Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bob, The Sandcastle or Summer Play Challenge
Quote of the Day: If a man wants to kiss his mom, HE CAN! (Ahhhhh)

I should have warned y'all that this week is our PLAY challenge week. We've spent two weeks organizing and working and I realized that the summer was passing us by.

Yesterday, I did lunch with a friend and then had planned to go to the pool, but the day got away from us.


Bright and early (the ONLY time to do the park in the summertime around here) we met Deja and children at a local park. We were really happy that Jared chose to play today with us instead of mowing lawns! Yippee!

The boys (not sure how I missed Zander and Everson)

The girls

"Bob" the Sandcastle....

...and the Architects of Bob

Arielle and Emma

The adventure of the children having the old point and shoot digital is that THEY can surprise mom with pictures.

De'Etta and Deja

Ah - here's a better view! Deja is a good sport to go out in the sun 3 weeks from her due date...or is it two weeks???? Hmmm...this is almost enough to make me learn how to use that blur feature Kristine uses....how come we can't look as adorable as our daughters???????

When the sun got HOT; we parted ways. Deja to the really big Super Walmart and the children and I? Home to lunch. I ran Jared and Jamin to the bank AGAIN while the youngers were eating lunch. We had tried yesterday to start accounts for them. Today we discovered that Jared cannot have an account - they didn't realize he was only 13. He also can't have a CD. Jamin CAN have an account - he's 16 - but he needs more ID. The 3rd time's the charm....we'll try then.

After lunch we headed to the pool out at the lake. Remember all the time I spent trying to find a MODEST suit for this gal? If she'd quit growing, it would've worked. I need to go shopping again! Or maybe just live with this for the rest of the summer. LOL

Stacia learned a new trick that she was very proud of. She figured how to hold herself and tread water so that she could float in the pool WITHOUT any help, thank you very much! ::snort::

Note the blob at the bottom right corner of this photo - he's moving in for the kill

Lest you think we are always a loving and harmonious family - check out these candid photos - that is NOT her hand at the back of her head....and she went UNDER as soon as I clicked this....

And who are these two names squabbling young 'uns?

It WAS all in fun!

Jamin spent the afternoon at the library researching the fantasy market, writer's agents etc. I picked him up and we went to get Mike. The three of us grabbed dinner and chatted about writer's conferences and agents and getting published...and whatever else entered our minds. Then we went and hitched up our pop up for the last time. We brought it home and it will be heading off downt he road to ID next week. LOL

Monday, July 30, 2007

A familiar - if rowdy - sight....

I've been asked to bring back the "quote of the day" feature. We've been having a LOT of "if a man" quotes. I can't share many of them if I want to keep an "R" rating on the blog. LOL

Here we go: quote of the day: "If a man wants to fold a towel he'll do it the way he wants to" - translates to a ball instead of 1/3's. Mike informed the "young man" that while he's living here he'll fold it the way "a woman" wants it folded. ::snort::

I made 10 phone calls today. That's a great thing for me to have accomplished - because I'm no good on the phone.

Lunch with Heather - thanks Heather, I had a lot of fun.

Back home and two more calls.

Got a Shop Natural Co-op split email out.

The boys filled out student profiles for Worldview Academy.

Jamin filled out the application for Parent Led Driver's Ed.

I talked with Krista - what fun! I love those girls! Zander has been saying all day that we need to go get BreAnne and Krista! My two sister friends both had their children leave home this weekend....one's son joined the Marines and the other's daughter got married.....Wow - where has time gone? Funny how these babies keep aging and *I* still look 29...give or take a few years! ::snort::

Josiah took Jamin to work.

I cooked dinner: Salmon, chicken, steamed veggies, salad, fruit platter

We tried to go swimming but it kept thundering off and on all day.....and I smiled all day thinking of Becky's news!!! I'm going to call you - and you KNOW that means I'm excited!
Sunday Scenes

Too busy for details....

Stacia is our dumpster diver....I've yet to catch a photo of her in action....but she obviously considers the garbage can to be her personal buffet. I have to REALLY watch her.....she WAS grabbing lettuce out to eat....I ran for the camera, returned, and she was peeling a carrot......I did NOT use this carrot in the salad that I took to the potluck....and the lettuce is in the trash because the garage fridge FROZE IT!ARGH.
Mike (rt) and Marty are chaplains....Mandy is well....a chaplain's spouse! ::snort::
Stacia during worship
More photos to follow if permission to post minor's photos is given. LOL
*The Alpine Scandal* by Mary Daheim
This is another Emma Lord mystery. I began this series years ago and am now committed to read each new book that comes out. Emma is not my favorite character. I don't like her morals....that said however, there are no graphic details about her escapades in the books.....just illusions.
I do like the setting of NW WA in these books. I do love Vida. What I'd really like to find is a GREAT mystery series (not suspense) written by Christian authors.....great plot lines, wacky characters, good morals....any ideas?
I really prefer Daheim's Bed and Breakfast series - all main characters are married, they are fun and wacky, I like the cousin/family relationships.....and I just realized that there is a newly released book in THAT series too. Hmmm....I should check and see what's up at the Penn Dutch Inn too.....Ah man....keeping up with these older series while reading newer series is certainly a challenge. ::snort::

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blogger Awards.....

It's always fun to wake up and see that you've been given something fun. I DO have a weakness for cute graphics in the sidebar. ::snort::

Thanks to Sheryl for sending me the "Creative Blogger Award" (details from the creator of the awards). I must admit that I don't feel my blog is especially creative, but I'm honored to be given the logo nonetheless. ::snort:: Thanks again, Sheryl.

The rules for this one are simple (click here for full rules):

1) If you have received an award simply choose either the dark or light background image and save it to your files, then post it proudly on your blog!

2) Pass the award on to five other people, you can choose any of the awards from the series, you do not have to pass out the exact award you received. Choose whichever of the awards below that you'd like to give out. You can give out one of each or five of the same one, whatever you prefer.

4) Please link back to this post so that people can read these rules and so that the meanings of the awards will not be lost.

Without further ado - my list - I could have chosen about 10 blogs in each category...but here are 5 to get you started. FIVE - that's tough to pick 5, and so many could be nominated in several categories depending on how their blog communicates to a variety of readers....hmmmm....maybe they'll be nominated later for the other awards....ah the decisions....OK don't count to closely.... if I'm nominated in a different category I have 30 or so more ideas in my "list". LOL

"For those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for all of those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping others bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others. "

Emily from Emily's 5 Blessings has got to be one of the most thoughtful bloggers I've run into. She sets the bar for quickly and graciously responding to blog comments.

"For those bloggers who inspire others through their words and actions. With a positive attitude, and an uplifting spirit these bloggers make the blogosphere a better place, and encourage others to do the same. This award is for bloggers who rise up to set an example but continue to reach out and support others. "

Lisa from Lisa's Homeschool Circus inspires me to make menus (and sometimes actually follow them) and to clean up my house rather than read the summer away!

Trish from An Ordinary Life Artist really could have/should have been given the Creative Blogger Award (maybe someone else will give you that one). Trish is the creator of the Fruit of the Spirit Graphic and the host of Fruitful Fridays. While this is certainly creative, it is also inspirational and her blog constantly inspires me in a variety of ways; this is the award I will give her.

Debbie from Following the Narrow Path inspires me with her green thumb, her sense of fun and love of nature, her darling children....her blog is always FRESH and pretty to look at, her family is real and fun, her adoption story inspires not only myself but many others who are in the process or considering the process of adoption. It's been a joy to watch your family become a family over the past year plus. You inspire me for having taken on so much and handled it step by step in a very gracious manner!

"For those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. This award is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd."

Jen from Ancora Imparo has a FLARE for desktop publishing. Creativity oozes from her fingers.

Cindy from Life is Good is the creator of the Project 365 webring and the Scrapbook 2007 challenge. Her blog is full of photos and I think that certainly qualifies her for this award.

Kathleen from Lookin for the Good Stuff has created a stunning visual delight on her blog. Her photos are amazing. I love her blog's URL - maybe that would qualify her for the inspirational blogger award. ::snort::

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Practically Perfect Family Day
Mike had our day planned today. We got up and I went to Curves. He changed the oil in two or three vehicles.

We found a perfectly formed exoskeleton in our front yard.
We had lunch and then we went to the pool.
We chased a storm.
The older two boys worked - different schedules.

We got ready for a busy day of chapel tomorrow....well I guess it won't be busy....we are having a "unity service" - so there will only be one service. We'll have a potluck beforehand. Mike will be preaching. Actually, it will be much less busy than the typical Sunday.

Jared and Mike are out running "The Trail of Tears". This is a running route that Jared has created....we'll see what Mike thinks when he returns.

I'm going to go read through the afternoons SHS mail and then settle down to read.
Friday Highlights:

Produce co-op - how can two little words take up such a major part of a day? Do they communicate the fun, the friendships, the yummy fruit?????

Mike had the day off. We got a call that one of our chaplains was at the ER. For a bit of time it looked like there may be surgery. This led to discussions on the fact that lately one of the staff or family member's seems to end up in the ER on every day off Mike has, therefore, Mike should fore go days off for the foreseeable future. Ch. B turns out not to need surgery and is home with meds and such.

We took the children swimming. Jamin worked last night; Josiah had the night off.

Bre called. Krista and Nicholas have been at high school camp all week. They reported SIX new students interested in starting Master's next year. Bre leaves today for Jr. High camp.

I'd forgotten to prep for pizzas - Jamin's done that so many months. We had to order Papa John's - oh the shame. ::snort::

We watched a netflix movie and an episode of Hogan's Heroes and Red Green.
Summer Reading Challenge Book Giveaway

Congrats to Sheryl, last week's winner. Your book is being mailed today. This week I'm offering two used books. These are easily available at the library, but if you'd like to save yourself a trip to the library or skip the library fines.....request one of these. ::snort::

*The No 1. Ladies' Detective Agency* by Alexander McCall Smith. This is a quick and fun read. For a complete review of this book, click here.

*Midwives* by Chris Bohjalian. I found this book to be interesting, haunting, and thought-provoking. I've reviewed it here.

If you would like to own one of these books post a comment below. Please let me know how to contact you (either a blog link or an email address). I'll select a winner sometime on Wednesday - to be safe comment by Tuesday midnight if you want to be considered.

You must be a participant in the challenge - defined by having added your link to Mr. Linky or commented to the original post. It doesn't matter WHEN you sign up - you just need to be a participant. If you aren't a participant now, and would like to be, click above and go sign up. ::snort::

I'll mail either book domestically or internationally.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday???? Shew....Thank God Friday is Coming!

This has been another very hectic week - for us as well as for Mike. We're all really looking forward to his day off tomorrow. He works until 9:30 every Thursday night. I envisioned reading tonight, but needed to read SHS mail, email, paperwork, write a newsletter...... I'll update the blog and then maybe read a book yet! Maybe.

I hit 50 Curve workouts today. My goal is 100 by the end of October...but for sure by the end of the year. The trainer talked to me about my workouts. I've been watching and seen that some ladies really work it - and I figured out what they were doing differenly than I. I go in 5 - 6 times a week....so today they said if I want to keep doing the more intense workouts I need to do those only 3 times a week...and then the other pace the other days. OK. LOL My hip is still giving me trouble (evidenced by the tumble into the cactus and the stiff a.m.'s) but I find that working through the pain in the a.m. DOES help me throughout the day.

Kristine - here's my first thing in the a.m. shot...any hints of makeup are because I forget to wash it off the night before. ::snort:: Can you believe I go to Curves like this every a.m.? ::snort::
Here I am with Heather - my hair stylist......she called to ask if it was about time for me to come see her. ::snort:: I couldn't remember if I'd made an appointment to see her when we got back. She has been on my list for two weeks to call...I'm glad she called and then came in early today so that Arielle and I could get our hair done before SHE went on vacation next week. Yes, she's young, but her prices are good and her work is GREAT. And SHOOT I simply like talking to a 19 year old girl from time to time.
Arielle wanted to go short again. She watched me having my eyebrows waxed and decided that is one beauty treatment that doesn't need rushing. ::snort::
I called around to get the final scoop on how a person gets a driver's license in this state. Jamin thought that he'd studied the manual and could just go in and take a permit test. That's how it works in AK. Not here. I was told that you HAD to go to a driving academy and after the 3rd class you could take the permit test. The class is $340. Finally, Heather (not Heather above) told me that there is a Parent Taught Driver's Ed that the state sells for $20. After the first module - they can test for their permit. It's the same stuff that the Driving Academy uses....so.....$60 for the material, permit, and license or $340? I think we'll do Parent Taught.
I also made a couple of my calls....I really, really, really try hard to touch base by phone but the phone doesn't work well with this active house.
In fact, today, when I went to put the baby down for a nap all "whatever" broke loose in the living room. I haven't a clue what was going on - or didn't at that time because I was determined to get her down for a nap. The mailman and two produce baskets were dropped off during that time - God only knows what they heard! It sounded like someone was being murdered from where I sat.
I got my vacuum back! Yippee! I came home and thoroughly dusted and vacummed. What a good feeling. They told me that I had no choice on the high repair bills because "Kirby has you" and I told them that Kirby doesn't have me for much longer. This is getting ridiculous.
Late afternoon found me ironing a uniform that looked suspiciously like an Air Force uniform. I SWORE I would not ever do that again about 12 years ago....when Mike didn't like the way I ironed. Today went no better. ::snort:: BUT eventually we did manage to get Jared into his CAP uniform and out the door for his meeting.

I will admit that as he walked away from the van I realized I'm not sure I want to be a military spouse and a military mom - he may have to rethink his life's ambitions. ::snort::
Horizon Organics (click link)

5 Minutes for Mom is sponsoring a $300 giveaway of Horizon products. The competition is stiff but we can dream of being selected. Thanks, Jen for the heads up on this one!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Reading Challenge Giveaway

Sheryl has won a copy of *The Cost of Discipleship*. Watch on Saturday for a new giveaway!
Scenes from our Evening Walk

I LOVE W TX evenings!
I fell into these cacti right after taking the photo! OUCH!!! DOUBLE OUCH even!
Dad's Night

I noticed that we were all dragging this a.m. I looked around at 10:00 a.m. and I was still in my workout clothes and all children were still in p.j.s.

I commented, "We must ALL be tired this a.m. We're lazy."

I immediately was checked in my heart and followed up with, "Poor Dad, he must be tired too but he doesn't get the chance to stay home and spend the morning in his pjs. " We set about to make TONIGHT Dad's Night. I called and asked what his favorite dinner was. He said manicotti. This surprised me. It's one of my easy meals. I've not made it often in the past year because I can't find whole grain manicotti shells or even jumbo shells....but I made it tonight. I could tell Mike wondered what was up.

Later we called and asked if he'd rather: 1. watch Red Green on the small screen, 2. watch Red Green with the movie projector, 3. Read a book or 4. something else. He said he'd like to put his feet up. That's easy.

Armed with this info we planned. We bought a bouquet.
When he got home, he put his feet up with the newspaper and Gatoraide (not a regular around here these days).
We found a card that said, "Wow - they don't even make cards for occasions like this". We all wrote notes of appreciation for his hard work that makes it possible for us to live on one income, for me to stay home and school the children, for us to buy treats etc.
We ate his meal - complete with manicotti and watermelon. I continue to be the world's worst watermelon picker but I get an A+ for trying. ::snort::

He napped while we cleaned up - and enjoyed his whoppers (a non-FG favorite that is rare these days).
Then he suggested a walk. Cool - I'll post photos from the walk later.

Back at home Mike played Rag Time.....
Which always leads to dancing!
We ate ice cream and called it a day. We were all reminded once again what a blessing and a gift it is to have a godly husband/father.

P.S. Lest you think we are one of those "perfect" families, Mike admitted to thinking for a split second, when asked about his favorite dinner and then his choice of activity, that we were going to make a big push to keep kitty tonight. When he mentioned that, I asked if I'd ever done that before...he laughed and said it only took a second for him to tell himself, "No - if De'Etta wants to push for the kitty she'll just push without the big dinner. " ::snort:: I promised him years ago that I would try not to manipulate him. He requested that instead of manipulating him I speak my mind and skip the games...and I've tried to live up to that request. ::snort::
Our Kitty Has a New Home

Our kitty is living out in the country with lots of other kitties and horses. Sarah came and picked her up today. When she saw it she said, "Wow - it is tiny!" I was sad and teared up, but it is really for the best. I'm glad that we were able to find a home for him and didn't have to take him to the animal shelter. He was fairly nearly feral when we rescued him (which took 2

days) but surprised everyone by eating, playing, and purring. Beatrix is very happy to have him gone. She's been pouting with her tail between her legs the past few days. She can't HEAR or SEE a cat but she sure did smell one! ::snort::

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday -
PAC meeting (Protestant Advisory Committee). We had planned the pool but it was raining and silly me I THOUGH IT WOULD BE COLD AND STAY RAINY...... but not in W TX. ::snort:: We'll try the pool again sometime this week - it's my Summer Play Challenge...and I must not lose a challenge.

I took Jared to get his hair cut and ran to Sam's for "stuff" while he did that. CAT LITTER!

We played with the kitten - a lot. He was WILD but now purrs while he nips at us. LOL We have a lead on a home - continue praying. We'll find out tomorrow.

This Kitty is learning to read
Zander has named him Nicholas - because he is a boy. ::snort::
Kitty loves to climb up our sleeves
I tackled the closet mentioned below. Jamin made my DAY by cooking dinner...rice, meatballs, salad, fruit, lumpia and something else.

I tried out the new camera!

She was running towards me with the pineapple (we're out of everything but bananas and lettuce).
Taken in a pitch black room, early this a.m.