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

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!