Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Review: The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn

The Encounter
Author: Stephen Arterburn
Religion/Christian Life/General
Retail Value: $15.99 US (paperback)

The Encounter begins as Jonathan Rush goes on a mission to Fairbanks, Alaska in search of answers to his past that explains why his mother would abandon him at the age of four. He makes friends on his journey back to the past; Erica Bingham and a woman named Mercy who helps to guide him to the sometimes painful and eye-opening keys to his past that may forever change his life.

The Encounter caught my interest with the front cover on this book – “Sometime’s God has to intervene”. Overall I really liked the details of the book, describing feelings, hurt, along with the anger that Jonathan Rush feels throughout the storyline.

At first, I don’t believe Jonathan wanted to find the answers to his past. The past history of Jonathan’s life helped to see that there were issues in his past that needed to be dealt with; as well as a relationship with Tim Moser, who had sent him on this journey back to his hometown in search of answers. The haunting memories that began to come out that explained the past was part of his anger began to emerge and I believe the Main Character was able to begin to understand why his actions and feelings were what they were. Once Jonathan began to meet with Mercy I believe was the actual changing point to this book. By the end of the book he was faced with owning up to the reality of what happened that changed his life and how to forgive others – and most importantly- him. I really enjoyed reading this book and it kept my attention very well. As I was reading, I often thought of my thoughts and feelings and looked at how he was able to take his need to learn, understand, and conquer him accepting, changing, and healing.

I believe this is a strong book for anyone going through a struggle to read and try to understand while trying to understand what they are going through as well as finding their forgiveness for themselves and others.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com ( book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Freebie from My Memories!

My Memories has once again came through with another freebie for you! Click "download now" to download this Quickpage...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guest writer Dr. Andrew Hill on the Waterloo Schools Financial Situation

I am very excited to bring you our Guest Writer, Dr. Andrew Hill, Ed.D.

Dr. Hill is currently in his second year serving as Superintendent at Waterloo Local Schools. He began teaching a variety of subjects to seventh and eighth grade students at Rosemary Cathedral Academy in Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Hill became Principal of St. Francis de Sales High School in Toledo for 3 years before moving to Principal for Crestwood Middle School for another 3 years. Andy Hill holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from the University of Toledo and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.

Dear Residents of Atwater and Randolph Townships,
As we continue to struggle through our current financial situation our district is striving to do our best to maintain the quality of education our community has become accustomed to. In addition to the many initiatives you can find detailed in our district five-year plan, we continue to look for outside sources of validation on the preparation our students are receiving. In addition to our second straight year of being rated “Excellent” or higher by the State of Ohio on our state report card, we also found out good news in reviewing two reports released by the Ohio Board of Reagents . Waterloo graduates who move onto college in Ohio fare very well in comparison to their peers on average in the State of Ohio and Portage County when it comes to the percentage of students who have to take remedial coursework in English and/or Math (you can find more information on this on my website at (; click onto the presentation from the November 10, 2011 Board of Education meeting).

There are also a number of opportunities for you and other community members to become involved in district level committees or to attend different meetings to learn more about our district. We continue to find ways and offer opportunities to actively engage you because we believe that the more community involvement we have, the more we can pull on the expertise of our community, and the better we will be as a district. Many of the opportunities are the direct result of ideas shared by you at our public forum meetings last school year.

Upcoming meetings include:
The Waterloo Grant Committee will meet on Monday, December 5th at 6:00 p.m. in my office. The purpose of this committee is to identify areas our district can pursue grants in along with community members with expertise who are able to assist. The Waterloo Volunteer Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 6th at 3:00 p.m. in the high school media center. The purpose of this committee is to help identify areas where our district can responsibly utilize the services of community volunteers. Our second annual "State of our Schools" address is scheduled for Monday, December 12th at 7:00 p.m. in our ES/MS Cafetorium. Please join us for this event or watch it live or as a recording on U-Stream (a link can be found on our district homepage at

If you are unable to join a committee or attend other meetings, please follow us on the various avenues that we utilize to fill you on happenings within our district; you will find access to these on our district website (they include: Facebook, Twitter, U-Stream, and an e-mail distribution list).

I would like to clarify a few misconceptions that I am hearing in regards to the upcoming levy request our Board of Education has placed on the ballot for March of 2012. The request will be for 7.95 mills, which is larger than the request that recently failed (5.0 mills). This increase in millage amount is due to the loss of one (1) calendar year in collections; if we had passed in November of 2011 collections would have begun in January of 2012, if we pass in March of 2012 collections will not begin until January of 2013. As a result, a larger millage amount is needed to get us through a similar period of time. The reason that our Board of Education passed the first resolution for the March ballot request prior to the November election is because the State of Ohio requires that two (2) resolutions be passed by the Board of Education and the necessary work completed by the County Auditor (between resolution one (1) and two (2)) prior to December 7th. Our Board of Education did not have two (2) regular meetings scheduled between the election in November and December 7th, so a decision was made to pass the first resolution in case it was needed, so a special Board of Education meeting would not have to be held. If we would have been successful on November 8th, the second resolution would have never been recommended to the Board of Education; unfortunately, this second resolution did have to be recommended and was approved on November 10th.

In addition to the $1,000,000 our district reduced from our operating budget this year, we continue to explore areas where we can save more. But, we are at the point where further reductions will take us to state minimum standards, leading to increased class sizes and fewer elective courses, which ultimately will have a negative impact on the quality of education our district can provide our students. Our pledge to you is that we will continue to strive to do our best; we hope that our financial situation will resolve itself soon so our district can remain under local control while continuing to offer a first class education to our students both in and out of the classroom.

Thank you for your continued support of our district. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at 330-947-2664 or at


Andrew J. Hill, Ed.D.

While I totally understand that in these economic times it is difficult to support more taxes coming out of our incomes, it is vital that we as a community get informed on the situation at hand before it escalates.  Please make time to check out and sites listed in Dr. Hill's letter above.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Motivation Monday

Hi Everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and long elaborated weekend. My kids are still off from school and return tomorrow.

I am going to try to stick with a themed blog day so that I can be inspiring to myself as well as all of you! So I have chosen to go with Motivation Monday so that hopefully I am able to motivate myself, along with you.

My motivation this week: Christmas items as well as cleaning house. I so want to get things in order. I feel like my house and my Holidays are out of whack right now, and so I feel that it's time to start getting things in order so that my house and my Holidays are much less stressful. I have friends who seem like they were born organized and right on top of things, while some of them are just like me, living by the seat of their pants.

I want to start with a list of items I need so I can hopefully focus on what I need to get done. Slow and steady will help get me through, but in order to get everything I need done this week I REALLY need to focus!

So In order to do this- Lists are in order. Kids chore lists need to be completed. I need to get away from this Blessed computer.

So before making my to- do list... let's start with a Ta-da list.

1. Thanksgiving dinner went smoothly, and hence it is behind us with lots of memories.
2. The front porch has been cleaned up; front of the house decorated; 2/4 wreaths up; Tree up and decorated; Christmas decorations out.
3. We have went grocery shopping; and plenty of decisions to make for dinner tonight (which I am still contemplating, but considering meatloaf and tomorrow crockpot lasagna)
4. We have the three kids dentist appointments done and out of the way.
5. Fireman is having a really rotten day. Starting with waking up to his van not starting, jumping it to get to work, getting in his truck to get 2 hours away and having it broken down and towed to now finally figuring out how to get to Brookpark from where he is to get a loaner when they have 2 or 3 loaners there but the company does not want to rent from there (and there's a 3-4 hour wait for another driver to come through to grab him)but as soon as he gets things figured out with his company he will be on his way back to the yard and hopefully home.
6. I have wash in the washer and dryer that I need to flip and fold, starting the next load.
7. I have survived the weekend - Well, so far (until the kids return back to school tomorrow!)
8. Lil Bear is laying down giving me time to map out what I am going to be accomplishing for today!
9. I am still sane. (Yet to be discovered by anyone other than me)
10. Did I mention I have my control journal I am hoping to go to in order to keep me on task? Oh and I do know where my timer is too!

Oh and before I finish, I do have to mention I found wall deco art that I actually love. "The best things in life aren't things" - Every time I pass by that on my wall I smile! I am hoping that it will help offer me support while cleaning and decluttering this week.

Feel free to have your own "motivation Monday" and leave me your link in the comments!

Friday, November 25, 2011

And the winner of the Free Software Giveaway finally announced!

The winner for the My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software goes to Jennifer! As soon as I get the information regarding your software I will be forwarding that to you Jennifer! Congratulations!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Free from My Memories to my readers!

My Memories has created some layouts and quickpages for me to share with all of my readers! They can be used in any Scrapbooking software and will only be up for download for a limited time. Please click HERE to get download today!

All I can say is that since becoming acquainted with this company they have so much to offer their customers. They really try to keep people interested so that all of those scrapbooks can get finished. That really means something to me, maybe if you check them out you may be impressed too?

I am offering a coupon code : STMMMS87972

If you use this code and click on the button below it will get you a $10.00 gift "card", and $10.00 off the My Memories software!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Memories Suite Version 2 Software Review and GIVEAWAY!

Yes you heard it straight! It's my first review and GIVEAWAY!

I was so excited to download this software. While waiting I decided to look at all of the positives and negatives to Digital Scrapbooking software.

1. I can save into different formats, including having it made into a book. Designs can be stored on a computer or CD.
2. Everything is on the computer so there is less clutter, nothing to pull out and put away.
3. No extra tools, paper that you can only use one time. No punches, scraps of paper laying around.
4. You can keep reusing the paper and all of the embellishments.
5. Embellishments can be used in a book and not damage the book
6. Special items can be scanned, saved as a photo, then added to a page and sized to be a better fit for your page.
7. Instead of printing photos that lay around and take years to scrap, you can decide if you want to print an entire book instead of a photo.
8. Did I mention less CLUTTER???
9. The kids HAVE to do their chores because I am sitting and scrapping
10. I actually get to sit and do something I want and enjoy to do.
11. It gives me a reason to get the camera out and get pictures of crazy stuff just to play with my Digital Software.
12. While I am taking a picture, I am actually planning a page design in my head and praying my drooling does not effect the camera.

1. What do you do with all of the photos, pages, books, etc. that I already have?
2. You don't actually have to pull everything out just to work on some pages.
3. You don't have the real deal in your hands until you choose the book should be printed.
4. You are still sitting at the computer while your Husband is shaking his head and trying to figure out how you can multitask scrapbooking, answering people on face book and being involved in a conversation with others in chat.
5. Be prepared to lose sleep. This is an addicting habit. When you sleep you are creating pages in your dreams without even being involved with the program at the current time.
6. I wasn't sure what the cons would be before hand, therefore I ended up having to think of them afterwards!
7. You have to set a timer when you sit down to scrap or you just may forget you have to pick up your kids from school.
8. Laundry? Oh yeah, I put that in... Oh wait... I didn't?

When I received the download from My Memories Suite software, the download went very smoothly. I have dealt with other software programs that was kind of difficult to use and I really did not have a full scrapbooking feature on it; so after I got the download installed and opened it for the first time I realize that it is much better than the other software I have used in the past.

Who reads the instruction book? Ha, I immediately started playing around with the program. At first I thought it was confusing (well, you know, that instruction manual was handy with the program, the user just did not want to use it!). However I did find after playing with the program for about an hour how to get along inside the program just fine. After creating a couple of pages, I quickly got bored with the contents, so I went to their Digital Scrapbook store and started finding a TON of papers, embellishments, quick pages that could be easily downloaded and used in My Memories Suite. Now we are talking! Oh, and some were free as well.

Just playing around trying to figure out where certain things were in the program and how to use a quickpage (they usually download into the embellishments BTW), I found many tutorials online to go over tips and hints on how to use the product if you are not a open the program and tom-fool-around-with-it-kind-of-gal.

 I also found out through playing around with the program that I could create calendars, DVD's, interactive slideshows for the computer, download into an i-pod format, print my creations on my printer and through a printing service (though I haven't tried it to find out the cost of printing the book). They can also be saved as a .jpeg and used on social sites just like a photo.

I also love the quick drop feature on the right side of the page. After I figured out how it worked I was zooming through pages. I even created some pages for another friend of mine so that she could see how digital scrapbook software works.

I found a ton of other freebie Digital Packs too, but I really think that the software paper packs available from My Memories are beautiful and decently priced as well.

So I am so excited to show you what I have done since getting the scrapbook software! I even went so far as to get it all ready for the website!

One thing I have found with this software is that if you are uploading to a social network (other than just 1 page at at time, like the above) that you need to save the video to your computer and then use a converter in order to transfer it to a format that can be read. I hope if they redesign the program in the future that they can add in different types of formats to save it into so that we don't have to save through a 3rd party source. But, what can I say? Resourceful me found a free converter program and it was uploaded and running on YouTube quickly after the conversion from a .mov file to an .avi.

My Memories also has a blog that keeps you up and moving on creating. You can visit their blog here. They are always keeping their face book page hopping with really cool enticing giveaways and speed scraps and other scrappie's showing off their work so you can get some really cool ideas! I have found other product sites that usually do something once in a while to keep your interest peaked, but I have to say that if you like My Memories face book page they will keep you plenty busy.  Oh and there are all sorts of things hidden in there - just search, especially through the posts.  And it's not always just their posts!
After I agreed to host this review and giveaway, I entered into an affiliate program so that I can offer you an awesome deal- If you click on the widget on the right side of my blog to purchase their digital scrapbooking software and enter STMMMS87972 for the coupon and you will receive $10.00 off your purchase of My Memories Suite Version 2 AND a $10.00 coupon for the store - a $20.00 Value!  My Memories Suite is normally $39.97

And now to go forth with the giveaway!

WIN! Here’s your chance to win the My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software. To enter, you must be 18 and this event is open world wide since the winner will receive a code to download.

 Please visit and tell us in a comment below what your favorite digital paper pack or layout is as well as your email address.

You can earn one additional entry for each of the following – leave a comment below to let us know you did along with your email
(1) follow My Memories on Facebook.  Please leave me your name as shown on your Face Book Account in your comment.
(2)Follow My Memories on  Twitter .  Please leave me your Twitter name in your comments 
(3)Follow me on Twitter. Please leave me your Twitter name in your comments
(4)Tweet about the contest using the hashtag #MyMemories and please copy what was tweeted, 
(5) Follow me on Google Friend Connect.

Entries must be received by Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 11:59 PM. One winner will be picked via and notified via email.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their winnings!  After I get my winner's response I will post on this blog who the winner is!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of the Digital Software for testing and review purposes and in no way compensated for my review.

Best Luck to all!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Sunday, October 23, 2011

I want a Kindle in the worst way...

I am stepping up and proclaiming...

I am saving my swag bucks up to get a Kindle. I don't know what all they do, but I would REALLY like to go with gusto and get a Kindle Fire.

I found free e-books that I can download onto my kindle to pc.. but I like to curl up on the couch and read at night. I can't really do that while sitting in front of this desktop computer.

I think it would be awesome to have a Kindle just because I love books, but I hate having books in the house. They collect a lot of dust- they sit around and take space. You actually have to make space in your house and well, anyone that has seen my house knows I just don't have a lot of room to do that.

I also found programs I can purchase to keep a calendar on a Kindle. These programs don't show if they have to be used on one specific type of Kindle, but with more research I wanna know. I also found a to-do list. That within itself is a seller to me. I would much rather just click or put my finger on something and have it at my fingertips rather than having to go through MORE.PAPERS. Well..

So... my goal is to start swaggin' EVERYTHING I can to get the gift cards and get one of these dag gone Kindles. It's now a personal goal!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Not me's first guest post.. Life Essential Oils

Cleaning without toxins has become a passion of mine. Not only do they give me headaches and send me to the dermatologist with my eczema breakouts, but the chemicals that are in some of those cleaners under your sink are deadly!

The great thing is that there are natural cleaning solutions that don’t only kill all of the bad things that you want to kill like viruses, germs and bacteria; but there are some great recipes that you can use that will actually help your family combat the sickies and help your immune system.

What am I talking about? Essential oils! Essential oils are extracts that come from plants. So these are totally natural, and Young Living oils are the best of the best. Most of them can even be taken internally. Yep, your cleaning solution can sometimes be taken internally to help different ailment! Can you say that about what you used to clean your counter tops today? If you are like most people, the answer is a resounding NO!

We would all like to have help with the household chores, but as a mom I don’t want my kid’s sensitive skin near most of the cleaners that you can pick up at the local store. So today I’m going to share one of my favorite cleaning recipes with you.

You will need:

White vinegar

Young Living Thieves Essential Oil Blend


Spray Bottle

Pour approximately 1 cup of white vinegar into spray bottle. Add 10 drops of Young Living Essential Oil Blend, and fill the bottle with water.

Use this all purpose cleaner to clean your counters, table, spills, refrigerator, any other hard surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom.

Since this essential oil blend also helps your immune system fight off the sickies, use this liberally on a daily basis. More information about Thieves Essential Oil Blend can be found here:

Life Essential Oils

Christi Daugherty is a mom to 3 step mom to 2 and wife to amazing man. After blogging for several years on home living she finally found a great company to partner with that she and her family love. Young Living Essential Oils has been a God-send to this very active family.

Teaching others how to change their lives in baby-steps is Christi’s passion. Whether it is using peppermint essential oil for headaches or organizing their to-do list in bite sized pieces so that they can reach their Life goals. Christi is here to help you and your family reach its full potential.

Sign up now for 110 Uses for Essential Oils

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What do you do with a Bug?

What do you do with an ADHD, ODD, Mood disordered bug? you put them out in the dirt and make them work it out. Chores at home, expect her to bring home the grades she deserves from school. Expect nothing less then what she can do. My bug? Yes. My bug. While the 'tude is being maintained, I really wish and hope that she really starts looking at her attitude a little more.

Bug loves fast pitch softball, even though it is her first year. She has learned so much even though she's been thrown into the mix. She's pretty good at short stop- she's got in legitimately through her father.

My hardest decision is while the fast pitch softball helps her work out things in her head, and it gives her the ability to promote her self esteem, make friendships, as well as find and work on her abilities- deep down... it can be expensive.

I have thought long and hard trying to make the right decisions whether or not to pull her out of Fast pitch even though it is helping her to find herself.

She's doing chores. She helps out around the house. She's bringing home A's and B's. But at 12 years old she seems to be going on 40. Her behaviors sometimes leaves her with something to be desired, but I find that it's a fine line on letting her play and not letting her play.

I really don't think she understands the contingencies that are going to have to be put into place before we continue into her next venture.

I think we are seriously going to have to look at everything before we open the door to what looks like a future for her in ball.

Its that fine line that I am worried about, that I believe all parents hoping to make the right decision worry about. Whether to accept and overcome, or deal.

It is my job to raise a decent, worthwhile individual that when presented the opportunity to go out into this sometimes wild and crazy world that she can still thrive and make decisions on her own.

Katelyn has a good head on her shoulders if she would only remember that she needs to make good decisions for her own self and not worry about what everyone else is doing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dear Time Warner Cable:

I am tired of things being "LOST" at your convenience. I only hope that you enjoy the $160.00+ Dollars that you made off my account because no one could find the paperwork that I faxed you.
Nice customer service. I only wish I could contact someone from your headquarters and let them know what has happened. I will be in search of new service.

To Whom It may Concern:

I have for the second time faxed you my copy of my Direct Tv bill on 9/29 18:20. PLEASE confirm that you have received it and that it is ENTERED into your computer. I faxed this on 5/15/11 or 5/16/11 and it was LOST.

Thank you

Tina Renee Mann
aggravated customer.

This time I have my tushie covered... I have my Transmission verification report STAPLED to my copies I printed... so if you lose them I will have your asses.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oh the things that you could imagine to clean with


A different topic for a change. Are you laughing yet? Well hang on to your seat, you just may be thinking I have done and stepped off the deep edge.

You who follow me on Face Book have probably seen that I make my own laundry soap, dishwasher soap, dilute my fabric softener down, and I have been canning food.

Today our 4H club did a service project. Steven, of course, was told to change his clothes to something that could be painted on and not matter. Think he did? Ahhhh .. Nope!

So we came home with paint all over. Some of us from head to toe, but we won't mention any names! This was really thick, molasses thick oil based hunter green paint. All the way home I was thinking about how I was going to get this off me, much less the kids!

I looked it up online after attempting to remove this paint with dishsoap, laundry soap, mechanics soap, well.. you get the hint? Right?

I found online someone said to use Mayonaise. Let me repeat that... MAYONAISE. Yes. I went to the fridge, grabbed the Mayo bottle out, swiped it all over the painted portions of bodies, let it set for oh 3-4 minutes, took one of my home made tulle scrubbies to the spots. It.Came.Off!! Yay! Go me!!

After running to the store, I see that **someone** walked through some paint and that there were little green spots all over the floor. I tried oil soap. I tried just rubbing, which made it smear and leave the green tint on the vinyl. Hmmmm... Mayonaise!

Did it work?

Why do you think I am writing about Mayonaise? LOL

So, With a little homemade scrubbie and Mayo... I Cleaned some of my house.

Never estimate the power of the internet with a woman on a mission.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rantings of a mother of Special Needs.

It's been coming. A nice big rant. Yup. I just cannot hold these feelings in anymore. Yes, I have a child with Asperger's. I am tired of people looking at me funky just because he is having a melt down in the store because I won't buy him something or because he is not getting his way. Trust me, it's not because he is spoiled. It's not because I am a bad parent. He has Asperger's. Educate yourself on it sometime. Really. Oh and it is not a contagious disease.

Yes. My 14 month old daughter is not walking on her own. Yup. I see that too. I am not blind to all of the things you are criticizing me about. I totally see it, and even though you think I am a lazy, non competent mother and that I need to start picking up the slack that you see I am not doing walk a day in my shoes will you? Yeah, she's cruising. Yeah she is standing on her own. Yup, she's taken a step or two. But don't criticize me because I am not forcing my kid to do what **I** and **YOU** think she should be doing and when she should be doing it. She will walk when she feels like it. All I can do is keep on working with her on it.

I don't think people really understand that my life is full. Nope I don't work outside of the home. Yup I may sit on my ass all day, or so you think? I fight with insurance companies, I organize the schedules, I **try** to keep up on housework, I started canning, I make my own laundry soap, I meet with professionals to discuss and work with my kids. I also educate myself. I help others with situations like mine where they are having issues. I have to keep a schedule that is tight. I have 4 kids with different needs. I have them all doing things that they like to do. My daughter is in ball and currently playing 4 games at least on the weekends and practice twice a week. She comes home from playing and practicing so hard that she's often times bruised. She loves it though and plays her little heart out! It's good for her in so many ways. There's 4H. There is play time with friends in the neighborhood if they get chores and homework done. There is Honor's Choir. Possibly other school activities.

I deal with tantrums often times more than once a day and usually it involves more than one child. I deal with a strict routine here at home. I deal with a shit load of paperwork. Do you know how many three ring binders I have filled with documentation? How about all of the self help books? I know there are way too many to count! How about parenting programs?

How about thinking twice before criticizing me for my and my kids actions.

Do you live your life for your kids, trying to fit into your schedule time to take care of yourself? Are you involved in your kids lives and make sure you discipline them? Even though my son has an "ability" to be the way he is, do you think I am happy with how he acts sometimes? Hell no! I had to make some of the hardest decisions to make sure that he grows up and and matures to the best of his ability. Some people will not agree with what I have had to decide. Oh well. I had to do what I felt was best to do. All I want to do is raise my kids to the best of my ability so that they are good worthwhile adults helping to contribute to society. I want them to choose a profession that they like and get something out of. I want to make sure they are getting the help that they need.

Walk in my shoes any?

All we parents who are dealing with these situations want is for you to understand that sometimes kids are not cookie cutter kids. We are all different. what works for your child may not work for ours. When we sometimes seem mean rude and cruel, sometimes we find that our kids won't respond to sweet and nice all of the time. Don't stare at us. Don't get pissed off and walk away. Don't make comments about what my kid just said or did. Oh and while you are at it why don't you teach your own kids to respect and not ridicule another child because they don't understand the circumstance.

I hear all of the time too that "these things are normal".. Okay, sometimes we have so much craziness going on that even when a doctor asks if there is anything out of normal you look at him with a stupid look on your face and ask what "is" normal?". Because I am really starting to doubt there is a "normal".

My 2 older girls have a problem dealing with some of the things Steven does. Hell, sometimes I even have a problem understanding why he does what he does. Sometimes I cry because I have had many people tell me that "I did this to him" and that "they just don't see it" - for those people I want to know if you are with him 24/7. Do you get the phone calls from the schools? Do you get the phone calls from the doctor on a Sunday and have a 2 hour conversation with the pediatrician who is explaining to you that this is what your child has? Have you been to so many doctors who have also confirmed the diagnosis? Do you have to set up medications once a week that only **help** with the symptoms? Do you sometimes have to run down to the store before a certain day to make sure that you can pick them up at 11:00 at night to make sure that the kid can be managed by teachers and school? Do you know where your 24 hour pharmacies in the area are? Do you have their number on speed dial? Oh and do you have to worry about if and what other kids are giving your kids that could mess them up with the medication they are already on? I mean yeah, it's bad for a typical kid not medicated, but could you imagine a kid with problems already whether or not they are medicated?

Have you walked in our shoes yet?

I once was one of those parents who would stand there and think "that kid is out of control and that parent needs to do something about it". Yeah. Been there, done that. I think god wanted my eyes opened to a new way of thinking. Well, he's gotten my attention.

I love and want ALL of my kids. All four. Oh well if you think I should not have had them. Get over it. I don't ask for your sympathy. I don't ask for your support. Only you have to answer to yourself on how you feel about it. But don't be voicing your opinion to me on how to handle it if you have not been there. I am positive I am not the only special needs parent who feels the same way.

I do ask that you don't pass judgement unless you have been in my shoes.

Jumping off my soapbox now.

If you made it this far thanks for actually continuing to read.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bad Bunnies!

This morning was a crazy Monday morning. I think I am gonna qualify this one for a "NOT ME MONDAY".

First off, it started with a 2 hour search for Fireman's keys. But we are not going there... I instead will start off with what happened AFTER the mad and crazy house tearing apart key search.

I was awakened around 9:30 to the sounds of my Bug running out into the living room telling me that the babies from her litter escaped.

No! I did not think it was a dream. Nope not at all. I really did not just lay around and think "Oh what a funny dream!".

Then it was like all of the sudden I woke up thinking to myself all along watching the clock "How in the hell am I gonna tackle THIS situation?" Thinking okay, I have Gracie's teacher coming at 10, it's 9:30 now, I just don't have the time to get over there and take care of getting this buggers back to their cage - a cage in which after the advisers in charge of the barn caught these rambunctious rabbits and put them BACK in the cage, only for them to wiggle through the wire cage and back out again.

Wonderful. Before finding out that they were caught and taken care of; I remember thinking about the fact Not only did two of our litters survive, but now we have raised jail birds that we have probably lost for good and will have no litters for show.

Texts to and from our Club adviser. They caught the grass rats. HA HA!!!! Now they have been moved to a cage they cannot escape from!! Life is good.... At least for the moment!

Oh what children do to their Mothers, as well as the Advisers! These little stinkers had their Momma so stressed out! Thank goodness they moved the Momma in with the babies and hooked them up with food and water too.

Thank goodness for the assistance of the advisers!
We are hoping this is the last of all of the problems....

Truly, I am not ignoring you!

August is so full of interesting and fun things for us. My nephews as well as my son all share their Birthdays in August. My son Steven just turned 14. I honestly think he sometimes hates his birthday in August because his birthday usually gets mixed in with all of the happenings associated with our local fair. It's usually ending up right at the crazy lets get everything together part of fair at the beginning, or during fair, when all of the commotion is going on.

The commotion? Simply put... 4H. All three of our children will be showing rabbits at fair this year. Brianna is actually old enough to show a live rabbit instead of one that she has made in the past. Yes, she has graduated from a Cloverbud to a real live "Member". It is exciting. The two girls will also be showing their cats as well.

With fair coming up, we do a lot of meetings and getting the animals ready... not to mention the kids have to feed, water, and care for their animals all year long. They have books with information and we go into July knowing that they have to participate in "skillathon" - in which they all compete at their levels by answering 100 questions regarding rabbits. Questions can include the body parts, skeleton, rabbit breed, the body type, along with questions about diseases and feed.

With us taking last year off from fair due to Gracie's birth, I am curious as to how the kids did. They studied hard with other 4H'ers from our group and I certainly hope that all of them did well. They will announce who had the highest scores in each division right before the 4H Jr. Fair rabbit show that will happen the first day of fair.

Katelyn owns a chocolate otter Holland Lop who kindled 3, with 2 surviving. Her litter has a solid black which is as adorable as can be, and another chocolate otter. She loves those little buggers! Brianna owns a broken black otter Holland Lop which had a litter, but was not born in a kindle box but on the floor of the cage and did not survive, therefore she will be showing only her doe. Steven's rabbit is a black otter Holland Lop who also kindled a litter, but again was born in the corner of the cage and did not survive, though momma really tried to pull fur and keep them warm. He will also be showing his doe. Steven's sometimes has the temperament of her Momma, and can be quite nippy so we are praying it does not bite the judges!

With so much to do at fair, I am hoping to keep everyone updated as to how the kids do. There are other events all week long, but I will keep those for another post. I of course will be taking the camera to try to catch the kids in action while they are showing!

Best of luck to all of the 4H'ers who have worked hard to bring the best animal they can achieve to fair!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Smelly Front load washer?

One of my friends used to sell front loading washing machines. When I told them mine was starting to have a smell inside the unit, I was told to run a hot cycle of water and add CALGON bubble bath to the load INSIDE the tub. It worked for me! Try it!

My front loader actually only uses 21 gallons of water at a time. I always make sure to have full loads to run because if not I cannot adjust the size of the load to run less water. Since I have switched over to the front loaders, I have seen approximately $75.00 difference in my electric bill for my all electric house.

Make sure you leave the lid open in between loads and wipe out the rubber gasket around the opening. I have also heard that it helps to not use the same detergent over and over as it will build up.

Also, if you have a water softener, you won't need to use the recommended amount for each load. Cut it in half and you will actually find that the clothes are much cleaner. I have seen that there is a test for how much detergent you actually need in your loads, I will see if I can find it and add it onto my blog.

I have started making my own laundry soap and I love it. My husband loves it too. he said he loves coming home and walking through the laundry room and smelling the homemade detergent! That will be another day...

I have also read of some things you can do to help with fabric softener. I haven't tried the tips yet, so after some trials I will let you know what I think.

These tips will help you reduce your laundry bill if you try them. Hope it helps!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I wish

I wish I could write a blog that is interesting and full of life like some of my blogger friends..

A blog that is not down on my kids, and how much I deal with them.

A blog that is informational. A blog the peaks interest. Something that people would die to read when I post.

I have blog envy going right now. I am not sure how they come up with their topics. I just guess I am not a good blogger.

I choose to write about my dealings with "Not me, I didn't do it, and lil pea because I know that there are others out there going through the same things.

Did I mention I am envious?

I totally don't know what else to write about.

blogger mind cramp going on? I would hope I could call it that. I just think it's better to have it known as Blogger envy.

I don't think I will ever be able to come up with what every one else does.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting down into the nitty gritty

I named this post Getting down into the nitty gritty because I feel that I have been really doing some deep thinking on this.

In a family of 6, there is always seeming to be some kind of argument going on. With having an Asperger Son; it seems like there is even more arguing and fighting going on. Some days I just feel like going to my room, closing the door and letting them fight it out. It's not helping their situation though.

God has determined that I could handle 4 children, or he would not have given me 4 children. It's either that or he has a really crazy sense of humor. They are all different and they all need parenting styles for the four different children that they are. Steven who will be going on 14; has the maturity of that of a 7 year old. Katelyn who is 12; seems to have a higher maturity of a child who is older than 12. Brianna I can say is probably right on target with the maturity of a nine-year old. Gracie, well Gracie is just doing fine and dandy as the baby at one.

I often times have to choose my battles. It depends on what my battle of the minute is. Whether it is who won't play with who, who is eating what, who wants what for dinner, who is getting into what, well, the list goes on and on.

But a reality check came into play today. Steven needs to be held to a higher standard than what he is. Unfortunately there is no way around it. With me not holding him to a higher standard it is creating a whole new battle in the home front.

This is a revelation that I have known all along, but just did not want to totally face it head on. I have dealt with his antics long way long enough. If I want the family to calm down things need to happen.

For instance, yesterday was such a challenging day for me. No one wanted to help out around the house. Everyone has a set of chores to do on a 3 week rotation basis. When Gracie gets older, it will become a 4 week rotation. I heard Steven yelling and screaming at me for 3 hours that he was bored while I was doing what I **absolutely** needed to get done with cleaning the house. I refused to give in; that is until he came up with a manipulation around it.

He ended up having to 7 year olds come over, one bringing a WII game to play in which I allowed a 1/2 hour on the WII for. After agreeing to this I was angry with myself because this was just another way for him to get what he wanted... More time on electronics. I started hating myself and feeling over-bullied by my own 14 year old son. It's not that I don't care for the kids that were here, it's the fact that we just went through 3 hours of hearing that he was bored (while **I** am cleaning the house for the 6 of us alone) and for him to bring over his friends (after I told him no friends over because I was in the middle of cleaning a destroyed house earlier) after it was cleaned up and he finally found a way for him to get his payload... the WII. My other concern; and once again I want to emphasize that I have no problems with the boys that came over, is that these boys are SEVEN. My son is almost FOURTEEN. How is he supposed to raise his maturity level if he is hanging around seven year olds?

He is a master at pulling the wool over my eyes too. he will say things like "Mom, how am I supposed to make friends if you don't let people over?" or "Mom, how can I show you I am responsible enough if you won't let me try?" but in all honesty, I have given him chances to prove this time and time again and he will not be able to. Yesterday for instance, I was very clear with my instructions, that he could go out and play in the front yard and at the ball court but that is IT. The next thing I know he was at three different neighbors houses and not following my direction.

I have a serious problem with those who treat and bribe their kids to do what needs to be done. I am myself trying to get away from it. If I allow him to get away with things, what am I teaching him? I am certainly not teaching him to become the mature teenager that he needs to become. I am not holding him to the standard that he needs to have implemented in his brain.

Just because ASPERGER is what he is titled with does not mean that he can just get what he wants all the time. He needs to learn how to live also, not just how to do what he wants to do. These are life skills we are talking about and he needs life skills. People sometimes look at me funky because of the way I talk to him, but I can't sugar coat my words to him or just don't get it. I have to become as strong as a wooden board for him to actually learn simple life skills.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Blah kind of day

The whole house slept until 11:00. That's right. ALL of the kids and me. Poor Hubby... he had to get up and go to work at 7:00. I think that the weather has a lot to play into sleeping in. Thank goodness we are on school break!

Even Gracie slept, because I got up to turn on her baby monitor, and she was still sleeping. I heard her wake up at 11 when I heard her babbling and talking in her crib while playing with her violet dog.

Now that I am up, trying to wake up, looking at the house and trying to come up with a game plan for getting it cleaned. It's still going to be the same game plan for cleaning... Just hoping that Gracie will follow me around like she normally does!

It's all nice and gloomy day out, rain beating down on the roof top basically all night. I love sleeping in the rain.

Five kids in the house, wii is on and it's gotten pretty loud here.

It's time to start cleaning..... Maybe I can ignore how loud it is?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Getting lost in your ancestry can lead to peace... and nightmares

Lately I have been dealing with a whole lot on my plate.

No... Really.

I know, just a stay at home mom, 4 kids, the house should be cleaned, gotta run here, run there, yadda yadda yadda.

But when I get really stressed out I find that researching my ancestry is kind of calming. Yes, like putting a puzzle together, there's always pieces that "look" like they will fit, then you also have pieces you are sure will fit- but then you find three or four other pieces that seem to fit too.

That is, until you actually start digging in and doing the research. Then you find others research and you are not quite sure how they found what they found. What can you do? Contact the researcher.

I am finding a boat load of questions within my research. I am finding answers to some of the ones that I am not working on, and too many different answers that don't match up through their findings.

For me, it's important to know where I come from. It's part of who I am, and how I do things. It's a big part of some of my questions that I have for myself. I know how I feel, but is it part of my raising? Part of my passed down beliefs from one generation to the next? At this point I don't know if I will ever find out. While I have found some information others are amazed to learn about, I still have vague memories of past stories.

There are questions out there as to who are the parents of whom, who are brothers, sisters, grand children- Well you get the jest of the whole question deal.

Some things just cannot be answered. Some things you are looking for you just may not know where to find. Some issues you are looking for the answers to cannot come to a close.

Documents can be ruined through water damage, fires, and lack of writing them down.

It is important for me to find the information I am looking for so that we can pass this information down to the next generation- and yes not only my kids, but for other family members who have inquiring minds of their roots too.

Some are also looking for an insight into their health.

My question is if this informational knowledge is found, will I actually feel like I am complete? Or do I need to just focus on the here and now so that I can learn how to be me..... Until then I will continue to do the research and deal with the nightmares. It's the peace that counts after all.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Heavy Heartstrings

Today I have very heavy heartstrings. Tears are pouring down my face because I know what I should do, I just can't bring myself to do it.

Steven's rabbit had a surprise litter. By surprise I mean, she had one on the wire (out of the nest box) a couple days ago, and because it was not kept warm like it should have been did not make it. Yesterday the girls went out to check on the rabbits, and found she had two more yesterday morning but somehow fell through the floor cage wire, landing under the cages.

We made sure everything was well with them. One of the two crawled away from the fur and warmth of the nest, passing through the night. While checking on the only surviving littermate... I found that some fur was stuck to his head. I brought him in and gently washed off the fur, only to find that he has a spot above his nose that the skin is separated.

In my knowledge with Rabbits I know what needs to be done. It needs culled. But I cannot do it.

The reason?

**Deep Breath**

Who am I to say if it lives or dies? That would be like me saying that Steven should not be here on this earth. I have no right in saying if it lives or dies. It's future lives within God's hands. I cannot make that decision.

To hold a life... whether it be a child or a rabbit... they are all god's making. Life is so delicate. To hold a living breathing baby in your hands and to decide what to do with it is not my call.

God. Please look over your children. No matter in what shape or form. Only you can say what happens. I give you my heart with heavy heart strings. Please. Do your will. I will follow your lead.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Anxieties are pretty close to everywhere in my life with Aspergers. I go through anxiety because I feel like other parents look at me like I gave my son Aspergers, or why can't you control your kid better or how about the soft whispers from a parent whose kid is nothing but perfect - or even those whose aren't.

I don't participate in many organizations within the school systems. It's a really far stretch for me to get involved in 4H or even with the softball things. I always feel like people are looking down upon me. Steven has his own ways of doing things, getting what he wants, and even though he looks like a typical 14 year old, he is still very immature for his age.

People around him that talk to him and actually treat him like a human being get to see Steven for who he is. He is actually very fascinating and full of facts and information that could knock your socks off.

He is loud, sometimes to the point of embarrassing, and sometimes he will just melt down and start screaming for no reason at all - at least that's what you think until you actually get him calmed down and talk with him over what the underlying cause is. Sometimes he will surprise us by walking up and actually discussing things before a meltdown. The last is our goal and we hope that soon it will be completely this.

Steven loves to try to play with others. Sometimes it is easier to play with those who are younger than he is. He is insistent on focusing on cars, tracks, calculators, math, and star wars. He gets lonely and begs to have friends that he can play with. He does well with other parents and teachers as well.

He shows Holland Lops for fair and I am truly amazed at how the groups we have belonged to and currently in handle Steven and his situation, and he really has not shown his true colors with the new group. I am eager to see how he does this year at fair with his Black Otter Lop, Pidgey.

Sometimes I view my son as a picture in picture TV. While he himself is the larger picture, we are the ones in the smaller picture and he tends to drown us out.

Even though my son has grown up quite a bit - not only socially and emotionally but he is almost as tall as I am and I don't think any of his pants are going to fit him for school this year. In my eyes he still 2-3 years behind socially and emotionally however I know will come with the more specialized training from the new school.

My wish right now is that he would be able to get along with everyone. My two daughters who are 12 and 9 feels somewhat compelled to get angry with him because he is different than they are. It probably does not help that he is the only boy out of 4 too. I wish they would understand how special their brother really is and learn how to adapt to how he is.

I have anxieties about every part of my sons life. Now I need to figure out how to deal with them and help my son grow up to be the man he one day will be.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Asperger: It's a right in your face reality for me.

It's been a while since writing, and I will admit I have had one heck of the last couple of months. With school, IEP meetings, shopping for a new school for Steven, working with case managers, add in 3 kids each with a different baseball/softball schedule... and well, just "life" happening, I pretty much lost myself in those issues more than sitting down and writing on my blog.

While I write mostly to get things figured out in my head, I also like to write to help others who may be going through situations such as mine. It takes a lot of gumption to write about some of the things I want to write about and I have often worried about what kind of "recourse" would come out of my writings. I think it's time to actually start writing from what I honestly want to write about instead of him hawing around topics that may offend others. After all, this is my life, and it's my blog and I'll vent if I want to.

So yes most readers know that I have my "not mes" roaming about my house. My soon to be 14 year old is "Aspie" or Asperger. This means that he does not do well usually in a social environment. He is very smart, but he likes to pick and get things going with the other 2 older ones in the family. Yes, you read correctly, he will be attending a new school that is more suited for his needs. He will be going into 9th grade, and I was just too worried about how/why and what would happen in a high school full of neuro-typical kids. I pray that the school helps him catch up socially and emotionally. He has went to the school three times now and he loves it. His teachers all love him, he has made friends with other classmates already, and he likes that "he fits in". He will be attending on the Ohio Autism Scholarship Fund. This new change will put more onto me, like taking him 20 minutes away and then turning around and picking him up as well. It will take some adjusting on all of our lives, but I feel that this is the best suited school for him.

Before coming to the realization that he would need to move to a new specialized school; I balled like a baby. I have tried for years to help him get through a regular school. I am proud of him for making it to the 8th grade in the school that he was in... but in reality he just has issues that would hinder his learning going into high school where he is.

Steven wants friends who are willing to accept him. Not "friends" who tell him to do one thing, then when he does it, says "no I did not say that!". In this certain situation, there were girls hanging around, when one of the boys told Steven to go tell the girls that they liked them and wanted their phone number... The boys then turned around and denied it.. Steven does not know that he was being used as a pawn. Is this actually a way to bully my son? I think so.

Yes sometimes things seem like what "normal" kids do, and yes people can be cruel. People do not understand what he thinks, why he acts the way he does, or even how he is. Heck I will admit even I have a hard time understanding. But does that mean I wish my kid was different? Honestly, yes there are times that I cry because I see other kids doing what Steven wishes he could do, but deep down in my heart- Steven is Steven. He is special. He can do amazing things. I believe god does not give you what you cannot handle; but that he gives you circumstances to help you grow and to widen your spirit and to come to him often and ask for guidance. I think we were led to this new school for Steven to learn how to grow and learn how to face the challenges he has in his life. He is growing up into the person only he can become.

I thank god every day for giving me my children. I just have to pray a little harder to figure out how to get them to understand one another more!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some days your the diamond; some days they just throw stones!

There are just some days that no matter what happens, it feels like you are just being stoned in the process. Not talking stones as in "drug induced", but rather no matter what you do and you try your best to get things done, someone just throws another stone at you.

Gracie has been sick. She was running 104.4 on Saturday. It began Friday night. Well anyways, here it is Tuesday, and she woke up with the fever broke! Wonderful!

Now we are dealing with the whining and crying of a 1 year old because she is starting to feel better. She is hungry, she is still tired from fighting the virus, and she is getting into everything and so hates the word no.

My house is not to the point we should be shown on Hoarders, though to me I just cant get up and get it all clean with 4 kids around. We are involved in so many different non profit organizations that we love doing/helping in- 4H, Hotstove (not really involved, but hey we are at least making an attempt to help), Fireman with the Fire Department, myself with the local Historical Society.

Let's face it... too many sticks in the fire. But we absolutely love helping out and would not have it any other way.


We hope that we somewhat rub off on the kids with community service... but I am afraid I have missed a big portion of the teaching on this.. doesn't helping others begin at home?

My house is in a complete disaster with the baby being sick. All she wanted was for me to hold her. After all, when you are sick don't you just not feel well enough to do for yourself, and like she could do for herself anyways. 4 nights of sleeping on the couch with her in the pack and play is enough for me. Waking every few hours to check on her is enough to put anyone into a cry for sleep. But, the stone being thrown is from my house. It's begging for attention. No one wants to give it.

Where's my timer?

Shoot my timer don't even wanna help!

Where are the kids? Oh yeah... I should have taught them how to help out around the house more huh?

Hubby? Why should hubby come home and walk into a disaster after working so many hours a day, not to mention running out for Squad calls and fires to be put out? On top of helping with the kids to run to various Doctor appointments.

Guess who is throwing the stones now?


Sometimes the one thing I thrive for is to be June Cleaver and to maintain the house and kids so that the father can go to work, come home and have a nice peaceful sense in the household.

I guess I need to empty my pockets of the stones and stop throwing them and start cleaning. Nothing is going to stop the stones but me.

Here goes to emptying out those pockets......

Monday, July 25, 2011

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Actually I think this should be when the kids grow up? I am looking at my oldest being a Freshman next year. I would love to start thinking about what I need to do in order to start into the work force before then so that I can prepare for what steps I need to take.

Let's see what I would have on a resume at this point. Taxi driver, fast food chef, laundress, housekeeper, nurse, appointment keeper, pharmacist, computer technician, softball/baseball mom, teacher, wife, mother, warden, peace keeper, consequence dealer, multi-tasker, thrifty grocery shopper (have to be for a family of 6!), boo kisser, spirit mender... well I guess now I am reaching?

It's not like I can just jump into the work field as I am now. My kids are my world, and even if I do complain a lot and feel like I am over welmed, well, yes I am! Just who in their right mind would hire someone that thinks of their kids first, with their jobs second? I also have to play into my husband who drives a truck and doesn't really have a set schedule like a lot of people, not to mention on a moments notice he is running out the door to save a life. I have a full time job here.

Any time one of the kids get sick, my more than balance of children gets a work out. Gracie has been ill since Friday with a high fever. Days like these I am so thankful that I don't have a boss that I can report off to. Yes, I am behind on household chores, but when a baby is not feeling well and only wants to lay in your protective arms, that's what you do. That is your job for that moment. Babies are only babies for a short while and they need you when they need you.

So I have a few years to think about what I am actually going to do when the kids get older (and don't need me as much)- and I will have to start thinking about what I want to do until then.

This is my job, and even though I may have a disaster of a home, I feel it is where I need to be at this moment. I love my job!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Graco - Secure Coverage Digital Baby Monitor Review

Imagine my surprise when I was contacted back in February regarding testing a Graco Secure Coverage Baby Monitor! Graco provided me with this monitor and asked me to share my honest opinion on this product. I was so excited to get it in the mail. I opened up the package, and decided to read the instructions. I know; who does this right? I am glad I did because you have to charge the unit for 16 hours before using it. Why? because this model's parent unit operates on a rechargeable battery pack! I was super thrilled at this point and yes it was very difficult for me to wait to use it, but I waited and I am happy I did so that the battery won't wear down as fast. A feature that I found this unit had was that the baby unit also works on either 3 AAA batteries or the AC adapter that came with the unit. At the time, I wasn't quite sure if I would use the batteries in it, only to use it plugged into the wall with the AC adapter, but I soon came to find out not just once, but twice that we had lost power and I snuck into the room the first time to plug 3 AAA's into the unit so I could hear Gracie sleeping. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that it uses rechargeable and AC power because I usually never have batteries stashed in the house enough to where the kids don't find them.

Graco Secure Coverage Baby Monitor Model 2M19

With getting this in March, not quite mowing weather, I had the hankering to get on the riding mower and start mowing. Unfortunately we ended up holding off until the end of April to begin that task and I was very anxious to get Gracie sleeping so I could run out and mow. After all this parent monitor had a belt clip on the back and I could wear it around. Unfortunately every time I went to bend over it kept falling off. I found a really neat way around this situation though... I went and put one of the baby's rings that link together and put that on the top where the handle is and it's a go anywhere I want to tool now! I also use it to keep my timer on the same ring so that I can work and focus on what I am doing (not to mention keep track of that dang timer!).

I love the light system on it, showing noise/movement in the room and the vibrate feature works well in the house but not on a noisy tractor. I love the light motions because while mowing I could look down at the lights to see if there was any noise going in the room.

I have found that I use this monitor better than the other unit I had before, not only by the quality, but saving me 3-4 batteries a day! I had a 25.00 unit before with a nightlight in the baby unit and I found a lot of static ran through it from my husband's fire pager. I had to watch where I plugged it in and where it sat before because it would actually make the pager go all crazy. With the Graco Secure coverage monitor, we do not have that problem, both the monitor system and the Fireman's pager work wonderfully as they should hand in hand together. I find that both the baby and parent monitors are not as harsh if you get too close with squelching also. A plus when you forget you have the monitor on and try to attempt to sneak in the room without waking a sleeping child!

As for the sturdiness of the parent monitor, I have dropped the unit a couple of times before putting the link ring on and it still works and looks as good as it did before taking it out of the box. Both units are very easy to dust/clean, even just using a wet washrag and running it over the parent unit works wonders for the dirt.

A neat trick I found to help me get the baby to sleep: I turn the unit on before feeding the last bottle and keep it near me. The two girls in her room listen to the radio, so with her finishing her last bottle, me rocking, and her listening to the music they listen to in their sleep helps her fall asleep in no time flat. I also can hear if the other two are asleep so that I can put the baby down without them waking her up.

when Graco sent out the Secure Coverage Digital Monitor, they sent more information that I found very good. I am including it in this review to help others as well....

Introducing the new secure coverage™ digital baby monitor

Click here to visit the interactive product demo!

You always want the confidence that baby is resting safe and sound. That’s why our secure coverage™ digital monitor operates on a 900 MHz frequency, so you can clearly hear even the quietest whimper, without fear of interference from your phone or wireless network.

Plus, at $44.99, the secure coverage™ digital baby monitor is a great value and is also available with two parent units (retail $64.99)!

This monitor comes with several thoughtful details, including:

  • Sound lights and exclusive vibration alert to see, hear and feel baby’s call
  • Exclusive Graco® vibration technology can be turned on & off
  • Secure digital technology provides optimal clarity, performance and privacy
  • Low battery alarm reminds you to charge the parent unit
  • Belt clip gives active parents wear-it-anywhere convenience
  • Battery back up in child unit for added peace of mind

Complete Household Coverage

  • 2000 ft. range for complete household coverage
  • Secure digital technology for optimal clarity, performance and privacy
  • 900 MHZ frequency means no interference from phones and electronics
  • Includes: 1 child unit, 1 parent unit, 2 AC adapters, 1 instruction booklet


Monitor Noise: Why do you hear static? The two main causes of static are due to weak signal and/or interference. Read below to find out common causes for weak signal/interference and prevention suggestions.

Weak Signal – think of your AM/FM radio in your car, the further you drive from the city or radio station
transmitter, the weaker the signal. So the further the parent unit is from the nursery unit, the greater
the chances for static. Also, read your product instructions for maximum range – this is the best case
tested range, but will be affected or reduced by interference.

Interference – there are many things that disrupt your monitor’s reception. Below is a list of common
causes of interference and prevention suggestions.

• Background Noise: Your monitor’s job is to pick up sounds in the nursery – this includes background
noise that may not be static.

• Channels:
- The monitors allow you to manually change channels. On Analog monitors, make sure you change
the channel on both the parent and nursery units. On Digital monitors, you only need to
change the channel on the nursery unit.
- Ask your neighbor if they are using a baby monitor. You may have to change channels to avoid
interference with their monitor.
- Try changing channels on other wireless equipment in your home (WiFi modems and routers).

• Other Electronics: Lots of signals are being transmitted at the same frequency as your monitor,
which will cause interference.
- Analog monitors operate at 49Mhz and 900Mhz, similar to AM/FM radios and some cordless phones.
- Digital monitors operate at 900Mhz and 2.4Ghz, which also supports some cordless telephones,
WiFi, Bluetooth, microwave ovens and other wireless devices.
- Try turning off other electronics and wireless devices one at a time to see which device may
be interfering.
- Keep your cell phones away from both the parent and nursery unit.

• Batteries:- Low batteries or dead batteries cause interference.
- Make sure both nursery and parent units batteries are charged.

• Construction/Furniture/Plants:
- Signals can be weakened or blocked by construction materials in your home (metal studs, wire
mesh for stucco, plumbing or A/C ducts, etc.).
- Avoid placing your nursery and parent units on metal objects, this also causes a weak-signal condition.
- Even non-metal items can interfere – Did you know long needles on some pine trees are the
perfect length to absorb 900Mhz signals – like a Christmas tree?

• Motors: Motors will cause interference.
- This includes washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner, ceiling fans, humidifiers, air filter, dish washers,
treadmill, furnace, kitchen appliances, and refrigerators.

• Sun:
- The FCC requires radio stations to reduce power output at night to keep them from interfering
with each other after the sun goes down.
- Energy from the sun will increase background noise on analog monitors and cause weak signal
conditions for digital monitors.
- Lightning storms can cause interference.

Privacy: Not all monitors are private.
There are two types of monitors – analog and digital. Read below to understand the difference
between the two technologies.
Analog – simple, continuous sound transmission at a fixed frequency. Note, some video monitors are
analog, so both the audio and video signals will NOT be secure.
Digital – clear, secure connection that offers privacy and virtually eliminates static and interference.

Batteries: Understanding rechargeable vs. non-rechargeable.
There are two types of batteries – rechargeable and non-rechargeable. Read below to learn how to
optimize the performance of your batteries.

Rechargeable Batteries:
• First use – charge the rechargeable batteries for at least 16 hours before first use. Parent units
should be able to run 8-10 hours before needing a recharge.
• Battery lifespan:
- Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of times they can be charged.
- The battery storage capacity diminishes over time, so the batteries will not hold a charge as
long over the life of the battery.
- Battery should last about 2-3 years.
Non-rechargeable batteries:
• Do NOT mix old and new batteries.
• Check or replace backup batteries on nursery units periodically (just like you should check the
batteries on your smoke alarms regularly).
Note: Nursery units are constantly transmitting a signal when they are ON, which will use up battery
life if they are not plugged into AC power.

Troubleshooting Tips:
Need Help?
• Always refer to your product manual. Can’t find it? Download a copy at
• Want to speak to an actual person? Call Graco’s helpful customer service line: 1-800-345-4109.

Model #:
• Product model info is listed inside the battery compartment of the parent unit and on the
outside of the nursery unit.
• The UPC code is listed on the bottom of the box.
• On analog monitors, the channel is listed with AB or XY and has a black check over the channel
code to indicate which one is in the box.

• Graco’s analog parent units require 3 “AAA” batteries that are not included. Batteries need to
be installed according to the diagram molded into the plastic of the battery compartment.
• Graco’s digital monitors include a rechargeable battery for the parent unit.
• Graco’s nursery units operate on AC power and use battery as back up.
• Before your monitor is ready to use, the battery must be installed into the parent unit – remove
battery door cover on the parent unit with a key or flat blade screw driver & place in either
rechargeable battery pack (included in digital) or non-rechargeable batteries.

Static Clings:
• There is a static cling on the parent unit sound lights & nursery unit night light – remove these
before using.

1st Time Use:
• The rechargeable batteries need to be installed into the parent unit before charging.
• Charge the batteries at least 16 hours before first use.
• Place the nursery unit within 10 feet of baby. Plug an AC adapter into the back on the back of
the nursery unit. Plug the adaptor into a working 120 volt AC outlet.
• Aim the nursery unit towards baby and check that no walls or large objects could block
sound transmission.
• Place the parent unit within 5 feet of nursery unit and turn the unit on. The sound light LEDs
will illuminate and bottom LED will be red on the digital units. You will also hear a single
audible beep.
• Turn on the nursery unit, the green power light should come on.
• Within a few seconds, the parent unit will lock onto the nursery unit. On the digital units, the
connection LED on the parent should change from red to green. You monitor is ready for use.

Erasing the Pairing on Digital Units:
• Turn the parent unit off.
• Hold the volume-down button on the parent unit while pressing the on/off button. Continue to
hold the volume-down button down until you hear a single beep and all the sounds lights
illuminate briefly.
• Release the volume-down button.
• Press and hold the volume-down button again.
• Within 2 seconds you will hear a beep and all the sound lights & red lost-connection LED will be lit.
Release the volume down button. The parent unit is ready to pair with the nursery unit.

Pairing a Digital Parent Unit with the Nursery Unit:
• Place the nursery unit in the same room 5 feet away from parent unit.
• Make sure the parent unit is turned ON after erasing the pairing (all the sound lights & red
lost-connection LED should be lit).
• Turn ON the nursery unit, the green power light will come on.
• Within a few seconds, the parent unit will find the nursery unit. The sound lights will shut off
and the parent unit will beep. The parent unit is now paired with the nursery unit.
• Repeat this procedure if you need to pair another parent unit with this nursery unit.
• If nothing happened when you turned on the nursery unit, first try turning the nursery unit off
and then on again. If the parent unit still does not pair with the nursery unit, press the channel
button on the nursery unit, then turn the nursery unit off and then on again.

Parent unit won’t turn on:
• Does it have batteries in it?
• Are you using the correct batteries?
• Is it plugged in (if you aren’t using batteries)?
• Is the volume turned on?
• Are the units in range of one another?

Unable to connect:
• Parent and nursery units must be in range of one another. Check the box/manual to find out
the range. Remember those are best case ranges because other things like household electronics,
construction materials, etc can affect level of interference and shorten the range.
• Re-pair your units (if digital).
• Make sure both the nursery and parent units are set to the same channel (A/B X/Y) on
analog monitors.

In truth, I really wish I would have looked harder and not thought that "a baby monitor is not just a baby monitor" and went with this one to begin with. At $44.99, I was much happier with this one that I am with the old one. The only thing I miss on the old one was the night light I had in the baby unit. If I were going to have another child I would have went for the two parent model - 2M20 so that both my husband and I would have one, or I would leave one in one part of the house and one in another, and then I wouldn't need to wear it! :O)