Monday, January 31, 2011

Music on the Brain

A child’s senses are stimulated to the fullest when he or she grows up listening to music, singing songs, or dancing to music. A child’s early development is positively impacted through exposure to music, as it works to strength the neurological pathways between brain cells. An early introduction to music is crucial for jump-starting childhood learning processes whether it is in day care, at home, or home school. Incorporating music into early childhood education strengthens cognitive abilities like memory and spatial reasoning skills. More over, research has proven that creating an educational environment that engages the five senses, with particular attention to hearing can positively affect a child’s mind and physical development. The Nemours Foundation, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the health of children, produced a report concluding that children who actively listen to, play, or perform music related activities excel in math and reading, have higher self-esteem, are more focused, and are more likely to play and explore with their peers.
Music makes the greatest educational and neurological impact on children when they actively experience it. Active listening can be defined as clapping, singing, tapping, or keeping the beat to music. Further more allowing a child to create his or her own music will prove to be priceless. Passive music participation (listening to music) is also beneficial to a child but does not work to engage and develop neurological pathways as deeply. If you would like your child to experience the benefits of music on early childhood education and development, begin simply.

1. Teach your child basic nursery rhymes and songs. The Itsy Bitsy Spider, This Little Piggy Went to Market, and The Wheels on The Bus are nursery rhymes that have accompanying hand motions. The synthesis of music and movement enhances a child’s memory by linking the memorization of words with hand motions. This method also works to strengthen a child’s ability to do more than one thing at a time.

2. An upset child can be comforted by music. Playing certain types of music for a sad or angry child provides stability and repetition as the child learns to cope with new feelings and emotions.

3. Use any available opportunity to share music with your child. Play music when riding in the car or before bedtime! Researchers say that tones and notes characteristic of jazz and classical music work best to stimulate neurological pathways.

4. Play music for your child then ask he or she to distinguish the different instruments present in the music. This game works to sharpen your child’s divided, shifted, focused, and sustained attention. Each type of attention is crucial to the healthy development and functioning of your child. Divided attention can be defined as performing two or more tasks at once. Shifted attention is moving back and forth between multiple tasks without forgetting the rules and instructions particular to each task. Focused attention is concentrating on one task. Sustained attention is concentrating on one specific task for a long period of time.

The benefits of playing music and encouraging participation in making music can be huge. The developmental, emotional, and educational affects yielded from exposing your child to and encouraging your child toward a musical life are invaluable.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Atlanta day care  facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Work At Home

I am looking for any legitimate work at home ideas.  I am not looking for something I have to invest too much money into. Even if it is something that is structured to supplement your income. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. You can either contact me through my blog or contact me at

Saturday, January 29, 2011

No More Snow!

I absolutely hate grocery shopping when there's lots of snow on the ground. It just really ruines my day. You have to bundle up to go to the grocery store, so your uncomfortable as your going through the store. Then you have the struggle of pushing the cart through the snow in the parking lot and then drag the groceries in the house. Let's not forget all the snow that gets dragged in with the groceries. Then to the most dreaded part of shopping is putting everything away. It's time for mother nature to stop dumping all this white fluffy stuff on us.

Battle Over Closet Space

When me and my sweetie decided to get married, we built a custom closet by Ikea thinking it would be plenty of space for the two of us. Well, low and behold, I had no idea how many shoes and clothes he had. This wonderful man has more clothes and shoes than me and dominates the closet space. Keep in mind this closet is 8' long and goes all the way to the ceiling. In addition, we also have a normal size closet in the bedroom, which he dominates with his jerseys.
We custom built the closet so he would have a shoe rack for his shoes going down one side. It has three has hanging sections and a set of drawers. I have one hanging section and a small part of another section for my clothes. I am beginning to think the only way we are going to get enough space is to either buy a bigger house with more rooms or wait until my children leave the nest and take over one of their rooms for clothes.

Breakfast Soft Taco

Yesterday morning, I had some leftover vegetables from dinner the night before. Whenever I make tacos, I always cut too many veggies and have the leftover veggies that I hate to throw away. So, I decided to make some eggs with them. It was absolutely delicious.

Peel and pit your avocado, then dice it into squares.
Dice 1/2 of tomato.
Dice about a tablespoon of onion.
Put about a teaspoon of butter in a pan and add your vegetables. Saute the vegetables until they are fully cooked.
Squeeze one lime wedge on the cooked vegetables in the pan.
Scramble two eggs and add to the pan of vegetables. Then scramble and cook until the eggs are thoroughly cooked.
Add just a light dash of salt
In a separate pan slightly brown your corn tortilla on both sides.
Place your eggs in the tortilla and sprinkle with cheddar cheese
Serving size: Two Breakfast Soft Tacos

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fugitive Charged With Human Trafficking

Veniamin Gonikman, 55, a US citizen, was arrested in the Ukraine Wednesday and deported back the United States to be charged. Gonikman fled the country before he could be formally charged with 22-count indictment with trafficking in persons, forced labor, alien smuggling, money laundering, extortion collection and conspiracy, among other charges. He was on the top ten most wanted by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for smuggling women from Eastern Europe into the United States and forcing them to work in the strip clubs in Detroit. Gonikman came to the attention of federal agents in 2005, when his victims escaped and it was confirmed he was operating a company out of Detroit called Beauty, Inc. The indictment alleges that Gonikman and his associates developed Beauty, Inc. as a cover for human trafficking. They smuggled the women into the United States and forced the women to work long hours in the strip clubs. Gonikman and his associates, took all of the women's money and kept them under their control through through threats, coercion and isolation. Gonikman's associates, including his son Aleksandr Maksimenko, Duay Joseph Jado, Evgeniy Prokopenko, and Michail Aronovo, were previously convicted and sentenced on similar charges. They are currently serving prison sentences ranging from seven to 14 years.
Personally, I feel that serving seven to to fourteen years is not a long enough sentence. It's time for the American government to make an example of people like Gonikman and his associates. Let the Gonikmans of the world know the United States Government will not let you slide by with a slap on the wrist for human trafficking and enslavement, because if these men are capable of smuggling women into the country then what is stopping them from kidnapping our young girls and enslaving them in the human sex trade. We know it already happens.

Finally, Friday Is Here

I think even the cat is glad it is Friday, she looks exhausted. I usually kick her off the table, but she looked so cute, I couldn't do it today. She looks like how I feel.

No More Leak

I am so proud of myself. I fixed the problem with water running into the laundry room and it was a lot easier than I thought. I decided to check it out before calling a plumber and I am so glad I did. All I had to do was reach under there and tighten all the fittings on the pipe for the shower. Problem solved (knock on wood). It's amazing what you can do yourself when your forced to preserve money.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Overseas Customer Service Centers

If you have read any of my previous posts you are aware of my problem with companies sending our customer service call centers overseas. Well, today my mortgage company called and proceeded to tell me, this conversation is recorded and so on.... So, I told them good, tell IndyMac Bank to bring their customer service center back to the United States and I don't appreciate my money being used to employ people in India. I would prefer my mortgage money went to paying the salaries of United States Citizens and please play back this call for IndyMac bank, because I want them to know how I feel about them sending their customer service center overseas. As the man proceeds to read me back an incorrect email address as he is verifying information, I told him to call IndyMac Bank and get the right email address from them since they already have it because, I already receive account notifications to the correct email address. The man was seriously offended and wanted to know why I feel that way. Why do I feel that way? Millions of Americans are out of work and what is the major contributing source to Americans being unemployed? Corporations opening up companies and call centers overseas. He continued to argue with me. I asked him, "Why are you arguing with me? That's what you call customer service."  I am on a mission, every customer service center that calls me or I call them, I am going to ask them where their call center is located and proceed to tell them exactly how I feel about their customer service center being located overseas. I'm going to keep an ongoing list. If you know any call centers overseas, please let me know and please feel free to leave your opinion. I eventually plan on contacting the companies, here in the United States and let them know exactly how I feel. My thought is, if enough people object may be they will start bringing jobs back to the United States and stop sending our money overseas to pay people overseas to do what can be done here.  Think about it, someone overseas is sitting there in front of a computer with all your personal information in their computer. That is something, I am not to pleased with. How do I know I can trust them with all my personal information. Such as, my address with my date of birth and social security number. Someone can sit there and write it all down as the screens pop up. In the United States they constantly walk behind everyone watching what they do. I know that, because I worked for a call center before. How do I know they are doing the same overseas? After all, they are getting paid less to do the same job that was done here. A little food for thought.

Direct TV- Your calling the Philippines when you call them! Ask & you will see.
IndyMac Bank- When they call you, they are calling from India!

Giant Animals.

I didn't get the opportunity to do too much blogging yesterday. It was a wacky Wednesday, alright. But, it had nothing to do with blogging. So, here's a little Wacky Wednesday on Thursday.

Wow, that is one big catfish! I bet their wives didn't believe them until they showed them the picture.

This is a crab. Imagine trying to catch that thing to bring it in.

I come across that on a street, I probably would jump and run to the other side. I definitely wouldn't be standing there taking pictures in case it decided to start walking.

Imagine buying kibble for this pooch. I hope she has a truck to get him the Vet.

Giant Hog. I'm sorry, he just looks like he is standing there saying "I wish someone would help me out this damn hole instead of taking pictures.

Poor Moose.... How does he walk?

Okay, that's just weird. It looks like it has eyes on it's wing tips.

Now, that's one big rabbit. Maybe that's Peter Cottontail.

This poor Angora bunny.

Poor little birdie, I bet that was painful.

Okay, that just sends chills down my spine. Imagine that one crawling down your wall.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Followers

Good morning everyone, I have some new followers and I can't find their links to follow them back. If I have missed following back anyone, please leave a comment with your link and I will follow back. I love reading all the new blogs. :)

If you've noticed, there is a lack of posts. I think I am experiencing writers block. With all my new found problems with the house. I'm a little distracted by trying to get affordable estimates and figure out how we are going to manage these problems. I love owning my own home, but it's a lot of work.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is It Only Tuesday?

It seems like it should be Thursday already, it's been one of those bad luck weeks. I hate those weeks. Never just one thing goes wrong, it's like a domino effect. My week starts by me doing my taxes on Sunday and I found out we would be getting a whole lot less back than expected and we have to pay the state, then water is leaking in my laundry room from the upstairs shower and then I go out to start my truck and my truck won't start. So, I have my husband jump it and it starts. That was only Sunday. Well then the next morning, I go to start it and the damn truck won't start again. My truck is an 07, I can't believe the battery died on it already. Then yesterday,  I called to get an estimate to do the roof on the house and garage, because the insurance company is requiring the roof get replaced. They came today to give me the estimate and it is going to be $4,500. Totally insane, I was expecting a couple thousand, but not $4,500! Can we just back up and start 2011 over? I am not liking how the year has started already.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Epic Fails

Seriously, what dumb ass did not see the driveway they were putting the pole in?

When are people going to learn that when your trying to beat someone while your driving  you are likely to get in an accident and it's going to take you even longer to get where your going.

I guess that didn't work. Time to go back to the drawing table.

Next time they will know to use a pizza pan.

I wonder how many people paid $5 for a $3 cheeseburger before someone said something?

2010 Tax Returns

I filed my taxes yesterday looking forward to getting a big return back. Well, to my surprise there were some changes. I will be getting back significantly less than in previous years and we have to pay the state. You can still claim the itemized deductions. They say they haven't changed for 2010 and have been repealed for 2011 and 2012, as well. The phase out law was repealed. I don't know if it was just me, but it seems like the deductions didn' t help as much.

 I was getting unemployment benefits in 2010, they changed that too. They are no longer giving you a tax break on the first $2,400. So, if you received unemployment benefits in 2010, expect to get hit with more taxes. This is the worst possible time for them to be doing this. With this many people on unemployment they are going to pull this. Like you can afford to pay more when your unemployed as it is. Now, you have to pay more taxes on your unemployment benefits. I would like to know what they are doing with all of our money. Unemployment hits employers big time. Your employer has to pay unemployment every quarter and it is no chump change either. I used to pull in some descent wages, so I was hit with a couple hundred dollars in taxes a week. So, the way I look at it,  I paid into and this is the first time I have collected unemployment in my lifetime of working. I just get a little tired of them hitting the middle class so hard with taxes. Who do they hit with the tax increase? The unemployed. Make sense of that one.

Yes, if you bought a home in 2008 and 2009 and claimed the credit. Plan on paying back 1/15th of the credit back. I didn't buy my home in 2008 or 2009, but I really don't think it is fair for the U.S. Government to tell you have to pay back money for a credit they have already given you. To me that is a bunch of bullshit. 

The deductions for sales tax on new vehicles purchased in 2009 is gone. The break lapsed at the end of 2009 and was not reinstated. Boy, I'm glad I bought my car in 2008 instead of 2009.

However, the adoption credit was increase from $12,150 to $13,170. The credit was made 100% refundable for 2010. Where as in previous years it was not.

Also, Congress has passed a tax-law placing more pressure on professional preparers to e-file, instead of paper returns.

To say the least, I was not pleased when I filed my tax return yesterday. We fell in that group that got hit with the changes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Coach Shoes- Spring Collection

Spring is just around the corner and I can't wait. Here are a few of my favorites from Coache's Spring Collection.

Alba Python Heel (very sexy)

New Jody Wedge (Very cute... I want these)

Jody Wedge

Jody Wedge. (I couldn't pick just one.)

Jody Wedge

Jazlyn Wedge. Also available in black. (Love these)

Go Steelers!

E-Trade Baby Could Be Wrong About The Steelers Tonight.

Strange Encounters On The Subway

Imagine sitting next to that on the subway.

I guess he couldn't wait until he got home.

Wow, she's vibrant.

He looks sad, like he just lost a war.

She has a look on her face like, please move over.

What would want to make you wear this?

Big Bird looks exhausted. He must have had a rough day on Sesame Street

Wow... He must have had a rough day at fighting crime.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More Roundabouts To Come To Michigan

Michigan plans on building more roundabouts, saying they have fewer accidents than a typical intersection. I'm not too sure about that. I haven't encountered one yet, but they look pretty damn confusing to me and they don't look like they could help reduce the number of accidents in Michigan at intersections and the number of dangerous accidents. They claim the circle forces drivers to reduce their speed. But, it looks like there may be more fender benders with drivers entering the roundabout or drivers trying to change lanes in the roundabout, because they got in the wrong lane. To me it looks like your driving on a maze and could easily get off on the wrong road or get stuck driving in the inner lane going in circles if their happens to be a lot of traffic and you can't get in the correct lane.  They say the trick is to get into the correct lane entering the circle. So, if you will be turning left, you get in the left lane and if you will be turning right, get in the right lane. Who knows? I guess we will see as more roundabouts are built in the area.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Arbor Mist Evening

Last night was an Arbor Mist evening, before dinner! I am not normally someone who drinks in the evening at home except for when I am socializing. But yesterday, I poured me a glass of wine before dinner. My children were driving me insane. All they did was bicker back and forth over everything. I poured myself a glass of wine and my youngest says "Mom, why are you drinking that?" My 19 year old replies, "Because, you guys are driving her to drink." Then my 11 year old son says "Mom, your going to die from liver failure and when you do, I am going to tell you it's your own fault." Too funny, that shows how little I do drink around the house, they start questioning why I am drinking.

When things get crazy around here and they are doing a lot of bickering, I start deducting 15 minutes from their bedtime for every time they argue and it usually works, because they hate going to bed early and missing their favorite shows. But, last night, it didn't work! They just kept going at each other. Their bedtime is 9:30. Last night, Sammy got herself down to 8:15 and Adam got himself down to 8:30. Keep in mind they get a warning before I start deducting time. They were so angry about having to go to bed early, they refused to give me a kiss goodnight. So, I told them "I love you and I know you love me too." They just glared at me and stomped off to bed. After a few glasses of wine, I was taking the evening in stride and found it inside of myself to find the situation humorous.
I can't wait for spring to get here, so they can go outside and play, ride their bikes and play with their friends. I think they are beginning to get cabin fever. Today is a half day at school, God help me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stupid Drivers Drive Me Nuts

PhotobucketI was driving down the highway on my way home this afternoon and there was a serious two car accident blocking the road leaving only one lane open. The tow truck driver signaled for everyone to stop, so he could flip the truck over that was turned up side down. Here come along two semis driving up the side of the road, pass the stopped cars and go right past the accident. That just really pisses me off, because the lane was only partially open so the cars were to the right of the lane and he came dangerously close to side swiping me and the other car in front of me, because he was trying to squeeze between the railing and the cars. What the hell makes them think they don't have to wait like everyone else?  If I was an officer, I probably would have called it in and had them pulled over. There were enough police cars there, one of them could have done it. People amaze me, they see an accident and they practically cause another accident just to get past it. Nobody likes sitting there in traffic, but sometimes you have no choice. I am sorry, but truck drivers are notorious for driving stupid! If your a truck driver, don't take it personally. But, the people in the cars get tired of almost getting run over by trucks. We would like to make it home safely to our families.

Elton John's New Baby

By now, I am sure everyone has heard about Elton John adopting a baby. The baby was born on Christmas day by a surrogate mother. It's a beautiful little baby boy, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish. John and Furnish said, they do not know which one is the biological father, because they both contributed. I am not opposed to gay couples adopting. They should be able to adopt, because who is to say they can't provide them with a loving home and there is a lot of children out there who need homes. The couple tried adopting two Ukranian brothers who were in a foster home, one who was HIV postive, but were denied. I think it is terribe they were denid. Think about how they could of changed those little boys lives. They could have given them happy lives, full of opportunity. The thing I am opposed to is he put the baby in an apartment next to him with a nanny and increased his staff. What is the point of having a child if your going to pay someone else to raise the child. He wants a child, but he isn't willing to make any sacrifices to have a child. I am sure the couple will have lots of love to offer their child. I just think maybe they should consider moving the child into the same apartment as them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting Cozy

My silly animals love sleeping under the blankets. My little one Sammy thinks Max is a baby & treats him like one. That could be why he is a little confused.

Sasha crawls up and under the blankets to get in. I discovered a bump under my blanket and I thought I forgot a pillow in the bed when I made it. So, I stuck my hand under the blanket and jumped because there was something furry in my bed.

The Stupid Things People Do

Amazon Reviews