Monday, February 20, 2012

Where is Pinkie Pie?

I wanted to be sure I told this story about Kristinie the Great because I never remember to write them down. She is learning "Where is Thumbkin?" and instead of saying "Where is Pinkie?" she says, "Where is Pinkie Pie?" Pinkie Pie is a pony from My Little Pony. I wish I could remember everything my children say because they are hilarious.

Today was not a busy day but we could not do school, for the first time since we began video streaming with Abeka! Which was three years ago. I finally gave up trying to get online after lunch. So we had a holiday just like the rest of the United States. We invited some friends over and everyone got to play. Beaker and Beatrice showed off for my sister-friend that came to visit so we didn't even have to worry about conversation! Not that we would have anyway but they were entertaining us so much. And we had a tea party which was a lot of fun. The upshot was we got rid of all the junk food. Being the ever conscientious and polite hostess that I am, I let all the children eat as much as they wanted.

Monday began by making my annual Valentine's Day present for Mr. Handsome. It's been a number of years since I made him truffles so I decided I better hop to it and start that tradition back. I am finding now that the children are a little older I am able to gain back some of the lost traditions we've had. They really enjoy it. Kristinie the Great helped me with the truffles. But, sadly, I miscalculated the recipe. Wanting to double it, I doubled everything but the chocolate chips! Yup, rocket scientist!!! So we tried making ice cream, to no avail. After pondering the whole matter, I decided to make fudge bars. They turned out fabulous. OH - the truffles were supposed to be chocolate raspberry. So for Valentine's Day Mr. Handsome was served chocolate raspberry fudge bars with vanilla almond sauce topped with cafe au lait whipped cream. (It's really just instant coffee in homemade whipped cream but it sounds so boring to say "coffee whipped cream".)

We also worked on valentine's day cards for our friends at the nursing home. My e-craft is amazing. It has this feature that you can multi-cut on it. I can put several sheets of 12x12 paper in the back tray and punch in the number of, say, hearts I want. I don't even need to stand by the machine! It does it all by itself! Here is everyone working on the cards. Notice, Beaker is not around. She is sleeping. On purpose. Glue, paper, and Beaker along with everyone else do not mix. Don't worry! I did not deprive her of the opportunity to make her own. We saved some so she could work by herself when she got up. OH, now don't go feeling sorry for her. THE BOY and her sisters were happy to boss her around while she worked!

Here is Robert and Mr. Handsome working on our Faith pizzas. We worked on the foundation, or crust last week. It was a lot of fun.

Notice the center I-heart-you!! I had to take a photo of that! Oh, and by the way, all of our nursing home friends loved their cards and we were actually two short - that was a bit embarassing! But the ladies who didn't get one were very good natured about it. 

Here is Dorothy at Cracker Barrel. We are celebrating her birthday and Valentine's Day. She is wearing beads from Dollar Tree - our favorite place to buy presents for grandparents or unsuspecting people we love! The kids LOVE to shop there. The beads even turned her neck green!

Here we are celebrating Valentine's Day at home. I found cute little boxes of cookies for the children. They get lots of candy everywhere else, I thought they would like some cookies. 

Grandma's Movie Theatre. You can tell everyone here DOES NOT watch much TV. When it's on they are all glued to the set!! Ha ha ha haha!!! 

A front view. We are getting ready to leave here. See how fast they move? The TV is like a hypnotic box. When I turn it off, everyone suddenly comes out of their trances and back to reality. We headed home to get ready for church. We had a Valentine's Day dinner to raise money for a missionary family up in Baffin Island, near the Arctic Circle. 

There was a raffle for these roses in my hand and Robert was responsible for the tickets. Guess who won? He was so cute, too. He ran right up to me and wished me a Happy Valentine's Day! He's going to make a great husband someday!! 

Thursday we worked on Easter banners. YES!! We got our marching orders early!! I am so excited. Friday Frenzy was a frenzy as usual. On Saturday we got an extra special treat. We went to Supply, which is south of here to visit a little church and hear a man named Dr. Russell Anderson speak. The church was holding a youth rally and we found out so took the children down there. He was great. He is 81, a millionaire, gives 50% of his income to the Lord's work, and loves the Lord! Above is Robert konked out! He played his whole basketball game that morning and they won by ONE point! He also ran the wrong way and tried to make a basket. This is very memorable because I did the same thing when I played basketball, only I was about 15!!! My teammate threw me back over half court, only it was too late, I got a backcourt violation! But we won our game by 2 points I think!

Lindsay worn out too!

Word of advice: NEVER think a place called Seafood BARN will be cheap. It wasn't and we didn't realize it! We picked it out on the GPS because who would actually want to eat seafood in a barn? Apparently, a lot of people. It was great food, though. I had deviled crab, which of course is never fresh but it was good nonetheless. 

Here are the kids playing Simon Says. Our children are up there somewhere but they got out after a while.

And this little guy on the left is Dr. Russell Anderson. It was so fun to meet him. If my grandma was alive and his age, he would be the perfect husband for her - my dad's mom! But I don't think he ever married. His shirt cuffs have Bible verses embroidered on them. I couldn't talk Robert into doing that. 

And the crowning event of our week was Mrs. Coiner Maker giving Kristinie the Great her brand NEW blanket, or mankie as she calls it. She kept hugging Mrs. Janet and hugging her!! Beaker loves to play with the strings on her blanket that Mrs. Coiner maker made her and she eventually worked a string loose and did what every precocious 2 year old (that's how old she was at the time) would do: she pulled it, and pulled it, and pulled it, and pulled until there was a hole so big she could step through it!! We tied it up and called it Noodle because it looked like a noodle. I got the nerve up to ask Mrs. Janet, who is one of my sister-friends too, by the way, if she would have mercy upon us and make her another one! She acquiesced and here it is! Now her name is Janet, not Coiner Maker but when Bea was little (she made Bea one, too) she called her blanket her "Coiner" as in "Corner" because she always had the corner. So we started calling Mrs. Janet, Mrs. Conier maker! She's famous in our house! 

I think that's about it to our week. Robert had his two best buds over to spend the night Friday and Lindsay went to their house to spend the night with their sister. Have a great week!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Living life in the fast lane

I know you're probably thinking I live some sort of clandestine, secret life by the title of this blog, but let me assure you that I don't. My life is too exciting for more excitement. We had a very busy week last week. I actually remembered to take more pictures, too. I have found that taking photos helps me remember what we actually did! HA! I have a photographic memory!! Get it! Anyway, we started our week out rather humdrum and simple. Monday was a slow and relaxing day. Every Monday evening for the past couple of weeks, we have been doing a book from Cub Scouts so Robert can earn his religion badge. Well, it's his Church badge I guess. I have a hard time calling Christianity a religion because it's a relationship. It's a relationship with God through Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins. When we receive Him into our hearts, He sends the Holy Spirit to reside in us and by reading the Bible God communicates to us through the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. So, it's not "really" following a set of rules, which is what religion is. Back to Scouts. We have all been doing it because it's another opportunity to teach our children the Bible. We are using a pizza as an object lesson for it. So far we are still on the crust - which is the foundation of a pizza as Christ is the foundation of our faith. But first, someone sent me this and I thought it was hilarious!!

Funny, eh?! :)

Lindsay decided to make lunch. We had flour tortillas with peanut butter, bananas, and pears. It was very good.

If your children are ever bored, here is a GREAT way to unbored them: an air popper popcorn popper. Not kidding. One of my sister-friends clued me into this. So, Beatrice and Kristinie the Great are getting ready to make popcorn. Take note: the bowl they are using was way too small. I was able to switch it out with only two pieces of popcorn becoming casualties. Yup, I know, I need a cape, right?! :)

Here are Lindsay and Maddie working on our Bible devotion in their books on the Church for Robert's cub scout badge. They look totally bored but they are not. I think they knew I was taking their photo. They have been ruined by a member of our family who shall remain nameless because they take soooooooooooooo many photos! HA! This is their revenge!

And here is what actually happens when you are trying to empty a sink with a little water and a lot of dish soap. Note: I said DISH soap, as in Dawn liquid dish soap NOT dishWASHER soap. My mom told me my Grandma Jones (My grandpa Jones' wife) did this and it went all over her kitchen. And she had a pretty big kitchen! We were blessed because we have a dishwasher that makes no noise. I know, I know, you're thinking it's just quiet. Nope. It makes NO noise. I have to stand right next to it with my ear practically on the door to hear it running. Well, on this particular night I noticed it was making this funny swish swish swish swish noise. And it was LOUD. I told Mr. Handsome and he opened it and lo and behold, look what Mr. Ricardo found!! He was so sweet, he took the measuring cup from me and scooped all the suds out.

Well, here we are at Nursing Home day. I know this doesn't look like our usual nursing home and that's because we are at the nursing home facility not the assisted living facility on this day. The nursing home community is celebrating Pastor Rudy Shepard Day! That's right, our pastor was honored by the nursing home for his 26 years of faithful service. Lots of our church family came to celebrate with him. Some of our friends from Champions were brought over too and I was so thrilled to see them. They were very excited. See the fella on the left closest to me? He is a dirty old man!! I have always heard about them, and quite frankly, thought a number of my dads' friends were of that seedy description (Mr. Pete Brown comes to mind.) but he was whistling at the women and making comments to them!! It was rather humorous but a bit disconcerting! One funny thing that happened on our way out: Mrs. Vicky, the activities lady at Champions, was bringing one of the ladies back to Champions on a golf cart. That in of itself was hilarious to see these old people being taxied around in golf carts! But Mrs. Vicky was driving with one hand while her other hand held onto the walker!! She was "driving" the walker back to Champions! Ha ha ha ha ... well, it was funny when I saw it anyway. 

Here is our pastor - it's a bit difficult to see from so far away - he is holding the red heart. To his left is a guy with a pink shirt. His name is Bob Townsend. He is a newscaster here in town and he is recording everything. Our pastor also got the TV stations Hometown Hero award for February. The word on the street is, the nursing home community nominated him for volunteer of the year and he lost. So they were really upset and decided to do their own honoring. Isn't that great?!! 

Here is Preacher cutting the cake. We just call him Preacher. That's his name to us. He has lots of other names but he's Preacher to our family and lots of our church family too. After the big shebang, we headed to my Mom and Dad's house. We met my sister-in-law there and took John and Rachel for the afternoon. It was so cute. We arrived at the same time they did and Robert ran over to Erin's van to help John out. John jumped out before he could get there and ran and jumped into Robert's arms. Robert got a big kick out of that. 

In the evening, at church, I had the nursery. I do it once a month on Wednesday night. I usually do it with Mr. Handsome - we've been doing it together for over 11 years and I have been doing it for a total of about 16 years - but he had a conference call. So, one of my sister-friends helped me. She loves babies, and this is one of her favorites! She put his pants on and put both legs in one pant leg, so I had to take a photo!! He doesn't even notice. 

One of my other sister-friends' moms is our treasurer for our ladies group at our church. She didn't like the basket to take up the offering, so we found a tin bowl that's been in our church kitchen forEVER! So we decided it was too boring, so another sister-friend helped decorate it and give it some bling. I bet some of those buttons on there are older than me. A friend of my Mom's gave them to me. 

Here we are at homeschool co-op. Isn't this cute? None of the children are mine but they are friends with Kristinie the Great and Beatrice. 

I am teaching a basketball class and thoroughly enjoying it. It's for 7-10 year olds. I was teaching them to backpedal and we were almost done so my helper (also a sister-friend!) suggested we make them get ready (they had to start out backwards for backpedaling) and see how long they would stand there before they noticed I hadn't blown the whistle. It was so quiet in the gym you could hear a pin drop. OH - can I tell you that a whistle has to be the very best invention ever? I am borrowing THE BOY's but I may be investing in one because it is so handy to get childrens' attention!

Saturday morning, Maddie had a basketball game. SHE WON!! And Robert had his Scouts Pinewood Derby. Here he is in his heat - his car went 200.8 mph! His friend Brendan went faster in this heat but Robert ended up winning for his den! 

Here is his car going 203 mph!!! Amazing, isn't it?!!! 

Here is THE BOY happy for his win!! :)

Here he is in the King of the Hill race. He didn't win this one - the top cars were going over 208 mph!

After the car race, we all skittered home to get ready for the young people's group that meets at our church on the second Saturday of each month. Maddie is learning to draw - here she is using watercolor pencils - and Robert learned about firearms from a sheriff's deputy that goes to our church.

Here is my attempt and for some reason, it is sideways. 

After the young peoples' get together, we came home, then Mr. Handsome and I went to dinner. We always make these great plans to try a different restaurant but always end up going to the Bento Box.  Why? Well, you have to go to find out. They have THE BEST food in town. Hands down. Not kidding. And, guess what else? They're a locally owned restaurant. I got to talk to the chef/owner and I didn't even know I was talking to him. We sat right in front of him at the bar thingy. It wasn't a bar as in drinking bar though. It was a sushi bar. Who would have thought? Above is the Miso Dragon. I do not eat raw fish as a rule, nor do I eat caviar or fish eggs BLECH!! But every year (this is from the menu not 'cause I know) they make up a new sushi roll to benefit the ALS foundation. As soon as I saw that, I knew I was going to order it. ALL of the money on that purchase goes to the foundation. I may have drawn the line if there was eel in it, but I was determined to eat it. And I got to the last piece! I finished the last piece but I was in a rather awkward position - trying to decide if I could find the bathroom in time AND trying to keep myself from looking totally foolish. Thankfully, I finished it. OK, so why did I HAVE to get the Miso Dragon you are asking. There are family members that come into your life and you just know that they are going to be there from the cradle to the grave. You're going to see them when they're young and you're going to see them get old. You're going to get old with them! My very favoritest cousin in the world (and I really don't care about my grammar) was that kind of person. I didn't see him a lot but I absolutely loved him. And he loved me. He even named his first daughter after me! I learned to play basketball from him and it's the reason why I love it so much. He was very special. But a year or two before he turned 50 he was diagnosed with ALS. It was so hard on everyone. It was hard on me because I took his presence in my life for granted. And it was sad because I was so far away. I miss him a lot but I am thankful that God saw fit to put him in our family. So, that's why I ate the Miso Dragon - raw salmon, raw tuna, fish eggs, and all!

Here's Mr. Handsome's dinner. It's a lobster roll. It is some kind of grilled lobster that is to die for. It was wonderful. We also had the roll sampler. Four different kinds of eggrolls and each one was better than the first. For dessert, we headed over to Mayfaire town centre and I had a cookie from Atlanta Bread Company. Then we went to Rack Room shoes so I could get some shoes. I got two pairs of crocs. I said I would never ever buy those ugly things. But they had cute ones that don't even look like crocs. So I bought them and I actually wore them to church! And I am an old fashioned church goer. I think you should dress like you're going to see a king because you're going to meet with THE King! So my crocs, which are like those ballet dress shoes, fit my outfit great. And they looked like dress shoes! After Rack Room shoes, we went to Barnes and Noble so Mr. Handsome could get my valentine's, anniversary, birthday, and Mother's Day present: A Nook tablet. It is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Seriously. I thought my cell phone was amazing when I got it but now it's so blase! This tablet is amazing. I downloaded the Bible on it and I don't even have to go find my Dictionary. It has one with it and it just looks up a word when I touch it!! Can you believe it?!!

Well, that's my week. Today we spent it at church. In between services, I went shopping (alone!) and did all of our grocery shopping at three stores in two hours! That is TWO weeks worth of groceries, too! I think I set a land speed record for myself. And I didn't overspend because no one was there begging for things. Have a great week!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Back on schedule - I hope!

I think my last post was Tuesday or Wednesday, so there isn't too much to tell about our week! Or half a week.We had a great week, or half a week. We went to the nursing home and celebrated one of our friends' birthdays. She turned 94 on Thursday!! We brought chocolate chip cookie bars and Beatrice and Lindsay made cards for her. She loved it. We went to my sister-in-law's house after the nursing home and had lunch with them. Then we brought my niece and nephew home to spend the afternoon with us and bring them to church. I was supposed to "help" one of my sister-friends with her class on Wednesday night because our other sister-friend is the one who just had surgery. By the way, her surgery went great, if you can say getting cut open could go great! God blessed her and His hand was upon the whole process. So, late in the afternoon, my OTHER sister-friend, who was supposed to be well, texted me to tell me she couldn't make it because she was still recovering from the stomach virus. Let me just say here, I love toddlers and preschoolers. They're cute, they're fun, they are energetic, they are full of life. But, they're toddlers and preschoolers. I promised myself about 15 years ago that I would do our church a favor and never teach that age group. It's true. I am not good with that age group. And well, having that age group in my house for the past ten years has put me in a position where it's a bit redundant to spend all day with that age group, then go teach them! But, I had a great time teaching them. It was just John and Rachel, my niece and nephew, and Beaker. Beaker's buddy was home sick and her other little buddy had the stomach virus. John is just like my brother. I read a story about a collie and it was a sad story. John nearly started crying. It had a very happy ending, though. His dad, my brother, used to cry everytime he saw Lassie movies!! We would be cracking up at him and he would just be sobbing! HA!!

Beatrice took this photo. It is her Bitty Baby doll, whose name is Sara. She named her fish Sara too. Her favorite teacher at church is Mrs. Sara. Of course, you can see the pattern here so no explanation necessary.

Here are Beatrice and Beaker happy. About 8 seconds after this photo, they were arguing with each other. I know, how can that be? Well, welcome to sibling! It's the age old problem and I think girls are the worst because they take it so personally. Robert will get in an argument and get over it. But the girls will be sobbing and say, "She took such and such 8 hours ago and I wanted that too!" 

Here is John, Rachel, and Beaker. Notice that Rachel is sitting like a little lady. She is a true girly girl. She and Beatrice are buds. The love each other. They are waiting for their Wednesday night class to start.

I forgot to mention that Maddie helped me. Aside from reminding me every five minutes that I was obviously not equipped to teach this age group (this is sooooo ironic because, like I said earlier, I've been TEACHING this age group for, like, what did I say, OH yeah, 10 YEARS!!), she did fabulous. She is doing a puppet show for them. Maddie has such a servant's heart. She loves to help and work. What a blessing that is!

THE BOY is working on his gold award in T&T and he had to make a model of the solar system. I am going to tell on myself but it's pretty funny. I thought we could make our own model but he wanted to buy a kit (good for him! Smart boy). So, we went to Michael's and got what I thought was the planets kit. Let me just add here that sometimes when I go shopping for something, I have to concentrate. And sometimes, when I go shopping for something, my children are so excited that I CAN'T concentrate. This was one of those times. The excited children were winning and I grabbed what I thought was the planet kit. I paid for it, 40% off, and we all walked to the van. Well, thank the Lord, I decided to look in the window of the box. I saw about 15 small styrofoam balls. Now, it's been a long time since I studied the planets but I KNOW there are no more than 8 real planets and one dwarf planet circle around the son not 15! So I read the box. I had grabbed the MOLECULE kit. So, I ran back inside and the clerk helped me trade it for the PLANETS kit. This is not the funny story. THIS is the funny story. After school, THE BOY wanted to put it together. So, he took all the sticks and styrofoam balls out, got the table ready outside to paint. Yup, I'm a party pooper. No messy crafts in my house. Especially paint. So he came back inside, and I figured out that we needed to put all the sticks in order from smallest to largest and do the same with the planets. I saw the directions were on the side of the box. Now, keep in mind, I READ the DIRECTIONS in English. This will be important so don't forget it. The DIRECTIONS were rather brief and did not show how to tell which stick went in which planet. But there was a diagram on the box to SHOW where they went. I couldn't read any of the writing because it must have been in scientific jargon. So we looked at the pictures to determine which size styrofoam ball went with which stick. It was a little bit tricky because some planets were about the same size, and distance from the sun. I kept trying to read the writing but determined it was in French or Latin (this is my rocket scientist moment). We finally got them all straight. I was equally confused because Earth was labeled Terre. I knew terrA meant ground. And I also knew it was third from the sun so I at least go that one correct! After THE BOY took everything outside, I happened to pick the box up and turn it around. Well, what do you know? There is the diagram in ENGLISH!!! I was reading it in the WRONG language!!! I told his AWANA director the story and she was cracking up and told me not to worry about where they were in proximity to the sun.

Friday Frenzy was a fun day. We had a great time at co-op and then we ate lunch, stopped at the fabric store one of my sister-friends works at and did some work on banner fabric and colors. Then headed to band, to art, back to band, and then back to art. From there we went to basketball practice, then home. Are you tired just reading that sentence?!!

On Saturday, Maddie, Beatrice, and Kristinie the Great and I went to a baby shower, the one I made the cute blilt for. Here are some of my friends playing a game where you had to scoop the cotton balls into a bowl blind folded with one hand. I tried but was terrible at it. I also watched this game and took everyones' bowl. It was a lot of fun! :)

Here is Maddie getting ready to play a game. She won!

They had to draw a baby on a plate on their head. Ha ha ha!! 

THE BOY won his first basketball game!!! He was so excited. He told me, speaking about one of his friends who also plays in the same league. He said he and Michael's team had opposite records: Michael won all of his but one, and we lost all of ours but one! THE BOY was more excited that they had opposite scores than upset that his team had only won one game all season so far! What a blessing that kid is! 

Here is practice on our next banner. Satin works great! This is going to be a lily of the valley flower. It will probably be smaller but I hope the banner comes out nice.

Here is Killjoy, I mean Killroy!! She wants to sit on my lap so badly while I warmed up and played this morning in Sunday School assembly but I told her no. She was not too happy with me. I don't mind her sitting with me but she tries to make me play which is rather disconcerting when you think your finger is going to press one key and it suddenly presses the wrong one! Have a great week and see you next Sunday!