Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We're READY to go.

It is REALLY hard to be patient in a hotel while Pops finishes up his morning appointments.    
It doesn't help that we (read: one of us, who has a bit more trouble in the mornings than his sisters) made some choices this morning that informed "the powers that be" that ignoring simple directions is a better option than watching cartoons. Bummer for everyone.
It also doesn't help that we are excited and wanting to go to our awesomtastic friends' house... RIGHT NOW!
CoMe ON!!!  LeT's GooOooo...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is EVERYONE this busy???

I got up and started BAKING!  I baked all morning.

We went to town for bowling with a local homeschool group.

We got home and packed our suitcases.

Pops wasn't finished with some paperwork, so we had some supper.

We are headed to a big city tonight, as it is en route to our Thanksgiving Day destination!  We will hang out in the big city while Pops finishes up some important visits.

Then, we will be on our way to Lakeview, WA (may as well be Seattle or Tacoma!!)  Woooo Hoooo!! Lots of fun to go see some friends!!

It is a busy time!  Are you busy?  What are you doing to get ready for Thanksgiving?!?!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Green-Eyed Monster

Well, I should have known.  Someone is jealous and wants a nightgown that matches her up with a baby doll.  I'll get right on that my dear, Blossom!  
Don't let that cute look fool you...  "Monster" IS a very good description of this little kid when things aren't going well for her at home.  She can turn from joyful into a fit of anger in half of a second and I often send her to cool down in her room.  Sometimes she has worked herself into such a lather that she passes out on her bed.  I usually send someone else into her room to wake the sleeping monster from her nap!  I know that they are faster.  I try to help her wake slowly into a happy state.  I should learn from her siblings!!  Tip-toe in, wake her, RUN OUT FAST!!!  But, I don't learn and we tend to skip naps more and more often these days...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sew... what?

Baby doll clothes.  Yes, that's right.  MATCHING baby doll clothes to be exact.  Branch is certain that it is imperative to have matching jammies with her baby doll! So, I made my attempt at sewing for the small... and it didn't turn out too badly!  
PhotobucketShe is thrilled.  I am happy to accomodate - for some things!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Girl's Best Friend*

I can hardly believe that I have been going on and on for this blog and haven't even mentioned my beautiful beloved boxer!! So, she needs her own gosh darn post!

I love this dog. What's not to love, really? She is loyal, friendly, soft, cuddly, brilliant, cute, a recovered addict, she's made something of her poor start in life, and the list goes on!

This beauty is a rescued dog from a major arterial north-south interstate in middle-America. She was found at a truck-stop and was needing a home. She entered into a shelter system, where she was fed, bathed, given all the necessary items a young gal entering a shelter could hope for, but most of all, she was cared for and loved for the first time.

The love was offered in the most strangest of ways. She was allowed access to her own private quarters, yes. But, walls? Oh, heavens NO! They didn't provide any form of privacy, but they did help her out of her quarters a couple times a day to play, take care of business and learn about people.

A fine loving family was waiting to add a new boxer to their brood of three boxers at home. They were a retired couple who enjoyed their loving dogs.  They brought her home, but she wasn't quite what they were hoping for.  It had been a while since they had a young gal in their pack.  This new pup was about 6 or 7 months old.  They kept her for a week or so and called the shelter and let them know that this beauty just wouldn't turn from her evil ways and conform to the current doggie pack regulations.

It just so happens, that the animal shelter had a very friendly relationship with the new veterinarian at the only veterinary practice in town.  On the flip side, I had a very "cozy" relationship with the new veterinarian in the only veterinary practice in my new home town. So, that new veterinarian knew that I love the boxer breed and he knew that there was a boxer who was homeless for a second go round.  So, that perceptive, beefcake of a veterinarian called {his, very pregnant with their first baby, wife} me to see if I was interested in opening my home to this pup.  

So, I did what any hormonal woman would do and I accepted this wild pup into my home.  She was crazed.  Literally, crazed.  She would be sitting in the middle of the living room.  Then, out of no where, she would stand up and start running around the house as if her life depended on it.  She would howl and howl, seeming to be praying that we would let her back to her home, the wild. 

Now, at this time, I also had another little dog. Dixie, the beagle, was my companion during the first two years that Pops and I were married.  
Incidentaly, Pops was studying very hard to become a veterinarian and I was lonely so, Dixie (initials, D.V.M.) was mine.  I was hers, she thought. When this new pup made it into our life, Dixie was three years old and it had been just the three of us for her three years.  She was a bit set in her ways.  Dixie didn't like this new crazy beast that ran faster and howled more than she did.  Dixie was not all too happy about her new kennel mate.
When we learned that Scarlett was not going to settle into our home as easily as we had hoped, that local vet prescribed some doggie downers. Or, were they uppers? Hmmm... I don't know. They made her feel happy enough to calm down. There, they were doggie upper-downers. It was great!  
She is now recovered from her upper-downer addiction and that stint with the drug world only lasted a year or so.  She has been drug-free for about 6 years, now.  I have to say that she is doing well and has settled in quite well.  

Scarlett can be found in one of many places...

Hanging with her "peeps."

Enduring dress up of some sort or the other.

Sleeping on a bed.  

Hogging on the couch.  

Sleeping on the back of the couch in the living room like a cat.

Lounging on a rug in the sunshine.  

Sleeping in the sand...  

I think it is safe to say...  This pup has grown into a nice old dog and has calmed down so much that she sleeps more than she runs. She is happy to report that she is the canine who loved the baby that arrived at our home a mere two weeks after she arrived.  She loved the babe who grew to be a toddler and therefore, got to live with our family for the last 7 years.  (Dixie, on the other hand, just didn't deal well with all the upheaval and moved to a home with another beagle - and no children!)

* Sorry to all of you BFF claimers for my post title.  But, seriously - "Man's Best Friend" just doesn't work...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Watching Wednesday

So, I'm sure that you have ALL heard, read about or watched this YouTube Video.  It is Anita Renfroe singing her Momsense to William Tell Overture.  It is great and it makes me want to smile.

NOW, have you seen her follow-up video of Dadsense?  She does a good job about being nice and fair.  Have a fun Watching Wednesday!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No, Not Ever, Never!

Quite a while back... around 7 or 8 years ago, I told my Mother-In-Law that, No, Not Ever, NEVER would we buy a minivan.  We were happy being a 2 Chevy truck driving family!  Pops drove an old diesel and I an extended cab newer model.  Bud's carseat fit slick in the back. The swing open doors on the backseat made for simplicity in buckling him in!  So, no.  There were no plans or thoughts of ever becoming a soccer mom with a minivan.  If we outgrew the truck, a suburban mom would drive a Suburban, right?

Uh, it was about a year or so after I made my statement that we bought ourselves a rip-roarin' red (al beit "sport") minivan.  Oh, the horror!  I KNOW.  

So, Pops' new wheels have arrived.  He had been driving a Ford Freestyle a small SUV type vehicle. Now?  He'll be toolin' around in a shiny new silver minivan.  So, make that 2, count 'em - one, TWO, minivans in my garage.  

I soooo want need a truck. 

Oh, and NEVER say no, not ever or never!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Trip to the Coast (in Fast Forward)

Friday night photos on a driftwood log

Thank goodness for tri-pods and timers!

At low tide, checking out the tide pools.

This was at "minus tide" and the ocean had receded so far that we could really have a look around in all of these rocks!

The girls wanted to go "bare-footing" and couldn't wait!  Pops and Bud found some starfish that hadn't made it in the sun that afternoon.

The sun was setting and gave such a warm glow...

Saturday morning, Pops is lighting a campfire.

The girls would like to have a go at those seagulls...

It IS Saturday morning, you know... we had to have our brats!!!  Pops brought a package along.  The kids had eaten theirs and we walked away from our little area for a few minutes and came back to an empty plate.  Those darn seagulls had stolen the bag of buns and our brats!  I couldn't believe the gall of the gulls.  So, I ran over to the Fred Meyer and picked up another package!!  They had smelled so good that we couldn't go without!

Exploring the coast and learning about the tides is something that could last alllllllllll month long if it "had" too! What am I saying... it could last YEARS!!

Climbing around having a great time on the beached driftwood.

Pops and Bud on the coast in Northern California...

We all love this beach. Here, Blossom is following Branch all over the beach!  

We decided it was time to head home.  We drove about a half an hour before we stopped for dinner.  When we got out of the car, we could see in the sky, way above the redwoods, that the sunset was spectacular.  Oh, I am so sad to have missed all of the spectacular colors of the evening.  But, we were tired and ready to make our way home.  Just another reason to go and visit again!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

An AWESOME Friday!

Imagine this, my afternoon and evening vantage point.
Waves... Large waves, LOUD waves, Soothing waves. Hitting the shore.
Sea Gulls... Chirping, Trilling, Soaring overhead. Trolling for crabs, fish and handouts from humans.
Fog... Light, Misty, Hovering in the distance. Obstructing our view of the cape.
Sun... Warm, Shining, Lowering toward the horizon. Drowning in the ocean.
Children... Mine, Running, Exploring, Climbing upon the driftwood on the shore. Searching for rocks and shells.
Peace away from home for a day or so... an overnight get-a-way with the family.

More and better pictures later! I'm off to explore, too!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


You Are Boggle

You are an incredibly creative and resourceful person.

You're able to dig deep and think outside the box to get things done.

You are a non linear thinker. You don't like following directions

You draw your inspiration from the strangest places sometimes. You're constantly inspired.

Thanks, Regina, for sharing this link today. I LOVE games!! I don't know if Boggle is the right name for me... as I have never played Boggle! But, I think that the description is kind of right on, especially that part about following directions - recipes in particular!!

What are YOU smiling about??

We were out and about the other day, and we saw a woman downtown who we see every now and then and she said to me, "You always have such a smile on your face.  A big smile.  It is so nice.  You always seem so happy!"

I replied, "We can all find an awful lot to be happy about, I think!"  

And isn't that just the truth? Our life is what WE make it!  I choose to see great things in my life.  Now, don't think I have turned all sappy sweet or something - I see the booger pickin' and I hear the arguing about whose turn it is to clean up the games.  I see it and hear it, I promise, I do!  I just choose to think most often about all the wonderful things because in my view of the world... we all need to step up and see the good stuff first.

My Great Stuff to smile about:
1 amazing and loving husband
3 cheerful and lively children
1 child to remember tenderly
a great space to call our home
plenty of hugs every day
far away family and friends who we think about often
my mom (who offers to hold the camera every now and then!) 

Smiles and laughter this summer in a hotel pool

So, really... what are YOU smiling about??  Jump in the leaves and tell me!

Do you believe...

We are only about a month and a half away from Christmas?  The season of Advent will soon begin! 

Last year, I looked into buying a toy nativity set around Christmas. I found out that I was a wee bit late in my purchase attempt. Back Order, Back Order, Back Order!

So, here we are 2008 and I have been considering purchasing a toy nativity set for my children this year. I wanted something fun, not terribly expensive and not lots of little tiny pieces.
I am a member of a homeschool yahoo group and was sent an email about a GREAT give-a-way from another homeschool family! I went on over to see what the set looked like, and was pleased to see that it met all my "requirements"... and if I am lucky, that whole "not terribly expensive" requirement... well, it wouldn't matter the cost if I won... even though it is reasonably priced!! Yippee!  And if I don't win?  Well... I have found a set that I can purchase before BACK ORDER - BACK ORDER - BACK ORDER begins again!

Click HERE and Go have a look for yourself! Give-A-Ways are soooo fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Put to Rights...

I fixed it.  It ain't perfect.  But, it is fixed.  It is wearable and I have a most happy little girl

She has reminded me that she needs to have a small one made so that she and her doll can "match"... Give 'em an inch... and she's takin' me for a yard.  yes, I will work on that... but I hope that she doesn't have a big headed doll!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanks to ALL the Veterans!!

Today for Veteran's Day, the kids made some American Flags. 
It is a hard concept to share with a child, when we don't have any friends or family, that the kids know, currently serving our country in this capacity...
"What is a VETERAN, mom?" 
So, we talked about war and the Armed Services and who in their family is a veteran. 
I don't know that the "point" sunk in this year for a 7, 5 and 3 year old. 
But, I figure that in time, while continuing to talk about the sacrifices that Veterans make for our country...
- we'll get further than making fingerprint flags!!
Thank you to our Veterans and Current Armed Services Members.  We  appreciate all that you have done and all that you have sacrificed and will sacrifice in keeping our country's freedoms.
We salute YOU!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Once Upon a Time...

There was a 6 year old little girl.  She and her family set out on the all-american summer vacation.  A long road trip from northern Illinois to a great destination of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida was a great adventure, to be sure!!  Along the way there were plans to stop and visit dear friends in Mobile, AL.  She thought it would be great fun to see these friends who now lived so far away.  Little did she know that life in the south was a wee bit different than her sheltered northern life.  Upon arrival, she met her first ever doberman pincher.  
If you have ever heard any of the tales of this young girl, you will already know the FeAr that she must have been feeling knowing that the home that she will be visiting has an enormous and probably friendly (but who really knows - goes the mind of a scared child.) dog in residence.
Back to the story... she met the dog and found the toy kitchen in the back bedroom.  Guess where she spent a lot of time??  Yea, there was a little girl and a little boy who lived there.  She happily played with the other children and had a great time.  At night, they all went to sleep and expected a nice day in the morning.  

When the little girl got up in the morning, the lady of the house was beginning to make breakfast.  The lady asked the little girl if she was hungry. The little girl was always up for a bite to fill her belly!  So, the lady asked her if she would like some grids for breakfast.  

The little girl asked, "grids?"  

The response came "yes, grids!"  

The little girl cautiously said, "Uh, I don't think so.  I just like toast or cereal maybe."  

The lady of the house smiled and said, "OK." 

The little girl thought that things here truly were a little weird.  She ran to the back bedroom where the toy kitchen was located.  This was the room that her parents were sleeping in.  If they hadn't been awake already, she was sure to have woken them while clambering up on the bed.

"Good Morning!" they cheerfully said to the little girl.

The little girl wasn't so sure it was so good.  "Do you know what the lady of the house is planning to make you eat for breakfast?  I am glad that I was there to tell her not to make any extra for me."

"No, what is she making?"

"Something weird.  I am sure it isn't something normal."

"Why do you say that, little girl?"

"Everything is weird here.  Bubba, the little boy, says they live on a dead hen and they want to eat grids for breakfast!"
Why her parents chuckled at her, she could not understand.  

As the little girl grew into a young lady, she learned about southern accents - among others- and that a "dead hen" in the south is really what a yankee might call a "Dead End."  And as for those "grids"...  oh, yea, them is some good eats !
So, why in the world have I told this interminably long story to you today?  Well, I came to the realization the other day that life really comes full circle.  Our Family Treehouse moved to the Memphis area nearly three years ago and stayed there for about a year and a half.  While living there, I found boxed instant Butter Grits at the local grocer.  I bought it and figured, when in Rome... right?!?
One morning, I served bowls of Butter Grits to everyone for breakfast.  It didn't go over quite as well as I had hoped.  However, one of our crew fell in love with this breakfast option.  Bud was our Grit Man.  (Yes, he seems to wear these new pjs in all pictures lately... Ignore that for now and focus on the grits!  I will make some more pjs, I promise!)
He ate grits nearly every week!  Then we moved here.  We don't live in the south any longer.  It isn't quite so easy to find grits here in the Pacific Northwest.  I have only found one place to purchase the instant ones, and it is forty-five minutes away!!  At our regular grocer, I found some plain grits that have to be cooked on the stovetop.  So, we were out of Butter Grits from the far away place so, I made my attempt at these cooked on the stovetop kind.  They seemed to fit the bill... 
And to "The lady of the house" in Mobile, THANKS for introducing me to these grids... we have 'em round here every week it seems!

Oh! and "Bubba", I live on a dead hen, now.  Just thought you'd like to know.