’re horrible drivers and they stare.  Even when you make eye contact, shrug your shoulders and raise your eyebrows as if to say, “What are YOU staring at?”  They still keep staring.  I mean, can’t they take a hint?

If you could add any word to the dictionary, what would it be?

Maybe “facaid”  (FringeGirl…maybe you could link to my ‘facade’ story!)  FACADE STORY HERE

Please leave us with one brief thought.

I don’t have anything but brief thoughts, so it’s a good thing you’re only asking for a brief one.  Now…what was I saying?


Go visit Nina @ Portugal Bound!

Thank you Nina!!

Many Blessings,

Video Blog = Vlog

11 Mar

For you, because you asked more than once.

I’d much rather be on this side of the keyboard than the camera.  A starlight I’m not.

Forgive the imperfections – PLEASE. 

Sorry, but you need to click over in order to watch my first and only (probably) VLOG!!!

Love Ya,

The Unseen Eye

10 Mar

No this is NOT FringeMan!

Funny Pictures

My son’s preschool teacher told him that I had eyes behind my head.  Over the last few years he’s put me through several tests and by the grace of God, I’ve passed.  My unseen eye has worked its’ magic and I’ve convinced him that I do, in fact,  have eyes behind my head.  

He’s now nine and still believes I can see him misbehaving via rear view vision.

Am I a bad mommy to foster these lies?

In my estimation, it’s already too late.  The harm has been done, so I may as well milk it for as long as I can. 

He is a gullible, but lovable boy.


Don’t worry, he doesn’t have the mumps.  He’s got a wad of food in his mouth.

Personal Information Invasion

9 Mar

Recently someone looking for work sent a resume to a large company.  That company contacted this person via email and requested additional information, including their credit score.  They were not interested in the entire credit report, just the score.

Am I the only person that thinks a company has crossed personal privacy boundaries when they request credit scores?

I realize that paying your bills on time shows good character, but does the employee have the opportunity to view the companies’ credit score?  After all, a company who cannot pay their bills in a timely manner is not necessarily a company that will pay its’ employees on time or even be open a year from now.

Will they ask for medical records next because a person with a neurological problem, autoimmune disease, or chronic illness may require too many sick days?  Perhaps smokers shouldn’t get a job because lung cancer may be on their horizon.  Heaven forbid they hire a woman with a bunion!  She’ll take an extra 30 seconds to walk to the copier. 

When have we, as a society or company, gone too far?

I do believe people of good moral character can encounter times of financial hardship and run late on paying their bills.  Life happens even to good people and in these economically challenging times, more of us may be receiving late notices whether we want to or not.

Are too many of us hiding in our gated communities with flower boxes overflowing, ignoring the fact that others in our town, church, or community may actually be losing the shirt off their backs?

If you’d like to get something off your chest, join me in Tuesday’s Tantrum.  Link up with Mr. Linky.

Have a great Tuesday!

Unemployment Soars as Butt Roots Grow

9 Mar

Like FringeMom and many others in America, Oriana the FringePup is out of work.


I’ve suggested Oriana go wait on the unemployment line, but she’s not taking my advice.

No one really takes my advice.  Hmmmm…maybe there’s a lesson for me to learn.

She’s snoozing while she waits on some of Obama’s bailout money.   Secretly I hope she gets a check.

She could make herself a useful guard dog.  Baring her new big white teeth and barking at those throwing trash in my yard could keep her occupied all day; however, she chooses the life of a couch potato.


She’s in danger of growing Butt Roots.  Do you know what causes butt roots?  If not, I’d suggest you read THIS.


Oriana has mistaken this couch for her own.  If she’s not going to be a guard dog, she needs to sleep on the floor!  The only reason the FringeKids have beds is because they take out the trash and carry dirty laundry to the basement. 

No work = no bed on the domestic fringe.


In fact, these two are both in immediate danger of losing their beds.

Do you know of any employment opportunities for a lazy dog or FringeMom? 

For clarification, FringeMom’s not lazy.  She’s just temporarily out of work. 

As we watch unemployment rates soar, banks tumble, and the stock market come precariously close to crashing, do you fear for your job?

You probably didn’t until now.  You can thank me in the comment section.  I’m always looking to brighten your day!

Remind me people, why do I have a dog?

FringeMan & Women’s Jewelry

8 Mar

During my ‘tween’ years, formerly known as bratty kid years, the FringeParents decided that I could finally get my ears pierced.  Considering I knew several infants who had their ears pierced, this parental concession didn’t thrust me into pre-pubescent pride; however, I was happy to finally have a tiny hole drilled through my lobe.

Being the ever brave mother, FringeMom elected to also have her ears pierced.  It only took her 35 years to muster the courage and then she made me go first.  Apparently if I’d started screaming, hemorrhaging from my iced ear-lobe, or if I fainted, she would have remained hole free. 

The experts didn’t tell parents to model good behavior back in the olden days.  Adults just told us to ‘do as I say and not as I do’.

The excitement of a shiny stud far outweighed any pain involved and I proudly showed off my lobes at every opportunity.  Unfortunately every time I would try and remove my gold stud to wear a more cheap & gaudyfashionable earring, I would get an infection.  My lobes would turn bright red, bleed, and they would fill with puss pockets.  Aren’t you glad you’re reading this?

My ears have remained unadorned for many years.

UNTIL, I whined and complaineddiscussed my problem with FringeMan.  He thought for a moment and then said, “Try using dish soap.”

“Dish soap??  If alcohol didn’t work, why would dish soap?”  I immediately dismissed his idea.  After all, what does FringeMan know about dangly, beaded earrings?

He went into some story that detailed the inner barrel of shotguns and the grease they use to lubricate the gun, etc.  Somehow this was connected to my three dollar earrings, but I still fail to make the connection.  I did try the dish soap.  What did I have to lose?

To my utter amazement, it worked!  I’ve been able to wear all my earrings after scrubbing them with dish soap.  Palmolive was my cure. 

With one bit of fire-arm advice, FringeMan solved my accessory problems. 


Now it’s full swing bling for me. 

Do you normally ‘bling up’ your outfits or do only accessorize on special occasions?  I’d like to know…really.



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