Sunday, January 31, 2010

He is faithful!

We've been going through some difficult times here and I just wanted to share a song that is ministering to me. It's pretty awesome.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica

From the back: According to The Waiter, 80 percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining 20 percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths.

This book, to put it mildly is absolutely hilarious and painfully true. Waiting tables for a living is hard work, that is extremely rewarding monetarily; if and only if you can put up with all of the nonsense. I wish every customer would read this book, if only to see themselves how we see them.

The waiter(writer) chronicles how he "fell into" waiting tables as a way to put food on the table at 31, temporarily; of course. Seven years later he's still waiting tables, but is also blogging to relieve the stress of dealing with needy customers day in and day out. He gives you an insight into how the restaurant industry works, from the front of the house perspective. It is actually very funny to read that other people think the same way I do. I remember the good tippers at our restaurant, but the bad tippers are emblazoned on my mind. There are actually people that I have told the hostess she would have to wait on. Hostesses make more than waitresses, they can deal with no tip, for a waitress a bad tipper is just a time and energy suck. I have other tables I could be bilking for a nice tip.

I don't now and never will understand the concept of leaving a bad tip. I just don't get a 10% tip, when you rave about how wonderful everything was. Every waiter would tell you, save the verbal tips and put the money where your mouth is. I actually had someone say that they couldn't give a waitress more than they tithe to the Lord. Excuse me!?! Please take your sanctimonious butt to a fast food chain, where the servers aren't depending on that tip to pay their bills. Waitress really do make less than minimum wage, they depend on tips to make a paycheck. The industry standard is between 15%-20%, before any discounts are taken or any coupons you might have, not after!!! If you can't afford the tip, then you can't afford the restaurant. Believe me I understand, I have four kids. When we go out we rarely go anywhere where we would have to leave a tip, but on the rare occasion that we do go to a sit-down restaurant, I tip especially well.

OK, I'll stop my waiter rant now and just let you know that Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica was a hilarious book, a very fun and engaging book. If you have ever waited tables or thought 'wouldn't that be an easy way to make some cash?' you can't miss this book. I read this as part of my 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge. Head on over to see what others are reading this week.

WFMW-Customized Chore Charts

This is my first Works for me Wednesday post, hope I do it right. We have had a difficult couple of weeks in the Reed household, a breakdown if you will on the chain of command. I feel like I do nothing but scream at the kids, threaten with grounding or taking away privileges, I'm the bad guy and dad swoops in to save the day.

I went to my husband with my troubles and concerns and this is what he came up with. All on his own!!!, who knew he had it in him. I think I have been quietly pushing him out of the picture in our homeschooling journey, without realizing I was doing it. By taking my problems to him, I really was issuing an invitation to him and he accepted wholeheartedly. Thank the Lord!!!

CJ came up with the idea of these chore charts, including what would be on them and what the consequences would be for them not being completed. He called a family meeting, walked the kids through each of their individual lists and explained the time frame for getting everything done and the punishment for disobeying. I found the chore charts here.

I realize we're only a couple days into using the charts, but it is a sea change in how our family interacts. The kids know what is expected of them and no one is surprised. It definitely works for us!!! Head on over to We are THAT Family to see other WFMW posts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Going Rogue- An American Life

From the jacket:....Palin paints an intimate portrait of growing up in the wilds of Alaska; meeting her lifelong love; her decision to enter politics; the importance of faith and family; and the unique joys and trials of life as a high-profile working mother. She also opens up for the first time about the 2008 presidential race, providing a rare, mom's-eye view of high-stakes national politics--from patriots dedicated to "Country First: to slick politicos bent on winning at any cost.

My personal opinion was that this is a really good book. I enjoyed reading about Alaska, Ms. Palin's childhood, teen years, adulthood and motherhood. I felt that I could connect with her on so many levels and that I truly feel that America missed out on a great VP. In reading this book I was reminded how much I've always been proud to be an American. I was raised to believe in small-business and that with hard work you can shape your future. I just pray that by the time Obama gets through with us we are still capable as a country of supporting small business.

As with any book there are a lot of things said that may or may not be true about other folks, but the simple truth is that it's her book, she's allowed her opinion. Having watched the media machine bend over backwards to make Obama look like the second coming, I tend to believe her accusations against them. The Liberal left took every opportunity to tear her and her family down and the media aided that process in every way that they could, up to and including forcing her to leave the office of Governor.

Looking back on the election, I as a Conservative Republican was so excited when they named Palin as the VP candidate. Finally, a candidate that actually said what she meant. It had nothing to do with her being a woman and everything to do with politics. I really and truly believe what she is saying, I believe that her skills would have been wasted as a VP, though. I'll be looking for her to run for President, but I'll understand if she never does. Why would you expose your family to that time and again? It would take a strong incentive, I think.

This was my book for week 2 of 52 Books in 52 Weeks, head on over there to see what others are reading.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Liberty and Tyranny-A Conservative Manifesto

bI am participating in the 52 Books in 52 weeks. I aimed a little high for my first book of the year, but I was able to finish it.
This is not a book for the feint of heart. I consider myself fairly well-read, with a better than average vocabulary; to say I struggled through it would be an understatement. I can say with all honesty that I enjoyed it. It was incredibly informative and thought-provoking. I will admit that I am a conservative, so Mark Levin was speaking my language, but I don't believe that only conservatives would benefit from reading this. Levin outlines from Roosevelt forward, the many steps that the federal government has taken to make themselves necessary to people. In other words, making us a Welfare state!! Levin peppers his book with quotes from many sources, from Montesquieu to Lincoln, Obama to Bush, every quote leaves you thinking about our country and our future. Finally, in the last couple of pages he outlines his Conservative Manifesto, all I can say is, "Where do I sign up?" This is not a great review, but hey it's my first, so bear with me. I am going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book, and this is just one of hundreds.

"Property is the fruit of is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built." Abraham Lincoln

Christi aka Conservative in Exile

Friday, January 8, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up!

Well we started back to school this week, much to the kids disappointment. You see, every school in our area was closed for snow and extreme cold. Since Christmas Eve, the KC area has experienced around 20 inches of snow, which is more than we got all of last year; and extraordinarily cold temps. Today's high was around zero and the expect tonight's low to be around 15 below zero, with windchills around 30 below. I live in Missouri for goodness sake not North Dakota, these temps are just unnatural. So no school went back this week, my boys were pretty sure they should get to skip as well, I reasoned that when we're at the pool in July, those kids will still be catching the bus. I won!!!

Hunter and Dakota have both been working on the Odyssey for part of their Tapestry of Grace studies. They both have really enjoyed their readings and especially enjoyed the movie version I found for them to watch. Armand Assante at his best.

Algebra is continuing to be less than fun, but I have to say that MUS's introduction to factoring of polynomials is the most efficient and easiest method that I have ever seen. The boys caught on very quickly and worked most of the week on their own.

Other than that it was same old, same old. It's too cold to play outside with dangerous windchills and icy snow, so they have all been spending time playing computer and Wii. Hopefully, next week everyone will get back to school, so that my kids don't feel punished.

To see how others spent their week click on over to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

16 Married, 22 Together, A Lifetime yet to Live!

This isn't the best picture as I scanned one from our reception, but it is one of my favorites. It is definitely "us" in all our glorious goofiness. Happy 16th Anniversary honey, thanks for being the best Husband, Father, and Provider that there is. I love you! I am so glad that I get to grow old with you.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goals for 2010!

I have never been someone who even thought about making resolutions. I live my life and do my best, but I have decided that I need to be more intentional. I need to be an intentional parent, wife, sister, daughter, that just getting by is not good enough. So, in that vein I have set these goals for myself this year.

Homeschooling: Be more deliberate in setting schedules and sticking to them. Turning off electronic devices and other distractions in our home. Homeschooling is all about flexibility, but I believe we have been a little too flexible.

Marriage: Be more emotionally available to my husband, I tend to get frustrated about silly things and take it out on CJ or I just shut him down the minute he walks in the door. He's not to blame for my day or the difficulties I've had, so I really have no right or reason to take it out on him. I should be looking to him to support me and back me up.

Spiritually: I plan on participating in the 90 day Bible challenge to focus my personal time. I also hope to be much more deliberate in my prayer time. I have been convicted that I need to bathe my life in prayer, lay all of my troubles at the foot of the cross.

Physically: I have slowly put on about 25 lbs over the last few months. I had managed to lose 40 lbs over the last winter, so I am hoping that I can drop these lbs. back off with a lifestyle change and getting back to exercising everyday, if only for 15-20 minutes. CJ has been told that he needs to drop at least 50 lbs, so he will be joining me in this effort.

Personally: I plan to participate in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks .
I don't really need encouragement to read, but I'm hoping to use this challenge to force myself to read books I wouldn't necessarily read. I tend to read what my husband refers to as filth, flarn and filth; I intend to be more open to reading non-fiction, biographies, historical, really anything besides romance. Not to say that some of my books won't be romance, I just intend for them to be predominantly something else.

Well that's about it, I hope y'all had a great holiday season and have an awesome 2010.