Monday, March 30, 2009

Manatee Springs State Park

We camped near Chiefland, FL at Manatee Springs this past weekend. It was so absolutely beautiful. Okay, so there were parts that we tolerated. The oak blossoms, the monsoon rains that quarantined us to the campers for a night...but mostly it was FABULOUS (you must read that word as if you are singing with Sharpay in HSM2). This is our little but terrific camper!
The spring is about 30 feet deep and called a first magnitude because of the amount of water it produces each day. It empties into the Suwannee River, just yards down the canal. Divers were traveling back and forth from one spring to the other via underwater caves. No thank you! I have lungs and not gills. Also, please do not for one minute assume I went in this 72 degree, I watched, cheered and encouraged.

Stephanie with her eagle vision located two brown water snakes one of the days we were down at the spring. They looked ferocious. They looked like they could have swallowed one of my kids whole. Come to find out, we were intruding on their "private" time. They were not a sweet momma and baby, but a male and female...I guess those Disney days of innocence are gone.

Then back at camp, little Ms. Liv was riding her bike and she ran over a black snake, he coiled up in her tire as she kept going, but he got loose, and scurried away. Thus the snake tattoo, she needed a memory of her battle victory.

Bikes are always a part of our packing, because these girls can do some racing. They are so funny walking around with their helmets on (having forgotten they were on) as they explore the woods or hike a trail. Wonder what people were thinking, I bet it had to do with a short bus.

The springs and playground were approximately 300 yards from our camp, so why did we drive there some days? Well, it is not often the girls get to ride in the car without their seat belts on, or with the hatch open. And, why not share Taylor Swift's music with the rest of the campground. It was some mighty fine singing.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


This is one of the joys of having little girls, loving to dress up. Stephanie still loves to get into the costumes and put them on, and Olivia does too. Although, Olivia tends to love using her own clothes for her fashion debuts. She loves to accessorize. She notices curls, bumps, hairs out of place and mismatched colors. I think with her birthday coming next week, I am feeling the moments fleeting as she approaches six. She still has the drama, tears and emotion that I think we will be speaking of when she is twenty-five, but for now, as much as I am exasperated some days, she fills me up with joy.

This one just makes her feel beautiful. She is my pleasure.
Tonight, she was so proud that I approved of her outfit. Between you and me, I was dying. She had quite the get-up on. We went out in public like this. Head band and all. I am choosing my battles. I did see some smiles on other mothers faces, as they knew it was all great in the eyes of a little girl. I was so glad I did not burst her bubble of "the art of fashion".

Having some friends with boys, I see; but do not really know just how different life is with those little containers of testosterone. Some day maybe....we are still working on the adoption paperwork and homestudy, so continue to pray for us and for God's perfect timing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Spring!

Saturday came and we all had a full nights sleep. With energy like that, a girl must get some work done!

Stephanie and I went to get some plants and we went to pottin'! Oh, it is all so pretty! A group effort resulted us in a house looking more like winter is on the way out, and springtime has sprung.

Before we headed out for boy's movie night and girl's mahjong time, I watched a few episodes of The Locator. Oh, this reality show junky has found another out.

Olivia is about up to 100%, thanks those of you that have asked and prayed. She has been walking around for days singing all of the songs from "Oliver", because we saw the play on Thursday night. Sunday we went to Tampa and saw Junie B. Jones, and it was good, but in some ways so peculiar. There is just something strange about six grown-ups running around the stage as six year olds, and singing like it was a Broadway musical.

So, welcome spring!

Friday, March 20, 2009

2:00 a.m.!

I have seen more of this time on the clock this past week than ever in my life. Olivia has been getting hit with the strongest of her virus' strength at that time of the night. Every night this week it is 3 to 4 hours of dry heaves every thirty minutes. It's been a rough week. But an interesting one. As the week has progressed she has become quite verbal in her complaints and pain. Last night it was not as bad, and I had to hide my laughter a number of times, and finally got caught...oh, she was not happy. But this is some of the comments being wailed with such sencere dramatics.

-I just can't take it, I am not strong enough.
-Doesn't God hear me crying? Doesn't He see my tears?
-I know if it would just come, I would be better.
-It is just not fair that no one else in our family is sick.
-I am tired of walking with the shadow in the valley...(This one I almost lost it on...guess we will revisit that part of the Psalm)
-I just want to die, it would all be over. Well, I don't want to die, but it just hurts so bad.
-You just don't understand the pain.

She finally fell asleep again, and we survived another night.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nashville fun!

Our plans began in early November, and they played out this past weekend. A group of us headed north to attend a Living Proof Live women's conference with Beth Moore. We were able to come home with that and so much more.

A whirlwind trip to Nashville, Tennessee, was just the greatest way to spend the weekend. Five great friends and I loaded up the van, with sugary treats and one suitcase each, and headed north on I-75.
The weekend was marked with comments about the dogwood trees, but now we know they are branford pear trees, three days of drizzling misty rain, daffodils captured our attention too, and countless hours of talking. I think in the four days together there was a lull in conversation for all of 3.5 seconds. It was great.

Did I mention the trees? Oh, we were mesmerized. By the end of the weekend though, I could have scratched my eyes out of my head due to the pollen or maybe it was just my makeup.

We were able to meet up with a wonderful old friend and that was one of the weekend's highlights. Jenny Bruce was a ray of sunshine in a gloomy gray weathered weekend. She fit right in and welcomed us to her home and city. She took us to all the hot row, krispy kreme ( and the hot-light was on), Parthenon, the beltway, a local Mexican restaurant that served the best taco salad I have EVER had. The salsas were magnifico! We hit some chain stores for their good sales, girls and shopping is just plain fun. We also ate sushi like we never had. It is one of those things you almost have to be there to experience, because we were sharing it from one end of the table to the other.

We had some late nights but all in all, we came home rested, renewed, and blessed to have such great husbands who gave us the chance to go while staying home to hold down the fort.
That is a whole other blog post.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Goosebumps and sunburn

The Atlantic Ocean was quite frigid this past weekend. St.Augustine was lovely, the sun was shining like we were in a fairytale, but the wind had enough chill to it, that at times we were sitting with towels on us like they were blankets. And despite the slathering on of sunscreen, we all had spaces that had gotten burned.
Of course those of the young mind, got right in and did not care about the, my toe went in and that was it!
Building castles, and playing in the wet sand was like winning the lottery for Steph, and except for the sand in the suit, life could not get better.
This is Olivia. If you could not tell. She loves the surfer girl look. A lot! In fact she wore this for 36 hours straight last week. She is a hunk of love.

Catchin' the wave. Love people. This is why I am a Floridian. Beach and sun. Fun. Love it!

Old friends new fun

This is the father-in-law, and the princess....waiting for her prince to come home.
The feast. Our adorable crowns. We were cheering for the red knight.
We tried to take him home with us...but his horse wouldn't fit in the car.
Last Thursday we met up with our Maryland cohorts, my roommate from college and her family. It was an evening of fun at Medival Times in Kissimmee, FL. We had a handsome knight to fight for us, and everyone LOVED it! Stephanie felt so special since he threw her a flower.

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Addictions

Some of you might be confused when looking at this looks nothing like my friends and I...but oh you see, this is my about 20 years, maybe 30 if life is kind....but for now, it looks like this and we are a few years younger....this is a new game and a new addiction. Amy and I have got the "case" of mahjong the worst, so it seems, but we have some friends who are not far behind. We did let our husbands in on the game, it took some patience and time. Those two are quick though, so we might regret teaching them...they probably will kick our BUTTS!

Another new addiction is a bible study I am participating in over the phone. Yes, you heard is a conference call session. Last night about 30 women from all over the USA, from Alaska, Mass., California, to Florida called in. We were witnesses to an amazing woman who shared her story. These women are knock-your-socks off great. What a privilege to be a part of it. And so new 21st century too!

Unfortunately another one to add to the list is the Fresh Market grocery store. Friends, it is DY-NO-MITE! One can drop a nice pile of cash there, but your taste buds will be so thankful. I found these new dehydrated green beans and acorn squash that is a salty crispy snackaroni! I am not even kidding. They are so yummy! So is their shrimp and lobster spread. And they have pluots....I had never heard of them...have now!