4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

New Blog, New Name

I moved… You can now find me at http://www.justfindingmyniche.wordpress.com

Leave a comment »

And so the journey begins…

And so the journey begins. To get Zakk a service dog. To raise $15,000! It seems like an insurmountable task. But I know that we can do it. In the weeks & months to come, there will be fundraisers, raffles, silent auctions, bake sales… You can follow the journey here, on ZakksDog.wordpress.com. You can check out our fundraising efforts here.
I hope you’ll join us for the ride!

1 Comment »

That is a LOT of Baking Soda…

This is the kind of stuff makes my house the zoo…

I thought I might get some work done on the laptop today. Maybe edit a few pics, work on a blog post, catch up on Facebook, so I let the wild boys play with (gasp!) Play-doh. I hate Play-doh. For some reason, they receive a boat-load of the stuff at almost every birthday & Christmas. I hate it. It’s messy. It smells funny. But the boys love it & it will keep them entertained for a hour or more, which is like a small miracle, so I let them play with Play-doh. I got out all my fun kitchen utensils- rolling pin, pizza cutter, garlic press… set them up at the kitchen table & let them rip.

A little while later I suggested using a closed pen to trace letters in the Play-doh (educational fun, right?!). That was a bad idea. It reminded the boys of other things we had traced letters in… ah, the fun of homeschooling. Beans, rice, flour, shaving cream… what fun! When they spied the box of baking soda I had left out after tending to the little one’s morning sting from a dead bee (that is another story), they thought it looked like great fun. They decided to pour a little on a tray to trace their letters in. You can see the green tray in this pic…

Although, it does not appear to be in use by this time. This is only the beginning. They progressed from letters on a tray to letters on the table to letters on the floor & finally to SNOW ANGELS. I don’t know how they made that leap, but they did.

Here’s a little more of the damage…

The wildest part is that they did all of that in just 10 or 12 minutes. I gave them the tracing suggestion & ten minutes later they were sliding on the floor (covered from head to toe) & bringing the baking soda to the living room, where I was (you should have seen my face).

Yes. That is a LOT of baking soda.
There were 3 more boxes in a bag on the counter. When the bee sting happened, I was in a hurry & I grabbed the stash of baking soda that I keep for the pool.

It took much longer than 12 minutes to clean up. I think some of it is still settling & I am positive I will be wiping another dust layer off of everything tomorrow. It was a mess. A huge mess. But they had fun. Snow Angels in September! How mad could I be?

1 Comment »

Puppy Love

How could you not love that furry little face?

Rock the Shot’s September Photo Challenge is pets… How fun is that?!

This is my little Lucy. Lucy Lou. The Chooch. Sushi. Beagle. The Horker. We have lots of names for her. Lots of love too. Isn’t she sweet!? This is Puppy Love…

You can check out lots of nifty pet pics this month at www.rocktheshotforum.com. Or more of my pics on my website or facebook page.

Leave a comment »

Caffeine & Super Hero’s… What?

So… another blog.

Blogs are a dime a dozen these days, I know.  Another one?  *sigh*  I can barely keep up with the 7, 349, 226 blogs I follow as it is.

BUT… there it was.  An invitation to “like” my friend’s new blog page on facebook. She is a friend, I figured I better take a look… Oh, You want to look too? Nope. You gotta read my blog first. (Don’t worry, it’s a short one).

I click on the facebook page & take a peek… a heavily caffeinated mommy, exhausted daddy and autism boy…interesting. With super powers… intriguing. I click on the link to her actual blog. Wow… This stuff is funny. and relatable. and I love it! This is good stuff!

So, if you haven’t already cheated (you know who you are) then I invite you to take a peek at my friend’s blog Sleepless In Autism. But first you might want to grab a cup of caffeine.

And to my friend… Great blogging heavily caffeinated mommy! Thanks for sharing your superhero lives with us!


Parental Rights?

I have been reading up on parental rights quite a bit these days. Lots of stories in the news. With the Senate looking to pass the UNCRC, I am concerned about my parental rights or, rather, lack thereof.

What falls under the umbrella of parental rights? Should you be able to feed your child whatever you like? Teach a child whatever you like? Dress a child however you like?

What about things that might endanger a child? What about letting your child swim with sharks? What about denying your child medical care? Where do your rights as a parent begin & end? & who decides?

I don’t know. I don’t have any easy answers. I would like to say that the parents should always have the right to parent as they choose, but then there are the extreme cases involving abuse, neglect, assault. Herein lies the problem… What you think of as good parenting, or even common sense parenting, may be completely different than what I think of as good parenting. So where do we draw that line?

In my opinion, the government should not have a role in parenting my child. The only role they should have is to protect children from severe physical abuse or neglect. I am appalled by the lack of rights in this country. If you think  parental rights are not an issue, you need to watch this. You’ll be surprised. Shocked, even. If you are, you can make a difference. You can let your legislators know that you care by clicking here.

Leave a comment »


A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. I love photography. Everything about it. Capturing a moment, a memory, an emotion. Frozen forever in time.

I studied photography in middle school. I used to love to take my loaner camera and capture the next assignment. I looked forward to heading into the darkroom to work. Even so, and I don’t really remember why, I did not take photography classes in high school or even after, when I took various classes at the community college.

Twenty years later… I was reintroduced to a classmate from high school, now a professional photographer, whom I hired to photograph my children. She is a great photographer. Her pictures just come alive. They beg to be stared at. When I looked at her work, I remembered how much I loved photography.

A few months ago, I bought a camera. A nice camera. Soon after followed a second lens, a boutique bag and a cool wi-fi memory card. I thought I was pretty good to go. Wow. Was I ever wrong… I have so much to learn. But I practice. I keep clicking away.

Each day I shoot, I learn, I grow. I am improving all the time. I will be the photographer I dream of being.

Each day I capture a moment, a memory, an emotion. Frozen forever in time.


Captured on the 4th of July, 2012. The pure joy of being a kid.
“The Squirrel” was jumping into the water and coming up with a splash!


The Zoo…

This is my blog. This is my zoo.

Here you will find an eclectic blend of the things I love: my husband, children & grandchildren, cooking, photography, homeschooling, homesteading, reading, movies and last on the list but first in my heart, God.

I am blessed to have a husband who faithfully goes to work everyday so that I can stay at home and homeschool my youngest children, 2 very active boys known as “Bun-bun” (shortened from the nickname Bunny) & “The Squirrel”. Life surely is crazy here, a true adventure every day.

I have entered a season of my life where I want to learn some new things. This years goal is a certain degree of mastery of digital slr photography. My list for years to come includes sewing, quilting, gardening & canning. So far.

Friends have said for years I needed a blog or a reality tv show. While I wouldn’t mind the reality show payroll or the celebrity billing, the blog was easier to get. I hope that it will delight you, encourage you and entertain you, and always- I hope that it will inspire a chuckle, for laughter is good for the soul!

-The Zookeeper