Thursday, January 29, 2009

not very exciting

I just spend the better part of an hour trying to figure out how to post and comment from Mike's blackberry...and I'd done it before. Somehow Jonathan's laptop stopped getting internet access, so this is the best I can do. -guess no more pictures until we get home. As for my title, this isn't a very exciting post, and sadly not the most exciting vacation either. Thankfully we'd gotten off to a pretty fast start because we slowed way down. Friday night about 10 minutes from meeting friends, Madi started saying her stomach hurt. Suffice it to say it was a long night. Well I'm going to give the shortened version of the story now because of the blackberry, but basically it looks like it was a virus and not just Madi's sensitive stomach because Jake has it now. Not fun on vacation...not to mention we've been with more friends and I really HATE exposing people to yucky stuff like this. Yes only a month ago I had a post about this topic (sickness and superstition) here we go again. Also in between the two kids not feeling well, I put on facebook that we almost never get "normal illnesses"--spoke too soon. The thing is I don't handle illness in my family very well because we've had too many weird things happen and I tend to worry too much. Worrying and less than four hours of sleep is not a good combination, and that's where I am right now. I'm torn between wanting to be home right now and being really sad that our vacation is ending. I'm feeling rather pathetic right now.

I did buy the Jon and Kate book yesterday and finished the whole thing by this morning...LOVED IT!!

Monday, January 26, 2009


FOR TODAY Monday January 26th.

Outside my is cold at our timeshare, but no snow.

I am thinking...I'm trying to take a break from thinking because we are on vacation.

I am thankful for...for the old friends we've already seen on this trip the Streets, the Michaels and the Hunihans.

From the learning rooms...a little bit of a break this week, we brought math on this trip, but haven't thought about it much yet.

From the kitchen...pancakes, eggs (from Pam's chickens), bacon and sausage this morning. Yesterday at Pam's we had a great pasta with shrimp, tomatoes, spinach, basil, garlic etc, and before that we yummy yummy cream cheese with different toppings (rapberry chutney, a habanero thing, and someother ones) and crackers. You can expect to see this kind of snack at my house soon!

I am wearing...soft purple jammies. (here I am in a different state and I'm wearing the same jammies as last week!)

I am creating...more crocheted dishcloths and a great presidents puzzle that we are borrowing from Tiffany.

I am going...sledding today (at a place where they make snow because there is no real snow).

I am reading...A Merry Heart (a book about an Amish girl) and about 8 more books that I brought on this trip. In the car we are listening to Peter Pan read by Jim Dale (the guy who reads the Harry Potters) he is amazing (even better than Jim Weiss) but Wendy does sound like Hermione and John like Ron and Captain Hook like Snape, so it's a little confusing! We also got Alice in Wonderland with Jim Dale (both from the "bad" library...make sure I return them on time!!)

I am snows on our vacation. (also from last week)

I am hearing...Madi watching some Animal Planet show with Mario Lopez, Mike and Jake playing Yahtzee, Jonathan trying to talk someone into going outside with him, and my blog music (it's a small cabin).

Around the's a lot more fun doing dishes and laundry on vacation...don't have to worry about anything else.

One of my favorite things...doing puzzles at our timeshare.

A few plans for the rest of the week: puzzles, reading, and games!! On Saturday night when we get home Mike and I are going to see the Eagles in concert with my was our anniversary present.

Here is a picture story I am sharing...

Friday, January 23, 2009

On the road again...

I'm writing this on Jonathan's laptop from a hotel in Georgia. I'll be checking in from Mike's blackberry while we're on our trip, but may not be posting much or commenting on other blogs for a while. We left our house at 5am yesterday morning and arrived in Tallahassee at around 9. Mike had about 6 hours worth of work there and the day was our adventure. We found a pretty good Goodwill, spent a good amount of time at the Museum of Florida History (just one day after close friends had been there:( ). It was a lot of fun! Then we found a mall, ate lunch, FOUND A WII FIT (we had been searching since Christmas when Mike's father gave us money for one). Next to the mall was Kohls and Madi had a large gift card burning a hole in her pocket so we went there where she got a winter jacket (she'd had her other one since she was 7 I think), two shirts and still had money left over. While at Kohls the boys opted to stay in the car (it wasn't hot, Jonathan is a teenager, he had a phone and I had a phone etc...etc...) anyway they had the door locked and when we got to the car Madi pulled right on the handle even though it wasn't unlocked yet and the most obnoxious car alarm started blaring!! We've only had this vehicle for about a month and a half and had no idea what to do! I tried putting the keys in the luck, I tried starting to drive luck! What a scene!! A nice lady came over over to help us and suggested starting the car... (umm hello it is already running--to her defense though you couldn't hear it over the alarm), Jonathan thought is would be a good idea to call Daddy (what he could do for us I'm not sure, but it is nice to know at 13 Jonathan still thinks Daddy has all the answers), Madi was just about to cry, it was a mess! Finally the lady suggested putting the key in the lock (I'd already pushed all the buttons on the key to no avail) but low and behold putting the key in the lock worked. By then it was time to get Mike and head further north on our journey. We'll be staying with old friends tonight and we'll get to our timeshare tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility, a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

Monday, January 19, 2009

my blog

Ann Marie, who is the best writer I know, picked my blog as one of her favorites, and I'm so honored! Now I have to pick three of my own favorites, which is really difficult because I try so hard not to play favorites...please know I love you all...however...

I have to go with Cindy at Monkeyboy-Aventures because I've know her since way before there were blogs, it is so fun to now keep in touch almost daily this way, it is neat how even though our lives are pretty different we still like, do, say, and think things very similarly, and she puts on really cool holiday/special day/ trivia type things!

Oneblessedmamma because she is a great writer and a great photographer.

Leisa because she's so fun, and I go to her blog about 10 times a day to see who has updated theirs!

I told Cindy that I'd play along with this game quite a while ago and then forgot about it...she gave me the letter L...

All you have to do is make a list of ten of your favorite things. But there is a little catch. Everything on the list has to start with a specific letter of the Alphabet. That letter is randomly assigned by the blogger who you are playing with!

1. Live well
2. Laugh often
3. Love much
4. Libraries
5. Lavender--the scent not the color
6. Live performances
7. Lemons
8. Limeade
9. Love Letters

If you'd like to play, leave me a comment and I'll send you a letter!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

to participate in the simple woman's daybook go here
FOR TODAY Sunday night (again) January 18th.

Outside my's dark and cool the windows are closed, but the heat's not on.

I am thinking...about how people should give blood. I challenged my readers before about this and I'm doing it again...I gave blood today, it's not that hard, just do it!

I am thankful and friends.

From the learning rooms...I've decided we'll continue to avoid the FCAT, but do plan on doing some kind of testing, in the meantime we'll be downloading free practice tests that we find online. Madi finished her mathbook on Friday and will begin the next one this week. Last week Jonathan and Madi "debated" about whether Andrew Carnegie was a good or bad guy (he gave A LOT of money to charity, but he had A LOT of money because he paid he's steel factory workers so little. Jake is on day 79 of his curriculum...100 here we come!

From the kitchen...Mike made the best chicken and steak tonight (we had Meme and Grampa Carlie and Jeannie and Gerry here for dinner). We learned from Mike's father this summer that if you soak chicken in salt water before you grill it it comes out DElicious! We also had mac and cheese and cucumber and tomato salad with feta cheese...we didn't have to buy any of this we are still cleaning out the freezer! More clean out the rest of the week.

I am wearing...soft purple jammies.

I am creating...a crocheted dish cloth...Jeannie taught me today and it's more than half way done...I'm pretty proud of myself! Madi and I also made two jean purses for a birthday party on Saturday.

I am bed as soon as I am done here.

I am reading...another Karen Kingsbury and have to get moving on Julie of the Wolves for bookclub.

I am snows on our vacation.

I am hearing...Mike watching football.

Around the house...everyone else is in bed.

One of my favorite things...fudge that friends of my parents make...they brought me some today!

A few plans for the rest of the week: calm Monday, jam-packed Tues and Wed, head out of town Thur at 5am first stop Tallahassee where Mike will work for about 6 hours and we'll have to find someway to amuse ourselves (thrift stores, book stores, and possibly a movie) then continue on to Atlanta where Mike will work some more on Friday morning, then finally to the mountains of NC and our timeshare for a week of rest and relaxation!

Here is a picture story I am sharing...

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I'm really considering having my kids take tests this year, even possibly (gasp) the FCAT. Are there any homeschoolers who may have had their kids tested before who might have any suggestions? I've spent a good part of this evening researching tests online and Jonathan and Madi have taken some sample FCATS. They are doing pretty well on them, but that is probably not the route we will go. I'm looking for any ideas you may have about other tests etc...

Maybe now I can drum up some comments:)

Friday, January 16, 2009

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

You Are Chocolate Chip Pancakes

You prefer sweet and rich foods.

You shy away from anything that's overly bland or unnaturally fat free.

It's not likely that someone would find low fat cheese or sugar free cookies in your kitchen.

Instead, someone might find a pan of brownies baking in the oven or warm popcorn covered in real butter.

Who's reading this?

Ok it's that time again...who reads this anyway? I've got the address on my facebook profile and we put it in our Christmas letter, so if you are a fairly regular reader (or you just happened to catch this post) let me know who you are. I know about those of you who, like me, are addicted to blogs (you can leave a comment too...but I mostly know who you are).

On another note, how about that miracle on the Hudson River yesterday?! Mike was actually flying yesterday, and I had talked to him after he landed, but then my mother called to find out what airline he was on and told me about the crash. Isn't it amazing that everyone is OK? The kids and I watched some of it on the news yesterday and read about it on-line and in the newspaper today. I think we feel more connected to it because Mike was flying to NJ (actually he flew into Philadelphia) yesterday. (He flys back today). We feel that anyone who might not have believed in God before yesterday that knows anything about the crash must today!! It is especially fitting because I was finishing reading Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury yesterday which is a Christian fiction book based on September 11th (it is a sequel to One Tuesday Morning...they are both great books!!)

And to spice things up a bit, lots of blogs lately (well two) have been about talking about "the birds and the bees" with kids. We've discussed this before (with Jonathan and Madi I mean--often when I say my kids I mean the two older ones---Jake is in a world of his own...currently choreographing his own Beauty and the Beast production, but I digress...) but like the Santa topic, I think Madi has blocked a lot of it out. We had a little 'refresher' discussion about it this morning, and she is pretty grossed out by the whole thing. When we were done I asked if they had any questions and her response was "Yeah, can we stop talking about this?"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This and that

There have been a few blog posts from people lately with 6 or 7 different tid bits of information and I have at least that much swimming in my head right now, so we'll see where this leads...

Madi just made this picture for AWANA to represent Jesus as the Good Shepherd...I love it!

We were happy to watch American Idol last night. I liked the girl who started adopt a "grandfriend", I did not like the girl in the bikini!! I actually dreamed that I was wearing a bikini last was a nightmare!

The poor little boy next door comes to the door everyday when he gets home from school, and says "Can I play with Jakey?" in the same exact way everytime. So often Jake is at Theatre, but even if I open the door saying "sorry, he's not here Josh", he always finishes his whole sentence the same "Can I play with Jakey?"...sometimes Jake is actually here and answers the door...he still says it..."Can I play with Jakey?" He has the sweetest little voice. This leads me to...I feel like my kids get invited to people's houses so much more than we invite because we always seem to have something going on and never seem to be sitting around saying, there's nothing to do so you can invite a friend over. On the flip-side we probably invite whole families to our house more than we get invited so I guess it works out.

At our Catholic book club last week the kids made little "Baby Jesuses" in wooden "mangers" and everytime they sacrifice something for one of their siblings they are supposed to write it on a slip of paper (hay) and put it in the manger to make a soft bed for's been almost a week and we have three little Jesuses with NO HAY!!! I think I need to challenge them or something ("YOU BETTER SACRIFICE SOMETHING FOR ONE OF YOUR SIBLINGS...HOW DO YOU THINK JESUS FEELS ABOUT THE WAY YOU'RE ACTING??!!!!!"--you know light a fire under them!)

We had a really fun day at Disney with the "oneblessedmamma" family. We were gone from our house for about 14 hours, and didn't even eat supper until 9:30pm. Jake was already asleep, but he'd eaten his weight in goldfish all day, so I wasn't too worried. Jake and Madi both went on Space Mountain for the first time (and then went on two more times).

This weekend we had a lot of fun plowing the yard with the tiller that Mike created. We are planning to have a big planted area in the back part of our yard...some vegetables (we already have tomatoes, broccoli, and strawberries (I know it's a fruit...well technically so are tomatoes--whatever!), some flowers, some trees, some mulch and benches etc...we're doing all this beacuse the grass is dead anyway. The funny thing is we had tomatoes last year and when we worked on the one planted area in the front we used some of our composted dirt as well as some dirt right out of the raised bed garden, and we ended up having three tomato plants grow in our front yard...we transplanted them an voila! I think we have pumpkins growing in our compost right now. Our strawberry plants are from last year...I think we got about 5 strawberries last year, we'll see how it goes this year. We might be getting a hard freeze later this week, so we'll be covering it all up...I'm sure it'll be the night Mike is out of town.

Jake signed up for Little League on Saturday. I have mixed emotions about it, for one thing I don't have very fond memories of when Jonathan played Little League--he had some pretty mean coaches and it wasn't really his "thing" and I had a preschooler and a baby sitting with me at the hot dusty field (Mike traveled a lot for work then too). On the other hand baseball may be one of Jake's "things" (he's got a lot of "things") and it is in a different league and he is my youngest so I don't have to worry about what my other kids will be doing (they can do school work--haha!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


FOR TODAY Sunday night (again) January 11th.

Outside my's dark and cloudy, Mike and I just got back from a walk.

I am thinking...I'm pretty much into the routine of doing the daybook on Sunday nights now.

I am thankful for...Mike.

From the learning rooms...we had a pretty good back to school week last week. Jonathan and Madi got a lot of math done and read for at least an hour most days. We read more about the Oregon Trail and also Katherine Lee Bates and how she came about writing America the Beautiful. Jake is moving right along and really reading well.

From the kitchen...we are hoping to clean out the garage freezer so we can defrost it when we go to our timeshare in two weeks, we're only going to buy things that help us use up the food we already have.

I am wearing...fairly nice clothes surprisingly, pants that I got 1/2 off at Cracker Barrel and a Chicos shirt, they are both greenish

We are creating...a big planted area in the back corner of our yard. Mike made a make-shift tiller and it really worked to dig up the dirt and weeds pretty well. I have pictures, but am too lazy to get them on here right now.

I am Disney in the morning.

I am reading...Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury, By What Authority--An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition by Mark P Shea, and we are still listening to Despereaux on CD, we took a long break.

I am sleep good tonight.

I am hearing...Jake telling me to read to him because he finally got his jammies on.

Around the is "lived in", but not a complete wreck.

One of my favorite things...buying used books.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Disney tomorrow, Tuesday is full with babysitting (2 different kids), PE, Park, Theatre, Wednesday home day lots of school work, AWANA and youth group at night (date for me and Mike), Thursday and Friday Mike will be out of town:(!

Here is a picture story I am sharing...

Friday, January 9, 2009

A FULL day!

Yesterday was an extremely full day. We got in a good morning of schoolwork. Jonathan was working on ratios for his math and Madi's math was finding the area of different shapes (like when one area of a rectangle isn't shaded and another part is...for example figuring out the area of concrete that surrounds a pool). We learned some more about what it was like traveling on the Oregon trail and how mean we were to the Native Americans. Jake completed day 73 of his curriculum. They all painted a tile for Meme for her birthday...

Jake got this cool cutting art pad for Christmas and he made this rainbow collage (that is a piece of bacon sticking out of his mouth!)...

We had our new favorite breakfast for lunch. Madi (one of the pickiest kids ever) actually said, "Can you PLEASE make the pancakes with cottage cheese in them?" {I won't be cutting up raw onions for her anytime soon, but we're getting somewhere!}

We continued our day with our Catholic book club meeting, which was great and included lots of good conversation, food, and fun.

We ended our day by meeting Meme and Grampa Carlie and Jeannie and Gerry for dinner for Meme's birthday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Memory Lane and other thoughts

Two years ago today my "Mugga" passed away after a three year convalesence (is that a word?) in a nursing home. One year ago this week was the last time I saw my "Memere". She had come down to spend Christmas and New Years with us and on January 5th, Madi and I dropped her off at the airport where the sky-cab guy wheeled her away...she passed away on April 9th. I had two amazing grandmothers and I miss them both terribly as well as Papa, Auntie, and Mike's grandmother. Whenever I am out and see elderly people (which is often, living in Florida) I feel jealous that other families still have their "oldies" (as we affectionately called them) and we don't! Here they are with my kids in 2006...

Twenty three years ago this week I became friends with Cindy again. We knew each other in kindergarten and first grade (I remember eating mini milkyways at her house), then I moved away (to a few different places) then moved back in high school. Here we are in 1986...
And here we are in September...
If you haven't visted Cindy's blog yet, please do...she's a lot of fun!

SIXTY years ago tomorrow my mother was born!! Can you even believe she's 60?! Happy Birthday Meme, we love you!!

Well, that's all I have for special to my "other thoughts"...

I didn't yet blog about John Travolota's son's death (although I did comment on it on facebook), but it is still bothering me. He had seizures (apparently it was the seizure that killed him) and Jonathan had seizures as a baby and toddler. Also, he was a teenager and Jonathan is a teenager. He was someone's son, and I have sons! It is so awful to think about. Rest in peace Jett.

We're slowly working our way back into the swing of schoolwork. Today we were reading about President William McKinley's assassination in Sept 1901. He was shot on Sept 6 and died on Sept 14, 1901. We read about how the whole country mourned, and as I was imagining what that might have been like, I realized and pointed out the the kids how that was exactly 100 years before Sept 11, 2001. Jonathan's immediate response, "YOU HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THAT!!"

We bought organic milk for about two years. Since prices of everything have gone up so much though, we've been back to the regular cheap milk. I've noticed recently how even the cheap milk (which isn't really cheap either, but it is better than calling it by its other name) says it doesn't add ARTIFICIAL growth hormones. I was thinking this was good until I realized it probably just means they use NATURAL growth hormones right? (don't really tell me, I don't want to know)

Mike and Jonathan are headed to Orlando right now for more acupuncture. People have asked me if it is working, I'm not sure. I think Mike plans to tell her they won't be back for a while (money still isn't growing on trees). I guess when Jonathan has blood work in the spring we'll see how his thyroid numbers are. Mike is supposed to have a CAT scan in Februrary and we'll see how his pancreas looks then. His sugars have been under control and he has gone down one unit on his insulin.

I have so much more that I should be doing right now, but it is theraputic to get my thoughts onto here and out of my head. The blog is the closest thing to the "pensive" in Harry Potter. My head is always spinning with so many thoughts and I just can't turn it off. I'm pretty sure all women are this way, and I'm also pretty sure men and children can turn their thoughts off whenever they want. I'll leave you to chew on that for a while!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


to participate in the daybook go here.

FOR TODAY Sunday night (again) January 4th, 2009!!

Outside my's dark, there's a cool breeze blowing in the open window.

I am thinking...tomorrow morning is back to the "old grind".

I am thankful for...the semi-restful and very productive 11 days Mike had off.

From the learning rooms...I have no idea what we were even working on before our break, we'll start all over in the morning! I have decided to alter some of our plans by focusing a little less on History and Science not stressing if we don't "finish" before May, and a little more on math and reading.

From the kitchen...we had spaghetti and meatballs with Meme and Grampa Carlie tonight, I'm going out for Thai food with the ladies tomorrow night, but we have tons of food in the refrigerator and freezer. Jonathan plans to make tacos one night this week and Madi plans to make mac and cheese.

I am red "are you my type?"-giving blood Tshirt and red jammie pants with teddy bears on them.

I am creating...hmmm...well I am planning to create a schedule to accomodate our new school work plan.

I am try to educate my kids in the morning and also going to the dermatologist, so that is why I am doing this tonight.

I am reading...The Secret of Us by Roxanne Henke...a new author to like! Jonathan, Madi and I have to finish A Shepherd's Prayer by Thursday. I've been reading the Grinch over and over to Jake everynight plus one story out of his Veggie Tales Bible Storybook.

I am hoping...for health and happiness in 2009.

I am hearing...the kids not yet getting into bed.

Around the house...I left out the snowmen when I put away the rest of the Christmas stuff. I always try to leave them out in January, but they usually don't last the whole month.

One of my favorite things...going out for Thai food with my friends!

A few plans for the rest of the week: School work, dermatologist, back to Theatre, AWANA, and youth group, Homeschool PE starts Tuesday, babysitting, American kids' club at the library Wednesday, Mike and Jonathan have accupuncture on Wednesday, my mother turns 60 on Thursday (hard to believe!!), and probably more that I am forgetting!

Here is a picture story I am sharing...

Saturday, January 3, 2009


This picture made me laugh. Some of the Littlest Petshops went to Craker Barrel and the Tavern next door on New Year's looks like the poor cat did a little too much celebrating!

Christmas is all packed away for another 11 months. I'm not as happy as a lot of people are about that. I would like Christmas and Christmas music all year long!

Last night Jake wanted to talk about when he gets married (not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that he spent a lot of the day at his friend Olivia's house!) He thinks he wants to have three kids (boy, girl, boy) and he doesn't care if he homeschools, he says it is up to his wife because he's going to have a job. He says he'd like to see me once a month and he likes girls with blond hair and blue eyes.

For the last two mornings we've had the pancake recipe that we had on our honeymoon (a bed and breakfast in Vermont)...I'd have included pictures, but they went so fast I didn't get a chance to take any! Don't worry you don't have to like cottage cheese to love these!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
1 cup cottage cheese (we used small curd, but the recipe actually calls for large curd)
4 eggs
1/2 cup flour
6 Tbls melted butter

Whip cottage cheese in kitchenaid or similar mixer. Add eggs and flour and start mixer again. With mixer on add melted butter. Cook until golden, then flip and cook for additional minute. These pancakes are moist and should spring back to the touch.

They are best with Raspberry Maple Syrup
1 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 Tbls raspberry jam

Combine and heat in saucepan until it boils. Turn off heat and let sit for a minute. Spoon on pancakes.

On Tuesday we were able to pick up the bed that my cousin Patrick had given Jonathan, and here is a little peek at the boys changed bedrooms. They are clearly not as messy as you've seen on here before, but they aren't as neat as they could's just "REAL".

Jake's room...

Jonathan's room...

We have a really great hiking trail very close to where we live and we FINALLY took advantage of it, for the first time, today!! We plan to go often now!

Pooped out!

What a good sister!

After the hike we took the kids bowling, something everyone loves and we don't get around to that often. Jake had two free games, free shoes, and a drink from his birthday.