THIS is one reason I am thankful for moving to Oklahoma City. We moved from one of the worst Cities For Homeowner Debt... to one of the best.

According to Forbes....Coming up SECOND was our hometown: Denver, Colo.

"Cloudy Skies Over Parts Of Colorado Consider Denver, where 29% of mortgage holders have either a home equity loan or a second mortgage, or both--the highest rate in the country. Like home equity loans, second mortgages are often taken out for immediate cash or, in many cases during the housing boom, as a way to cover a down payment. Borrowers armed with such "piggyback loans," bought homes without any money, only credit.

Complete List: 50 Worst Cities For Homeowner Debt

That's a good deal when values are rising. When they fall, these homeowners are particularly vulnerable to foreclosures because without any equity in their homes, market downturns put them underwater. Denver has the country's ninth-highest foreclosure rate, despite a healthy economy in which the job market is growing."

I'm enjoying my big beautiful home, and the low mortgage that came with it. See, it's articles like this that remind me that I don't miss "home" as much as I thought I did.

Ps. Yes, I'm alive and no, I didn't abandon my blog. ((SORRY)) I'm not really sure why I haven't been posting, but I promise not to do it again anytime soon.

Princess is in Occupational Therapy and one of the things we are working with her is teaching her safety. Simple common sense things like- Look before you jump! For some reason she lacks the ability to pick up on things that would usually teach other children life experiences. I can't tell you how many times she's climbed on top of the kitchen table, fallen off and hurt her head/arm/leg etc on our tile floor. Yet, she STILL climbs up on top of the table at every chance she gets. (This is an older picture of her standing in the middle of the kitchen table after breakfast one day. Apparently, she wanted a few more bites and climbed right up to help herself)

Now, don't confuse this strange inability to learn common sense with her intelligence. She's one smart cookie!! You see, one of the other things the OT wants to teach her is her phone number. My first thoughts about this were..."She's barely 3, barely out of diapers lady and you want her to learn her phone number!? You're expecting way to much."

Well, apparently not so. After 2 weeks of casually mentioning her phone number here and there, (Literally in passing as we did other things. I just wanted to be able to tell the OT that we'd worked on it for our homework) the kid knows her phone number!!! I have no idea when she picked it up. I casually asked her while we were sitting at the Doctors office yesterday what her phone number was. I was just looking for something to talk about with her. I certainly wasn't expecting her to answer me! She nonchalantly spit the numbers out, in order, perfectly and ran off to play. I about fell out of my chair!!! Just to be sure, we called Daddy on the cell phone and I asked her to tell Daddy our phone number. Once again, she cited the number without so much as a blink.

Wow. I'm one proud mama!!!!!!!!!!

So, I've touched on issues with my 12 year old, (whom I will refer to as Christopher) in previous posts. He can be such a good kid. He's very mature for his age and I like to think we've taught him good manners.

Christopher's really trying my patience lately though. I think part of the problem is that he sees his younger brother NJ, getting lots of extra attention. We've tried putting things in perspective for him. I mean, NJ had BRAIN SURGERY after all. He can't go to school. He can't ride his bike. He can't jump on the trampoline or play football or any sport for that matter right now. I imagine he would jump at the chance to trade places with you dude. Christopher acts like he understands, yet he continues to act out?

Today he is enjoying his first day of ISS. (In School Suspension)

He was disruptive in his classroom yesterday, hanging from the doorways and ignoring the Teachers constant requests that he straighten up. Just downright defiant. NOT OKAY!!!!! Obviously I don't know exactly how it went down, because I was not there, but he must have been just awful for them to give him ISS. The school works on a card system. I'll have to dig out my paperwork, but I do remember them given wayyyyy to many chances before giving detention, and then "Thursday School" followed by "Saturday school" and ISS was the step AFTER THAT. Christopher has never had any of those others. So you see, he must have been just untolertable.

But what do you do when they don't seem to give a flying flip that they're being punished? ...and at 12!? We've pulled ALL electronics, privileges, allowance and put him to work. He had to write apology letters to both his Teacher and the Principle (Our request by the way, not theirs) and must bring the letters home today signed.

What more can I do???

The worst part of it all? My youngest son (8) idolizes Christopher and has been acting up as well. I just know it's due to his brothers influence.

ACK! Calgon take me away please....

1. Do you like blue cheese?
Yes, on occasion. I just can't look at it too closely. *giggle*

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?
Um, no. I've done my share of naughty things, but never Heroin.

3. Do you own a gun?
No. Well, unless you count water guns.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?
I don't usually add any flavor. I just get the Fresh Fruit Strawberry Slush. It has enough flavor!

5. Do you get nervous before doctor's appointments?
Not really.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Once in a GREAT while a hot dog will sound good. Usually when I'm at a baseball game. Ironic eh?

7. Favorite Christmas song?
Hmmm, there are so many. I love the Transiberian Orchestra; Christmas Canon

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Orange Juice

9. Can you do push ups?
Nope, I've got bad wrists.

10. What do you order at Starbucks?
If I'm in a hot mood: White Chocolate Mocha all the way babe.
Cold mood: Strawberry Frapachino, yummy and oh so fattening!

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
My wedding ring

12. Favorite hobby?

13. How do you eat your eggs?
Over easy

14. Do you have A.D.D.?
Sometimes I think I just might!

15. What’s one trait you hate about yourself?
Hmmm, I hate that I'm anxious. A worrier by nature.

16. Your eye color?

17. Name three thoughts at this exact moment?
I can't believe my 12 yr old is thinking about sex, I hope NJ doesn't have any complications everything is going so well, When am I going to plant my vegetable garden?

18. Name three things you bought yesterday?
Hmmm... nothing! My hubby bought us dinner, does that count?

19. Three drinks you regularly drink?
Coke, Water and Diet Dr. Pepper

20. Current worry right now?
Will I survive the teenage years.

21. Current hate right now?
I hate my husbands Job(s) situation

22. Favorite place to be?
Out with my family

23. How did you bring in the New Years?
With my children, we watched movies and ate popcorn.

24. Where would you like to go?
I would love to go to Disney World again

25. Name three people who will complete this?

26. Do you own slippers?
No, I like to be bare foot

27. What shirt are you wearing?
A green t-shirt

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?

29. Can you whistle?

30. Favorite color?
Green, duh notice question #27 above!

31. Would you be a pirate?
No, I can't steal well

32. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Nothing usually. Occasionally Old McDonald had a farm or Bath, Bath Take a Bath if Princess is in the Bathtub while I'm in the shower.

33. Favorite girl’s name?
Mackenna has been a long time favorite. Hubby always hated it.

34. Favorite boy’s name?
I like Pierce, again hubby always hated it.

35. What’s in your pocket right now?
I don't have any pockets!

36. Last thing that made you laugh?
Our Princess

37. Most frequently dialed phone number?
My husbands cell.

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had?
Knee Injury while skiing as a young girl.

39. Do you love where you live?
Yes, I just wish Target was closer! (It's about 12 minutes away)

40. How many TVs do you have?
5, although we are only using 4 of them

41. Who is your loudest friend?
Jennifer K.

42. How many dogs do you have?
1 Golden Retriever

43. What are you thrilled about right now?
It's Saturday and a beautiful one at that!!

44. Do you have a crush on someone?

45. What is your favorite book?
"How does a Dinosaur say Goodnight"

46. What is your favorite candy?
Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles

47. Favorite Sports Team?
Denver Broncos

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
I hadn't ever thought of it.

49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night?

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
"Nice, she slept in." (Which isn't all that unusual except for Saturdays when I WANT her too)

I tag... Cindy, Michelle and M.

Okay, so in previous PARENT CHILD INTERACTION THERAPY classes we have been practicing Child-Directed-Interaction.

Well, we've now moved onto the next phase. Parent-Directed-Interaction. We've yet to practice it in class, we'll get to in next week. For now, we are just learning about it and how it works. Let me tell you, I am FREAKING OUT. I just know we're going to be sitting in the little room with the 1 way mirror for HOURS trying to get our very stubborn, oppositional child to do the things we will be telling her to do. You see, she's a sweet little girl, when you aren't telling her what to do. The second someone starts giving her directions, she totally melts down!! (okay, well not always but often)

Anyway, here is what PDI looks like:

Again, there are very strict things you can and cannot say!

Direct commands- Telling, NOT asking
For example:
"Can you help me clean up now?"
"Please help me clean up now."

Stay Positive (Tell child what TO do, not stop doing)
For example: Child is on the kitchen counter
"Don't climb on the counter."
"Get down please."

One Command at a time
For example:
"Brush your teeth, comb your hair and put your shoes on."
"Brush your teeth."

Neutral tone of voice

Polite and respectful

Always provide a consequence, for obedience and disobedience!!

Now... there's a big flow chart on how we will make everything go together and what steps to take based on different reactions. Instead of me trying to explain them to you check out this fabulous SLIDE SHOW...

Wow. On one hand, it's a strict and very thorough time out. On the other, there are so many rules!! So much to remember. My head is spinning just thinking about it. I'm SOOOO glad we will be directed though the 1 way mirrors. Our daughter does NOT sit in a time out. Her version of time out is to get up and RUN the second you turn your back!! *giggle*

We'll see.... I'll be sure and let you know how it goes.

Princess was chosen as a 2008 Cover Child for Dejah Quinn Photography!

Click the link and check it out!

Yes, you read that right. A teenage monster is brewing right under my roof!!!

"Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind"

That is the book I am reading right now in hopes that I can survive the next decade. My oldest son is now 12. (12 going on 26!!) Everyday he throws something my way and I must step back, bite my lip and contemplate how I will react. Everyday, I feel like I'm getting in more and more over my head.

You see...
I can handle newborns, the getting up every hour through the night and wandering around sleep deprived, covered in spit-up.

I can handle toddler temper tantrums in the middle of Walmart. The glares and stares that come along with it.

I can handle the Grade School age sassing, tattle-tailing and back-talking.

Unfortunately, I think I've finally met my match. The TWEEN (or pre-teen) child has my mind going in back flips. I am so afraid to say the wrong thing or make the wrong decision!! He really seems crazy, and according to the book, he is in every sense of the word. They promise me he will outgrow it. That's great, but what am I supposed to do with him in the meantime?? I'm contemplating tying him to the bed for the next 6 years.


... oh you thought I was kidding? Perhaps I can place an ad in the paper. I can see it now:

Know it all, tantrum throwing, unappreciative, selfish, rude, stubborn, foul-mouthed boy available. We're told he will someday grow to be a nice young man.*

All sales final! I will not provide any guarantees or warranty. Proceed at your own risk.

Any takers?? Oh, come on! It will be great practice for the day your innocent, angelic little tikes turn into crazy teenage monsters.


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