Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Mini "Vacation and a Hysterical Vacation

  Yesterday I took my own little mini "vacation"~~about 3 hours in my own backyard.  We've had a busy few days, at the church every night, and although it was a wonderful time, we were all tired by yesterday.  James, Marissa, Daniella, and I went out to have lunch on the deck.  James and I watched the girls ride around on the deck on the scooter, then swing.  I got the book I was reading and curled up on the deck swing while James played badminton with the girls.  Ashley and Briana got home from sharing praise dances with their group at the assisted living center and came out for a while, too.  I read for a little while, but as the activity outside died down, I curled up in a light blanket and laid down on the swing.  The sun was warm, the wind was a little chilly, and I was the perfect temperature wrapped from head to toe in the blanket.  As you can imagine, it wasn't long before I dozed.  I have no idea how long I dozed off and on out there, but it was heavenly.  When I woke, I stayed there just looking at the crystal blue sky and watching the trees sway in the wind, and all was quiet and peaceful.   I spent some time praying and thinking before I finally managed to bring my little vacation to an end.  
Heidi asked her readers to share their crazy vacation memories, so I decided to add that here, as long as I was talking about my vacation.  Crazy memories seem to follow us wherever we go, but the craziest by far was in the summer of 1999 at Panama City Beach, FL.  The five of us at the time, and our 15 year old poodle left for a week of fun.  On the way down, Midnite started acting strange, so we stopped at the vet when we got there.  Long story short, day one of our trip, Midnite died!  Oh, I cried and cried and cried.  We went on to our condo and hoped to make the most of our trip, even though everyone was so sad.  The next day, Ashley came down with a head cold, and while she was swimming, a fish cut her ankle with a fin.  She was starting, and I do mean just starting, to get discouraged with this trip.  I think it was the very next day, we were out in the water~Ashley and Briana were walking around in about knee deep water (which was a good little way out from the shore), I was about hip deep holding Marissa playing in the waves, and James was a little further out snorkling.  All of a sudden, Ashley starts screaming at the top of her lungs, hysterically, "It's got me!  It's got me!", and just generally screaming.  Of course, I visualize a shark swimming off with half her leg, and I'm screaming at her to get out of the water, and she's screaming, "I can't move!  It's got me!"  I'm also yelling at Briana to get out of the water and trying to figure out what to do with Marissa.  All the while James is oblivious to everything because he's under water.  Ashley finally gets out of the water (leg still intact).  It turns out that she stepped on a sting ray, and it's barb hit her heel.  Thankfully, the entire barb pulled out, so we avoided surgery, but she had to go the emergency clinic for a tetnus shot, and had to soak it in epson salts for several days.  It was extremely painful for days.  She was quite finished for the week, and in fact has not cared for the beach a whole lot since then.  It took several more trips back before she would step into the water again.  I can't blame her.  Anyway, it comes time to go home, and our little poodle is still at the vet.  I absolutely could not bring myself to leave him there.  (I really am a sane person, but you will soon doubt that.)  My poor husband found a place that sold dry ice, and the vet packed little Midnite in a styrofoam cooler!!!!  We went to WalMart, bought one of those really big Rubbermaid boxes, put the cooler inside of it, and strapped it onto the roof of the van.  Are you visualizing this yet?  Having a little one, we stopped numerous times on the way home, and every time I'd get out of the van, there would be this coffin strapped to the van, and I'd start bawling all over again.   It was a long day.
Sometimes it's better just to stay in your own backyard and take a nap on the swing!  : ) 
I hope we don't ever top that one as the craziest!  Do you have a crazy vacation memory to share?  Tell me here, or let me know if you blog about it.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Yesterday, I ate lunch out at the picnic table with Marissa and Daniella again.  It was beautiful, and we enjoyed listening to the birds and our conversation.  Now, to fully understand this conversation, you have to know that Daniella LOVES, LOVES, LOVES all kinds of animals.  She wants tons of all of them.  In her opinion there are never enough.  She also loves to watch Animal Planet, which we let her do occasionally, and for some reason, she is fascinated with the Crocodile Hunter.  So, as we finish up lunch, Daniella announces:
 "I think we ought to have a bunch of animals and have a zoo."  (Funny, I thought we did already!) 
I answered, "Maybe you should just be a zoo keeper when you grow up."
Daniella: "yeah, that would be good."
Me: "Maybe you could be the Crocodile Hunter."
Daniella, very matter-of-factly: "I used to want to be the Crocodile Hunter, but then I saw a crocodile."
LOL.  Yep.  That would tend to put a damper on it for me, too!
Marissa does not like math (probably the understatement of the decade).  She can do math, but she doesn't like it.  Yesterday morning, she pulled out her math book and dutifully started out, without any prompting whatsoever.  She was almost finished with her second page, when she looked up at me, with this honestly forlorn, distressed face, and in this little pitiful voice, said, "Mama, on these last two, (enter a voice of shock and unbelief) they expect me to do MATH."    After I giggled at her, she quickly corrected it to "hard math", but it was so funny and classic.  "How dare this math book want me to do MATH?"  And, she was just so honestly forlorn over these two problems. 
I'm off this afternoon to take them both shoe shopping~tennis, Sunday, sandals, AND flip flops!  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


A few weeks ago, we got together with some blog friends for the 2nd time~June (Momof5littlewomen).  We met here on blogger, and met in person for the first time exactly one year and 3 days before we got together this time.  The first time we traveled through her state, and this time they visited here.  These are a few of the kids~2 of mine had already left, one of hers is missing from the photo, and there's a friend who came with them.

These 4 hit it off really well.

We had an unexpected visitor this week. 

Tuesday afternoon, I was out in the back yard with Marissa and Daniella, and I kept hearing a popping noise, but I thought it was someone up the hill at the neighbor's house.  Ten or 15 min. later, Daniella walked past the end of the house, and yells, "Mama, there's a tree falling."  About the same time, Briana comes out of the house with the same message.  I go to look, and, yes indeed, a tree is falling.   And, until I could get a better look, there was about a 5 min. time period when I thought it or the one it was leaning on might fall on the house.  Thankfully, it didn't, but it was an interesting afternoon.  James was on his way home at the time, so he was able to cut it so it would fall the rest of the way.  Briana was in the house, watching out the window when it fell.  From inside it was hard to tell which way it was falling.  She came out, and said, "That was about the scariest thing I ever saw."  : )  Daniella had a ball playing up inside all of the tree tops.  You can't tell a lot from this picture, but this was a super, super tall tree.  We will have lots of campfire wood for the next year.
I also learned something new.  Don't ever let anyone tell you that a tree can't fall up hill.  This one did~roots and all. 
Briana and I went to Old Time Pottery on Friday, which is a huge warehouse type store with a little bit of everything.  I had a gift certificate, and I was able to find a vase for the mantle.  I was so excited.  I had been looking in pottery shops around here, and those things are $50-$100.  I found a neat one at Old Time Pottery for $9.95!!  I also used some Christmas money to get some new dishes there.  Enough of ours had broken that we were down to mismatched ones.  I got them at a great price, too.  I also came home with 3 baskets for organizing school books in the dining room, and Daniella's coloring books and crayons. 
Briana just ended her spring break from college, and Ashley starts hers tomorrow.  Sure would have been nice for them to be the same week.  Ashley is soooo looking forward to hers.  She's had a rough couple of weeks~nonstop studying, reading, testing taking, and paper writing. 
Please pray for this family.  They have had a very long, trying adoption experience, and have just faced another setback~one day before she was ready to get on the plane to bring her little girl home. 
P.S.  This Tuesday I celebrate my 2 year blog anniversary!  I would have never thought I would have a blog, much less have anyone read it!  : ) 

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Nashville Adventure

Guess what!  We finally got a little snow!!

Guess what else!  We were out of town.  Can you believe it?  Marissa was quite beside herself.  : )  It did snow in Nashville, but most of it didn't stick.  Besides, there's not much room for sledding in downtown!  It was a great trip, even though we missed the snow. 
The sub-committee meeting didn't go as well as it could have (they didn't just drop the bill completely), but there is some hope.  The rep who introduced it, and who talked for 15 min. without saying anything whatsoever, is supposed to be rewriting it to present again in 3 weeks.  I can tell you one thing~ the calls and emails make an impact.  Every rep on the committee commented about the volume of response this bill created.  They all said they received 3000+ phone calls, plus emails!!  One rep said it paralyzed his office for several days.  They were quite put-out with the rep who introduced the bill, and *strongly* encouraged him to work with the homeschoolers and find a solution!  However, there were a few who still want control, so the issue is not dead and still needs to be covered in prayer.  We were able to meet a few more reps not on the committee afterwards and talk with them about homeschooling and hear there opinions.  They were supportive of homeschooling, and were hopeful that this bill will not be passed.
We were at the legislative plaza from 10:40-3:00, so that was quite a long day.  I was very proud of how patient Marissa and Daniella were.  We didn't get lunch until 3:00, which is actually 4:00 our time.  It was snowing like crazy while we were walking through downtown, and there was a bitter wind, but I thought it was pretty fun! 

Unfortunately, by the time we finished lunch and walked back the capital was closing, so we didn't get a tour.  This is the girls at the war memorial in Legislative Plaza.

We drove back to the hotel, and James and I took a short nap while the girls read/looked at books.  They were really quiet and sweet while we rested.  We then headed to Opry Mills Mall.  Those of you who live near big cities are used to these huge malls, but we are not.  The place was huge and even had a sting ray petting/feeding tank.  We opted out of it since we go to the aquarium every month, but it was cool.  There were also several aquarium of tropical fish and 2 carousels in the mall.  We treated the girls to supper at The Rainforest Cafe.  What a cool place.  Unfortunately, we didn't take the camera to the mall.
After packing up the next morning, we went the the Adventure Science Museum for several hours.  The girls had a blast!  It is well worth the money ($9 adults, $7 students).  Marissa was a little grossed out by the human body section, but loved the physical science and music parts.  : ) 
The synthesizer in the background of this picture was one of Marissa's favorite parts.  Daniella loved this floor piano.
This one is reaction time.  She's stepping on buttons with each foot, and has one under each hand.  The other person sends a light path, and she had 3 seconds to guage which path it was going on and push the correct button.  It was tough!

There were lots and lots of cool things there.  Marissa rode a bike to create energy to move an elevator up and down.  They reflected light to a solar panel to create energy to make a toy airplane fly....They also have a "tower".  You climb and climb up all these little passage ways, and have stops along the way, until you reach the top.  Then you can slide back down.  (and, yes, of course, I did it)  It's way up there with a great view of the Nashville skyline at the top.  I don't know if Daniella retained much of the science she encountered, but she had a blast, and got lots of exercise!  By the end of our time there, there were only a couple of other families in the museum, and she went up and down, up and down that tower, then back out to another section that had tunnels and climbing things.  She had the run of the place and took full advantage of it.  LOL. 
After we left the museum, we found a Dairy Queen, because the Blizzards were calling, then hit the road back home.  We got in about 9:30 that night. 
Yesterday, spur of the moment, after Ashley and Briana got home from praise dance practice, James and Briana went to the national park and went hiking.  Briana had spring fever, and was itching to be outside.  I'm so glad they got to go on a little "date".  This trail crossed the creek numerous times over rocks and fallen trees.