Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Guard!

A few weeks ago, I was exploring my options for homeschool PE.  Sugar was thinking she wanted to do some form of martial arts.  I studied and researched all the options.  Most of the places nearby were either super expensive or got mediocre ratings.  Then I stumbled upon fencing at a  local community center.  When I mentioned it to her, she practically jumped out of her chair with excitement. 

The cost was very reasonable and the teacher is very well-respected.

Win/Win.  :-)

Later that week, I was talking to one of my best friends.  I told her of my crazy plan to sign Sugar up for fencing.  She practically jumped through the phone with excitement.  Her son has been asking if he could take fencing for years! 

She would have a friend in the class.


Tuesday was her third class.  They suited up for the first time and began to actually fence! 

I was so proud!  It's kind of a rush to watch your princess fight with weapons!  After they practiced some moves, (Sorry, I don't know the jargon yet.) the instructor called up Sugar to demonstrate a match.  Her opponent was Goliath of Gath.  :-)

It was a good match.  She didn't win, but she sure looked good.  :-)  Sugar was not the least bit intimidated by his superior size or age.  Okay, she was...but she didn't show it.  :-)

Last night, I watched my petite daughter sword fight with a man.  How cool is that?

Blessings to you,

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I have so much serious stuff to blog about but today I will just share this.

Our phone company has this great service they offer...when you get a voicemail, they email you both an audio file with the message and a typed paragraph that is auto-translated by computer.  Usually, there are small garbles in the translation, but you can usually make sense of the message.  

Not so this time.

"I got the wrong number. Trying to get a hold of Steve S****** and caress you, bye" 

What the voicemail actually said:

"I got the wrong number. Trying to get a hold of Steve S****** and Carissa, bye" 
Blessings to you,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Birthday Celebrations

In order to save time, I will condense our August birthday celebrations down into one post.  You can thank me later.  ;-)

Also, can anyone tell me how to photoshop my counters so they look clean?  

Luke - Age 16

Luke turned 16 on one of those fast-moving days right before we left for vacation.  I looked down and it was 6:00.  I had no cake, no time, no plan, and everyone had meetings that night.  For the first time in my life, I stopped at a bakery and bought a birthday cake out of sheer desperation.  (It's true that we have occasionally ordered a DQ ice cream cake for a celebration, but that was on purpose.)  Thankfully, I had been to the bank and picked up his birthday present ahead of time.  ;-) 

One thing about Luke, he really doesn't like everyone making a big to-do about his birthday --- nor does he like anyone taking pictures of him smiling at the camera - or in the general direction of the camera.  So he was happy with the low-key celebration.  Within the week, he had used his gift money plus his savings to buy a new (used) Les Paul Electric Guitar.  Not only is Luke a great guitar player, he is generous, caring and thoughtful.  I'm really proud of the man he is becoming. 

Cupcake - Age 8

On the day we left the beach, Cupcake turned 8.  We had already given her our gift, as it was useful on a long car trip.  So, on our last full day in Florida, we took her over to the local hair-feather shack for a little decoration.  The big kids gave her a hair feather for her birthday.  We had planned to let both girls have a feather - so Cupcake got two, while Sugar got one.

She's liking the feathers.  :-)

That night, my friend and I made an ice cream cake for her celebration.  Then Sugar helped to decorate it.  It was a cookies and cream, hot fudge, crumbled oreo, ready-whip, butterfly cake.  Not the fanciest cake I've ever made, but it was one of the most delicious.  :-D  YUM!  

 Cupcake loved celebrating with our friends. 
We were concerned about the timing of everything with her birthday.  There was just no good way to work things out.  We had to give her the gifts early and we had to pack up and leave the day of her actual birthday.  The frenzy of getting everything out the door early has always been a major trigger for all her worst fears, combined with the disappointment and letdown of no gifts...It was a nuclear meltdown waiting to happen.

  On birthday morning, Cupcake did okay.  We had meltdown, but it was not nuclear.  It came from deep within her, but she pulled out of it and was fine by mid-morning.  

I am so proud of my Cupcake!  She has grown so much and learned to trust us in so many ways.  It's little things like this that make my heart glad.  :-) 

Steve - Age Middle
 On August 23, Steve turned another year older.  Once again, it was a crazy day full of activities ending with meetings for everyone.  I picked up a cake at the grocery store on the way back home at the end of the day.  A store-bought cake again!  Aack!  Well, the shame wore off pretty quickly.  It was a good looking cake.  And delicious too.  :-)   At the end of the day, Steve was proud owner of two Steven Curtis Chapman concert tickets.  I hope he picks me to be his hot date to the show.  :-)

Hang on.  We're almost done....

Sugar - Age 13

Sugar turned 13 at the end of the month.  For her birthday, I took her to the mall and had a gal at one of those expensive make-up counters show her how to properly apply real make-up so as not to look like a sleaze-ball.  Then I bought a small fortune in non-sleaze-ball cosmetics.  :-)
It was such a fun time with my young lady.  She is so beautiful, it takes my breath away.

Sugar wanted to bring a cake to Sunday School to share with her friends.  She had an elaborate idea about a beautiful cake with lilies on it.  (I know very little about cake decorating.)  So we went to H*bby L*bby looking for fondant lilies.  Instead, we found the perfect alternative for a fun cake for decorating dummies like me.  It's called Sugar Sheets Edible Decorating Paper!  She got all creative on me again!  We bought two sheets for $4 each.

As it turned out,I had too many things on my plate and I did not start baking until 9:00 pm Saturday.  At 11:00 we began frosting.  Then we had to call in help from "the engineer".  Thank goodness my husband is a sugar engineer, as well as, electrical.  The paper was really easy to work with, but going around the side of the cake was tricky.  Late into the night, we finished the cake.  But it turned out great, don't you think?  And it was delicious too.  (I had just a small piece of the leftovers.) 
Almost Done

Here she is on birthday morning, opening gifts from the other kids.

Phew!  That's a lot of birthdays!

Strangely enough, I can't figure out why I can't lose any weight.   
Or why the bank account is empty.  
Or why I'm so tired all the time.  ;-)

Blessings to you,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Catching Up - Florida - Shell Island

I am ridiculously behind in my blogging. Sorry about that.  Life is too busy and at night, my mind is too fried to write anything coherent.  So nothing has been written for a while now...Hopefully, you will get blitzed with many, many posts that should have been written in the past month.  Or this may be the only one you see until Thanksgiving.  We'll just see how it goes.  :-)
So anyway, one day in Florida we took the Captain Anderson's Dolphin and Shell Island Boat Tour.  It was a very enjoyable time.

Once we got to Shell Island, we saw a crab in the surf and a family caught it in their red bucket.  Isn't this a fun picture?

Crab in a Bucket

One of my children did not take the sunscreen thing seriously.

The big kids went to play in the surf.

The surf back on the mainland was a red flag day (Dangerous - swim at your own risk)  The waves here were monsters.  My big kids LOVED it.  They could've stayed all day.
Cupcake and Steve went looking for shells.  After all, it was Shell Island.

One thing we learned about seagulls- they LOVE Chee*tos   Actually, we already knew that**.  Now we know why.  Tour boat operators give passengers Chee*tos to hand-feed the seagulls.  Swarms of seagulls engulf the boat as it's leaving the dock.

**Last year, in Virginia, we brought a new bag of Chee*tos to the beach for a snack.  It was all tucked into our stuff, under towels.  Everyone jumped in the ocean for a short time.  When we came back, the bag was completely ravaged.  We had no idea that seagulls got the munchies like that.  Now we know better.  :-)

 After Shell Island, the boat went out into the waters to look for dolphins.  We came upon this one right away.  We stayed with her for quite a while.  The kids loved it.  (The grown-ups too).

All together, it was a really fun day.  And I think it counts as a science field trip.  :-)

Blessings to you,