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

December 29, 2010

New traditions for Christmas

We started these last year and enjoyed them again this year:

1. Eat at Cracker Barrel right before Christmas and let the kids pick out a new ornament. (they are 50% off) I'm getting a late start on this tradition, but when the kids leave home they will have a cute assortment of ornaments of their own to take with them.

2. Go see a movie on Christmas! : ) Fun and relaxing way to end a wonderful day!

New this year:

3. Visit the After Hours Urgent Care off on Christmas Day. -Not to be repeated! LOL


December 26, 2010

Christmas wrap up

We had a JOYFUL Christmas as you can see here:

11 year old boys and remote control helicopters are just MADE for each other!
~And 2 year replacement warranties are MADE for mommies! (especially when they brake after 30 minutes!)

We enjoyed the Christmas Eve candle light service last night and then Carlos spent the night with us which always multiplies the fun!

After lots of present opening fun and breakfast, we worked on the new web cam. We are planning to Skype with all the California family we can 2011.

Then it was off to see Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Not as good as the book but what movies are? Still very enjoyable.

Yesterday Joy showed us a spider bite or a bug bite of some kind that looked like it might be infected. We were going to see a doctor on Monday, but then realized it couldn't wait. The area around it was hot, red, hard and spreading (softball size)and after the movie she had a high fever! : (

So, then it was off to After Hours Urgent Care where there were lots of sick, crying babies on Christmas. We had quite a wait and she fell asleep on the table watching UP. Then they stuck the bite and squeezed it!!!!! Which equaled AGONY for poor Joy, otherwise known as "taking a culture sample." We asked our brave girl what we could do her for her after having to endure this on Christmas and she said a new stuffed animal would help. : )
When it was all over, Daddy and Carlos made sure she had the biggest teddy bear that they could find.
And not just one,

but two!

She fell asleep shortly after while she and I were listening to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, on tape. A family favorite! (boy, do those "Herdmanns" stress me out) lol

In the mean time, this sweet guy

cooked our Christmas dinner for us and saved the day! Thanks Zac! You're my Christmas hero!

We had a chocolate cheesecake for dessert which was a first for me and it turned out rather flat but yummy. Now that I own my first spring form pan, I can't wait to try making lots more recipes!

Joy is sleeping and all my guys are watching some violent xmen-wolverine thing! lol
-Not my idea of a Christmas movie! ; ) I think I'm going to call it a day.

Good night and I hope yours was merry too!


December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

(I'm the short one!) lol : )


December 22, 2010

Gingerbread houses yet again!

A family tradition:

enjoyed with friends.


December 20, 2010

Honey, I'm home!

This is my favorite part of every day!
I love this guy!

December 17, 2010


Nathan turned 16 on Saturday! : )

One of his best friends threw a surprise party for him at Steak and Shake.
Here is his cute, surprised face

as he walked into the restaurant
and saw 20 friends, 5 family members and two grandparents! : )

It was a great big party with a gazillion milk shakes and tons of fun!

I was a nervous wreck getting him to the restaurant and trying to act natural. lol
Glad it was a huge success!!!


December 15, 2010

Wednesdays in the Word

Oh, if there's anything that drives our kids crazy, it is when they think someone is copying them!

I've told them this Anne of Green Gables quote many times:
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," but to no avail.

Today, while reading my Bible, I was reminded that we are actually called to be copycats! : )

"Be imitators of God as dearly loved children." Eph. 5:1
"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." 1 Cor. 11:1
"Beloved do not imitate what is evil but what is good." 3 John 6:11

Christ following copy cats! : )

December 12, 2010

Tis the season for...

~Drinking Spiced Carmel hot chocolate from Sonic. It WAS the season for lemon-berry slushes from Sonic only a week ago when it was 85 degrees outside but now it is absolutely freezing here, so this is my new favorite.

~Reading and rereading classics. I've recently re-read the original In His Steps. Love that book. It brings living for Christ into focus. I read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry and a Door in the Wall for the first time and enjoyed them.

~Egg nog and Christmas devotionals. I've put a bunch of quotes on spiritual/Advent thoughts in a stocking and each night one of the kids picks one out and tells us what they think about it and we discuss it. The kids love it.

~Visits from relatives. My father-in-law and his sweet wife are here visiting us. Unfortunately we don't have any wonderful warm Florida weather to offer them. It was actually colder here than in Denver when they arrived. How weird is that?

~Fun with friends. We went to see Megamind last weekend in 3D. What a fun movie!!! My BFF and I were about rolling with laughter in our seats. (maybe the fact that it was SO late at night contributed but it was really cute and funny) When I bought my ticket at the box office, the girl said "That will be $14.00" and I said "Oh, I just want one ticket." And she had to tell me that WAS the price for one ticket. WHOA! Guess that proves I don't get out much.

~Birthdays! As I said, we have 4 in our family this week. So, there's been lots of celebrating and EATING. Way too much eating. Today actually doesn't happen to be anyone in the family's birthday but my father-in-law is taking us out for a steak dinner anyway. -Our kids first time eating at Outback. Yummo!

~Time off! My hubby had to spend the majority of this year being concerned about being laid off. Therefore he didn't take any days off and he missed our trip to San Diego. God has been miraculously faithful to the builder he works for and it looks as though he'll be able to stay employed after all. Yippee! All that to say, my hubby has been home most of this week and able to enjoy his dad's visit and has more time off to look forward to during the holidays. Yay!


December 9, 2010

Decorating woes

I like to decorate the outside of our house with white icicle lights, a wreath and some bows on the gate....But I guess that isn't enough for my neighbor.

Last year she gave us her lighted Santa Claus riding a bike to put in our yard and somehow it got placed in the attic and never saw the light of day.

Until today...

when she called and wanted to know where it was and why we hadn't put it up....
Uh Oh!
But, we found it.
And unfortunately it even worked.
It looks like it is at least 25 years old!
And why would Santa be riding a bike anyway?!

To makes sure that we actually put it up this year, she actually offered to come over and HELP set it up. SHE is 81!
You know you have lost the battle when an 81 year old woman is offering to help put up Christmas decorations for you. LOL

And so, guess who is RIDING in my yard now?
My hubby keeps joking that he's going to take my picture next to it and send it out as our Christmas card! Ha! I don't think so. ; )


December 5, 2010

Happy News

My father-in-law and his wife are coming to visit us! Hooray!
They were going to visit us in March, but a few days before the trip, my brother-in-law had a stroke. (He is doing well and living with my other brother-in-law and his wife now)

They are coming for what we call 'birthday week' and we are so excited!!!
On Tuesday, they will fly in and we will celebrate my hubby's birthday and then on Thursday we will celebrate my father-in-law's and on Saturday, we will celebrate Nathan's 16th. Yay!
(wishing MY dad was going to be here too. His birthday is on Wednesday!)

Looking forward to a fun week celebrating some wonderful men!


December 2, 2010

Our day at the mall

Do you have the Sincerely Santa program in your city?
I read about it recently and signed up Nathan and one of his friends to be apart of it since they both need community service hours. It is a great cause.

Here is how it works: Children from needy families write letters to Santa asking for whatever it is they want. Their letters are in notebooks at a Sincerely Santa booth in the mall. You can read the letters and choose a child to help this Christmas and it is pretty convenient to make their wish list come true since you are already at the mall...-But look out for the guy selling hair straighteners! LOL! Oh my stars! Before I knew what happened he had my hair in his hands and he straightened one side and my head and CURLED the other. Ugh!!! It was rather frightening!

Anyway, the letters were really sweet. I picked Morgan who is 6 and said she needs help with her spelling. She wants to be a bus driver someday. She wanted the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid and a toy school bus.
Another letter I read said "I would like a bike. I know I was bad but just this year can I have one?"
There was one that asked Santa to make them "a better person and please help my mom pay the bills." : (

Glad we had a chance to be involved.


December 1, 2010

End of the year events

So, my brain is only half-way functioning and I'm seriously not sure what day of the week it is.
The youth group did an "All-Nighter" aka a "lock in" last night.
I swore to avoid those like the plague back when we were leading a youth group, but now I'm the one with the teens and couldn't resist the plea for more leaders to help out. It turned out to be the best one I've ever been to! Here's what I learned: make sure there is no down time and the night will fly by! : ) We played pillow fight soccer, toilet paper dodge ball, saw Tron in 3D, went to Bounce U, (an inflatables place in town) and played laser tag in the church building! Lots of crazy fun!

Got home at 7:30 AM and went to bed until 3:00 PM. Most of our kids woke up soon after, except for Andrew who got up at 5:30 PM and asked me if the clocks were all wrong. LOL! Bless his heart. One of the boys told him "No, it is your clock that's off." ; )
I have no idea what time people will head to bed tonight, but my guess is that they won't have any trouble ringing in the new year tomorrow night. We'll be having dinner and a bonfire with a bunch of friends from church.

My hubby took me out shopping to help him pick out some new dress shoes with his Christmas money and to dinner with one of our gift cards. Nice, relaxing fun!

My sweet dad is having emergency bypass surgery this very night, so he has been on our minds and in our prayers all evening. I know I'll sleep better when I hear that all went well but that won't be until about midnight or so.


November 30, 2010

The birthday ride

We celebrated Joy's 14th birthday by horseback riding!

And I learned the hard way that it is better not to eat a big breakfast and a cup of hot chocolate right beforehand. ; )


Somehow I got yelled at twice by the trail guide. Speaking of which, doesn't 'trail guide' imply that they lead you down the trail? Because ours didn't. She followed us from behind. Which was all good until my horse, who had issues about turning to the right, was in the lead....

Trail guide: "Hey you in the plaid! Your saddle is slipping to the left!"

And just maybe this was why:

I had Kodak moments to catch!

To remedy my slipping saddle, the trail guide had me stand up in my right stir up only, then lean to the right while yanking on the saddle horn. It was so hard! It was like a crazy balancing act. I had to do it 4 times before I finally moved my saddle a satisfactory amount to the right. Then I spent the rest of the hour and even part of my drive home feeling the need to lean to the right. lol

Then I decided to take pictures over my shoulder lest I mess up my saddle again....

which didn't work out too well. ; )

When my horse stopped and I couldn't get him moving, I got yelled at some more. "Kick your horse hard! I kick harder than you do and I have stir ups on!!!" Alrighty then!
I tried to kick harder and said "Ye haw" and "Giddy up" and other things that meant nothing to Cash, my horse. Apparently he only responds to yelling that sounds German, a whole lot of hissing and kicking with spurs. Who knew?

For the most part the horses stuck to the trail.

That was about the time that I was thinking, if I ever come here again, perhaps on a date with my hubby, maybe we can do without the grumpy trial guide. He is from Colorado and knows a thing or two about trails and horses. And just at THAT time is when my horse was in the lead and didn't want to go to the right. Then all our horses came to a stand still and then headed to the section of the park that was off limits and under construction and had all these warning signs about power lines.

(more than a little freaky)

And then there was more yelling from behind about kicking our horses and turning right which us humans were all for, but the horses weren't. Go figure!

Then the trail guide said she thought we could go that way, meaning the way that was off limits,

"if no one sees us."

Whoa! Trying not to panic and think about being toasted by power lines and never seeing my hubby again, I really got after Cash about turning to the right. We ended up getting all our horses back on the trail after that. Thank the Lord. Cash turned out to be a much better follower than he was a leader.

Eventually we got back to the stables where we thanked and tipped our trail guide. How much are you suppose to tip trail guides anyway? I'm clueless but I gave her what iI thought was a good tip because I knew we/the horses had stressed out that poor girl more than usual. Maybe the yelling was my clue. lol Anyway, she said she hoped that "in spite of it all that we had fun." My BFF smiled and then whispered to me and said that she wasn't exactly sure she would really go so far as to call it "fun." ; )

Definitely memorable!

And I'm glad that the birthday girl had a great horse without any issues!


November 27, 2010

The Thanksgiving weekend

-Spent the holiday with some interesting new friends and some VERY special long-time friends that I never pictured spending Thanksgiving with. God does amazing things doesn't He?

-Only cooked green beans, mashed potatoes, pumpkin crunch cake and peanut butter pie. I got off really EASY!

-Enjoyed the beach which I've never been to on Thanksgiving before and the house we stayed at on the inlet had a beautiful view

-Slept on a $6000 mattress! Found out that a vibrating bed gives me a stomach ache. LOL -Or maybe that was from eating too much? Anyway, I like my mattress better.

-Enjoyed watching 6 kids who all grew up together as neighbors, play bad mitten

-Headed home the next day and took a NAP

-Hubby took me for a 'Christmas tree picking date' and I actually picked the first one we saw! It was a Christmas miracle, for sure.

-Joy and my BFF's daughter decorated the house and the tree and Nathan made us all brownies. Zac set up the tree for us.

- Andrew and my BFF's son were happy to go to another meeting and be treated to more desserts by her Realtor. lol

-We ate the yummy leftovers that our friends sent us home with and then watched The Ultimate Gift with our friends. (one of Nathan's favorites) Do see it!

-Slept in! Hooray! And spent some much needed extra time with the Lord. Double hooray!

-Went shopping for more Christmas lights, since it apparently takes at least 4 boxes to almost do the front of our house.

-My hubby bought me 5 poinsettias in exchange for a Christmas kiss. He's so cute.

-Took our boys to meet their friends and our younger ones went to a lights display and the world's largest McDonalds with my BFF.

-Made my hubby walk around the Cracker Barrel gift shop because I love that place at Christmastime...He deserved some more Christmas kisses for that, ; ) but got a new gigantic coffee mug instead. lol

-Ate more leftovers and watched To Save a Life. A must see movie for all teens. (needs some fast forwarding in a couple places though)

-Enjoyed our worship service and it was an extra blessing to hear the youth worship band play one of the songs. I'm crazy about that drummer and the keyboardist.

-Had some car trouble and some car repairs, thanks to our dear friend, Carlos.

-Ate MORE leftovers and that about sums it up. Next stop -Christmas!


November 22, 2010

I know it is a tad bit early...

Dear Santa,

I could really use three new bar stools for Christmas. I know that you don't really need any help but I thought this link CSN Stores might make things easier on you not to mention their bar tables and stools are SUPER cute! : )


November 19, 2010

The goings-on

Lots of celebrating going on here this weekend since there are two birthday girls in the house.

My BFF's daughter is turning 16 on Sunday and Joy is turning 14 on Monday!

Tonight, the girls will be going out to eat, shopping, reading at Barnes and Noble and drinking something yummy. Tomorrow for Joy's birthday, they will be going to breakfast and horseback riding! Saturday night we'll be having a family party with the birthday girls' favorite meal/s. So, the menu is going to be chicken enchiladas and smoked salmon among other things.

Our friends have found a house! I'll get to see it on Sunday after church.
Both of our boys have enjoyed all the meetings with the realtor. I imagine realtors must write off desserts fed to perspective buyers sons and their best buddies. -So far they've been to McDonalds, Panera and Applebees. LOL
-And they are up for more meetings to sign papers if need be. ; )
The house they are buying sounds wonderful. It is in a cute subdivision, has a loft, a community pool and surprisingly everyone's favorite part is

the view



grazing in the distance.

(have a I mentioned that they are from Texas? LOL That is explains it right?)

Tonight they moved into a furnished rental house. They will have fun staying there until they get the house because it is one ADORABLE little cottage with a pool. (some days are still really warm here, so they may even get to use it)

~And so ends their stay with us. It was a fun 3 to 4 weeks and we all got along fabulously well because we love each other. : )
-Otherwise 9 people in 1600 sq ft might've been hard, but it wasn't.

It was a special time that we will all remember fondly.
(especially for its lack of hot water) LOL


November 18, 2010

Youth band

Our boys are in the youth group's worship band. Here are some awesome pictures taken by one of the students of last week week.

Zac on the drums
Nathan on the keyboard and synth

I'm one blessed mom and youth worker to worship with them every week!

November 15, 2010

A letter from?

Andrew brought in the mail yesterday and said:

"Dad got a letter from his psychiatrist!" LOL

Me: "Dad doesn't have a psychiatrist!"

Andrew: "OK, well, then it is from his therapist." (too funny)

Finally having figured it out, I said:

"Dad doesn't have a therapist either. : ) I think the word you are looking for is chiropractor." LOL!

But on a more serious note, if you are a Christian then you know that Jesus -your Great Physician, really is your psychiatrist and therapist. : )
He meets all of our needs!
And without HIM in my life, I'd surely be a mess.


November 11, 2010

New to caller i.d.

When my kids saw this old 60's set of movies, one of them being The Computer that wore Tennis Shoes, they heard a funny phone joke that they've never forgotten.

But first I have to say that we NOW have caller i.d. for the first time -because we are so up with the times (not!) and since it said 'unknown,' Joy was sure that meant a solicitor was calling. So, she didn't say the usual "Hello, this is the (our last name) residence," like she usually does. (I should probably mention here that I wasn't home) ; )

She put it on speaker phone and said:

"Sherwood Forrest, Robin Hood speaking."

And without missing a beat, my MOM said
"Hello, Robin Hood, this is Gramma Pat"
and on they went with their conversation....

Nathan said she is the coolest grandma ever for playing along) : )

They had a good conversation and Joy never said the rest of the 'joke' which was is:

"Congratulations, you win the prize, how would like your sheep dog wrapped?" But she is hoping to say it to the next solicitor, if I'm not around. LOL
My apologies in advance to the Cancer Foundation. ; )


November 8, 2010

This weekend

~Hubby and I went to USF to scope out where the SAT was being held in the morning so that he and Zac wouldn't have any trouble finding it at 6:45 am. We had to pause and remember the last time we were on a college campus together 20+ years ago holding hands...fun!

~Zac said the test was SO hard, but he's excited about taking it again next month.

~Watched Joy's last soccer game. She ended up having to play for both teams since both sides were short some players. This made it hard to answer the question -Did your team win or loose? LOL

~Our friends from CA came and Joy had quite the cheering section. We stayed for the picnic and my BFF took ALL the other kids house shopping with her.

~Went home and did lots of cleaning

~Threw a birthday party for my hubby's BFF. Had a great time!

~Helped in the nursery at church. 7 babies = AHHHH!!! Very thankful my BFF was with me and love babies too.

~Had company along with our company for lunch

~Took Nate to my friend's house to give a piano lesson

~Enjoyed church immensely, as always

~Had fun with our friends at Taco Bell, drank Mexican hot chocolate and went to bed.

~Enjoying our houseful of company!


November 4, 2010


We are enjoying our houseful of company.

I've had the fun challenge of adding two more students to my homeschooling days.

Andrew is enjoying his best buddy being here 24/7. The two of them talk 24/7 too.

Unlike Andrew, Joel likes EVERYTHING I cook which makes him a very fun guest.

I'd rather not remember that the rope on our tree swing broke while Joel was swinging on it and that he passed out afterwards because it totally reminds me of the time my nephew fell off the swing and broke his arm. I think it is time to retire that swing, lest I pass out from all the drama it has caused me. Ahh!

We had my BFF's nephew here with us for a few days during this transition time.(he lives with her family) He and my boys had a great time jamming on their instruments and making a "screamo" video. (really hoping he doesn't teach my boys how to sing 'screamo' or I may scream) ; )

Joy went house hunting with Marcie today. She proved that she's her father's daughter when she pointed out that the previous owners totally painted this room of the house themselves and did a bad job of it. (and could explain what they did wrong) How cute is that? And apparently the real estate agent is in need of a painter and asked for her dad's number. LOL

Looking forward to adding their daughter to the houseful this weekend when she flies in. -Joy is counting the days! There has been A LOT of testosterone in this house this week. : )


November 3, 2010

Pumpkin bread

Making some more chocolate chip pumpkin bread,
because it just isn't right when the bread winner doesn't get a piece. : )

Happy Fall!

October 30, 2010

A new season for old friends

Every couple of months it seems like I've been blessed to see my best friend lately...

Well, I'm about to have the immense blessing of having her live in the same state and almost the same county and I can hardly believe it.

We've been praying for God to direct them in this next season of their lives and although we've often hoped they would end up here, it has never worked out. But this time the Lord has sent them our way and as I said, I can hardly believe it.

But, it is true and she will be here soon after driving all the way across the country. (her hubby will follow in about a month)

She's had a few delays and my kids are about to drive me crazy if they don't see hers in the next hour or so, because they've been hoping to see for the last 24 hrs. Thankfully, my hubby has loaded them up and taken them out for slurpees. I guess this makes the kids and I even, because I've driven THEM crazy with all the cleaning, since she and her kids are staying here while they relocate. I can't offer them a big spacious house, at least I can offer a cozy, CLEAN one, right?

Can't wait to see what great things the Lord has in store for these precious servants of the Lord. And for the first time, my hubby and I will have a close up view! : ) Hooray!



Oh, how I love this man!!!! : )


October 26, 2010

All sorts of randomness

I think I have a blog design I can live with for now even though the blog is still being held captive by the Blogger's Template Designer and won't let me go back to anything else...Rats!
-And speaking of those, ours hasn't been caught yet! Boo-hoo! It is causing me all manner of stress!!!

On to happier subjects...

~There are exciting things brewing but we aren't a liberty to talk about them yet. But when I can, I will. : )
~The youth retreat was incredible! I am still hearing stories about lives changed for eternity! Thank the Lord!
~Andrew is going to be in his first spelling bee in a couple weeks and Zac is going to take the SAT for the first time next week.
~I made some chocolate chip pumpkin bread because Becky at keystothecottage mentioned it several times and I couldn't get it out of my head. : ) Thanks Becky!
I LOVE to bake. I told my hubby that it is therapeutic. He thinks football is therapeutic. Our 'therapies' should probably unite for a yummy football party some time soon.
~The kids' church band got started again and since its former leader is a dad of a traveling soccer player, my hubby was asked to lead it. He and Andrew are really excited about it and I think the other middle schoolers in the band are too.
~Life is pretty much about music around here, unless you are Joy and then it is about soccer! Zac and Nate are still in the youth worship band and work really hard practicing for the youth service every week. God is doing awesome things and changing lives in that group!
I wish I had more to blog about, but this is all I've got for now. : )


October 22, 2010

Oh rats!

I so wish the above title were not an actual fact around here.
There is actually a rat living under our oven! UGH! And apparantly it is a pack rat!
And it is really packs!!!!!! yewww!

It has 'packed' dog food, (left over from Max's visit)
a flaming Cheeto, (Nate's favorite snack food)
a roach bait trap,
a new dish cloth
and a paper airplane. (Andrew has been perfecting his design the last couple of days)
Can you believe how weird that is?!

It is also unaffected by rat poison and just walks right by it.

So, it was off to the Home Depot for me today for a rat trap.
I got in on a rat trap setting lesson being given by an employee, what luck!
(although I had no intention of setting it because Zac is getting paid to do that!) ; )
The other customer and I shared rat stories and wished each other luck...

Setting the trap made us all think about what we will do IF and LORD WILLING, we actually catch it.... Because what if my hubby isn't home when it happens?
As I was thinking of how much I would need to pay someone to dispose of a dead rat with a broken neck (EWWWWW!!!) I found I had two boys begging me to be the one to dispose of it for FREE no less!!! Wow!
How funny! I love boys!


October 14, 2010

Weekend excitment

There is a youth retreat this weekend!!! whoo-hoo!
All my guys are attending. (including my hubby who is one of the adult leaders) It is going to be a really powerful weekend and all the youth leaders attending have been fasting for the past four days and praying. How awesome is that?! Cant wait to hear about what God does and about the changed lives when everyone gets back.

We also have some of our best friends visiting this weekend, (hooray!)
so it has been one exciting time. Today, we have been hunting down sleeping bags and backpacks, doing laundry, packing and even headed to the mall and Wal*Mart for last minute things. I think all these kids are all finally ready to go. We even fit in some school. Glory, glory!

Once 5:00 comes, Joy and my BFF and I will probably not know what to do with ourselves, it will be so quiet around here. It will be a fun girly weekend, all except for one male who is one his way over now.
MAX !!!

He's coming back to stay with us while his owners are at the retreat.
The grass, crock pot and speaker cable, weren't safe last time he was here but that's OK. He really is too lovable to mind.
Well, the mom taxi needs to start making more rounds!
Have a blessed weekend!

October 9, 2010

The surprise was on me

So, Friday night I drove our oldest boys to a surprise party and guess what happened?
-You couldn't guess if you tried, because in this case, my reality seems to be better than fiction! ; )

The road to the house where the party was at turned out to be blocked for road work. (how come no one mentioned that on the invitation?!) And my GPS was showing that it was the ONLY road to this house. (which turned out not to be accurate, lucky for all the other guests) And the people throwing the party were to busy doing just that to text us back.

So, I parked and we decided to walk the rest of the way, which looked to be just around the corner, but it totally wasn't!
And then walking turned into jogging ...because we were late and the boys didn't want to walk in at the same time as the birthday girl and ruin the surprise.
And since jogging isn't something I do well in flip flops, we parted ways when there was an 8th of a mile left to go.
I headed back to the car and that is when it started to hit me that I didn't exactly (or even remotely) remember the name of the street I left my car on! UGH!
That meant the GPS in my hand was no longer of any help.
Then I found out that the cell phone in my purse was dead and no longer of any help.
So, there I was walking around a thankfully (or I may have panicked) very nice subdivision hunting for my car for awhile!!! And it was starting to get dark!
~Explaining to some neighborly people I borrowed a phone from, that I was not really lost, but that I had just lost my car was an interesting experience....
(and I'm hoping they don't think I was on drugs! lol)

After many prayers and more walking, I spied it behind a big bull-dozer and all was eventually well!
It was a good reminder that I'm never alone and that "He leads in paths of righteousness for His name's sake" -even if it does take awhile. : )


OK time for a post

...despite the fact that I'm not happy with the blog's look at the moment it is time to get back to blogging! : )

Yesterday the youth group had a Mud Bowl. That is football played on land that has had 6000 gallons of water poured on it. Lots of mud and gooey fun!

Here is Joy and her team the Fig Newtons! Happy and muddy!

All the youth leaders were suppose to play so I'd been praying against injuries for those of us in the 40 + yrs. old crowd just in case. ; ) As it turned out, there were so many teens on the teams, that some of us adult leaders weren't needed to play. (God is good, People!) lol!

Joy and I have been knitting like crazy. We are teaching a class for moms and daughters in our home school group. It is tons of fun. We are going to make lots of sweater hats for the homeless this winter and at the moment, we are knitting 50 hats for missionaries in South Dakota who are going to do a Christmas outreach.
And so far, this is what we have:

We are dog sitting a small horse, I mean -German Shepherd! lol
And he is beyond HUGE but sweet as can be! Gorgeous dog. Good thing we are dog people. I was really surprised that he jumps on the furniture, on our beds and in the bath tub like he owns the place. Ahh! Max is crazy-hyper! He totally looks like he would tear you apart, but he has the sweetest disposition and he's been a lot of fun to have around. I think my hubby wants a German Shepherd now...

The weather here has been beyond gorgeous. Florida's weather in October can't be beat. : )
It has been so nice to play tennis in the morning and enjoy cool breezes instead of sweating buckets! Nathan and I are improving! The other day, we had the most amazing games. Imagine actually getting every crazy backhand hit you tried for AND hitting them in! That happened to both of us! It was some amazing tennis. Whoo-hoo! So much fun and so exhausting that I thought I might pass out. LOL!

After church we attended the wedding reception for a woman who was in the youth group we led back when she was only 12! It was great to rejoice with her today. Boy, does time fly!

October 1, 2010

The reason for the new look

The blog got a new look completely by accident...that is how amazingly savvy I am. LOL

And I can't seem to undo it. And I've tried everything! I think Blogger's new template designer has hijacked my blog for good and it is really frustrating.

I no longer even have a page elements page. Isn't that crazy?!

Stuck with it for now... Unless you have any advice. I noticed that other people are asking the same thing on the blogger help page but no answer was given.

So, if I have 15 different blog designs in the next couple of days and they are all ugly you'll know why. LOL!

Enough today for the whole weekend

What a fun day!

1. Joy and I taught a knitting class this morning. We are knitting sweater hats for the homeless in our city and for missionaries in South Dakota to use for an outreach! Yay!

2. Joy and I went to a class on Jewish Feasts. We learned about Sukkot, blew some shofars, did some Jewish dancing and all the kids made their own little sukkot with graham crackers and frosting and gum drops.

3. Took Joy to dance.

4. Ran an errand for my hubby

5. Picked Joy up from dance

6. Went home and fixed a quick dinner

7. Took oldest sons to the movies

8. Rolled paint on the walls of a small bedroom

9. Went to Barnes and Noble

10. Picked up boys

Home and ready to call it a day now. Or call it the whole weekend...except that it just got started. LOL!

Night, All!


September 30, 2010

Dog sitting gone awry

This is something Joy and my hubby will remember for awhile! (and probably twitch over and need therapy in the future because of. Just kidding!) ; )
It has to do with dog sitting for our neighbor and not remembering exactly what time of day those responsibilities ended...And possibly some misinformation via a certain sibling...

All and all that equaled one really AWKWARD moment tonight as Joy and Dad were in our neighbor's kitchen feeding his dog as he WALKED OUT of his bedroom!!!!!!
Oh. My. Stars.
I can't even express how glad I am that he went with Joy instead of me! ; )


September 28, 2010

The reverse robbery

Ever since Honey passed away we have been wondering if we should get another dog. But since our Honey was 'practically perfect in every way' we don't really want another one. (but I guess that depends on which family member you ask though)
Living in our neighborhood makes you think you do NEED a dog for security reasons. My new thought is that a security system wouldn't SHED or leave the house smelling like dog, so it has my vote at the moment. All of these things have really been on my mind a lot lately and then over the weekend, my next door neighbor's house was broken into. Very sad. (the ones I mentioned in the last post who are moving)

So, on Sunday after church, when I was the last one in the door and I heard everyone else exclaiming and standing around the kitchen in shocked surprise, I said "What??? Did we get robbed?"
And the kids said "No!!! It was the opposite."

-What fun surprise to find that our dear friend Carlos had come inside (he has a key) and dropped off all kinds of fun drinks, munchies for the kids. On closer inspection, we found more food items in the fridge and freezer. And then I was really floored because I discovered I'd been visited by the home repair fairy. Don't you wish you had one of those?
He might not like that title ; )
but what else do you call someone who comes in while you are gone and surprises you by doing all the home repairs on our to-do-list that you haven't had time to do! (new faucet, leak under the sink, bathroom drain etc...)

It was pretty amazing to come in and think we got robbed only to find out we got BLESSED!
It was a really sweet blessing that reminded me that God is in control of what happens around here.


September 25, 2010

Our latest news

I had a very nice birthday last week! : ) It was filled with flowers, 2 shopping trips and a couple fun dates with my hubby. -With my anniversary and birthday in the same week, I feel completely spoiled now, and caught myself wondering 'what else can we celebrate?' (so that I don't have to cook) LOL!

Good news! Joy is having a GREAT time in the new soccer league. (you know, the quirky, low-key one) It is really perfect for this season of our lives and the Lord as always, knew what we needed. Her team won yesterday and she scored two points and had a blast. Yay!

Joy attended the Missionette's sleep-over without me this year. Sounds like it was a big hit. (and I enjoyed my own bed, but missed all the fun since I've gone for the last 6 years)

In reality, it has been a rather sad week for us because our precious neighbors of 16 years are having their house foreclosed on Monday which is tearing our hearts up. It's been very rough on their children. Our kids all grew up together and are best friends...
So, we have spent a lot of time over there this week packing and reminiscing adding some rather sobering memories to the many, many years of sweet ones.


September 23, 2010

A little home school humor

So, we have a senior in high school. Amazing! Recently my hubby was looking into some things regarding graduation/college and he said
"It is a really good thing you are apart of that rainbow group."

(Me: ????)

And then it hit me!

He meant "umbrella school!" LOL! It was really cute!

Now whenever I communicate with the director of our "rainbow group" -I smile.
I'm glad we went that route too.


September 20, 2010

Our special day

Our 19th Anniversary equation

(because I have a whole lot of math in my life!)

A game of this in the morning:

+ the day spent swimming here:

+ a walk for lunch here:

+ a little something from here:

+ dinner here:

= a day that I will never forget! : )


September 18, 2010

I love my RAYS fan!

So, I've decided that you know you have a sweet and attentive husband


You are at a restaurant and it actually takes you awhile to figure out that the 1st place Rays are playing the Yankees on a big screen TV



September 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary to us!

Guess what? I've been the most blessed woman on the planet for exactly 19 years now! : )
Happy Anniversary, Honey! I love you!!!!!


September 11, 2010

Joy and the missing joy of soccer

Anyone else ever put their kids in totally awkard situations totally accidentally...or am I the only one??? (groan!)

Oh.My.Stars. I did this very thing to Joy this weekend.

I decided it would be nice to try a new soccer league. A league for homeschoolers. (maybe that shouldn't been a red flag right there -LOL)

A league where their basketball and volleyball teams play against the Christian high schools in the area. That sounds "legit" as my boys would say, doesn't it? The league is a little cheaper than the one we were in, the season is a little longer, it starts sooner, and the practices and games are all in one day. To my thinking, it is all a plus, plus, plus....

Now picture that you are Joy, who loves soccer and can't wait for the season to start and when you show up:

-the field is half the normal size or the lawn in front of a church

-you are taller than all the other children

-you are taller than the goal

-99% of the other kids look to be about 7 (which totally explains why you are taller) and there isn't a GIRL in sight (a few turned up later, thank the Lord!)


~And if you are Joy, you handle the shock with GRACE and make your momma proud! (while whispering about the possibility of getting a refund) LOL

Bless her heart!!!! I had NO idea! Obviously their soccer teams have a ways to go before they'll be playing against the Christian high schools nearby. ; )

They are a sweet bunch of folks though and I think we should stick it out. The "QuirkyLeague" as my hubby has dubbed, could be a blessing in disguise. We'll keep you posted.



September 8, 2010

Love this!

This isn't a product review, I really do just love this stuff. It is great for washing pesticides and wax off your fruits and veggies! And guess what else? By mistake I found out that it KILLS ANTS. Whoo-hoo!

One of my boys says that I have a pesticide paranoia. : ) I guess I do act like you might drop dead on the spot if you don't wash a piece of fruit before you eat it. LOL -Which probably explains why this is one of my favorite things! : )

September 3, 2010

Vacation fun part 2

We enjoyed this beautiful beach in Carlsbad a couple of times:
We went to a bonfire and the kids gave surfing a try and then
they roasted some starbursts
AKA "shish-ka-bursts" as they called them! We warmed up late that night at our friends house with Mexican hot chocolate and a nice visit with my sister.
The next morning my brother and sister-in-law had us all over for waffles and we said good-bye to my Sacramento nephews who had a plane to catch.
And then it was time for a road trip with 7 teens, loud music and LA traffic to

Next stop was to In-N-Out for the best shakes ever and then a pizza/movie night!
The next day we all worshipped together and then had a fun family lunch of Italian food. That made Andrew a happy camper because he'd pretty much had his fill of MEXICAN FOOD. : )

We headed to the beach again for more sand and surfing fun, but it was too chilly!!! We were very thankful for an awesome lifeguard who rescued my niece!

We walked along the pier in Oceanside again and went to see Toy Story 3.
The next day we hiked in Carlsbad! I was bringing up the rear most of the time because I live below sea level and am not used to that altitude...or at least that is my story and I'm sticking to it. LOL! (don't ask why my kids were unaffected)
But it had its advantages! I did get some good pictures of those specks -which are our kids! : )
Then we headed to Mt. Palomar! It was a long, beautiful drive up 5000 ft in elevation!

But when we arrived at the top it was sprinkling and the Ranger said that they were having a flash flood warning!!! So, we headed back down... Here's the disappointed crowd that thought we should brave a flash flood.
Here are the brakes smoking which made us moms glad that we didn't hang out for a flood. LOL

We had another fun dinner with my parents and the next day they took us to
SEAWORLD! What a fun blessing that was!

My best friend and her kids came too! Here is Andrew and his best friend:
Then we visited with my sister again and her baby, Hurley. : )
The next day we flew home into this

which was almost as wonderful as seeing my hubby who was waiting for us! : )