Friday, September 28, 2012

5 Friday Fragments (celebs, sports, glasses, annoyances, organization

Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:
  1. Tony Dow

    When I was a kid, the "Leave It To Beaver" show was one of my favorites and my favorite actor was Tony Dow who played the older brother. My aunt even got me an autographed picture of him that I had in my wallet which was stolen. Now he is 67 with a full head of gray hair! He is also now a sculptor!
  2. Sports

    The NFL refs are back in business! They were certainly missed.

    The Indians fired their manager yesterday--no big surprise there.

    OSU has the biggest fan base nationwide for college football.
  3. Eyeglasses

    My husband and I both got new glasses. We got the kind that darkens in the sun and like them. I don't find myself squinting so much when I walk outside on a sunny day now.
  4. Annoying Things

    My husband's most annoying thing this week was a traffic jam two days in a row! Mine was trying to leave a comment on a blog using CAPITCHA--I tried three times and then gave up!
  5. Organization

    In The Power of a Positive Woman by Karol Ladd, the example of an organized woman used was Susannah Wesley, mother of 19 children (including John and Charles Wesley)! On pg. 15, it said:
    Her "thirteen Rules of Child Rearing" are as applicable today as they were over two hundred years ago. Out of curiosity, I googled them and actually found 16 House Rules by Susannah Wesley over at Raising Godly Children.  I am enjoying this book!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our Top 10 Favorite Things About This Fall (Writer's Workshop)

Here is a list of our top 10 favorite things about fall:

Ohio State football—Go Bucks! (Both)

Jeff Probst, host of Survivor

The return of Survivor (Karen).

Cleveland Browns football—Question is will they win a game? I have to watch each week because they win so seldom, I’m afraid I’ll miss it the week I don’t watch! (Karen)

[sorry, no pic]

The return of Parenthood (both). 

Notre Dame football—We love the movie, “Rudy.” (both)

image source:  Jillian

The Biggest Loser with Jillian again (Karen). 

New England Patriots football—so far this season has been extremely disappointing! (Gerard)

image source:

The return of Once Upon a Time (Gerard).

Our cats coming on the bed during the night again (Karen).

Not having sweat pour off me while sitting at my computer—(it was a very HOT summer) (Karen).

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: "List your top 10 favorite things about fall."

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Leaves by Abby (Writer's Workshop)

It does not make me happy when my daddy leaves me. I always like to be with him but he has to go to work Monday through Friday. I am used to this and do not bark when he goes. When my mommy leaves for work too, then I just lay down and dream about when my daddy will return to take me for a nice long walk.

I am sure to give him a big welcome home greeting at the door when he comes home. We usually go to the park and I see the leaves beginning to change color. It is very pretty. Soon though, it will be too dark for us to walk in the park when he gets home from work so I am making the most of my park walks, sometimes even doubling back! I love to watch the high school teams playing tennis and it rained one day, we took cover inside the shelter at the park with a bunch of nice high school girls who were on a track team! I got lots of pets that day!

Hope you enjoy some beautiful leaves in your neighborhood and you are not separated from your loved ones too long. Woof! Woof!

This post was inspired by one of Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop prompts this week: Write a post inspired by the word "leaves." (We're actually doing two of the prompts this week so we'll have another one up tomorrow and then link up both.)

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Monday, September 24, 2012

AWW Monday: Fall Comfort

Please don't bother me.

Check out the AWW Monday hop.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

6 Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

  1. Shakespeare Made Easy

    While reading about Tony Danza's rookie year of teaching 10th grade English, I learned there is a website that actually gives modern English versions of Shakespeare's works. He used it to help him teach that unit. I was curious so checked out No Fear Shakespeare and found it also includes some other literature as well.
  2. Note Card Pary

    A Haven for Vee
    This week I found just what I need, another blog hop! [sarcasm] This one though is just the third Wed. of the month so I think I may participate next month. All you do is choose for of your own pictures that you think would look good for note cards. This is hosted at A Haven for Vee.
  3. Giveaway

    I entered a cat t-shirt giveaway at the Conscious Cat. Hope I win the ADOPT shirt that says "Those who say money can't buy happiness never paid an adoption fee." It was between that one and "Real Men Love Cats."
  4. No Easy Day

    No Easy Day is The NEW YORK TIMES No. 1 book: the true story of the soldier who killed Bin Laden. My husband is looking forward to reading it.
  5. NFL Tickets

    Enjoying Football on DirectTV

    The average price of an NFL ticket is $77.36 (for 8 home games and two pre-season games). I'll stick with the Direct TV NFL Sunday ticket where I can see all the games for $300 payable in 6 installments.
  6. Soda Pop in NYC

    New York City has put a ban on 20 oz. soda pop drinks. No big deal to us since we live in Ohio and Gerard prefers 12 oz. cans anyway.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

6-Word Memoir (Writer's Workshop)

I just finished reading Tony Danza’s book about his first year of teaching high school and one of the assignments he was advised to give was to write a 6-word memoir. As he thought of one for himself, it made me think of what mine could be. His was, “Once a fighter, now a teacher.”

When I saw this was one of the prompts for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, I just had to do it.  My 6-word Memoir is “Living for Jesus all my days.”

Here's my husband's:  "Boston fan for better or worse."  Right now, it's worse:  Patriots lost last week, Red Sox had a terrible season, looks like the Bruins won't be playing for awhile with the strike going on.

What’s yours? It’s harder than you may think—try it and leave your 6-word memoir in a comment for us.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our New Clothes

Spunky and Karen in her new t-shirt

I found this t-shirt at which has Fun Art Clothing and Accessories by Laurie J. Grove.  I had a hard time holding Spunky Doodle without covering up the design on the shirt--she is not very happy since it wasn't her idea. 

Abby and Gerard in his new hoodie

This hoodie is one Gerard found in Catalog Favorites.  In case you can't read it, it says "Walk With A Friend."

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Is There Nothing Simple Anymore?

Burger Order Sheet

It used to be easy to order a burger but at Denny's, they a have sheet to fill out that looks like a voting ballot with lots of choices which include pick your patty, what kind of bun, type of cheese, a hole bunch of toppings plus a choice of a side that comes with it starting at $6.99

But wait, there's more!  On the reverse side is an order sheet for a shake!  You choose a flavor:  Vanilla, Chocolate or Strawberry, but then you also get to choose stuff to mix into it like cookie pieces, nuts, bacon, banana, white chocolate chips or chocolate chips.  Then there's another option to choose:  your sauce (Hot fudge, strawberry topping, caramel sauce, maple-flavored syrup, raspberry sauce or peanut butter sauce).
The price for a basic flavor is $3.79 plus an extra 50 cents for each sauce or mix-in selected.

We are simple people and don't need all these choices. Life is complicated enough without more decisions to make.  It seems nothing is simple anymore.

Have you built your own burger at Denny's or used the shake order sheet?  What would you choose to go in your shake?

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Monday, September 17, 2012

AWW Mondays: Look What I Found!

Hey mom, please buy this big bowl of dog biscuits for me, Woof!  Woof!
Two weeks ago Bartels & Busack (our vet) had an open house to raise over $1,000 for three animal shelters.  There were lots of baked goods, mums, and raffles for gift baskets but Abby found this big bowl of dog biscuits.  She got a few free ones, but not the whole bowl.  We spent $6 and won a a $5 discount on our next trip to the vet.  They didn't make much on us.

Find More at pics that will make you say AWW: Aww Mondays and Jodi's Journey.
Also part of Bozo's Pet Pride.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

7 Friday Fragments (sports, marriage, photography, news)

Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

U.S. Open

    Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images
  1. When watching the end of the final matches in the U.S. Open, I learned that the women and men champions (Serena Williams and Andy Murray) got $1.9 million dollars! Not bad pay for a few hours work, heh? But, these were both close matches with an extremely high level of play. I am happy for both of them--I like Serena Williams and it was Andy Murray's first U.S. open win so I say, "good for him." His match took just under 5 hours! Who says you don't have to be in good shape to play tennis? You sure do to play at the pro level!
  2. Cleveland Browns

  3. Spunky curled up in the Brown Chair
    From a Browns tweet, I learned the the Browns was the only team to open the season with a rookie Quarterback, Running Back and Wide Receiver. I guess I should be happy they actually had the lead for part of the game and only lost it in the last few minutes . . . yet again. I wouldn't have felt so bad if they weren't so close to winning it. Our defense played well, putting the Eagles in a lot of 3 and long situations, getting four interceptions and even scoring our only TD. Offensively, we couldn't get it in the end zone--same old, same old.
  4. Reading

    Aug. 30, 1997 I became a wife!
  5. From reading Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggrichs, I learned that when a wife feels unloved, she becomes disrespectful, when a husband feels disrespected, he responds in an unloving way.  Click the link for a funny post about how we put into practice what we learned and got off the "crazy cycle."
  6. Photo Tip

  7. Here's a photography tip I found at the Aums on how to get kids to smile for the camera: Let them say “peepee” instead of “cheese.”
  8. Calories

  9. McDonalds is going to start posting the calories of their food.  I really don't want to know how many calories are in those shakes I like!
  10. Sports Illustrated

  11. There is a monthly hour Sports Illustrated TV show that Gerard discovered recently and says is very good. It was on last night on NBC Sports Network and 8 p.m. E.T.  You can opt out of getting the Swim Suit issue of Sports Illustrated--it really is a good magazine with interesting articles and lots of action shots.  Early Dementia for Retired NFL Players is an example of one of the good articles!
  12. Sky

  13. On my way to the bus stop one day last week (I think Tuesday), the clouds were so unusual that I took a picture. There was light blue sky with some fluffy grey clouds with orange highlights! I don't remember ever seeing clouds like that. Unfortunately, my camera couldn't capture the light colors very well but this is the best I could get.
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spiritual Maturity is Measured by How We Treat Others

One of the email devotionals I get from Joel and Victoria Osteen talked a bit about our quote of the week from I Corinthians 13:13 which I thought was so good that I want to share it with you. Here it is:

Spiritual maturity isn’t measured by how long you’ve been a Christian, how much you know, or how often you go to church. Spiritual maturity is measured by the way you treat other people. It’s measured by the love you allow to operate through you. First Corinthians 13 tells us about the characteristics of love. One characteristic is that it is not rude. That means, when we are walking in love, we treat other people with courtesy and respect. Are you courteous to other people? Are you kind to the person at the checkout counter that may be moving too slowly for you? Are you gentle when you are driving down the highway and someone cuts you off? Are you patient with your family and coworkers? These are all ways we show love.

Scripture (I Cor. 13:4-8) also tells us that love is patient. It is kind. It does not envy; it is not proud. It is not rude. Love is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails. Notice that these characteristics don’t have anything to do with feelings. That’s because love is a choice. You can choose to walk in love toward people even when you don’t feel like it. Today, make the choice to do what is right. Choose today to show kindness and be courteous to others. Look for ways to cultivate the greatest thing in your life — love! As you do, you’ll move forward into the life of blessing God has in store for you!

[emphasis added]


Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so that I can show love to others. Teach me to be patient and kind and treat others the way You always treat me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I hope you will make the choice to love others and let the love of Jesus flow through you.  If you would like to get daily inspirations in your email from Joel and Victoria Osteen, you can sign up

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What Do I Hear? (Writer's Workshop)

I am listening to the sounds in my house.  It is 5:15 a.m. and all is quiet except for the clicking noise of the computer keyboard and the mouse.  Silence.  Yup, the quiet time of day when Gerard and Abby are out for their morning walk and the cats are lying around with full bellies having eaten their breakfast.

I hear the front door open and the jingle jangle of Abby's dog tags and know they are back.  Then I hear angry sounds coming from the kitchen.  Gerard stopped at Speedway to get a couple bottles of pop and is trying to open them.  Those caps are on TIGHT!  "Karen, see if you can get this open please."

And the silence is gone.

Today I am doing this prompt for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop:   Listen to the sounds in your house for 5 or 10 minutes. Write about what you hear.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

He Said, She Said: Love and Respect in Action

We have already put into practice what we learned.

When I heard our church was offering a "Love and Respect" class for couples at church on Wednesday nights based on the book, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (the link will take you to my book review of this), I thought this would be a good chance for Gerard and me to go through it together and get recharged and possibly it would open more communication between us. I got the book from the library and downloaded it to my Kindle as well and started reading it to see what the class would be about.

When I mentioned the possibility of taking this class to my "Mr. Wonderful," his initial reaction was "I'm not going to that" and became "Mr. Growly Bear." Well, fine, I really didn't want to go alone so if he didn't want to go with me, then I wouldn't go either (hoping he would change his mind). I almost fell over when later out of the blue he said he would go with me the first night just to see how it was if I wanted to go. Of course, I took him up on that hoping he would enjoy the class and want to keep going.

We went together the first week along with 5 other couples and one wife who attended without her husband. It consisted of watching the author of the book speak on a DVD and then the leader of the class asked some questions for discussion to try to get some interaction.  The main points being, (1) men and women see things differently, neither is wrong, just different and (2) A woman's deepest need in a marriage is to feel loved by her husband and the husband's deepest need in marriage is to be respected by his wife.
This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  (Ephesians 5:32-33)

I was surprised to see the DVD was exactly what I had read in the book. I enjoyed the class and in the car asked "Mr. Wonderful"  who turned into Growly bear what he thought. 

Growly Bear:  I didn't think the guy on the DVD was all that funny.  It was what I expected it would be: a bunch of people sitting around for an hour watching a DVD.  I didn't get anything out of it

This got my gander up, as the book would say, I felt unloved by his statement and responded disrespectfully saying in my not so sweet tone:

"Mrs. Wonderful": Wow, you really don't care about trying to improve our marriage, because that's what is sounds like to me.

"Growly Bear":  If it means that much to you, I'll go BUT I'm not going to say anything and won't do the homework. (which was just putting one of the concepts presented into practice during the week)

I realized, we were on the "Crazy Cycle" and got off by keeping my mouth shut to give us both time to think. I thought . . . I don't want him to go out of obligation, I don't want this class to be a issue between us which defeats the whole purpose of the class, I really need to respect his wishes and let him make his own decision. I know he feels bad about leaving Abby alone all day and all evening too and doesn't like being rushed after a long day at work. I really need to let this go.

When we got home, Abby, our sweet dog was anxiously waiting for us and I felt sorry for her too. Then it came to me. A solution!

Mrs. Wonderful: You really don't want to go because you don't want to leave Abby alone all evening too, right?

Mr. Wonderful: Right.

Mrs. Wonderful: I get that you hate leaving Abby alone all day long, you're tired after work and don't like classes like I do anyhow. I like interaction and discussion but get that you aren't big on that so... how about if you just read the book since the DVD was exactly what was in the book? You don't need to go to the class and I'll just go to have the interaction.

Mr. Wonderful: You sure? That would work for me. I'll read the book, but I don't want to go to the class.
Mrs. Wonderful: Great! I'm okay with that. That's fine (and I really meant it. It's not the class that's important, it's getting the insight into how to make our marriage better.)

After starting to read Love and Respect, Mr. Wonderful reported that he got much more from reading the book than watching the DVD. He's a bookworm and he can read it in short spurts at his convenience this way. I'll get the workbook and attend the classes, then we'll discuss points from it with each other during the week. Yay for us--we are back on the "Energizing Cycle"!  This book is enlightening and makes us more aware of how we can meet each others needs and understand our spouse more.  We recommend it!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Early Dementia For Retired NFL Players (Guest Post by Hubby)

I just read a very good article in the September 10, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated: “The Other Half of the Story” by Melissa Segura. The article states that according to a 2009 University of Michigan study, retired professional football players may be five times more likely than other men their age to suffer from Dementia. Three wives of former NFL players who watched the men they loved slip away from them due to early on-set Dementia share their stories in the article. The players used to be very good, but the pounding they took affected them—one even killed himself!

I thought this article was very sad for the players and the wives and made me think. From now on, when I want to yell and get mad at the stupid plays and mistakes players make (and I do this very often, ask my wife), I will stop and think about how these men are paying a high price for my entertainment. Do you still really care about these guys after they stop playing for your team? I do, but I should care more!

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Monday, September 10, 2012

AWW Mondays: Noooo! and Monday Mischief: Sneaky Abby

Monday already?  NOOOO!
Our cats, Spunky Doodle and Manny Boy, provide a perfect picture how we feel about Mondays.

Find more AWW Mondays and at Jodi's Journey.

Monday Mischief: Sneaky Abby

I am good at being sneaky

When I went visiting at Pleasant Care Villa yesterday, I spotted a carrot under one of the wheelchairs in the lunch room.  I sat nice for the lady to pet me and tried a couple times to reach it but was told to "leave it" so I left it . . . until my mom and dad were moving on, assuming I would follow.  When they weren't looking, that's when I got that carrot!  HA!  I am very good at being sneaky when it comes to hunting for food scraps.  Patience is the key--watch for your opportunity and then make the most of it quickly!

How about you?  What  mischief are you good at? Woof! Woof!

Check out Bozo's Pet Pride blog hop too!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

4 Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

What I wore to work today-Go Browns!

  1. I got to wear browns stuff to work today--yay! Are you ready for football? I just got some bad news--my puppet practice may be changed to right after church instead of 4 p.m. If it is, I'll miss practically the whole game! I sure hope it doesn't get changed!

  2. Gerard and Abby were disappointed we didn't get more comments about her video of her at the park on Labor Day. (It's the post right before this one--hint, hint.

  3. Started a new class on Wednesday nights at church for couples: Love and Respect. More on this later.

  4. Abby, our dog, woke us up barking and whining at 2:00 a.m. I finally got up and posted a book review at 3:00 a.m. since I wasn't sleeping anyway and Abby followed me, laid down and waited for me to finish. Then she went to sleep at 3:30 a.m. but I couldn't get back to sleep. Got up at 4:20 a.m.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

How We Spent Labor Day

First off, we surprised our dog, Abby, by taking her to the park for her early morning walk, which was actually late for her--7 a.m. She normally goes at 5 a.m. but since it was a holiday, we slept in. We were there for a couple hours and joined by a lot of other dogs as time went on. There was only one other car there when we first arrived. Abby and Gerard got two more walks in later in the day around the neighborhood.

Of course, I did some blogging which included making this video and blog post with my cat, Manny Boy supervising.  I also posted a book review (yesterday's Favorite Reads for August post) and used the end of this video of tug-of-war between Abby and me as our Monday Mischief post.

We went shopping at Parmatown for new tennis shoes at The Finish Line. The saleswoman was very good, selling Gerard a pair too! We both got the Nike Airmax that she said is the best walking shoe they carry. It did feel much more comfortable than the worn out New Balance running shoes I had.

I decided to get some new eyeglasses because the ones I had felt like the lens would be falling out again and it's been five years since I got new frames. I am excited about getting the lens that darkens in bright light and that is glare resistant. They should be ready by the 17th.

In the afternoon we got some tennis in at our neighborhood court even though it was 89 degrees! I must be officially nuts, but it was fun and was a good workout.  I won 6-2, 6-3 but lost the 5 deuce game. I had some water, raspberry iced tea and Turkey Hill chocolate marshmallow ice cream when I got home.

We both got some reading in and watched a little TV. After sweating while just sitting reading, I gave in and turned on our central air conditioning so the house will be cool by the time we go to bed so we will be able to sleep.  (Review of Lead for God's Sake! is up at Grab a Book From Our Stack.)

It was a very good day! What fun things did you do on your day off this week?

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our August Favorite Reads: Fiction and Non-Fiction

We both agree that two books we read last month stand out that we both liked which are One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf and January First by Michael Schofield (nonfiction).

One Breath Away

Karen's review, rating 5 stars:
One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf is really, really good! It is fast-paced and realistic contemporary fiction with characters that are very believable. It grabbed my attention right from the start and never let me go! The hostage situation at the small school in a fictional small town in Iowa is described so well, I could feel what the characters were feeling. It kept me guessing who the gunman was right until he was revealed. I’m sure because this story is told from five different people, there is at least one that you will identify with. For me, I identified with the teacher—determined to protect her students from the gunman while thinking about her husband. The teen girl’s unwavering desire to protect her brother was both touching and heartwarming. It shows how a crisis can bring families closer. I highly recommend One Breath Away—it even has a dog in it!

Gerard's review, rating 5 stars:
In One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf, a lone gunman takes over a small classroom holding the teacher and pupils hostage. What made this book so good in my opinion is that it is told by five people as the novel is ongoing. I got to know their thought and background to understand what led up to this point. The writing is superb. If you want riveting, this is it! I could hardly put it down and kept saying how good it was while reading it. Oh, and good luck trying to figure out who the gunman is—I was completely surprised! To sum it up, it doesn’t get any better than this—don’t let this one get past you!

January First

Gerard's review, rating 5++ stars:
January First by Michael Schofield tells the true and ongoing story of Janni Schofield who has Schizophrenia. It is told by her dad, Michael. This is a fantastic read! You talk about a page turner—I really had a hard time putting this down. You will not read many books like this! Good luck, Janni, I'm praying for you and your family. This is a must read!

Karen's review, 5 stars:
January First by Michael Schofield is the true story of his daughter’s descent into madness and his struggle to save her. At just three years old, his daughter, Janni had hallucinations and symptoms of Schizophrenia, although it took several years for the official diagnosis. He shares his heart-wrenching story of how he and his wife were actually afraid of their sweet little girl because of her violent outbursts. She would hit her parents, her dog and often tried to hit her younger brother. Reading this, I felt sorry for Janni, her parents, her teachers and her brother. It is a very sad story of a family who fought so hard to be a normal family, but couldn’t. The husband and wife both love Janni very much but often found themselves disagreeing as to how best to help her. Fortunately, it seems they found some hope at the end of the tunnel. If you want to read an inspiring story of parents who don’t give up through difficult times, I recommend this book to you. Wow!

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Mischief: Stubborn

I had such a good morning walk this morning that I did not want to leave the park. My mom thinks I'm the stubborn one but really, I think this video proves that she is MORE stubborn than I am. What do you think? Woof! Woof!

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

He Said, She Said

My husband and I went to the eye doctor during our vacation week and here is the conversation snippet I thought was pretty funny:

Eye doctor:  Why did you come here today?
Me (wife):  For our annual exam.

Eye doctor:  Why did you come here today?
Husband:  My wife made me.

Really, if it wasn't for me, my husband would never go for routine checkups.  Sometimes I think maybe we shouldn't bother, but really, it's good to go I think in case something is wrong.  As long as I have insurance for it so it only costs us $10 each for the exam, I think it's worth it, don't you?  Who handles the doctor appointments in your house?  I bet this chore falls to the wives, am I right?

Find more Silly Sunday posts today at Comedy Plus.

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