Saturday, December 29, 2007

Time with Family

Just wanted to share a few recent pictures of my family taken Christmas day.

My dad and I

My brother, Bryan and his two boys, Brandon and Spencer

My wonderful family

Brandon, Spencer, Pappy, Courtney and Jonah
Unfortunately, we were not able to spend Christmas day with my sister and her family, hopefully we will be able to catch up with each other on New Year's.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Morning

Every year Jonah and Courtney decorates their own tree for their room. Last Christmas Courtney made the comment that she wished Santa would leave a present under her tree in her bedroom. Well that Santa must have great hearing, because this year Jonah and Courtney awoke to two presents under each of their trees. Moonsand and a Webkinz Reindeer, Courtney named hers Randy and Jonah named his Roxie.

Santa even left a present or should I say a bag full of new toys and treats for Rascal.

Webkinz in our Christmas tree! Yes, the big thing at our house right now are Webkinz. Both Jonah and Courtney are all in to Webkinz, BIG time. In fact, Jonah told Santa that he was going to go cheap this year and only wanted 4 Webkinz, nothing more. Well, he recieved three and since Santa sometimes has a big heart, he threw in a few more gifts to make it a wonderful Christmas.

Jonah and Courtney, Christmas morning in their Penguin PJ's, that they received Christmas Eve by way of their Advent Calendars and a clue to where they could find them.

Jonah and Trey, in their PJ's trying out their Ripstick that Santa brought them.

Digital Cameras from Santa

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Day!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Starling Tradition

Every Christmas for the last 4 years, when have taken a trip to Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville to view the lights and decorations in the hotel as well as taking a chilly walk through the ICE show. Well since we have moved, I thought that this tradition would need to be replace with a new one, but that is not the case. This afternoon we were able to keep our tradition going by attending the ICE attraction at the Gaylord Palms in Oralndo and then strolling through the hotel, enjoying the lights and music. I will say that it was a little strange to bundle up in a parka to walk through an exhibit that was a chillin 9 degrees and then afterward look out the hotel window to view a pool full of people swimming. A little tropical, but still an awesome site to see, 2 million pounds of Ice, sculpted and created into a wonderful winter wonderland. Everything you see is carved from ice.

My favorite attraction besides the ice slide, was the train. It was really neat, the way you could walk through the train.

Looks good enough to eat!

My honey and I

So, our family tradition carries on.

While we were at the Gaylord Palms, we searched the 4.5 acre atrium for 20 Gnomes, that were cleverly hidden throughout the resort. We were given 10 clues to where we could find 10 of the 20. This Gnome was frozen inside a block of ice located inside the ICE attraction. By the way, did you know that in many Scandinavian countries, it is believed that a holiday gnome lives hidden under your house and at Christmas time he emerges carrying a sack of presents over his shoulder. I think that searching for the Gnomes was just as much fun for Phillip and I, as it was for the kids.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Celebrating the Holidays

Jonah and Cleave at the Youth Group Christmas Party. Jonah every few seconds would slowly rise up out of the present like a mechanical person and Cleave would sit there like nothing was happening. It was too funny.

Over the weekend both the tweens and the youth group celebrated Christmas with parties at the church. The the youth group celebrated Sunday after morning services with a family dinner and then a gift exchange and games for the youth group. This has certainly been a great experience for Jonah. The youth group has definitely opened their arms to welcome Jonah in. I know not everything is always perfect and a bed of roses but this group of kids including the seniors has made Jonah feel like a part of this family. I have learned that before too long some of the younger kids will be given "new names", which is a challenge for me b/c I barely know the kids real names. Like it took me several weeks to realize that Cleave's real name is Josh, go figure. I wonder what name Jonah will be given.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Letter to Santa

Last night was the Tweens Christmas party at church. At the beginning of the party, they had the kids write a letter to Santa. I and several others were touched by Courtney's letter, so I thought I would share it with you.

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is world peace. Also I would like a Webkinz (a Collie) and I would like to see my friends in Kentucky. Merry Christmas!

I wanted to cry. I will say that the world peace reminded me of an answer that a beauty pageant contestant would say, but overall I was so touched. This is a picture of Courtney and her new BFF (best friend forever) at church, Rose.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just One More Day

Just one more day and we are done with our "official" home schooling days for the year, YEAH!!!!! I feel like this school year has been completely chaos, with our move and spending a month living in a hotel, everything has been CRAZY to say the least. We ended up falling 18 days behind in our school lessons, which is not a good feeling. After our move the kids and I buckled down and some days we were able to complete two lessons and some Saturdays the kids were willing to spend a couple hours working on their lessons. With all this said, the kids and I are happy to announce that as of yesterday we are officially back on schedule and we are no longer behind. Which to some home school moms it is not something they worry about, they just realize that they have to get the work done sometime but to me, I love my summers just as much as the kids do and the thought of having to spend summer days doing school while everyone else was out playing, just makes me ill. Tomorrow, after a English test and completion of several other subjects the kids and I will celebrate will a small Christmas party and what a celebration that will be.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Poor Rascal

Poor Rascal received his first haircut last week and should I say I will not take him back to that groomer ever again. Totally changed his appearance but not his attitude, as my neighbor says "he is still rotten" and of course we love him no matter what.
Courtney loves her Rascal.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Time for a New Tag

In honor of the holiday season, it is time for a new tag. You know the rules, so here are the questions:

What is.....
1. Your favorite Holiday Movie? Charlie Brown's Christmas and Home Alone 1

2. The best Christmas present you ever received? Phillip totally surprised me one year with rollar blades

3. Your favorite Santa memory? When we took the kids to see Santa and he told the kids that he was aware of them not being at home Christmas morning and knew that they would be at their grandparents house and he sometimes made special exceptions and they would get their gifts before they left for Fl. That evening when we arrived back home, Santa had visited and left two presents for each child that they had only told Santa during that visit, one hour prior. Miracles do happen at Christmas.

Do you prefer...

4. Colored or white lights? white

5. Artificial or real tree? Real, but I have artificial ones

6. Prelit or stringing your own lights? Prelit

Do you...

7. Bake anything special for the holidays? The four of us spend one to two days prior to Christmas baking lots of sweets and goodies, including my famous "orange juice" cake for neighbors, families, co-workers and freinds

8. Put your tree up before Thanksgiving? We usually start Thanksgiving night and continue throughout the weekend

What is your...

9. Favorite Christmas food? deviled eggs and ham

10. Favorite festive place to go? Christmas on Ice and riding around looking at the lights

11. Favorite Christmas Carol? Drummer Boy

12. Favorite Christmas Album? Acappella Christmas and Kenny G's Christmas

I now hereby tag JP, Alicia, Joanna, Judith, and Terri

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A BEAR!!!!!!

Okay fellow bloggers and blog readers, let me just tell you that at 5:30 this morning there was a around a 350 pound black bear in my neighbors driveway. Now, we do not live in the woods, we live in the city and we live in a subdivision, where the houses are right on top of each other. My neighbor walked outside at 5:30 this morning to spot a bear on the driveway of my neighbor across the street from us. And where is the bear now, we ask? When 911 was called, my neighbor was informed that they had received several calls and that they were following up on it. I can only imagine where that bear was yesterday when our street was full of kids riding their bikes and scooters and to think that Jonah, Courtney and their friends has pitched a tent and made a club house on the empty lot next to this house that the bear was at. YIKES!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Decorating for Christmas

Well, I am back at it, that is playing around with digital scrap booking. It is truly not the same as scrap booking, but it is fun and I can sit in bed or on in the recliner with my laptop and get a lot more done in a short amount of time. Will I print these out, I am not sure, but for right now I am enjoying it especially when I can't sleep. Here are some layouts done with pictures that we took last week while decorating the Christmas tree.
Jonah, Courtney, and myself, I know we don't look very Christmasee (is that a word, I know we say it) but what do you expect when the AC is on and it is 80 degrees outside.

A new challenge...........trying to get the angel on top of our 9.5 foot tree. The kids had fun on Phillip's shoulders and Jonah finally got the angel in place. By the way this is the tree that we just purchased and was offered the 1 year warranty on it (believe me we did not fall for it).

This year Phillip took the camera from me and sat on the couch taking pictures, while the three of us decorated the tree in the living room. I love Christmas trees, in fact we will end up with 5 trees in our house before it is all said and done.

This is the tree that is usually in our kitchen/breakfast area. It is all red and white and has snowmen with cooking utensils all over it. I love this tree for its simplicity and uniform. We had to place the tree in the dinning room this year due to the space and windows in the kitchen. I originally placed the presents on the dinning room table so that our little one (Rascal) couldn't get his paws on them but everyone who comes over comments on how good they look there with my apothecary jars..

Rascal has truly enjoyed laying underneath the tree and so far he has not touched any of the ornaments, just one present.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Little Touch of Scrapbooking

If you know anything about me. then you know that I love to scrapbook. However, I have never done any digtal scrapbooking, I have thought about it, but never have attempted it. Well this is minor stuff, nothing fancy and I may never do anything more, but it was fun.

Creative Girls

Courtney and her friend Andie,
gets creative with buttons,
markers and old jeans. You gotta love them!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We've Been Elfed!

Don't laugh too hard!

Random Thoughts at 3 a.m.

Okay, last week I suffered from migraines 5 of the 7 days and now this week I have awoken between 2 and 3 every morning and can not fall back asleep for several hours. You all know what I am talking about, when you wake up and just lay there thinking about everything that needs to be done either today, yesterday or tomorrow and it keeps you awake. Well, if I was not afraid of waking everyone in the house, then I could use this time wisely and mop or empty the dishwasher or maybe even clean out my closet (something that I failed to do when we moved and am getting tired of moving my sweatshirts from one side of my closet to the other just b/c right now I do not see a need for then since shorts and tshirts are still comfortable). So what do I do, I blog. Blog what, I ask? What cute pictures do I dig out of my picture files? No, I am thinking that I use this space to empty out all the things (well maybe just some of the things) in my head that are aiding to my staying awake. Like the fact that with my medical issues, I really need to search out and find a doctor. Do I see the doctor that we attend church with, whom seems like a good person but I also sit across from him and his wife every Sunday morning during Sunday school. Is that going to be comfortable down the road? I hate (I know that is a very strong word) trying to find doctors and going through the medical history and it never fails you always find someone who wants to change what is working just fine.......

On a positive note, I finally accomplished getting my new drivers license, after only living here about 60 days, yes and you are suppose to change it with in 10 days of moving. Unfortunately for my friend Kate, my experience was no where near as bad or crazy as hers but it did take me two trips to the driver's license office and thank goodness I did not have to take a test.

Did I tell you how horrible this move was with the moving company? A nightmare, to say the least. Just a quick run down........ a hole in the ceiling, which apparently was our fault, funny thing though especially when neither one of us was in the attic with the mover......... several items broken, irreplaceable items, like an antique dresser that my grandmother gave me as a child (part of a complete bedroom suit) or the pottery that I purchased on a mission trip to Honduras (when will I go back?) just to say a few things.........and I had not even begun to touch on all the items that were stolen from us, a Wii, a Nintendo Gamecube, a Gameboy and all the accessories that you can imagine and the games!!!!!! (thousands of dollars) Oh and our camcorder, I have the bag but that nice little camcorder that can fit so nicely in the palm of your hand certainly was able to fit nicely in the palm of one of the movers hands..........Oh and all this was taken before the truck driver took inventory of the boxes, so there is not a box number or evidence of these items, just our word. So now, sixty days after the move and there is a promise that we may see a settlement on this sometime next week....... I wonder what the outcome will be.

Quirkie things with our new house.......the garage is not deep enough for our van to fit comfortably. Why does someone even build a garage for a family of size and does not make the garage large enough to fit a minivan?.........The microwave, I still neither can anyone else figure out how to operate this thing (yes, the one item that we did not get a owner's manual for). However, if we keeping burning popcorn in it, either we will have to get a new one or our house will forever smell like burnt popcorn...........When the power goes off and then comes back on, all the ceiling fan lights comes on. Not something that you want to happen in the middle of the night or when you have been gone all day and come home to lights turned on that you knew you did not leave on when you left the house...........The master bathtub, I could fit all four of us in it plus some. I love a big tub but I have only filled this one up once. (Don't worry I take showers or use the kids? I knew what you were thinking)

We had to buy a new Christmas tree this year, well we did not HAVE to, we choose to. Our tree was about 12 years old, very large (fat) and since we love lights, ever year Phillip had to walk around the tree placing strand after strand of lights. So after looking like crazy at some very odd looking Christmas trees and I mean ODD looking trees ( combination trees, since when to two different types of trees grow together in the forest, are we cross-secting Christmas trees now) and after deciding against placing a palm tree in our living room, we finally found one. A Miracle Tree - a 9ft cashmere Bavarian Fir, what ever happen, to a Douglas fir or a pine or just a Christmas tree. The funniest part about this, was when we went to check out, the cashier asked us if we wanted a one year warranty for $19.95. Okay, I may have blonde hair but PLEASE and you know the sad thing is, people must buy it or they would not offer it.

Okay, do I attempt trying to go back to bed now, so that I can wake up in a few hours to teach the most wonderful students in my house or do I keep typing away or should I go and watch reruns of "I love Lucy" or infommericals on the TV, could there possibly be a new George Foreman Grill. Well if I leave another post then you know that I did not fall asleep or either my battery in my laptop went dead. Maybe I'll try going back to bed, last night at this time I was finishing my grocery list, that I forgot to take with me today, so now I have multiples, I mean multiples of certain items.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Well, I have always thought Courtney looks more like me then Phillip, so I did it twice with different pictures, very interestiong, don't you think!!!!

Remembering the Days

Does anyone remember their days of Nancy Drew? I remember not wanting to put them down until I knew the end of the story and thought several times about jumping to the last chapter, but was afraid that I would get caught (go figure). For the longest time, every time that we would go to the library, I would bring up Nancy Drew, but there would be no interest. Well last week, Courtney checked out one and now is hooked. I took this picture of Courtney out on the jungle gym reading one day. I thought it was sweet.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving at our House

We celebrated Thanksgiving at our new home this year. Even though my brother was unable to attend due to work, his boys were there along with my dad, sister, her husband and their daughter. We were very thankful this year for everything that we have, especially a wonderful family and our Lord our Savior.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A 9 year old and a Turkey

Thanksgiving memories..........................
Courtney only thought that she wanted to help with the Thanksgiving dinner. Tonight, while I was getting started on tomorrow's menu, Courtney asked if she could help. I said sure, that I was getting the turkey ready, so that in the morning I could put it in the oven. I know now that Courtney never thought of getting a turkey ready, like she does now. First, I told her you have to remove the "guts" or the turkey inners. She passed and when I pulled them out, I had to explain why they were in a bag and why the "turkey companies" did not just throw them away. When I explained that some people use these items, that really grossed her out. Then when I told her she could stuff the turkey with the onions, celery, bell pepper, etc, for seasoning, and I told her you place that in the inside of the turkey. Well, her response to that was, isn't that the turkey's bottom. Yes, honey, it is I told her. Well she finally broke down after grossing out a few times and stuffed the turkey. All I can say, is what wonderful memories and stories I have for the years to come, especially when she brings home a boy for Thanksgiving. She better be prepared, b/c momma has a story to tell.

Not real sure she wants to do this.

She carefully placed each item inside the turkey, being very careful not to touch the turkey.

I finally got a half way serious, like I maybe enjoying this, look.
She may not be eating turkey come tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Lot of Starlings

This past Sunday, we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with Phillip's family. This was the first time that we had been with them at Thanksgiving since 1999 and the first time in 2 years that all of the siblings had been together at one time. I am not going to take the time to name them all, but I am sure that you can spot the four brothers and the one and only sister (she is in the middle in the navy sweater) and I am standing by the mother of them all. And to think this is not all of the grandkids, there is about a handful that were not there and several great grandkids that were unable to be there as well. Talk about alot of Starlings.

Every Thanksgiving after everyone eats and before anyone leaves, Phillip's mom suckers someone into putting the tree up and then she lets the grandchildren decorate it. I wished that I had taken a picture of the tree being put up, because it was a sight to see. Of course with all trees, the branches had to be adjusted and there was several lights that did not want to work properly, I think at one time there were about five people trying to get the lights to work. But in the end the Tree was complete, maybe a little bottom heavy because that was the area of the tree that the little ones could reach with ease, but like I told Phillip's mom that will move up with time. As for Thanksgiving day, Phillip and I are planning on my dad, sister and her family to join us on Thanksgiving day at our house. So to all my fellow bloggers, freinds and family, I hope you have a joyful and blessed Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jonah's Color Choice

Well I am finally getting around to painting Jonah's room. It has not been b/c we did not know what colors it has been b/c I wanted to do something different then the horizontal stripes that I had done in Courtney's room. But unfortunately everything I thought would not work for one reason or another. So I am back to doing another horizontal stripe with a little different look in colors then Courtney's and there will be alot more blue in Jonah's room. Bloodblue to be exact and Navel with a little touch of white. Go Gators!! (only my son) I think it will look good when I am done, my neighbor is giving me a thumbs up, so I am anxious to see how Jonah likes it when he returns for a youth retreat tomorrow. That was another reason why I am painting today, it is a lot easier to paint when the occupant of the room is gone for the weekend. I'll post some pics once I am done.
Posted by PicasaThe colors match my blog really well.