"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

September 27, 2008

Our take on Fireproof




We want to go and see it again!!!

My hubby said he never would've thought that a movie with mediocre acting would turn out to be one of the best movies he's ever seen.
It is amazing!
We loved it.

September 26, 2008

The movie to see!


I hope to see this movie this weekend!
Opening weekend is the one that counts!
A ticket purchased for this movie is like a vote "against Hollywood." Yay!
So, go if you get a chance. : )

We are having a homeschool teen game night tonight but hopefully we'll make it tomorrow night.
I'd love to hear what you thought about it!
Have a great weekend!

September 23, 2008

A sweet award

Before I went on vacation Mom to Five Kids blessed my day with this blog award!
Isn't it cute?!

Thank you Mom to Five Kids!
I'd like to give this award to some of the blogs that I love.

And here are the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated

They are:

Susan at Houseful of Maidens ~but she'll have to change that name since she just had the cutest little BOY!!! Go and see.
Miss Sniz
Toni at In the Midst of This Season
Jamie at Little Bit of This and That
Tammy at Butterflies of the Moment
Leslie and her new blog at Blessed to be a Blessing and
Yvonne at Grateful for Grace

You all bless the blogosphere! : )


September 22, 2008

Raising Future Republicians

We went to a Presidential Rally last week!

And I think this will be one of those field trips that our kids will always remember...
-I know they'll remember walking three blocks and then standing for four hours! ; )
And so will my feet, because we dressed up!
I wasn't sure I wanted to brave the crowds but I'm really glad we did.
I've never been to a political rally before so I had to keep answering the kids' questions with "I don't know" and "Remember, this is an adventure."

And speaking of the crowd -It was made up of some really sweet people! It was a wonderfully pleasant atmosphere. Very enjoyable!

All of our kids were impressed by what McCain suffered as a POW as we heard about his experiences from a man who was with him in prison. Andrew really enjoyed all the speakers. He thought they had "good things to say about God and America." Amen.

As we waited for McCain to come out, they played fun music and people hit orange balloons up in the air around the room. (this was Joy and Andrew's favorite part)
Then McCain came out and walked by us to go to the stage and he was probably only 10 feet away from us and that was exciting!!!!
Of course there were lots of people and signs packed into those feet so the picture we took of him didn't come out too well. But if you look hard you can see him. I guess that was one benefit of having to stand. Andrew was standing closer to him than I was with Zach. After he passed Andrew came and told me that John McCain waved at him -which is quite possible because there weren't that many children there. And he's really cute and I would certainly wave at him in a crowd. : ) LOL

~My hubby went to see President Bush speak after 9-11 and he told the kids that half the fun is watching the secret service men. So, we did that too. Their eyes were constantly scanning the crowd. Very interesting to watch. -Unless you are a girl and 11 yrs. old, and then you think they are just kind of creepy. ; )

My friend was on the side of the building that John McCain exited on and she was able to shake Cindy McCain's hand. -Which I hear is very small and well manicured. : )

When we left the building, we had to pass by a line of protesters. This turned out to be a rather intense moment. Some people were rather 'ugly' about the whole thing.
Someone right in front of us ended up being handcuffed!!! I was really glad that I was holding hands with my youngest kiddos at that moment.
I have a feeling that the protesters may end up being what the kids remember most about the whole day but that's ok. It was all part of the 'adventure!'


September 15, 2008

My favorite chicken salad!!!

I wanted to share my favorite chicken salad recipe. I brought this to the beach the other night. It is really easy to make. I don't remember what magazine the recipe came from because I've been making it for years now.

Chicken Salad

Cooked chicken breasts shredded or left over rotisserie chicken
Soy Sauce
Red grapes cut in half

Mix it all together! That's it!
I don't remember how much soy sauce I use. Just throw some on and taste it. : )

I serve it inside wheat pita pockets. OH YUM!!!
Great for taking on a picnics!
Certain picky people who shall remain nameless would rather go for "the peanut butter and jelly option" when I serve this but the rest of us really like it. Let me know if you give it a try.


September 14, 2008

More Celebrating

I'm another year older and today begins the last year that my age will ever start with a 3!
Ahhh! ; ) But that's ok.

We celebrated on Saturday.
Every year I choose to celebrate it the same way.
-At the beach with my sweet family!
I LOVE the beach!!!

We go in the late afternoon, play in the water together, have a picnic dinner and watch a beautiful sunset!It's always so relaxing and fun. -My hubby is actually enjoying the beach now. Whoo-hoo!

Hurricane Ike gave us some big waves to body surf and incredibly HUGE shells were everywhere! (the size of my hand)
We found a piece of board in the water and that made us wonder what it's story might have been....

Andrew had us picking out shapes in the clouds and then

this flew over us! It looked like so much fun. You could tell that he was having a GREAT time flying low right over the water.

On the way out, the draw bridge went up right in from of us, which is always fun to see. Some tall sailboats went through. It was a beautiful night. As we waited, we had our windows and sunroof down. My goofy, sweet hubby was blasting a Kirk Franklin song and rocking our van back and forth. Too funny. -Life isn't boring around here and I'm blessed to spend it with my favorite people. : )



Today is our Anniversary!
We are celebrating 17 years! whoo-hoo!

Here's my favorite picture of that very special day! : )

~And here were are in San Diego last year reenacting the photo with our precious kiddos in it! ; )

My dad tried really hard to get the same exact view. But there was a woman at the edge of that large rock doing some kind of sun worshipping dance for a very long time and we couldn't wait her out any longer! ~Gotta love California! LOL

The kids weren't too thrilled about having to pose in our smoochy picture. : )


September 10, 2008

Our Day in San Fran

San Francisco was so much fun!We didn't have time to do everything on our list, but it was a great day none the less!

Our first mission was to drive across the Golden Gate!
We were blessed with a gloriously clear day! And the view was amazing.
Here are the cousins at the bridge:
The kids and I studied the bridge and learned the color is called International Orange. While we were walking on it, we saw a paint bucket and found out that it's Sherwin Williams paint! -Painter's families find weird things like that interesting! : )
-And the fact that it takes four years to paint it and then the process starts all over again!

We didn't end up walking the whole length of it. It is 1.7 miles -REALLY, unlike that 1.7 mile hike in Tahoe! LOL! We cut it short because we had so much to do. ~It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be for someone who is afraid of heights.

By the time we left the bridge, we knew it was time to feed our gang and so we went in search of Golden Gate Park to have our picnic. Golden Gate Park is HUGE. We found out later that where we had lunch was barely even inside the park!

The GPS was a big help in finding Lombard Street! ~"The Crookedest Street in the World." And for the thousandth time that trip, I was glad it wasn't ME who was driving! I sure wouldn't want to live on that street, but people do and it was fun to drive down it. Now, the hill you had to drive up to get there was something else. Wow! STEEP! Not something I'd want to do with a stick shift. AHH!

The rest of our adventures were on foot. We walked around Fisherman's Wharf and at the Pier we took a one hour Bay Cruise. This was something we read about and ordered online and it turned out to be SO worth the money!!! We all positioned ourselves in the bow for the best view and the kids had THE BEST time. Especially when we were all sprayed with water. They had so much fun, that I'm not sure they even listened to the tour guide on their headsets but we grown ups did.
Here's my hubby and our friend Carlos:
It was great fun to ride UNDER the Golden Gate.

Then we went around Alcatraz which I thought looked kind of eerie.

After the boat ride it was time for chocolate and we walked to Ghirardelli's.

My hubby wanted a picture of his chocolate loving girls here. : )
Carlos, treated us all to dinner at In-and-Out Burgers ~which is the place to eat if you are visiting CA.

~But only if there aren't any run-down looking taco shops around because THOSE sell the best Mexican food on the planet. : )
Anyway, the burgers were great. They had some kind of secret menu code ; )
and if you knew it you could order some special things done to your burger and fries that weren't on the menu! Our nephews were in the know and so all our kids asked for the "Animal Style." That meant that the fries had melted cheese and grilled onions on them. Yum.

Then it was time to walk back to the parking garage, say our "good-byes" and head off to the airport for the long flight home in the middle of the night.
It wasn't THAT bad. But we were really tired when we got home! Our kiddos slept for about 17 hours! LOL ~it was really quiet around our house while I was unpacking. : )

September 9, 2008

More of the California fun

Friday we went to South Lake Tahoe and it was gorgeous!
During the drive up, I heard Andrew tell one of his cousins that "This isn't an everyday thing for me." : ) (No, not when you are a Floridian!)

This is Emerald Bay. You can't tell from this picture but the water is this pretty greenish color that reminds you of the Bahamas! Beautiful!!!
At the bottom of the mountain is Vikingsholm, a small castle built for a wealthy woman to summer in, in the late 1930's. She even had a 'tea house' on an island in the bay!

My hubby's brother caught some photos of a BEAR that was poking around near the restrooms!
Here we are on the hike down, which was pretty fun.

Then came the hike back up. Let's just say, it couldn't have been 1.7 miles. Everyone we saw said that couldn't be true. One man measured it on his pedometer and he said that just part of the way was 2.2 miles. All I could do was gasp out a hearty "Amen" to that because I thought I just might pass out! I had to laugh when M said "I take it you aren't exercising anymore?" : ) True, but I'm going to blame it on the altitude and thin air! Don't ya think that's a good excuse since we live below sea level and the elevation was over 7,000 feet!!! Well, it works for me! -Now, don't ask me how the rest of my below sea level-living family handled it....LOL! (I'll have to get back to jogging)

Saturday was Uncle P's birthday and the kids decorated the house for the Napoleon Dynamite party. 'Vote for Pedro' signs were everywhere. We all watched the movie again. Then the cousins acted out their own scenes from the movie using a Napoleon wig and glasses from the party store... They made some really cute videos with Nathan's Flip Video. So funny!!!! Maybe I'll get savvy and see if I can post one here on the blog.

Sunday we went to church and then relaxed. We also extended the birthday fun into that evening when we eventually had a good time with the Tina the Llama (once a unicorn) pinata. And since this was a testosterone loaded event, Tina became an archery target before she was busted open for the candy. : )

Monday we had some field trips to take! My sister-in-law is a home school mom too.

~Who knew they lived 20 minutes from where gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill! I was so excited. Don't you home school moms get a thrill out of studying something and then seeing it in person with your kids?! I LOVE that! So, we headed off to Coloma to see the museum, the mill and the American River. Here's James Marshall looking mighty well at 260 yrs. old. (ha ha) His discovery of gold started the California gold rush!

Since we were still on a Napoleon kick, my hubby told us all to do a "Kip pose." : )

Next stop was the Jelly Belly Factory for a tour!~But first we had to drop off my hubby and Zach who could not be talked into that field trip! : )
And don't ask Nathan what he thought of the drive! (It was longer than we expected, lets just say that!) But, we ended up having a great time!
Who knew they had "gag flavors?" Such as toothpaste and vomit. We didn't try those.
But we found out that 2 blueberries and one popcorn jelly bean equal something that resembles a blueberry muffin...or maybe it was blueberry popcorn!? Anyway, pretty yummy. And we brought home a 4 lb. bag of 'Belly Flops." -Cute name for the deformed ones. Or as somebody said 'the ones that fell on the ground." LOL!

The next stop: San Francisco...


September 6, 2008

Interrupting vacation posts to say....

Last night I heard my hubby singing..

"It's the most wonderful time of the year...."

and can you believe he wasn't refering to Christmas!!! : )
He meant this


I may not understand much about the game but I have learned this...

So, fill me in. ~What are your family's favorite game day munchies????


September 5, 2008

Some of the fun

Our trip was wonderful!
We feel so humbled to have been blessed with such an amazing vacation.
I want to especially thank my dear sister-in-law. She's so hospitable and gracious!!!!
As you can imagine, it's a lot of work to have 8 extra people in your home for a week. Goodness!
Every time we turned around, she and my brother-in-law were making one fabulous meal after another for everyone! Can they ever COOK!!!
We started out our trip by being causalities of that mysterious FAA 'computer glitch' that happened last week. We were up at 4:00 AM and off to the airport before 5:00 AM. Only to have our flight delayed by 30 minutes which meant we most likely wouldn't make our connection. Then we found out that we were seated in the last rows of our plane, so we lost just about all hope but we sprinted across the airport anyway ...
and missed the flight by 5 minutes. Ugh!
So, that meant we had 5 hours to kill in the Atlanta airport.
Yawn! We eventually made it to CA and then drove two hours and finally arrived after 18 hours of travel time. We were greeted by this sweet sign with all our names on it.
It ended up being a 22 hour day! The kids tried really hard to stay awake two more hours, but didn't make it. : )
My BIL and SIL live in a rural area of Northern California. Its beautiful country.
We enjoyed their gorgeous pool and the lake near their home. We had lots of games of pool volleyball.
The cousins all had a pirate war out on the lake, complete with plastic gold coins, paddle boats and squirt guns.
Next time I'll share about hiking (and nearly passing out) in Lake Tahoe : )
and the Napoleon Dynamite day...
Off to do more school! : )
Have a great weekend.

September 3, 2008


We're back! : )

Yesterday (which still seems like it might have been today)
we drove into San Francisco and spent the day running around to all the fun sights that we could fit into 8 hours...
Then we headed to the airport and caught a plane home at 11:00 PM and flew all night. We landed at about 8:30 AM and not a one of us could remember what level or color we'd parked our van in the long-term airport parking!
Thank goodness for the elevator and the panic button on our key chain! LOL. We're a little delirious. : )
I'll be back with posts and pictures when I catch up on my sleep.