Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bzz About an Action Scrubber

I'm a BzzAgent... Just so ya know.

The next thing I'm bzzing about is a Action Scrubber.

Do you ever use them?

I found a $2.75 coupon for an Action Scrubber. Check it out!

So - do you ever use one? Like it? Love it?

I'm looking forward to getting one -- I'll trying just about anything that would make scrubbing easier. Ü

Monday, July 28, 2008

We got a Little Rain Yesterday

I think I witnessed my first flash flood yesterday. This is our mailbox across the road from our house. Fortunately we live on a hill -- so the water was running away from us -- and boy was it ever running. FAST.
(It's not a very clear photo - I think the camera was focusing on the rain drops. Sorry.)

Down the other side of the hill we live on is a creek. It jumped it's banks last night. Dan drove us down there to see it, after church. You normally can't even see the creek from the road. It hides behind that row of trees. That green you see is a corn field. Lest you think the water is REALLY high -- the farmer had planted that field late because of flooding in the spring. That corn is probably only knee high. YEARS ago the saying used to be, "Knee high by the 4th of July." Now a days the corn is already over our heads by the 4th of July. But this field -- here it is almost August and it's only knee high. We've had a WET year.
The creek crossed the road down there.

On the way to church Dan had to clear some tree branches off of the road so we could get through. We were in the basement right before we left for church. VERY high winds blew through our neck of the woods. We lost some branches, but not whole trees. Thank you God for pruning our trees again last night. What a beautiful site our dancing trees were. Magnificent the display of power of our God.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Team Work

Dan is so happy that the kids are getting old enough to help him. In a few years - he'll probably be out of a job, which he won't mind too much. I don't know if he'll give it up entirely... he likes his job, I think. Right now he can mow/trim/etc in 2.5 hours. That's down from 4 by himself.

Tori helps push mow.

Mansel mans the weed eater.

Danielle rides along for fun.

Notice how foggy that picture is... it has been so moist here. It's so moist now that my plants are rotting in the garden. My MIL said I could put some straw under the zucchini... who has straw? Not me. This has been a weird gardening season. It's been good season for weeds.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dollars for Scholars

Tori and I are going to run, Lord willing, in the Dollars for Scholars 4k that Knoxville is putting on August 2nd. Our friend Connie is going to run it too.

I'm very excited for Tori -- I can't wait to see how well she does. She is always running with me -- not much of a challenge. I hope she pushes herself. She'll get a personal best... seeing as this will also be a personal first. HA!

Even typing this my hands got sweaty!! Oh my word... I'm nervous.

So -- this means no skipping my c25k work outs this week... or next.

I just hope I don't finish LAST!! Please Lord... help me not to finish last!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cost of BabySitting

Dh and I rarely pay a babysitter.

When ever we do we are so like this...

DH:"what did you earn when you did baby sitting?"

ME:"huh?? that was 20 years ago?"

DH: "what do your friends pay their baby sitters?"

ME:"I have no friends who pay baby sitters."

DH: silence

ME: "What do your friends pay baby sitters?"

DH:"I have no friends."

ME:"Are our kids HARD -- does she deserve more then normal? There are so many of them."

DH:"I wonder what normal is."

Akkk... Since we have no idea what to pay -- we never leave the house alone.

Until NOW!!!

I am so excited... I can't wait to go on a date -- NOW that I know what to pay a babysitter.

You TOO can leave the house alone -- after you use the BABYSITTER RATE CALCULATOR!!

It is pro-rated by your zip code... how many kidlets you own...um... have, and how old the sitter is. You can also throw in curve balls like TWINS!! My friend has twins... I bet she has to pay more...

So -- what's your going rate?

Mine is $6.

I wonder if I can afford to leave the house alone.

Let's just say I go to Des Moines - I live 1 hour from there. Woah.. that's $12 to drive there and back.

Eat supper -- 1 hour -- $6

Watch a movie -- 1.5 hours... brb... Yeah, I thought so. $9

HEY!!! Is that $27?? We'd better not doddle while we are driving home. Can't afford to go parking. LOL Oh SHUT UP... you do too know what parking is.

PLUS the cost of dinner/movie/fuel. Yeah -- dream on... I guess I'll be grabbing my hubby, NETFLIX it, pop some corn and grab my broom for banging on the ceiling and telling the kids to KEEP IT QUIET UP THERE -- I'M ON A DATE!!

HOLY COW!!! I just put my sister's zip code in there -- :dead faint: (this is Jennifer's blog... she will resume blogging when she regains consciousness.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Are you a conservative?




Well -- over at Huck PAC there are some very thought provoking blog entries.

He held a VERTICAL DAY blog-a-thon of sorts yesterday. You can click here to get over there.

He had people such as Bill Frist M.D., Senator John Cornyn, Representative John Linder and Senator Lamar Alexander, just to name a few, blogging. Africa, FAIRTAX, oil... are some of the things discussed.

I'd suggest you go there and BOOK MARK that spot for some insightful reading over the next few days. Leave a comment while you are at it -- let's let our conservative leaders know how we feel about the work they are doing. I pray you would encourage them to keep on keeping on the RIGHT TRACK! Let them know you are praying for them, as God's Word commands us to. (Well -- I HOPE you are praying for them.)

So -- just to see if you are paying attention... who can tell me why Mr. Huckabee called it Vertical Day?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I'm a fan of fasting.

I was talking with a friend today... OK -- we were e-mailing actually. I was talking with a friend today about some activities we are going to skip this year.

I mentioned fasting. I feel when I fast from sugar, other things that I taste seem sweeter naturally.

Have you ever noticed me taking a computer sabbatical? I do every once in a while. I take a message board hiatus. I LOVE going back to my friends on-line when I'm done. I miss them while I'm gone from there. I cherish their fellowship all the more knowing that not every gets that camaraderie like I'm privileged to have with them. When I fast from blogging, I'm continually thinking -- "Oh... I should blog about this." So when I get back to it -- it still seems like fun and it is rewarding for me to read your comments. I really miss it when I'm gone.

I have fasted from solid food. Wow... does that make you appreciate chewing. I did get to the point where I didn't miss food WHILE fasting... but when I started eating again. Umm Yummm... that was good. Flavors were outstanding. Texture was good. Energy... I had more energy after fasting. I also lost something. I lost excess weight while fasting.

We fast from viewing TV that we pay for in the spring and summer. TV is a privilege not a right for the kiddos and I. We LOVE watching TV. I think since it's limited so much we really still have a fun time watching TV together. We are NOT losing our brain cells that way. We GAIN by not watching TV. Even my non-readers will sit on the couch and look at books now for several minutes at a time, with no TV available to them.

There are lots of benefits of fasting. But there are down falls.

My family and I will be fasting from the local Home School Group this up coming school year. I've gone on Activity Day sabbatical before... usually after having a baby. Sleep -- give me sleep. But after that year is over... I'm ready, really ready to meet and great my friends twice a month. I'm ready to lug my kiddos from here to kingdom come for some educational field trips. The fellowship I have with my christians friends is cherished. The curriculum idea sharing that goes on is MOST helpful. I lap up their chatting and laughter! But if I'd never pull back and be with out that... would I become jaded and take all those advantages for granted? I don't know... I might not... I know my children love it when we return. I know they know what it's like to not have those meetings with other home school friends, so during the years when we do participate -- they are gung ho! One down fall of fasting this activity... I don't think every one "gets" it. I don't like making people feel sad. I'm such a people pleaser... I really like people around me to be laughing and happy. Oh -- it's hard to say no. I like saying YES and YES and YES!

What will I lose by skipping out on the home school co-op this year? I don't know... the communication. We'll lose out on information. We'll lose out on benefits of belong to a group. Knowing things that they know - being in a system. I'll miss the adult conversation. Will I lose anything that will be good for me to lose? One thing I know for sure... I'll lose the Friday Morning HURRY SCURRY Activity Day bustle. OK -- we didn't have that this year, I forgot. It was in the afternoons this year. We'll lose the Friday and Wednesday afternoon HURRY SCURRY Activity Day bustle. It's always hard for me to get 5 kiddos and myself ready alone. Negative things that we will lose are not readily coming to mind. But I'm sure there are some. Time away from home, so not able to keeping the home orderly those times for when my dear husband comes home. That's important for him -- so I SHOULD be able to keep up on that... just those few times a month. Will that make that big of a difference? We'll see.

One thing I've noticed is... it's fun to see the creative ways my friends keep in touch with me. Phone calls, letters, e-mails, comments on my blogs. Since I live in the boonies - I don't see them much in person. When we do see each other at the library per chance, those short sweet visits are reviewed in my mind over and over again the following days at home. Church attendance is so very important during this year for me.

So - fasting... we do it in different ways and for different reasons, but I do believe it is a benefit for our family. If you are touched by that and it effects you, I hope you will hold us up in prayer this next school year when ever you think of us.

If you miss my big old donkey braying laugh -- then you can shoot up a prayer for me. If you miss Wayne running and laughing and wiping out and still laughing -- then you can stop for a mini-second and pray for him. If you miss Tori just standing around and grinning -- pray for her. If you miss Mansel and his never ending talking -- (which he is doing in my ear right now.. hold on) - OK... if you miss that... THEN I'LL SEND HIM TO YOUR HOUSE SOME AFTERNOON. Ohh... I'mJustKidding!! Pray for him! (and me) If you miss Milo and his mischievous ways, breaking things, getting dirty, dumping rocks down drains -- then pray for him. If you miss Danielle and her hugs -- that would be a perfect time to pray for her. She will be missing you too.

Thank you friends. We do love you and next year -- fall of 2009 -- it will be even better because of our fasting, I know it will.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mozy Back Up

Have you heard me speak of Mozy? This is a GREAT place. It backs up my computer stuff for FREE!! Mozy says...

Why all the fuss about backup?

Chances are you have a lot of important stuff on your computer like financial documents, email, digital photos, music and more. Unfortunately, computers are vulnerable to hard drive crashes, virus attacks, theft and natural disasters, which can erase everything in an instant.

Current statistics show that one in every ten hard drives fail each year. The cost of recovering a failed hard drive can exceed $7,500, and success is never guaranteed.

Now -- that's a lot of $$... Wowza... recently our computer CRASHED... it didn't cost $7,500... but it sure was stressful.

Horray for MOZY! I didn't lose any photos. Cool!

If you refer folks to MOZY they will give you extra storage space. You can alway pay $4.95 and get unlimited... but I'm not to my limit yet-- so I stay free... but would welcome any little extra bit I can get. Ü

Sunday, July 20, 2008

1930 Marital Scale


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Ok -- so I lied on some of these things. I'm not always jolly and gay.

And this question -- Wears soiled or ragged dresses and aprons around the house. Of course I don't... I don't wear ANY sort of dress or apron around the house. :giggle: But I try not to wear soiled or ragged CLOTHES of any sort around the house. Now if you would have asked me that 2 years ago -- I would have had to say YES... but I didn't soil them... that comes with having an infant.

Reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress. :blush: Around here we call that Horizontal Fellowship. Shhh... don't tell the kiddos! I'll try talking about marital congress with dear hubby tonight -- see if he catches on.

So -- go take the test -- how well did you score?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

One More Give Away?

Can you stand it? Another give away....Wowza.
Of course -- it's all about free advertising for them... but hey -- I'm a sucker.

OK -- here is it. One more. This one is NOT cool... but warm. A Quilt. A nice crinkly quilt. Soft... cuddly... I think. I actually haven't felt it. But it sure looks soft, cuddly, and crinkly.

Dana at the Old Red Barn blog made this here quilt. Isn't is beautiful? :swoon:

Now -- she is being very generous and giving away TONS of chances of winning. If you have a blog ya just gotta participate or else your chances of winning go WAY down. So -- here I go -- (sound of Jen's feet pitter pattering away) I'm going to put her pretty link up on my side bar -- the quilts so pretty... it'll liven things up a bit. Don'ca think?

I think I'll go to bed now -- too much blogging in one night is not good for... for... something - I'm sure.

Another Give Away

Now THIS one is cool beans... dude!

Heather, over at I'm No Super Mom blog, is having a give away for HER OWN birthday. Isn't that nice? If we mention it on OUR OWN blog -- we get an extra entry. So selfishly... um, I mean -- so um... there ya go - I mentioned it. °Ü°

Go enter. You could win a Lisa Leonard original. Who? Yeah -- that's what I said. :snicker: But I live in a cave... som that's to be expected. I went to check it out. This stuff is neato bandito!! Check it out.

(Don't forget to wish her a happy birthday -- use yer manners!)

C25K Podcasts

I'm starting over with Couch to 5K... the running/walking program found at Cool Running that helps you go from sitting on the couch to running a 5K in 9 weeks. (I'm on W4D2).

Oh... It's funny really -- I use the "timed" schedule -- I'd never be able to run a 5K in the time they allow, but that's OK... it gets me exercising. That's what counts.

Well -- recently I ordered an MP3 player from my sister, Karen. Her church sells them... neat deal really -- they put the praise and worship music on the MP3 player, and that enables you to learn the songs you will then hear in church. Anywho...

So -- there are folks out there who are more smarter than I. (Notice I didn't say smarter then me). They have set up podcasts you can put in your MP3 player that allows you to listen to commands to start and stop running during the Run/Walks leading up to a straight 5K.

I downloaded one that uses CHRISTIAN music. So cool! You can too here at Christian Indie Broadcast.

I used to struggle with a stop watch... but you know... I'm a blond until my air hits the air, then it turns brown. So struggle is the operative word in that previous sentence. :doh: Hit the wrong button... now -- where was I? I tried carrying a 3x5 card in my hand -- with the schedule printed out... run 5, walk 3, run 3, walk 90 seconds... after I sweat so much I can't read the schedule. Plus -- that's multi-tasking... runing, reading, timing... These podcasts make it soooo much easier. Just do one thing -- RUN... well -- 2... RUN and LISTEN! That guy in my MP3 player is so encouraging too... "Way to Go!" Like my own little mini-personal trainer.

This is so cool -- ya gotta try it out.

And if you are like me -- and while you are running -- you get all blessed thinking about how wonderful God is -- that you start crying... don't worry -- it'll just look like you are working really hard.

Have any of you tried C25K? What tricks do you use to make it any easier? I'd like to know.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Best Place to Have Kitties

Well -- we got home from our trip -- and were greeted enthusiastically by our dog, Ebony. Oh he was so excited to see some of us. (Not me). He loves the kids! After a bit I asked, "Has anyone seen Susan?" OK -- not my blogging friend Susan... but our CAT named Susan. She was preggo when we left -- we were curious to see if we had more pets when we come home, then when we left.

Nope -- nothing -- don't see her. Not unusual -- maybe she's out hunting wabbits. So we unloaded the van. Took everything inside... Dan is outside doing some final tidying (he is always doing some final tidying :giggle:) "TORI" Dan is hollering for Tori - she is our pet lover.

He says he can hear the kitty -- but can't find her. Where is Susan?

Can you see her?

That's right WAYNE -- she is IN the milk can -- WITH her 4 kitties.

What a place to have your babies.

Look at that protective arm over her babies. These are brand spanking NEW kitties too. I think they were born the day we came home... if not hours before we came home. I'm guessing she thought that would be the safest place around. Maybe under the porch other critters may get in there? Who knows. I don't think like a cat.

I made her move out of the milk can. I thought it would get hot in there. And I doubt she could get out of there very easily. So we put the pet porter up on the porch, tipped over the milk can and enticed her into the cat carrier with some milk. I had to dump the kitties out of the milk jug. I hope I didn't cause any brain damage -- I tried to be gentle.

She's doing fine.
Susan is the only cat we have left from our last batch of kitties.
So we are starting fresh.
What a way to end a vacation.

I praise God every day for my family. Things like this remind us that God is an awesome creator. He made small insignificant things like cats and their kitties, all the way up to my dear husband and his wonderful babies.

Thanks for a wonderful time Dan. I sure loved traveling with you. I can't wait to do it again some time. You are a great provider and protector. I just can't imagine going through this week with out you. You are a great husband and wonderful father!

Thank you kiddos for being so great. You are wonderful travelers! Hardly complaining -- OK... so that's not so true. But really only complaining a little. I had fun with you and really enjoy being around you.

Thank you Lord, again, for all you have given me. Kitties, fillies and air conditioner too!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Best Horse Park I've ever been to.

OK -- so the Kentucky Horse Park is the ONLY horse park I've been to. We love our Daughter -- she loves horses -- so since we are so close we go to a horse park. LOL Me? Well -- I love my daughter... Does that tell you anything? (I don't love horses so much - but she knows that). Hey -- let's just say I love her more than horses!

Really -- the history part was very interesting. That blue pole up above... ya see it? Over there on the left? That is the START of Man o'War's stride... the START... the finish is the 3rd pole on the right. 28 feet. Can you believe it? That is amazing... that horse could R.U.N.!! He is now buried at the Kentucky Horse Park - there is a neat memorial there for him and some of his off spring.

The Kentucky Horse Park is where some CHAMPION horses retire. There were 6 there... and they brought out 5 for a Parade of Champions. Interesting note -- the RICHEST racing horse evah. he also happens to be a gelding. Oh bummer...

It was there that I noticed Wayne was getting a bit fussy... so I was a bit distracted. Tori -- she was NOT distracted... she was enamored. Ü

Then we went to the Parade of Breeds. They brought out several breeds for us to view and the riders dressed up in costumes. This horse is HUGE... don't ask me the breed... but her costume sure is pretty. LOL

See her skinned up knee? Well -- she was on the first horse to come out -- the horse SLIPPED... and her foot got stuck in the stirrup. YIKES!! She shook it off like a trooper... but I saw her limping later... I'd have been bawling... but that's why I don't like horses -- they make ya bawl. (sometimes)

We then headed over to another barn... the BIG BARN they call it -- to see some Mares and their Foals. It is the biggest wooden barn in all the USA. Wowza.

I used to call every baby horse a colt. Well -- I instructed a "horse" class for home school girls this winter. I know now that all baby horses are Foals -- either a filly or a colt depending on if they are male or female. So -- we saw 2 mares and 2 foals. I don't know if we were looking at a filly or a colt... I was watching Wayne. He seemed feverish...

OK -- Tori says... the miniature foal was a filly. See... she was paying attention. LOL Isn't that little filly cute??!!

See -- Wayne is asleep in his dad's arms. Not normal. Thus -- my lack of paying attention to horses.

I've read that they have a FANTASTIC horse museum... but some of us were feverish... so we skipped it. Maybe next time. So -- we went directly to Tori's trail ride.

I think she liked that idea -- what do you think?

Her horse? Well -- her horse may feel other wise. Old hat for him -- that trail ride.

So -- Wayne was fussy... I was tired of holding him... and it was getting close to lunch time. I volunteered to take the rest of the non-horse riding kiddos to the van. We would eat our lunch and they could trek over to the van after Tori's trail ride.

It was an adventuresome walk to the van. Wayne only threw up once. Yuck! Just so happened to throw up on the carpet. There we were in the out doors -- horse poo every where... and he waits until the 3 minutes we are on carpet before he hurls. N.I.C.E. I didn't get mad at him... he really wasn't feeling well. It tuned out his THROAT hurt... he was telling me his NECK hurt... so why the vomit? Who knows? He had a sore throat for several days... but seems fine now. Praise God for Motrin. Praise God for a dear husband who REMEMBERED the Motrin!! Whew...

We all ate lunch -- got in the rented van -- traveled back to the airport. Switched out our stuff into the borrowed van with no a/c and headed home.

1/2 way home we stayed in a SUPER DUPER motel that was down the street from a Bob Evan's Restaurant. You know they sell Sweet Tea there too. It goes great with omelets and potatoes. Oh my word... that's totally not on my plan. I'm pretty sure the sweet tea did me in. I want to move south.

No worries... I'll just start over with my diet on Monday....

So -- after that -- will everything seem like a let down? No more excitement? Blah? Hum Drum??

Yeah RIGHT!!

Come back tomorrow to see the best place ever to give birth to kitties.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 2 of Creation Museum

Day 2 of the Creation Museum started with a movie called Men in White. It was funny, funny, funny... a comedy that was educational. And SURPRISING!! I'm not gonna spill the beans... but you need to BE READY for ANYTHING in that show. I was laughing out loud!

Then we headed into the belly of the museum. A 3 hour tour (could have been longer!) all full of biblical history. There were very lifelike wax figurines, many charts to read, lots of information. TV's running short movie snippets. A TON of information. Every thing was very top notch. Take a look at this dinosaur. Very life like looking. Doesn't it seem like a real reptile? Remember -- you can click on the photo to enlarge it -- if you dare. LOL

There were some hands on things for the kiddos to touch. We found this little photo op out by the elevator. It seems like every square inch of the 70,000 square foot museum was in use some how.

The flood room was my favorite by far. There were computeres in there for the kiddos to do puzzles on. There were big chuncky puzzles that even Wayne and Danielle could get their hands on.

We started into the museum about 10:30ish... Then we had to stop for lunch. If that were one thing I could change -- I would. It's hard to get out of the tour once you begin it. You either have to walk quickly to the end, or turn around and go back to the beginning against the flow of traffic. We took the 1st option. We quickly walked to the end. Ate our sack lunch then walked about through from the beginning to start over where we left off. If you time it correctly... you could do it all at once... Start right at 10:00 when the museum opens, or wait until after lunch to start.

At 3:00 we went to a lecture. Now -- I must say -- 3:00 in the afternoon... after staying up until 11:40 playing C.O.D.A. the night before -- after we ate a big picnic lunch... not the best time for a lecture. It was interesting... the parts I was AWAKE for was Very intriguing. :giggle: Please don't thing that the speaker was to blame. He was very engaging... just... I was a bit sleepy... I needed to get some water squirt in my face... that may have kept me awake... Oh shhh... I promised not to spill the beans.

After my nap -- oh... after Mr. Riddle was done speaking we headed over to the Dragon Hall -- or the book store, in laymen's terms. That would be a very easy place to go over board -- I would LOVE to fill up our church library with all that STUFF!! Ü Dan had given the kiddos an allowance -- some spent their $$ here... others were holding out for what was to come the next day.

Tomorrow -- the Kentucky Horse Park!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Favorite Family

Our favorite dentist took this photo RIGHT before the batteries went dead. This is the one and only. Apparently he's multi-talented.


Isn't that back ground Gorgeous!! I hope their photo turned out just as well. (Eekk!! I took that one... )

Remember Mom -- you can click directly on the photo to enlarge it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 1 of Creation Museum

They welcome us -- how nice. Heritage Home Educators. Tricia is our field trip organizer -- this is a field trip. Some field trip, huh? Wowza... so cool. I think we are blessed to have Tricia in our group. She got the trip planned. Got us a group rate to a snazzy motel. She's really great! Plus -- she left after us and BEAT us to Kentucky. LOL

Here we are. All 34 of us. 22 of them were kiddos. (That really made it nice... all my kids had built in playmates for this vacation.)

We split the Creation Museum visit into 2 days. So day 1 we visited the planetarium first. That was fantastic. It was sometimes above my head... well - the show was ALWAYS above my head physically, but sometimes intellectually as well.

After that we headed outside.

We visited a petting museum. Here is Tim -- talking to a camel. One fun thing about vacationing with other families is that you get to know them better. I'd only waved at Tim before, I think. Or smiled at him perhaps. But his dear daughter MayLee and my dear daughter Dani LUV each other. So we spent a lot of time with Tim and Angie. What a blessing for us. We like them too!

The outdoor gardens were beautiful! Angie went to Iowa State University and studied... something... horticulture. Does that sound right? So we really learned a lot while we were out there. My kiddos enjoyed the swinging bridge.

All around the nature trail there were these figures. Wire shapes filled with moss. Angie things they will grow vine plants all over them some day. I tend to agree. I think the nature trail is a work in progress. That means we'll HAVE to return to see if we were right. LOL I was impressed enough with the Creation Museum, that I would say we should return. And I would feel very comfortable recommending the museum to other families.

There was a very big pond in between the indoor Museum and the nature trail. These lotuses were in bloom all around. Beautiful. This one has the seed pod in the middle of the bloom.
I think my Wayne loved the "creek" running through the gardens best. It sounded heavenly. The nature trail was -- I can't think of enough adjectives... beautiful. Lovely. It was lovely.

After the first day at the museum -- all the families went their different ways. Some went to Toys "R" Us. Some went to go swimming. Others -- they went to rent a mini-van that had air conditioning. That would be US! Whew... we are spoiled. We really like air conditioning... and nothing makes you realize that more than a conversion van with NO air conditioning in July.

So -- we headed to the air port -- and got us a vehicle. Praise the Lord. There was a family who wanted to rent a vehicle that was more reliable then what they drove in Iowa. Interestingly enough -- since the flooding so recently -- they couldn't find anything. We were thankful that we found something so easily.

We headed back to the motel -- several of the kiddos were wanting to SWIM!

While swimming -- us ladies who were planning on eating out hatched a plan. We wanted to eat together. We'd let our husbands decide where.

We got out of the pool -- and off we went to the Tumbleweed. I did NOT stay on my eating plan, needless to say. But my chimichanga was delish!! They have sweet tea at restaurants in the south friends. Oh -- I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. AND -- it's nothing like Iowa McDonald's sweet tea. It's the real thing. Oh wowza... once again -- not really on my plan... but you know -- it was VACATION!!! Apparently vacation means no self control. What I drank in Kentucky -- stays in Kentucky (well -- now that I blogged about it... that's really not true -- is it).

After dinner -- I challenged the group to a game of C.O.D.A. I hear they aren't making this game any more. So I take extra special care of this game -- we put it up high out of kiddos reach. Yeah -- I know it's the kid's game... what 'cha gonna do about it? I like it -- I'm the queen of C.O.D.A. LOL Not really... I usually win the first game. Then when everyone else gets the hang of it -- I get hammered... but you know... I love to egg people on. Especially my competitive friends Travis and Robin. 2 of us had rooms that joined... so the adults played a nice friendly game or two of C.O.D.A. and the kiddos watch Star Wars on the big screen TV in the other room.

Some lasting longer then others. Won't they LOVE this photo when they are 18. :giggle:

Day 1 had come to an end.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Blog

I found a new favorite blog.
(OK -- she's my sister... I have to say that!)


Yeah -- say that 10 times fast...

betcha can't
betcha can't

While you are trying -- go check it out!

I'm putting it on my google reader!

If I know Jeremy and Becky -- it would be a MUST READ for you too...
they CRACK me UP!!

My Favorite Rest Area

We got an early start on our trip Sunday Morning. I had all the bags packed. I made breakfast burritos to heat up and eat in the car. Lah lah lah... we were doing great. On the road by 6:30 a.m.

Wait -- who has the cell phone? Not me... Not you... then who?

Oh me -- so we got a great 2nd start around 8:00. lah lah lah... we were doing great.

Mommm.... I've gotta go.

Well -- good timing -- here is a rest stop. We had made it to the other side of Iowa City -- took a look at the Iowa River... it didn't look too swollen. We didn't see much damage. Look at this rest stop -- isn't it beatiful? I think I see Quilt Squares on the buildings. How beautiful... oh wait -- I can't really see for sure... there is too much smoke.


Yep -- smoke... rolling out from under the hood. Oh me.

Well -- take a look for yourself -- isn't this rest area beautiful?

We should know -- we stopped here for 5 hours on Sunday.

Here are our friends. Tricia -- she is such a sweetie... she was traveling with out her husband so I offered our company. She could ride along with us. "No - you all are leaving way too early." Yeah -- tell me about it.

So when she pulled in she was surprised to see US! Hey -- did you leave at 0:dark thirty?

Um yeah... we did... now it's almost lunch time -- we think we'll eat a picnic here. And you? Yeah -- sounds like a good idea. She was planning on taking it slow and relaxed.

So we had a relaxed lunch. She packed up and left and we enjoyed the beautiful rest area some more. LOL We left before her and she's going to beat us there.

Did I mention we were going on a field trip with our Home School Group? We were all planning on meeting up in Kentucky to tour the Creation Museum together. All of us were leaving at different times. That's an interesting fact. We all left at different times... just keep that in mind.

Anyway -- Dan's family is mechanically inclined. I'm so very glad. While we were waiting I got some school done with the kiddos -- I was able to totally relax and enjoy myself. Praise God for husbands.

He called his brother -- who has a trailer -- he called his Dad who has a van. Randy hauled Delano's van up to the rest area -- and we were going to borrow that van for the ride to Kentucky -- then he took our smokey van home.

Bye Ruby. :wave: It's been fun... see ya soon... maybe.

See that man in the white t-shirt? He is Dan's uncle. Uncle Dick and Aunt Jo stopped to visit us at our humble rest area. They were on their way home to Illinois -- traveling I-80. They thought maybe they would be of some help. No worries... Dan had it under control. So we chatted... when Uncle Randy arrived, Uncle Dick and Dan helped unload the loaner van, and load up the smoky van.

HEY -- look it there -- who do we see? JUST as Ruby the smoky van gets loaded here comes another family we are meeting up with in Kentucky. They waited until their church was over before leaving. Yeah -- I know... MUCH later than we left.

We decide to follow them to Kentucky.

Here we go... We stop once for gas. Get some ARBYS sandwiches... then drive until we get to the motel.

Praise God for portable DVD's, MP3 players and rechargeable batteries.

Hey -- we made it -- and who did we pull in behind??? Tricia!?!

She did take it slow and relaxed. She left the rest area 2 hours ahead of us -- but pulled into the drive 2 minutes ahead of us. Funny. We all 3 left at different times... and arrived together.

We met up with 3 others families the next morning for the museum. Then the fun began!

Friday, July 11, 2008

We are Home!

Boy have I got photos to share... but of course -- I've been on vacation... so I don't have batteries charged. Ü

Up coming posts...

1. The best rest stop in Iowa.
2. The best Creation Museum in Kentucky.
3. The best place to give birth to kitties.
4. The best family on earth.

So good to be home... ahhhhh... my own bed. My sheets... my coffee pot! LOL

AND -- my laundry -- ta ta for now... I must go conquer Mt. StinkyPile

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Leora, my dear Mother-in-law, had herself a SuRpRiSe tonight!!
Since you aren't to tell a ladies age... lets just say she celebrated successfully breathing for 70 years straight, with out stopping.


Look at that neat cake with her picture on it.

Here she is with
Olivia , Izabel, Christina, Brad, Tori, Brady, Milo, Mansel, Wayne, Trenton (a great), Braxton, Danielle, Aurora, and Marshall. Michelle was gone on a missions trip, other wise all the grands were there. What a blessed thing to be able to capture on film. Doesn't she look happy? She loves her grand children -- and they can tell.

She was having a ball. We finally made she and her family sit STILL for a photo. Delano, Randy, Dan,
Debra, Leora and Rhonda.

Tucker got tuckered out. He was ready for us to scoot, I think.

Her friends and family came to celebrate -- and it was a grand time!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fun Time

I found these baskets sitting in my living room the other day :sigh:

Why can't these kids pick up things after they play with them??

KIDS!!! (I holler)

Taa Daa!!!

They weren't done with them.

Too Funny.

I love to see their imaginations at work.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fresh Hair Cut

Thanks to Leann at Exsalonce Image Design, in Knoxville, I've got a new do.

Off of the ol' neck hair cut!

Great Summer Time hair cut.

Goes great with Country Time Lemonade hair cut!

Also goes well with Swimming Time hair cut!

Much less prep time hair cut!

All great things.

Oh one more...
Curly - so it covers up my grey BIG TIME hair cut!

Perfect for celebrating Independence Day hair cut!

Happy 4th of July!
May God bless the U.S.A.!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sneezing Panda

Oh my sides!!! This one is hysterical.

We watched it several times. Oh -- I needed a good laugh... good for my abs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008



How exciting... this one I would LOVE to win. Check it out. Sounds like something I could use.

Angela will be giving a Home School Planner away -- here is what she has to say about it.

The first word out of my mouth as I opened my planner was WOW! I heard how great this was but I don't think I realized how great it could have been until I saw it. It is AWESOME! This planner is by far the greatest one I have ever seen!

This planner is an ebook. The great thing about that is you can print off what you want and leave what you don't, the cover would be great to print off and put in a 3 ring notebook and you could put the rest of the book inside and have a great planner for school time. It has 247 pages in it, it's also interactive so you can work on the pages in your computer and print them off, wow-thats great.

It has everything you would imagine a planner to have. Calendars, charts, address pages, and dates to remember BUT it has so much more! So much more! It has field trip planning, sheets on your garden, the US Presidents and their wives, State and country capitals, budget, vacation planning, chore charts, Bible reading schedule, and prayer journal.

It also has some wonderful tools to help you at home. Menu planning, daily schedules, monthly homekeeping reminders, family health records, a sheet for the babysitter and through out your will find some great recipes. I'm telling you it has it all!

Of course no homeschool planner would be complete without pages to help you with your homeschooling. It has sheets on your curriculum, your schedule for the year, a measurement conversions sheet, a sheet on famous composers, and even a timeline of inventions. Throughout the whole planner there are teaching tips, anything from why its good to teach a foreign language to solving your science struggles.

If you have this planner you will have a homeschool and house notebook in one. The ones who put this together thought of it ALL! You can tell this was made from homeschool homemaking moms! They left nothing out. I can think of no better gift for yourself then this, it will help you be more organized and efficient and you will be able to keep all your records in one place. You don't want to miss out on this one.

I'm Sorry Ebony

Our dog Ebony likes to walk with me.

I like to poke fun at him -- because I think he is a coward.

Today -- I must say I'm sorry.

Ebony -- you are NOT a coward.

Let me explain.

Saturday I took my walk/run/shuffle/crawl -- down the road, past the new neighbors. NORMALLY when I walk by them, their dogs bark at me through their windows. I say, "oops... hope I didn't wake them up." LOL

Well -- SATURDAY, I was late getting my walk in -- and they dogs were out in the yard. Ebony and I were walking alone, because Tori was at camp still. The new neighbors have 2 dogs. One 3 legged dog called BO. (Poor Ugly thing), and another slick, blue/grey BIG dog with 4 legs that has a LOUD bark, and I don't know it's name.

I came over the hill and apparently they smelled me... they came trotting along out into the road and were barking, barking, barking... so I kept walking, walking walking. YIKES!! I don't like barking dogs!

The slick large loud 4 legged one stopped and grooowled... showed me his teeth. Eeek... I start taking baby steps. GROWL... I stop taking baby steps and stand still. I say, "good doggy... are you friendly?" I notice my voice is a little high pitched. I'm scared out of my wits!! "Good doggy." Woah.. is that my voice?? Fear is dripping out of my armpits apparently - he can smell my fear!!

BO!! (the neighbors can hear the dogs barking -- their windows are open). BO round'em up -- bring'em in!!


then the 3 legged dog starts running around the slick large loud 4 legged one.

Oh... bring HIM!! in... not THEM... ok... so I start walking...

I call out a cheery shaky, "Good Morning"... and keep on walking, keeping on walking... I notice my 3 minute walking part of Couch to 5K is over -- so I take off RUNNING!!! that's my fastest 1 minute 30 second run EVAH!!! Oh my gracious... I was scared witless, I believe.

I hear doggy steps behind me... I turn ever so slightly...

EBONY!!!! Oh good doggy.... OH good doggy!!!! Where WERE YOU?? LOL I think he had stayed behind as a diversion so I could get out of there... I don't know -- I sort of forgot him in my flee for safety.

So -- fast forward to Monday.

Some how - I slipped out of the yard with out Ebony noticing me leaving. I don't usually INVITE him to walk with me... he tags along. I bet he'd noticed that -- so decided that he didn't need to hang around with me... I'm too high class for him -- well -- he'll show me.

Well -- maybe not... but anyway...I thought, "Oh how nice -- I get to walk alone today... no Ebony trailing along."

I crested the same hill and WOAH!!! What in the world??? Here comes the slick loud 4 legged dog RUNNING at me... I CAN SMELL MY OWN FEAR!

EBONY!!! EBONY!!! I'm thinking.. Oh where is Ebony today??!!

I hear the neighbors yelling at the dog from INSIDE... I see him turn a little and look at the house.

I TURN AROUND AND START RUNNING -- who cares what the stop watch says... I'm NOT going past that stupid dog, and I'm RUNNING UP THIS HILL AWAY FROM THAT DOG!

And I'm sorry Ebony -- I'm the coward... thank you for saving my hide and doing it so well that it seems you weren't even doing anything.

Today -- I'm going to head South. I know those dogs... they are all old and friendly. I'll just face them new hills with a vengeance... because it's either them hills or that dog... and I'm NOT conquering a dog!! 3, 4 legged or otherwise.

So - Ebony -- you going walking with me today?

I'm such a coward.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy

Oh my heavens -- what a song.

My parents just went to a funeral this week -- this song was sung. I want this song sung at my funeral! Isn't it amazing??