Sunday, November 23, 2008

Black Friday

It's almost here... the biggest shopping day of the year: BLACK FRIDAY! To me, it's not about Christmas. It's Capitalism, baby!

I started getting the emails in early October. and are the two I subscribe to ( is my favorite). Last week, I printed off the lists from the stores I am most interested in visiting on Friday: Office Depot, KMart, Best Buy, Office Max. Of course, the Wal-Mart Black Friday ad just came out two days ago. [Wal-Mart has a 50" plasma Samsung television for $798! We won't be taking advantage of that deal as we grabbed one last year on a similar deal.]

I don't know if you're aware of this, but many retailers have been advertising PRE-Black Friday sales this year. Bad economy = earlier "Christmas" season (you know, it started before Halloween this year) = more sale shopping days. Of course, if you don't have the money to spend on the great deals, what good are they?

This year, we're not spending much on toys and the like for the children. Not only is the economy affecting my family's wallet, but we've also [finally] come to the realization that our kids don't need every toy out there. Not to mention, lots of toys make cleaning up far more difficult for me - and the less I have to clean up, the better! We will get one big present for the entire family (which - and this message is strictly for my husband - we will NOT open until Christmas morning) and a couple of smaller things for each of the children.

Here's the other rub for my family during the Advent/Christmas season: all three of my children and my husband have birthdays between November 1 and December 31. So many little $$$.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trying On a New Look

I thought I would change things up a bit on my blog - to help put me in the Christmas spirit, I suppose. Also, I noticed a few blogs with the same background I had and, quite frankly, it was annoying me. Yes - I'm using a free background. Yes - I know that anyone can use that background. I don't want to be like everyone else, but financial constraints have forced me to go with FREE backgrounds.

But, I learned a little more about Adobe Photoshop when I made my header.

See! Something good came of this... I've got a new background AND my Photoshop skills are improving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

R2-D2 cake I made for Will's 4th birthday party.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Week Ending November 13, 2008

After the events of last week, we slowly got back into homeschooling this week. We'll be moving into our Ancient Greece studies within the coming weeks and we're getting warmed up with D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. I'm so excited about our history studies right now and the kids are really looking forward to learning about mythology.

Casey is moving right along with Language Arts. We're nearing the end of our Seton Spelling book, so I'm looking into where to go for the remainder of her first grade year (any suggestions would be appreciated).

We took a breather on math this week - we reviewed the basic addition and subtraction that Casey has been learning, but beyond that, it just didn't happen. We also didn't look at science much this past week beyond a couple of general ocean stories.

Will learned to recognize "r" this week. He also asked if he can start reading now. I explained that he needs to learn more of his letters (he knows a little over half including vowels), but hopefully by spring, we can start reading. His little face just lit up!

As an aside, I'm coming along. I returned to work this week. My boss gave me a big bear hug and even cried with me for a minute. Thank you for your continued prayers. I truly feel the love.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

What Do You Do... as an Attorney?

Friends, family and others have asked me, "What kind of attorney are you?" Good, I hope. Ha, ha!

I am also a family law attorney. At our law firm - not a big law firm mind you, but we do have 5 attorneys, so that makes us the second largest in our judicial circuit - the senior partner I work for practices solely in the area of Domestic Relations (i.e., family law). We do divorce, custody, alimony, child support, modifications of the same, adoptions, legitimation, termination of parental rights, etc.

I rarely go to court - that's what my boss does. Don't get me wrong, I've loved litigation the few times I've done it - cross-examining witnesses, arguing my case - it's a real rush... especially if you WIN! But, the stress leading up to it just isn't worth it to me. I prefer to present uncontested matters - cases where the parties have either settled or the other side never participated in the law suit.

I love going to mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. No court. With mediation, you have a neutral party helping the sides to reach a mutually agreeable solution through negotiation. The opposing parties, and their attorneys if they are represented, are in separate rooms and the mediator goes back and forth between the parties. The mediator's role is to present each side with the offer of the other party. The mediator also points out flaws in your case and can (whether the mediator intends to or not) provide some insight into the other party's case and their litigation strategy. Mediation can take hours. A mediation I attended recently lasted some 8 hours, but we settled the case - well, we settled all but one issue, and that's fine... we'll just present that issue to the court for adjudication.

I also handle a lot of the financial issues in our cases. I prepare financial affidavits, I help determine child support, and I analyze financial records of our clients and the opposing parties. I enjoy number crunching.

One of my favorite roles is adoption attorney. I've handled a few adoption cases and the ones I have had have been very rewarding. I love seeing my clients out and about with children I helped bring to their family.

So, that's what I do - three days a week, 8 hours each day. That said, I'm ALWAYS a mommy - that is my true career goal realized! Being a part-time attorney just helps get the bills paid on time!

Monday, November 10, 2008

So...On a Scale of Pumpkin Muffins to Fettuccine?

This is my entry in the Troublesome Turkeys contest sponsored by Happy to be at Home.

Our first Thanksgiving together, my husband (then, boyfriend) and I were in school in Arkansas. Because we were hours away from our nearest relatives, I wanted to make a nice Thanksgiving meal for the two of us.

Thanksgiving staples in my family always include a turkey, macaroni and cheese, green beans, biscuits, potatoes, and pumpkin pie. This was a meal I lovingly prepared for Richard and myself. Preparing the turkey went well, as did the side dishes. The dessert was a different story.

I'd made dozens of pumpkin pies in my life, but something went horribly wrong with this one. I followed the directions on the can - or at least I thought I did. However, somehow, I wound up with too much pie filling. I poured the filling into the pre-made crust (hey, I wasn't as adventurous with my cooking in those days), but after filling the deep dish shell, I still had half of a bowl of pumpkin filling. So, I decided to make pumpkin muffins! (It seemed like a good idea at the time.)

I added some flour to the pumpkin mixture. That was it... the only ingredient I added to the pumpkin pie filling mixture. (The first mistake.) I put the batter into a muffin pan. Then I put it in the oven at 350 degrees. (The second mistake - I shouldn't have let it get that far.) After about 30 minutes or so of baking, I took the muffins out.

Oh! Allow me to digress for a moment. By this time, we had eaten our Thanksgiving meal, which was fabulous. However, the pumpkin pie didn't turn out well - it didn't cook.

Okay, back to the muffins. I placed a muffin on a plate for Richard and got one for myself. Since the pie didn't cook, we would have pumpkin muffins for dessert! Our third mistake was eating that disaster. I can't describe it, other than to say the one bite I took was quickly disposed of in my napkin. Richard couldn't swallow his either. Terrible.

To this day, I have no idea what happened to my pie. I surmise that I added too much evaporated milk, but I'm just not sure. Also, to this day, every time I mention making something other than pumpkin pie with canned pumpkin, my husband visably cringes - especially if I intend to bake pumpkin muffins. Finally, we have a scale of the likability of food I prepare at home. My husband always loved my fettuccine alfredo; and you now know how he felt about my pumpkin muffins. So, upon presentation of a new dish I query, "On a scale of pumpkin muffins to fettuccine, where does this place?"

A VERY GOOD Pumpkin Bread Recipe (No, really! It is good! I promise.) Not sure of the original source of this recipe... I got it from Nonnie, who got it from someone at church, who got it from...

1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs, unbeaten

2/3 cup water

1 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin

3 cups sugar

Sift together nutmeg and the next four ingredients. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix eggs, water, oil, sugar, and pumpkin.

Add dry ingredients and beat until all lumps are gone.

Grease 3 medium loaf pans and fill each 1/2 full.

Bake 45 minutes to one hour at 350 degrees.

Yield: 3 loaves

Happy Birthday, Son!

I hope you have a wonderful 4th birthday, my handsome little man! May the coming year be filled with learning new things, exciting adventures, and memories you'll be able to hold onto.

2008 Homeschool Blog Awards

Voting has begun!

Please participate by clicking the Homeschool Blog Awards link located in the right-side column. So many GREAT blogs have been nominated in the various categories.

Also, my blog has been nominated for Best NEW Homeschool Blog! Simply select the dot next to the MommyLawyer link and click the VOTE button. Your vote would be appreciated!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 9, 2008

O Merciful Father, whose face the angels of thy little ones do always behold in heaven; Grant us stedfastly to believe that this thy child hath been taken into the safe keeping of thine eternal love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~Book of Common Prayer, Prayer at Burial of a Child, p. 340

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Good Night by Frances Quarles (excerpt)

Close now thine eyes and rest secure;
Thy soul is safe enough, thy body sure;
He that loves thee, He that keeps
And guards thee, never slumbers, never sleeps.

Sad Sisterhood...

My friend, Michele, left a message for me yesterday that I have joined a "sad sisterhood." Yes.

A few days ago, I posted a prayer request on my blog. I thank all of you who have prayed and, in a sense, I believe those prayers have been answered... though not the way I would have hoped.

I found out yesterday that I miscarried. (I can't even begin to describe how hard that word is to say, write, think...) I would have been 10 weeks today, but the ultrasound taken yesterday showed the baby stopped developing at 6 weeks. The really hard part has yet to come to pass, but it will in the next couple of days.

So, prayers were answered. I found out what was wrong - why things were happening to me that I couldn't explain. Now, I just need to find peace. I'm getting there.

I've had friends tell me they're sorry and they don't know what to say. That's okay - I understand. I honestly don't know what to say either. I want to say I'm sorry, too, but I don't know who I should say it to...

To myself?
To my husband?
To my children?
To the baby?

I know I didn't do anything wrong. I just feel like we're missing out on something. A life that will never be. And that's the part that is just so sad.

I was hesitant to even publish this post. I never mentioned the pregnancy, so why mention this? I mention it because it's helping me; because, in a sense, this blog is an extension of my journal that I don't mind people reading; because one day, I'll read this post with my children and explain that there was another baby... once upon a time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Prayers, Please...

If you're stopping by and reading my blog today, will you please say a prayer for me? Thank you.