Friday, November 30, 2007

Ashop commerce Online Shopping Cart

If you are looking to start your own online business and are looking for an online shopping cart this is for you! ASHOP commerce is a great tool to use for selling online! There is only a minimal fee and it has LOADS of features such as: technical support and great customer service, it is affordable (a plus in my book!), and you can even design your own look! How neat is that? This is also completely web based so there is no installation on your part required! It also comes with fraud alerts and extra security. If you are thinking of starting your own business, swing on over to Ashop commerce and check them out! As of right now they also have a ten day free trial so it really wouldn't hurt to just swing by and check them out now would it? Give it a shot, after all you have nothing to loose!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I should just send my kids to Grandmas so I never have to feed them again..

Yes I mean that in all honesty....Grandma feeds the kids whatever she wants...whenever she wants lol I guess that's the privilege of being grandma. While Katharine (formerly known as Sanite) took me to the tea party, the 2 youngest two were sent to grandmas to run a muck
were sent to grandmas for a nice afternoon of play. When I came to pick them up..I found that grandma had encouraged allowed my children to eat:

1. a banana
2. 2 snack packs of pudding
3. a yogurt
4. a pack of bread sticks and cheese (the kind you dip)
5. a BOWL of cheese cubes
6. SEVERAL cokes

and this was A PIECE! not both kiddos combined!

Then my kids had the nerve politely asked if they could have dinner?!?! Seriously????

YIKES! I've been discovered!

Yes ladies and is true...I have been "discovered." I received an email from a friend of mine the other day. Not only is she an adoptive parent herself, but she was also a co-worker of mine when I taught at the elementary school. She was searching for our local adoption groups website when she stumbled across my blog! How funny! I saw her this afternoon at a tea party for girl scouts (more info to come later) and she told me she was showing some of the other teacher (old co-workers of mine) my blog. Some of the other teachers were commenting about great...if they didn't know I was crazy before...they have now read this and can document for sure that yes...without a doubt..I am off my rocker. lol So if you all are peeking in (and you know who you are) please say a quick "hi!" I wish you all well and hope your school year is going fabulously!

Monday, November 26, 2007

What a nice break!

We have been on a little break since last Wednesday. Kyle has been home since Thanksgiving (although working hard out in he shop) and we have had lots of festivities going on! Last Thursday we went to Wayne and Georgi's for Thanksgiving. It was great! It was so nice to have a day with friends. It was nice and relaxing...although no holiday would be a true holiday without some type of "glitch" lol. Kiara and Kyle both had some nasty sore throats but Kiara actually went to the Dr *ahem*. She was able to start on antibiotics while my dear hubby *ahem* is still sore.

Friday we decorated the Christmas tree...lights and all.....and yes there is a story behind the lights...We get out all the lights....all 5 strands of 300 lights..I plug them in and NONE of them completely work. My dh plugs them in...and gets them all working....put them on the tree.....plug it in....they DON'T WORK! So lights off the tree and up to big lots on the day I swear to never step out in lol (black Friday). That night we headed downtown to see It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen. Wow was that neat! We watch that movie every year but never would of guessed it would of made that big of a difference to see it in the movie theater. The kids loved it! They watch it with us every year but...we are at home so its not that big a deal if they talk or something. I was amazed at how even the kids were glued to the black and white movie! Whats even funnier is that I think we ran into 1/2 of our church and homeschool group at the movies lol. After that we went "Christmas light sighting" for a few before heading home (one of MY favorite things to do during this time of year!).

Saturday we went to do a little shopping and then to see my sister, brother in law, and niece. We played UNO (my all time favorite card game...maybe because its easy lol). Guess who won??? Out of Kyle, myself, Melissa, Terri, Brian, Noah, and Sanite......Sanite won! the little stinker! And she whopped us all pretty good too! We played until someone reached 500 and I don't think she ever reached 100!

Sunday was church as usual....Kyle is teaching right now so of course my *favorite* time is when I get to hear him :) Sermon was good and bible study that night was pretty good too...what I could hear of do not have a class for the kids on Sunday night. Really, I am not one that likes to put my kids in classes all the time. I do like having them out with me....I do think they need to learn how to behave....but.......they get up in the morning, get ready for church and head off. We get to church where they sit out with us during Sunday school as there is no class and then they sit out with us during the worship time. They do great and I hardly ever have any problems with them. They are usually "fine as frog hair." After church we head home, get lunch ready, eat, then to bed for naps. By the time they wake up it is time to eat dinner and then leave for church. So we get there for the evening service and my kids have had no "time to be kids."There for they just about drive me crazy being so squirmy...granted not Sanite so much but boy Noah and Maddie get super squirmy..touching everything.."mama..what does this say....Mama..what does that say.." the Noah sticks his face up to mine just to try to make me laugh. Granted they are not being bad....they just haven't had time to be kids...any suggestions?????????

Monday, November 19, 2007

Adoption is not "the easy way"

I have had people say to me on various occasions that adoption is "the easy way" to have a family. While I am not discounting the hardness of pregnancy, I would like to point out that they are just "different." Neither is easier than the other...both difficult, just different. I am hoping that the story I am about to share will give some perspective.

This actually is not just a story, but also a prayer request for some people that we know. Because of the sensitive nature (who knows who may be reading) I have decided to leave their names out. That's ok, God knows who they are :).

Several years ago,the US decided to discontinue issuing visas to children adopted from Cambodia. Therefore, at least as far as the US is concerned, Cambodia was closed for adoptions. There were children that had finished the adoption process but never allowed their visa to the US. Many families went over there to fight and some were able to get their visas. We know of a family who has one of those completed Cambodian Adoptions. The mom is living over in Cambodia with these children, trying to fight this on her own. The dad is here in the states with their remaining children. They have been separated and miss each other very much. The US is even denying transit visas for these children to go to another country via the US. They have now recently been told that if they will have to have their children go through the whole adoption process again.If that were to happen, the mom would have to leave her children in Cambodia and return home until the adoption was completed. I know how difficult it was to leave my children (I count those 2 days as the worst two days in my life) after knowing them for a matter of days. I can't knot imagine what kind of wreck I would of been in if I would have to leave them after raising them for months/years. On top of that, having to return home knowing that the future was so uncertain.

Please remember this family when you sit down to have your prayer time tonight!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My favorite week of the year!

Yes that's right:) This week has got to me one of my most favorite weeks of the year. It is filled with so much family, fun and tradition! We will have school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Co-op, dance, and Lunch with a good friend of ours is also on Monday. On Tuesday Sanite has her hearing appt. with the ENT, make snack for girl scouts that night, then off to girl scouts, then back home to watch Charlie Brown (always a BIG hit around here!). This Wednesday Maddie and Noah had their last (I think) pre-school story hour, go grocery shopping a little bit, then come home and do some cooking. Wednesday night is also night for Bible study so that always makes for a good day! Thursday we are headed up to Wayne and Georgi's for an exciting Thanksgiving with them and Lori and Spike! Too cool! Then on Friday is our "Put up the Christmas tree" day. That is always fun! We normally do not have dinner at the house but will always pick up a turkey on sale that way we can still have "leftovers" on Friday. I also put a couple cinnamon sticks in the crock pot with some apple cider to sip on all day while decorating the house. That night we are headed to The Ohio Theater for a (free) showing of "It's a Wonderful Life." You have to love a movie theater that shows free movies for the community and only charges $3 for a large popcorn, and $4 for a drink with free refills! Saturday we will take it a bit easy, Kyle will be in the garage all day (and probably most of the day on Friday). That night we get to head over to my sisters house for a night of pizza and games! What an awesome week!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I want my OLD mommy back....

Yes, those are the painful words I heard my daughter say today...."I want my old mommy back." Let's not get all philosophical...or psychological...or whatever "p" word goes in there. She wasn't talking about her birth mom or anything like that. She was actually talking about ME. Yep you read that saw this picture this picture today and said..."I want my old mommy back...THAT one" That would be AKA the "skinny" one....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Speaking of "exercising".....

Why is it that when you work out.....your hind end swings one way and your belly swings the other??? Can't they ever just swing in the same direction? Sometimes I think I could knock myself out.......

Leslie taught my kids how to count backwards....not me

Yes you read that right....Leslie taught my kids how to count backwards....Leslie Sansone that it. For those of you who are not aware, Leslie Sansone has some great exercise tapes called Walk Away The Pounds. I did these tapes before my oldest two came home and continued for a while afterwards....Sanite could barely speak English but she could say "and 4....3......2......1" LOL So as I was breaking my back trying to an exercise tape I would fly through several years ago I am hearing Maddie saying "Only 4 more to go ready? And 4......3.....2....1..." So needless to say...I give credit to Leslie for teaching my kids to count backwards lol

And they say you don't learn anything from television.....

Praise God!

A couple of weeks back I asked for prayer for a friend of mine, Beverly. I want to you to know that your prayers have worked! She went in for her surgery on the 13Th. The Dr only had to go back in twice and the total amount taken was about the size of a quarter. They are confidant that they were able to remove all the cancer! Praise God!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Works For me Wednesday- Lower your grocery bill!

Every time I would go to the grocery store I would tend to buy off the top of my head. I went in with no list, and just a guess of what would work for the week. My average grocery bill was astronomical (compared to what I can get away with now). I started making menus and keeping a running list of what I needed for the week. Once I would go to the grocery store I would not stray from that list (unless necessary items such as medicine). It had helped us lower our grocery bill so much! Also we tend to go multiple places for our food. For example we go to the local meat processing plant and buy meat cheaper than we can at walmart. Not to mention it is fresh and does not have the added nitrates. We also participate in a buying club or -co-op. Being able to share the ability to buy in bulk certainly helps us eat healthier and maintain a cheaper food bill! For more info on buying clubs check out the Natural Farms Site . These are some great things that work for us. I don't know if it will work for you, but it sure works for me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

ummm this speaks for itself......

This has COMPLETELY um...missed the mark....

The Planner and Logical Thinker
You are the ultimate planner: a perfectionist. Everything has its place within the scheme of things. When you make plans, they are detailed, logical and progressive (A before B, then B before C, etc.) Before you take action, you've thought out all the possibilities and then decided on the most probable action to take.
You love to anticipate problems. In fact, until something is accomplished correctly, you worry that something unknown may happen. That's why you check and recheck all of the details over and over before taking the first step in your plan of action.
Solving problems is one of your greatest joys. Another is finding mistakes and correcting them. Most of the time, you see what's missing or what's wrong. That's why you make a great detective or editor. When you were younger, you would blurt out what was missing or wrong. With experience and some painful lessons, you've learned how to tone down your joyful discoveries so that other people aren't so upset with you.

Hello??? Not me at all.....

You enjoy a working environment with structure and procedures that are consistently and logically followed. You constantly ask for these structures and procedures from your supervisors and you provide them to the people you supervise. If these structures and procedures are not in place, you'll create them yourself and apply them to the situations and people surrounding you.
You are a low risk taker. You don't like to put yourself into situations that are unsafe or have a chance of failure. That is why you always want to know the history behind every situation. It's through this historical perspective and always asking "Why?" before attempting any project or action that you insure a high probability of success. Therefore, almost any decision you make takes a longer time than most people need.

Are you serious?????

Moms For Modesty

Run over and check out the new Moms for modesty blog. They have since moved and would like to keep their petition going as when they moved, the signatures did not move with them! If you signed before go here and re-sign. If you never signed go here and check them out!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blessed day!

Today was such a great day. Have you ever had one of those days when everything just seems to fit? The kids actually behave all day, there is little or no conflict, and you have finally decided to "let go" of whatever issues are taking over your life and let God take care of them? Its that sense of calm...that sense of peace....I think I just hang onto things too long, as if either my problem is too small for God to take care of...or maybe too big. Either way I can somehow convince myself that maybe *I* am not worth praying for. However, after having a great conversation with someone last not (you know who you are *wink*) It made me realize my defeatist attitude! I am so WORTH Christ! Not because of anything that I did...but because of what HE did. Did Christ come and die for people that were not worthy of Him? No way! He thought we were important enough to give himself up for. He thought we were worthy. Even after he did that he has sent that *special* now if we are immersed into Christ and have the spirit inside of us....are we not worthy ? Are we not important ? We are referred to as saints ! Why is it that we save that title for those that *we* deam as *worthy*? Is it really our opinion that counts or is it Christs? As I was studying today I believe that God was leading me to be *right* where I needed to be, scripturally speaking. No matter how much we try to do it on our own...we SO need that daily dosage, not only of solid study, but of prayer. We have to continue in that...because we are WORTHY,IMPORTANT, and NEEDED.

The 2nd "Bomb fire"

This is the 2nd in the series of "Bomb Fires" here at the Caswell household. As you can was pretty big.....after waiting a little while it was hot dogs over the fire...again.....Those 3 little squirts you see in front of the fire are (from L to R) are Maddie, Sanite, and Noah.

Gatta love livin in the country:)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Girls day :)

Today was a girls day...more like "women's day" :). This am I took Sanite to her Girl Scout meeting downtown where they were making Gingerbread houses for Madison's annual Candlelight Tour of Homes . The gingerbread houses will be on display for people to come and look at. Doesn't she look like she is having fun?

Friday, November 09, 2007

We're all "whistling Dixie" over here

A couple days back we were all standing in the kitchen and we heard someone whistling. We didn't think anything of it...that is until my 3 yea old comes walking around the corner, hands in her pockets, just whistling away! LOL I thought we were going to loose it. It was so funny to see this tiny little things whistling a song. Then of course Noah comes running out saying "Hey that's not fair! I can't do that yet!" Needless to say We have worked and worked and worked and now Noah is able to whistle!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Homeschool Blogger awards

Yep! It's that time! RUN! HEAD OUT! SCOOT! SCRAM! Nominate! They have 23 various categories this year and they all look pretty neat. I can't wait to see who some of the winners/nominees are as some categories I haven't seen before! Click here for the list of categories and to nominate. Have fun!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


T - The Savior - without Him I would be nothing!

H - Heavenly Father - When you say "Take me to your leader" that would be Him :)

A - Awesome husband -What can I say? There is none better...The previous 2 knew what they were doing when they put him in my life :)

N- No major illnesses -my family is healthy in physicalness and spirit..what else can one ask for?

K - Kids - What a long hard road it was to just get them here...What a true blessing they are.

S - Scriptures and the Spirit- Where would I be without my daily dosage?!?!

G - Gospel -that was preached to me so that I too could come to know the Lord and be saved:)

I - Individuality- to live in a free country to worship as the Bible says

V- Very fun family- They are a hoot!!!

I - In-laws - I have awesome in laws..what can I say..they raised my totally awesome husband :)

N - Nice things in my life- Thank God for our home, our clothes (my 2 pairs of pants right Lori? lol), and the food on the table. Times are hard but we never go without and I am thankful for that!

G - Girls that make a difference in my life - my 2 biggest- Sanite and Madelynn:) Also add in Terri, Lori, Michele, Brittan, Georgi, Amanda, Melissa, Teresa, Julie, Sharon, Tammy, and Jean. If it were past tense we could add my mom in there too:)

**this was "mostly borrowed" from Suzanne's Blog**

I have won the award for the worlds worst mom award

As was noted a month ago, Sanite was due to head back to the Dr. for her next hearing test to see if the clariton had done any good. We went back yesterday and her hearing has not improved. We have an appointment on the 20th to see an ENT and hopefully we may be able to find some answers. Needless to say I am now reliving all times I asked if she was paying attention, grounding her for not doing what I asked (or doing something I said not to) and giving me the lame excuse of "I didn't hear you." Here it is....this month I am the not-so-proud recipient of The Worlds Worst Mother Award.

WFMW-How do you do that???

Today is Works for me Wednesday....with a I get to ask YOU what YOU do!

Here is my issue of the day....It relates to All Things Blogger!

I have seen on some peoples blogs where they may write a sentence, but part of it appears to be crossed do you do that?????

Another is how do you post links? for example If I am referring to another blog...say Lori's....I have to copy the entire web site address and paste it into my blog. I see where others may simply type in Lori's Blog and you can click on it taking you right to her do people do that?

I am not sure if it has anything to do with my system..I use Internet explorer and have netzero for my Internet provider...thanks for helping me become more blogger savvy!

I can see! I can see!

Yep! Thats right folks! All of you that drive on Indiana roads will now be glad to know that yes, I can see! I went in last week and got a new set of contacts and wow! I can see!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Praise God!

We had a new addition to the family of God tonight people! Little "Jake" from our congregation was immersed into Christ today! how Awesome! Little Jake was the ring bearer in our wedding over 10 years back. I moved here when he was the same age as Maddie so I have watched him grow from this little active boy into a God loving young man. Congrats Jake! I know all the Angels in Heaven were singing praises today!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I am "Mom" hear me roar...

Cross-Cultural Adoption
Author: Victoria Carrington

I don’t look like my mommy
People have started to say
I don’t look like my mommy
So I asked her why one day

“Some babies are so special,
They come in different ways
Some must wait for their babies
For days and days and days

Some babies come from close by
The Mom who had them could not’t stay
Other Mommies are waiting for them
For a baby they pray and pray and pray

Other babies are born in a far-away land
The mommy who had them no longer there
But some Mommies fly across the sea
A baby’s love to share

You may have a different skin color
Or a different kind of hair
But the love Mommy has for her baby
Will truly always be there

No matter how you or I look
One thing will always be true
You are my precious baby
And I will always love you

Our "Thanks"giving tree

A new tradition has been started around here! Of course, I do not receive any credit for this as I do not believe in re-inventing the wheel...I copy other peoples creative ideas lol. On the homeschool list for KONOS users people have been sharing what they do for Thanksgiving, and this is one idea that we have taken on ourselves. Meet our "Thanks"giving tree.

We all helped to color the tree and then everyday until Thanksgiving, we will each write something we are thankful for on a leaf. Everyone will take their leaf and then tape it to some part of the tree. What a great way for everyone to remember what we have and thank God for it!

What a day!

Today was quite busy...even though by looking at my house you would never think I would of never got anything done!

To start off today...I started cleaning out my kitchen. Since we school year round (3 months on, one month off) I usually take our month off the deep clean as I really don't get to it while school is "in session" so to speak. I created a schedule to help me clean things (and FLY LADY is helping a bit too).

Today- cleaned out spice cabinet and candles

Sunday- All the cabinets on top of the stove

Monday- All the cabinets on the bottom near the stove

Tuesday- Clean the stove and under my sink

Wednesday- Clean out where the dishes are and my pie safe

Thursday- Clean Fridge and Corner cabinet

Friday- clean laundry room (attached to my kitchen) and do all MAJOR detailed cleaning in the kitchen

With all of these I need to do at least a 27 fling boogie, take everything out, clean, then re-organize. Lori I may need your help O Queen of organization.....

Also we made the Angel Biscuits yesterday from Myfriendconnies blog ( We froze them and then took some out to go along with our roast a potatoes...can I just say how AWESOME they were? I had never made a biscuit recipe before that had required baking soda, baking powder, and yeast. Let me tell you..they were so good! Kyle says" humm....these would be great with gravy." I said.."Guess whats for lunch tomorrow?" hehe.

Here is a pic of the family enjoying those wonderful biscuits. Ignore the weird family thinks its hysterical to make weird faces when I pull out the camera....husband included. Thanks Connie!

red necks go camping...or maybe not

For anyone who has never been to our house, we live in the country on a couple or acres and have 40ft pine trees along one side of property (the side with our house and garage) going all the way back around to the nack of our property. We have noticed that some of our trees have started to die we have been cutting them down. Then sometimes this summer we have had some pretty nasty wind in storms which have knocked down several of these said 40ft tall pine trees. Last week we had another storm and some pretty nasty wind. This in turn causes the death of yet another pine tree....this one falls between our house and garage. So by this time I am saying get all those pine trees out of the ground...burn them, cut them...I don't care....The kids bedrooms just so happen to be on the same side as the trees and so being a mom...I worry...

Anyhoo........So then there is the question of...what do you do with all the wood??? We give some to Kyles parents as they heat their home with a wood stove. So what do you do with the remainder?? BOMB FIRE (and yes I meant BOMB). Last night we had a 30ft fire in our back yard and we only used about 1/4 of the wood we had to burn. So what do rednecks do when there is a 30ft fire in your backyard? Grab the hot dogs and marshmallows! So here we are....8 at night...huge fire in the country and we are all sitting out with Hot Dogs and marshmallows...I am sure it was a sight!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sickie boy visits the Dr.

My oldest 2 will hardly ever get ear infections (Noah has had 2, Sanite has never had any), They hardly ever throw up (Sanite has thrown up once in the 4 1/2 years home and Noah has thrown up maybe a handful of times..that includes when he caught his version of the stomach flu...he may of gagged twice each time). However, if there is anything out there that could possibly settle in their lungs..they get it. No kidding....they start coughing and we better make it to the Dr ASAP because without a doubt it will settle in the lungs. There is no such thing as the older 2 just having a sinus ALWAYS leads to something else if not caught IMMEDIATELY. So Sickie boy ran a fever last night and this am...I was able to get into the Dr. office within an hour of me calling (they know how quick it will settle). He walked in, and his temp was 99 after having doses of both Tylenol and Motrin. We walk into the examination room and wait for Dr. Napier (meanwhile studying the "I Spy" books which sissy LOVES). He comes in and basically tells us that MOST of Noah's symptoms are from a viral infection which he could do nothing about but he does have a bit of a sinus infection in his right nostril so YEAH!!! Antibiotics. I meant that literally...I am glad he is on them . I know..its sad...but had he of not had some small infection...this is what would of happened. We would of gone home, let him lie movies....drink bottles of Tylenol and Motrin...suck on the inhalers until he can do it in his sleep...then gone back to the Dr. tomorrow as he would have full blown bronchitis or even pneumonia. Fun. Yep I know...

Sickie boy cried every time he saw the antibiotics come out but he took them like the little trooper he his. He started feeling better during the day. he actually lost his fever but it has come back tonight. It actually climbed to over 101 AFTER I gave him a dose of Motrin.About an hour after that he was crying and holding his head :( poor little man

Go purple for national adoption month!/ LETS PRAY MADISYN HOME!

Yep, you guessed it! November is national adoption month! And yes, I am going purple in support!! As you know, we have three children who were adopted from Haiti and at various times through the month I will be posting different information on adoption, Haiti, and our personal adoption experience. I also am on a mission to get the word out about some friends of our who are REALLY in need of raising funds to get their beautiful daughter home.

Meet Wayne and Georgi (! They are a wonderful couple who we met through our good friends Spike and Lori ( They actually are Loris parents! They are wonderful people that are have fallen in love with a beautiful girl from Haiti. Please take a look at their site This has their complete story. Anyone who has been through adoption knows this is not easy! If you feel like you are being led to donate, please do so! Even if you don't have any $$ to donate, they deeply desire your prayer to just have their daughter home safe and sound. Send them a quick note and let them know you are praying for Madisyn to be brought home safely and quickly!

Remember..EVERY child needs a home and this beautiful girl is just waiting!