Friday, October 31, 2008

Sweet friends

Nothing is as fun as a sleepover, if you ask my girls that is. I tend to like my own bed, pillow and the comforts of my own home. I'm more like Dorothy. So, mid week, our sweet friends Emma and Maddie spent the night, and blew through the next day like we were on a sixty second shopping spree. The girls had such fun. Bike riding and watching Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin story was only better because they got to get into the Halloween candy stash a few days early.

Nothing says love like a fresh washed kid. It used to be the baby smell, but those days are gone. If you snuggle just right into the crease of a five year olds neck, and it is not newly bathed, it will cause you to reconsider your role in life as a loving mother. So, after baths, TV time, candy and teethbrushing, off to bed they all went. These are some mighty precious girls. Within 20 minutes, they were off into dream land.

Nothing says crazy like feeding your kids pancakes with syrup and hot chocolate with marshmallows for breakfast. What came over me I am not sure. They were out playing at eight a.m., and I was praying for the neighbors to still love us. Mid-morning we did sit down and get some school done. We got us some Squanto kind of lovin' going on around here.

My sweet sugarbutt, turned 17 yesterday. She is a lovely soul. A kind heart. One whom I fell in love with before she arrived. She is a piece of me. My memories are not complete without including her. She is a treasure. I love you Kelley.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Some might get tired of hearing about Florida's incredible weather that we woke up to yesterday, but it is giving me a chance to be happy about making a pot of chili. Another recipe that is a must for any kitchen is this one. It screams fall. It makes you want to go collect leaves. It makes you want a fire to snuggle up in front of. Does this sound amazing? Okay, so I might be putting a little more importance on this than I should.

But, go vote today. Be an overachiever and get it done early.

Call a few friends and make your kids happy with a playdate in this lovely weather and bring this along to sit around and chat.

Pumpkin Dip
1 can of pumpkin (I like using the pie mix)

2 bars of cream cheese (leave out to get soft)

1 box of ginger snaps

Mix together pumpkin and cream cheese. Chill for an hour. Use cookies to dip. Enjoy.

If you choose to use just the pumpkin puree, you must add sugar and spices. The end result for taste is about the same, but the puree makes it a thicker dip.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The 50's

Without opening the doors this morning, you could not have guessed what the weather was like. Looking out the front window, the sun was shining and it looked as if it were going to be a normal Florida day.

But then, we opened the doors and WHEW!!!!!!!! Can you believe it?

Okay, so this is not our yard or even my kid. We don't have snow, we just have temps in the fifties. So,the girls went running for their coats, boots and long pants.

I instantly knew school would be postponed. So we don't get snow days. We get "let's start an hour later so we can enjoy the brisk weather".

And I pulled out the Chai Tea,(if you haven't had the Tazo brand, pick some up today)added my milk and sugar, and went and sat on the back porch. The weather is such a delightful change, the cluttered porch did not even phase me. So, I guess cooler temperatures cause me to be in denial. But one thing I am sure about, it is...

...the fun group of blog friends I have, I loved catching up with all the stories last night. Real women, real life. My own reality shows. Love em.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Yesterday, Steve and I went to our first parenting class to really get this adoption process moving. I was excited all day, anticipating being with other people who had these common goals. It also meant spending some time with Steve to become better at a task we have been working on with our own two for seven years.

But, the way the day started, I was wondering if I should rethink the whole "add another kid into this mix"...but that story is for another post that includes the joys(or trauma) of teaching phonics. A few deep breaths later and a prayer or two, we got the day back on track.

The girls were so elated to be spending the evening with Kay-Kay aka Kelley, who is the best thing out there next to cherry coke or a shopping spree. But, who would have ever thought the day would end the way it did. I love Kay-Kay, BUT, the remnants of her night of babysitting are still lingering.

It is indescribable.
The stench.
They had a blast. Made cookies. Painted. Played. Watched tv. Read books. We talked. Met new friends. Ate. Shopped. Laughed. Talked via the cell phone for most of the hour ride home from the parenting class...yet,who would have thought I would walk in my home to this...

Poor Kay-Kay.
She feels awful.
She forgot to just push the popcorn button.
"Oh, the smoke billowed," she giggled.
I woke up at 3:00 a.m., because of the stink.

Will the microwave survive? Who has tips on ways to remove the cooked on soot? Any helpful hints are appreciated. Have a wonderful day and pop a bag just for me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stinkin' fun

Our 4-H club, Sky Limit, loaded up some trash and junk that needed to be hauled away. Sometimes help means cooking for someone, buying something for someone who needs some extra money or taking someone somewhere. This time it meant cleaning up some one's trash. This was the day I was proud of my little messy girl. She did not care if garbage got on her, I groaned but smiled. So, with some friends, we headed to the dump. Piles of trash and recycled materials. FUN! Stinkin' fun!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Festival

What says "welcome fall" like a good ol'small town parade and festival? Well, Bushnell did not disappoint. The parade was well attended and participated in. The girls rode on the 4-H float and threw out candy to the spectators. They are both Cloverbuds in 4-H this year. It was a early morning rise, which we were late for, but who's counting. We all went slick headed and a little wrinkly. We spent our budget on carni-food...cotton candy, snowcones, funnel cakes,gyros and bottled water. Yeehaw!

We do love this small town life. Booths that hold the latest knitted tissue holder and harvested local honey. More independent small businesses represented than the big companies. It is nice to know more people than you realized, and wish I had woke up that 20 minutes earlier to do my hair. Friends and locals. Every church and allegiance flew their flag, and it was nice. Politics did not leave us alone, but we can make it a few more days.

Friday, October 17, 2008

GO Mustangs!

This ain't Texas, but there are some folks around these here parts that still like a good ol' highschool football game. JV, even. We were some of those people last night. Conrad our nephew, #51, plays football, and we went to cheer him on.

He is a great joy in our lives, and he makes us very proud. The girls love him so much and smother him, to say the least when he is around. Steve and Conrad have a special bond, it is so amazing and at times annoying to watch; mostly because I am completely ignored. But, it is one of my little treasures.

So, back to football. Only two games left, down we drove to Bradenton. They won! Good ball playin'.Good concession eatin', just call us athletic supporters. Good company. Good cowbell ringin'. Good burgers by Five Guys. Nice pics!

And then there were tears. Oh, Tampa Rays! Steadfast. Hold on. Maybe so.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


What change? I could use some loose adds up and leaves me with dollars. Change in my wants and needs? I always want to be better and want those that love me to be the best...whatever it takes. Changes to the mound of dishes in the sink...oh yeah, bring on the change. Change to my little girls that always leaves me in awe? Yeah, that happened yesterday when Olivia woke up and told me of this.

"Last night when everyone was asleep, I woke up and thought about that man in the wheelchair who needs our help to clean his house. I prayed for him. Then I went back to sleep."

It just made me gush with tenderness at the thoughts of a little one.

Changes. I will take them. Daily. My attiutde. My heart. My mind. So thanks Obama and McCain for spurring me towards "change".

Monday, October 13, 2008

Recess homeschool style and an itchy story

Bike riding, swimming in the pool, climbing trees, and now a new one, jumping on the tampoline with the hose attached to it is the new way to get some exercise in. Yes, with this blasted summertime heat, the girls are still wary of going outdoors. Some days are cooler than others, and it is always promising when the local weather man says we are due to get a cold front and then the seven day forcast is in the low eighties maybe even the seventies.

But, things could be worse. In fact, things were this past weekend. Not to bore any of you tens of people who read this blog, but it has been an itchy time. I never had poison ivy. "What?" You said, I am sure. How can someone "THINK" they have poison ivy and not!? I in my overachieving way of doing things, got a fungus amoung us, and badly reacted with it. After two trips to the doctors, countless applications of every fungual creme there is, and over the counter antihistamines, I got the good ones from the doc. A shot, some steroids, and some strong anti-inflammatories, and I am a woman on the mend. So, thanks for listening. Be glad you weren't itching and scratching. and scratching. and scratching.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tea Party

Wednesdays are usually our marathon day around here. We leave the house around nine, and go to sewing lessons. Then we head off to dance lessons. Errands. Library. Finally gymnastics. We get home around 7:15 and sometimes there is a great dinner waiting in the crock pot. Today was the exception.

We headed home after dance. I was dopey from too much anti-itch meds and I needed to talk to a dear friend about her mother's dreadful news. The girls were dear little ones and let me have some phone time to talk to Faith. If you are a believer in miracles, please pray for Bonnie. She is an example of a woman who serves the Lord with fervor and grace. She has cancer. All over. It seems bleak. It looks dark. Her family feels hopeless. Two and a half years ago Bonnie buried her 34y/o daughter who died from cancer. It is a wound for them. I walked in on little girls who can only see life in the moment.

They were set up for a tea party. Gowns and all. They needed tea and treats. They needed attention. Daddy walked in at the moment when the tea was being poured and got the invite. They put on their english accents, manners and had a blast.
If I know something of Bonnie and her view on things, she would laugh and be thrilled that joy can be found in the moment. It made me smile. Again God showed me His ways. Who knew that 23 years ago, I would love this family as part of my own? He did. Please pray for the family for favor and good news.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Is this how the Israelites felt during the plagues? I believe we are experiencing a modern day act of God. The grasshoppers or locusts, not sure what they really are, but they are everywhere. Let me try and get the idea across.

Open the front door, and the change in air flow causes the grass to take flight. Walk to the car, and they try to dodge your body, head, hair only to fly right into you! Sit on the back porch and they cover the screens. In the mornings, you can watch them jump/fly out of the trees as they head back down to the grasses. They don't photograph well, due to their rapid flight, but if you click on these photos, you can see them better.

Walk across the yard and it's like rain falling in reverse. Clouds of them. The pool has a collection of them floating. Our cat has an unending supply of appetizers. They hop in the car. Fences, houses, cars they are all covered with them.

Our neighbor boy is scared of them, unlike my girls. He wears a beehood screen to keep them away. Unfortunately he has to ride a bike to school, so we see him coming and going with his arms flailing about. Click on this pic to see them in action.

They will die off soon. Maybe later. But, just imagining all the eggs that have been laid in the grass for next springs hatchings, scares the ba-geebers out of me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lovin' school

Friday we had our homeschool day with the co-op groups, and it was a success. Again.

Olivia was a complete kindergartner expert on eagles. She read her book of facts, showed the wingspan of an eagle and spoke with such ease. She was so proud of herself. The group also did fingerprint fall tree paintings, and they were beautiful. Thanks Ms. Dawn. Their treat of bear scat (aka no-bake cookies)was a fun way to have a snack that related to mountain animal habitats.

Stephanie's group gave oral reports on books they had read and historical people from the colonial time period. Pocahontas is who Steph studied and read about. She also read the book called Sarah from the Sisters in Time series. The book really gave her a look at what it would have been like to travel across the Atlantic in the early 1600's. The group made their own coifs to wear, practiced writing with quill pens and ink,and had a true-life tea party served by a young colonial maiden, Taylor. They all became fans of hot tea.You just gotta love this younger sister, coif and crocheting, maybe she was transported back in time.

It is nice to be able to add some extras into our school lessons while still pushing the essentials of math, reading and writing. We are blessed to be a part of this community.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Shared heritage

This is a video of Sarah Palin speaking at Wasilla Assembly of God. I had to post it (thanks Brant) because it is her just being herself. It is shows the founder and pastor of the church which has ties to me. Yes, me. You see, my grandmother was under his leadership and worked in this church back when my grandparents homesteaded in Wasilla, Alaska. She helped with the childrens church and began the Women's Minsitry there. I bet Esther Tuttle, my grandmother would be beaming with pride over Wasilla Assembly of God making world news. I am so proud of the example of my grandmother and her realtionship with the Lord. It was amazing to listen to her former pastor who has stood as a man of God through out all these years pray for Sarah Palin and know how he has shaped her character as well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hunting armadillos

So sit right back and you'll hear a tale....

Okay, so it is not anything like Gilligan's Island, but it is almost as funny.

Monday we had a smaller group left camping. Just the Symonds and us. The girls had decided Uncle Aaron would be the best leader on a hunt to find some armadillos after dark. So they packed up their flashlights and loaded up into the back of a pickup. Off they went. They were gone all of 6.5 seconds and here one came mosing along up to the table where Samantha and I sat minding our own business. He was smelling those yummy grilled burgers we had just scarffed down. He did what armadillos do, he went sniffing around, and then stood up on his hind legs once trying to get Sam into his sights (we were told they have poor eyesight). So after this acrobatic dance of our little armored friend, we were disappointed to not have pics of the dance, this one will have to do.

Off Sam went to get the camera. Off the armadillo went in search for a quieter site. She returned camera ready and he was being standoffish. No good poses. So, I sneak around the back of him and at just the precise moment I clap, LOUD, like you want a light to come on with the old "clap on clap off gizmos" and stomp my feet and holler all at the same time...That armadillo hopped up and sailed right towards Samantha, which caused her to jump, scream, snap a pic of the tarp, and run. That poor little animal did not know what to do. He took off into the bushes, Sam and I doubled over grabbing our guts for laughing so hard. We cried. Had to sit, or else pee. And just about that time, here came the truck of kids and dads.

Out they jumped to tell us of their adventure. We tried to be happy for them. We tried not to brag about our own hunt. They were a little sad for missing out, but they had seen a bunny. Aaron was not to be outdone. He grabbed a net (yes, fishing net folks, the kind you use to get the really big fish in rather than crack the pole)and off they all headed again to find a poor unsuspecting armadillo who was just looking for a few crumbs left behind. Well, success came and he scooped one up, but like all the "big ones" it got away.

Thanks for reading, don't be sad, you too can go hunting for armadillo if the mood strikes. I say, invite the Symonds, it is bound to be more fun.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Florida Aquarium

We took the day on Saturday to go and visit the Florida Aquarium in Tampa since we had MOSI passes and it was free. The whole lot of us went. The kids wore their handmade decorated shirts. One of the best parts of the day was having the Dads along with us on this fieldtrip of sorts. It is a great place to visit and the kids love seeing all the life in the various tanks and displays. The touch tank of rays and of the cold Pacific waters with starfish and other anemone type animals was a favorite. The kids also had front row seats to the African penguin program. There was a spoonbill pink bird who thought she had found her long lost love in Aaron. They were doing the mating neck dance, and Aaron got away just in time. I think it was his bill on his cap that fooled that pretty bird. One of all of our favorite creatures was the sea-dragon seahorse. It was amazing. The underside of the ray was so cool too. The gills, mouth and teeth seemed to be smiling at us. Unfortunately, being around all the fish made all of us want to eat seafood, but we did not give in to this terrible idea, instead we went and ate sushi at KOBE.

Hives vs. Poison Ivy

For those of you that know me, you know I have bouts of hives for the duration of my married life, sorry honey, I know it is not because of you. But really, it has been some hard times of suffering. Itchiness untold. Scratching mercilessly. But, they come few and far between nowadays. Antihistamines help, but they have caused other concerns when taken for long periods of time, so I ingest them rarely.

So, now I have a sneaky tormentor who wants a challenge in the war of itchiness. Poison Ivy.

Yes, I must have found a non-friend while camping this past weekend, and it has taken up residence in the crease of my arms. Yes, the tender, warm area where it can flourish and spread. But, I am on the warpath. I have read 1,001 remedies and tried most of them in a short 24 hour period. I am just hoping none of the other less tolerant members of my family have to endure this adventure.

I will let you know which remedy works. I did wake up to weather in the 60's, it is a good day.