Friday, November 30, 2007

Hair Net Hot Stuff

A good friend of mine took this picture of me the other day at a food factory tour with our homeschool group. As you can tell we are all wearing hear nets (of course, nobody wants hair in their food). I had to share this to show the humble side of me. Or maybe it is the funny side of me. Either way, it shows that I don't take myself too seriously. Aren't I lookin' GOOD?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This picture tells a lot

This picture of the girls getting ready to Trick or Treat tells a lot. If you are observant, you would notice so many things. Let me point some out. For my sanity, I ordered these cute costumes from Vision Forum this year. Notice the old counter top, old drawer pulls and old tile floor. Notice the stack of boxes in the corner of the dining room (it took me weeks to find places for all this stuff in a great house with no storage options). Notice the great beautiful rug we had just bought, trying to cover up the icky tile and the brick trying to hold it down and prevent it from rolling up again.

Not only is this a Halloween picture, it is a bit of a before picture. I love those before and after pictures. I still don't have too many after pictures. They are still to come. In a few weeks when the floors are done I will post them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


We just got back from a field trip just about an hour away. Had a great day and enjoyed our time and were able to get a lot of errands checked off my list. But there is something about coming home. I realize that it is my favorite place to be. I truly am a homebody. I love when you walk in and you just breathe a sigh of relief. Don't you love that when you come home from a trip or vacation? Something about your own space. What a wonderful place to be. And I love that this new house is starting to feel more and more like HOME.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I keep thinking of an old song about friends.

"Make new friends,
but keep the old,
one is silver
and the others gold"

Friendship is an interesting thing. We all need friends to "do life with". Sometimes, though, lives change and friends move or we move and the friendship becomes long distance. We have been blessed to gather friends all over the country. Sometimes I think that one of the hardest parts of moving is making new friends. I am reminded there is someone out there that is longing for friendship and connection. Being new, once again, I am reminded how important it is to reach out and make room on your "friend plate" for another friend.

We were blessed last night as a family from church invited us into their home and made room for us as their new friends. We are so thankful for new friends like that, yet I also treasure my old friends too. Ones that I have had for years and don't get to talk and laugh with often enough. I love those friends that I can just pick up where we left off when we were last together. I am realizing how much I value friendship. And I am understanding how a good friendship is worth the work and effort it takes.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

John Deere Daddy

We spent most of our Thanksgiving outdoors working in the yard. We were able to get a lot done in between making the holiday meal and the normal festivities. We took advantage of having Chuck home and the wonderful fall weather. We also had a few rides in the yard wagon. (Go read COUNTRY FOLK from my other posts if you haven't already.) This post is just for you Brenton. =)

A Day of Thanks

How can I let Thanksgiving roll around and not post on what I am thankful for? Here is a shortened list (so you still have time to go and fix all that food for your family).

-I am thankful for freedom. Both in our country and religious freedom. What a blessing to be an American and what a blessing to be a Christian.

-I am thankful for good health. For me and my family. The girls are so healthy and I am go grateful for that.

-I am thankful for friends. Both old and new. Online and in the neighborhood.

-I am thankful that our family is all together. In this day, that is a success on it's own. And that we are closer to Chuck's work so we can spend more time together.

-I am thankful to be a Mom. Something I longed for and God blessed me with.

-I am thankful to be married to my best friend. Someone who loves me and accepts me and supports me.

-I am thankful for my family. What a wonderful support they are to me.

-I am thankful for our new home. That God preserved it for us and provided a buyer for our old one. I love this peaceful tranquil setting to raise our children. An absolute gift from God.

-I am thankful for growth. That I am growing as a person and as a follower of Christ. I desire to please him in all I do and to respond in the best way in ALL circumstances.

What a great country. To have a day set aside to spend time as a family and ponder all we have to be positive about.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

$4 and 10 years later

Today I took a trip down memory lane. I was painting these 2 little dressers for the guest house and I was remembering when I bought them almost 10 years ago for storage in our nursery. I picked them up at a yard sale for $2 a piece. At their origin, they were the side drawers on a desk and someone cut them apart. I first painted them navy and put them on each side of the changing table. Then as the girls got older I painted the drawers red and used them as part of a vanity I made in a closet. When we move and the girls rooms changed colors, I painted them white and made them back into a desk with a purple top. Then we changed Tally's room around about a year ago and she needed a bedside stand and one of them turned into that. As we prepared to move to our current home, I didn't know if we would even need those little dressers, but I brought them anyway. Now they are painted a colonial red and used as night stands next to the guest bed.

Somehow those little stands have provided more than, just storage. They have been been part of how our family has changed and they are full of memories. They are even more special to me than if I had paid full price at a nice furniture store.

Monday, November 19, 2007

don't shrug off discipline...

Sometimes I get tired of disciplining my kids. It takes so much work and it seems I am often correcting the same wrong behavior. I wonder if they will ever get it. It would be easier in the moment to just ignore the wrong behavior, but I know for the long run it is important to deal with the offence and gently correct them.

God does the same with me. This passage hit me this morning and I wanted to share it.
Again I got it from, The Message, Hebrews 12 this morning.

Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either. It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

I am all about well behaved kids. They are a joy to be with. I know that it is worth the investment that the discipline takes. I wonder if I am more of a joy to be with when I embrace discipline in my life. Maybe if I saw discipline in my life with that same perspective, I wouldn't resist it so much.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Magic Kingdom

We used up our last of our Disney passes today. What a beautiful day. Weather was great. Lines were a little long but all in all we had a wonderful time. Often Chuck and Tally will go and ride the big coasters while Tissy and I go visit Mickey and enjoy popcorn.

This time we went to different things. Instead of waiting for the long line at Dumbo, we rode the magic carpet ride (almost the same ride). We saw the Enchanted Tiki Room and Small World and noticed that some things never change. I think these were the same from when I was a kid. But somehow it is still a magical place.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I took this picture when we were loading the truck a few weeks ago. I don't know what I have with chairs and stools. I love them. Especially kids chairs and stools and benches. I always spot them at antique stores. You would think I had a family of 20 with all my chairs. Or at least that we played musical chairs a lot. I guess it is just one of my goofy traits.

Chuck, the presenter

Chuck just called and said that he was asked to be a presenter at the local Emmy Award ceremony. This is so exciting for him. I said go for it and realize what an honor it is to be asked to present. He asked why they asked him, and they said they were familiar with his work and thought he would do a great job and have great stage presence. Can I just say again how PROUD I am of him? So very PROUD.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Enjoying the ride

I was reminded by a friend to just enjoy the ride. I remember telling that to Tally when she was little and we were driving up the mountains in California. "Just enjoy the ride." She was tired and uncomfortable and wanted to get out of her car-seat. She was missing the beautiful drive. The huge trees and wildlife along the way and she didn't understand that we were just a few miles from our destination, a cabin on the lake. She started to cry and said, "I am not enjoying the ride."

Somehow, I am doing the same thing. God knows where I am going and he is gently nudging me to "Enjoy the ride." I read this next passage this morning and wanted to share it. I got this from . This is from Psalm 119, The Message version.

33-40 God, teach me lessons for living
so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
Affirm your promises to me—
promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics—
but what you say is always so good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!

Customer Service Part 2

I have started shopping at my "new" Publix since we moved. You know how you get used to your local store? You know where everything is. You know what brands they carry and if you need to find something quickly it is easy. My local Publix doesn't carry a few things that I was able to find in the last store. I have hunted around and can't find these things anywhere here. So...I thought I would ask the checker if I could request certain items. She was so helpful and happy to help me out. The bagger walked with me to the customer service desk and waited while I made my request. They said they would special order these items and if they were not good sellers on the shelves, they would keep them in back just for me. I was so impressed with the great customer service. They seemed so happy to keep me as a customer and I really appreciated that. I am beginning to understand that I value good customer service. In this day when there are so many choices and we can shop at so many different places, it is nice to know that my purchase still means something to some places.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Customer Service Part 1

I have learned a lot about customer service over the past few weeks. Getting our new home set up and having to hire different companies for a variety of services has been eye opening. Let's start with the positive. I hired Rainbow Play-set to come and remove our play-set from our old yard and store it for a few weeks until we were ready to have it reinstalled at our new location. They were accommodating when I changed my mind of when I wanted the set brought back. And when they put it in, they didn't complain about me wanting to switch it around and have the swings come off the other side. When they were here, they did a warranty inspection and have ordered the new wood that needs to be replaced due to normal wear. The installer did tell me that it would cost us to have Rainbow come out and repair the wood, but the cost of the wood was under warranty.

Then to my surprise, Jack from Rainbow called the next day and said the wood was ordered and as a gesture of gratitude of me being a good customer, they would install the wood at no cost to me. Now that is great customer service. I am pleased that they value faithful customers and am thrilled that not only is the wood under warranty, they will install it at no cost to us.

Now, you say...where is part 2? You will have to come back for that next time. As they say in TV, to be continued.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I was outside this afternoon and notice I have ripe oranges on the tree. I enjoyed one while I was on hold on the phone. What a blessing. We have about 10 different fruit trees in our yard and I am excited about learning about them. So far we love the key limes cut up in our water. Not sure how many it would take to make a key lime pie. Maybe I'll learn to make that too.

Serenity Now

Being a huge Seinfeld fan, I love to quote the show. Remember the one where George's Dad keeps shouting "serenity now" when he gets frustrated? That is how I feel right now. Serenity Now! In other words, I am loosing my patience with...

- Schooling my daughter who tends to lack the focus to learn the task at hand.
- The store I bought all my appliances from who clearly doesn't understand what good customer service is.
- Trying to fix up a house, cook and unpack all at the same time.
- Not having it all done, right now.
- Finding lizards in my screened lanai. (Don't they get the clue when I keep throwing them back outside?)
- Forgetting something at the store and remembering it when I walk in the door at home.

Today I even asked the girls to pray for patience for Mommy. I know that they must feel my frustration and I don't want to take it out on them. So I will I will join in with Mr. Costanza and say..."Serenity Now."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Day at Animal Kingdom

We just got back from a great day at Animal Kingdom. We really enjoyed our time and were thrilled to see that it didn't take long at all to get there and back. I am always so proud of the girls when we spend the whole day at a place like that and no one complains or cries or falls apart. We loved the Dino Land and the Nemo show the best.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A BIG Thanks

A big thanks goes out to "Grammy and Papa" for all the help this week. Here is my Dad helping Chuck take down the crazy light in the kitchen. And also putting up the shelves in the school room.

Kitchen before and after

Just a quick set of pictures to show a little of our kitchen before and after. We got the counter tops installed yesterday and it looks great. I think it is a huge improvement from the white Formica. I just love it. Now we also have our stove hooked up and I can resume cooking and baking for my kids and hubby again. We are all looking forward to Friday Night Pizza Night. It is another step to getting our life back to normal after all the changes that have taken place over the past few months.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Getting Things Done

It has been a week and a half since being in our new home and I am realizing that we really are getting things done. I don't think we understood how much needed to be done when we got here. Some days feel like you take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, but we are still making progress. Here is a short list of what we have done. Some of these things were hired out and some were done with our own sweat.

-replaced the carpet with new carpet and hard wood floors
-cleaned and sealed the tile
-stripped the wall paper in the laundry room, primed, textured and painted
-changed dryer from gas hook up to electric
-replaced all the appliances
-replaced the crazy light in the kitchen
-put up shelves in Tissy's closet and school room
-moved a cabinet from dinning room and put in laundry room
-put in cabinet in hall bath
-trimmed overgrown bushes
-fixed screen door on lanai
-replaced door knob in guest house
-ordered counter tops to be put in this week
-changed drawer slides on large drawer in the kitchen
-hooked up W/D in garage for guest house
-lined all the cupboards and drawers with paper
-started repainting the inside of the house with a neutral color

This list would be half as long if my parents weren't here helping out. They have been such a blessing to us this week. Hope we don't wear them out so they don't want to come back. But, all in all, when I step back and look we really have gotten a lot done.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I think we have entered a new kind of stage...I think we are country folk. Understand what I mean, not "red neck" and not "white trash", but Country Folk. Our new home is on 2 1/2 acres and we have lots of trees and land and a garden and even an old chicken coop (minus the chickens). We are about 10 min. from town and there isn't too much around beside the quickie mart about 1 mile down the road. Every time we show up at Lowes for more home repair things (it seems like daily), I notice that we are looking a bit like we were ridden hard and put away wet. =) On our way into Lowes today, I noticed that Tristen hadn't brushed her hair and still had yesterdays pony tails in (which hadn't been combed after she went swimming).

The best example of being country folk, is when I saw Chuck driving down the street on his new John Deer lawn tractor, heading for a lemonade stand with both girls danglin' off the tractor. Not to mention the girls were both wearing their swim suits. It would have pushed us into the "white trash" zone if the girls were wearing cowboy boots with those swim suits and if Chuck had a beer in his hand.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Feeling Settled

We are doing well and trying to settle into this house. I have spent the last few days cleaning tile. We replaced all the carpet and put in hard wood in the LR and FR but we are trying to save the tile in the kitchen and entry and eating area. My new appliances come tomorrow and we can get our gas oven hooked up next week, so we are eating a lot of toast and sandwiches until my kitchen is ready.

I am trying to get the girls rooms settled first, so they feel more at home. I got curtains up yesterday in Tissy's room and it is looking cute. My parents come tomorrow to help me and my dad can help with shelves so we can put toys away. I also need some shelves in the school room so we can start school again soon. I got the guest house (above the garage) ready and they should be comfortable while they are here. Each day is baby steps to get it all done. One box at a time. I will try and do pics later.