Sunday, October 19, 2014

Moving into Wedding Week

This was a busy week around the house. Rick has been out of work since October 1, so I decided it was a good time to do everything around the house we'd been putting off. We used to move every 3-4 years with the military, so things would get cleaned out and we'd move into a sparkling clean house. But we've had this house eleven years this coming week, and with the possibility of having to move to get a job, it was just time to clean. 

With people coming for the wedding next week, we have to get it all put back together. We've taken everything out of the utility closet and reorganized, taken everything out of the kitchen cupboards, got rid of a load of water bottles and dead storage containers and sprayed and wiped all the shelves. (This is FL so we have tons of roaches!) We've attempted to clean out the extra clutter in bathrooms but that seems to be a lost cause!
Jessica repainted the kids' bathroom. I don't have pictures of the other cleaning. I guess it wasn't that exciting. I should have taken one of all the utility room stuff filling up the whole kitchen.

Jessica took a day away for a dead body seminar. I'd gone with her, but it turned out that it was going to be all day in the woods, and I'm allergic to pretty much everything in the woods! So she stayed, and I went to the mall and started some Christmas shopping. She has one college class plus cave diving and she's working at Applebees still.

Jasmine and Rick finished up the experimental portion of Jasmine's science project. She did the rough draft of the paper and the bibliography, but forgot to turn the bibliography in for two days so will have a very low score on it. She needs to do the charts and the board.

We went to Maze Runner last week and Planes 2: Fire and Rescue this week. Maze Runner had a lot of swearing in it, which was totally unnecessary and distracted me from the plot. Not sure yet what I think of it. Planes 2 just didn't have much to it. But if you are 8 or under, you'd probably think it was a great movie.

Last might a few of us got together for an impromptu shower, or girl's night out, for Jessica. Jasmine got to go along. She's really well behaved and handles herself very well in social situations, so she got to be one of the adults last night.

We started at Chill.

We got her a table cloth, candle holder and candles plus the blue strainer. We bought the strainer at a kitchen store on the TN trip. The rest was a surprise.
Only my Jessi....

Lisa, her future mother in law, bought her several pairs of Victoria's Secret undies. I think this is when they saw that a guy had been very carefully watching from across the room as  Jessica held each pair up.

Then someone decided we should drive another half hour to Wild Wings where we waited an hour for a table. The FSU/Notre Dame and FL/MS games were on and there were about 300+ people shouting the whole time, so talking was not an option.

I know not everyone is shown on the blog. I just didn't take that many pictures except for the girl's night out. So you'll see them all in the next few posts as we are now in the wedding week!!

My mom is going to try and make the trip down. Lots of prayers please. She's really not in good shape to travel but gets so bored and wants to get out. It's about a 16 hour drive for them. They are stopping to get Tyler on the way. They come down I 65 and he's off of I 65 near Mammoth Cave. A friend and her family who live in the same town as my mom and sister are flying down, and her mother is coming along also.

Busy week ahead as we get Jessica moved out, the final stuff done for the wedding and then there's the actual wedding itself next Friday on the  beach. Right now the forecast is for 73F and sunny.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Way You Say It

I think we all agree that there are differences in how we say things in different parts of the country and in different English speaking countries. Having lived in both the north and the south, England (and Okinawa which of course is Japanese), I've seen this.

I grew up with "pop" being something you drink, but now "pop's" your father. In the north kids throw a fit, in the south they pitch a fit. 

 In America a "biscuit" is a bread item but in England a "biscuit" is our cookie. To us "pudding" is what you get when you mix the powder in the box with milk, but in England "pudding" means dessert. 

But this week a friend was reading a story I'd written, and in it the girl "makes dishwater." To me this means she ran water, added soap, let it foam up and then turned off the water. That hit my friend as a really funny thing to say. Which made me wonder, what do you say to your kids if you want them to "make dishwater"?

The absolute most crazy thing I've heard in the south is people saying "carried" in place of "drove" as in, "For years I carried my children to church." The first time I heard it was someone saying she'd carried her children to vote. Well, her children had to be at least 18 to vote, so I knew she had to mean drive, but still....

What's the strangest expression you've heard? And what do you tell your kids to get this?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just Life

I haven't done a lot of updates because life has been pretty routine. But now we're on the countdown to the wedding and things are coming together. Ceremony details are coming together, things are being bought, people are making travel plans and we all know  what we're wearing.

I'll try to give a general update about everyone here, but don't have many new pictures of the older kids.

Tyler (who I sometimes call Ty David)

This is Ty back at Job Corps after summer break. They were in for quite a surprise when he returned as a blond! He will be arriving here two days before the wedding. My mom and sister are picking him up on the way down. They will only be staying a few days.

Job Corps has been good for Ty David not just in learning the computer stuff, but in other ways. In school he fit in with his own group of kids who had similar interests, but struggled socially. Social skills are difficult for him as is coping with stress. He cannot read people's expressions or body language, so he can't play all the little games we all play. He doesn't know if someone is accepting him well or is totally fed up. So he's often been the one left out of things or who doesn't quite fit in.

But at Job Corps he is a leader both in the dorm and in the rec program. He was the gym manager but is now the rec president. He is not totally thrilled about that because it takes up so much of his free time, but I think it's good because it keeps him interacting with people during his free time. He would gladly spend his free time playing on his 3DS or playing magic or yugio card games.

They plan special outings for the kids, but sometimes things don't work out, and they are canceled and that is very disappointing for him. Or they will plan to go to a movie he really wants to see, but when they get there they change what movie they are going to see to something not as appropriate and the type Ty doesn't like. He gets his hopes up and forms an idea of how things will happen. So went they don't, there is a lot of let down.  I don't know if this is an asperger's trait or not.

He should be finishing up at Job Corps soon, but I wish he could stay there and do something more because it's been good for him.


This is one of Jessica's recent dive days. This is one of many springs in FL. They have a constant temperature of (I think) 68F. She is certifying cave diving this semester and has one other class. Next semester she has one class plus she needs to do an internship or a research paper. Then she's done. She's looking at doing police academy too. She'd love to work for FBI or NCIS but you have to be 28 and have experience. So she needs to get into a job to get that experience.
This was the last fitting for her dress, so that's one more thing out of the way. It has to be a bit shorter because of walking across the sand instead of down an aisle.


I don't have any new pictures of Jeff so took this one from his facebook page! He spent a lot of the summer at Fort Knox in KY and wasn't that thrilled with it. He wasn't that far from Ty, but unfortunately they didn't meet up. I don't think he's going to be able to come to the wedding because he has training in CA about that time. Wish he could be here while all the others will be here.

I see Adam at soccer on Thursdays. I've missed a couple of games due to other activities the kids are involved in.
(There should be a video above, Adam in orange cleats, but sometimes it shows and sometimes it doesn't) Adam goes to Marine reserves one weekend a month, is a freshman at a local college and is still working full time. I'm not sure if this is the case everywhere, but colleges here do not have classes on Fridays. That would have been nice if that had been the case when I was attending college!

Adam will of course be at the wedding and is bringing Deja as his date.


We are in the midst of doing this year's science fair. It's followed closely by history fair. 

Building a race track and adding different grades of sand paper.

Timing how long it takes the car to go down the different grades of sand paper.
Jasmine has country Christian youth choir on Monday nights. They sing, then have dinner and a Bible study. She really enjoys it. Our youth choir hasn't started back up at church. She has hip hop class on Wednesdays and marching band after school on Thursdays.

Yesterday I filled out Jasmine's high school application for the charter school. They have a lottery drawing for slots in January. I also filled out the application for Kaleb to go to the school where Jasmine and Kayla are now. As long as they stay in the same school, you don't have to reapply each year from K5-8th. But you do have to reapply for high school. It's also at the north campus, and Jasmine and Kayla are at the original campus.


Kaleb is in gymnastics and may be going out for basketball soon. We have to be careful of his right eye. He needs to not get hit in the head near it, but that could happen as easily in PE or at recess as at basketball. He will not be able to go out for football.

The schools have gone to core curriculum, and that has been a struggle. It's pretty hard stuff, especially the math. It's more abstract than I think it needs to be for this age. 

We'd planned for him to go to TMI on a five week preteen team next summer but found out he's too young for the two teams that ride small mini bikes. That leaves Trinidad, Ireland and Australia and those range from $3,000-5,000, and I doubt we could raise that much money. So we are thinking of sending the twins to a regular Christian camp for a week next summer, Camp of the Pines in Pensacola. It will be different for them because it's a traditional camp with games, swimming, canoeing etc, not a mission work project camp like TMI. The structure at TMI worked well for them. The schedule and rules were absolute and behaviors were dealt with immediately. I'm not sure who they'll do with them more relaxed rules and routine of a traditional camp. Those of you with adopted children know exactly what I'm talking about.


Kayla is also in gymnastics and possibly going out for basketball. Her homework load at the charter school is much heavier than Kaleb's is at the public school. But she is handling it okay. I'm not a big believer in homework, but it's part of life. 

She is struggling with issues on how to treat others right now and it is frustrating. She can be very kind and helpful when she chooses to be. I'm not sure why we're dealing with all the junk behaviors again. The bullying, manipulating and coercing. It's not getting her anywhere, and she gets positive feedback for the right behaviors. Hopeful this will turn around again soon. She has so much potential, and I'm not seeing any of the more serious issues some adopted kids work with. Overall, they've done well. It's just the junky, annoying stuff. Even birth children can go through that. I'm not seeing any attachment issues.

Rick's last day of work was September 30, and the contract job that  he's had 13 years ended, so he is job hunting. So are the others who worked there. Most are in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s so not a good time to be looking for a new job. Some of them went ahead and retired.

There is no school Friday or Monday, but we don't have anything planned because we need to watch our money carefully right now. We'll probably try to go to one of the beaches on Saturday. Jessica and I have dead body seminar on Monday so Rick might take the kids to one of the parks for a while.

 We've been doing some cleaning around the house. Without moving every few years like we used to, clutter piles up. We've taken everything out of the small utility room and swept it out and reorganized. Last weekend we took things out of the kitchen cupboards, got rid of some things and wiped all the shelves. We have a couple more cupboards to do, and the kitchen will be done. We've worked on decluttering the kid's bathroom, and it is getting repainted (pretty much the same color). 

Once Jessica is married, Jasmine will move into her room. All three girls used to be in the same room, but when Adam left for boot camp, we moved Kaleb in with Tyler and the two younger girls into Adam and Kaleb's former room. In a couple of weeks all three of the youngest will have his/her own room until Ty comes home.

So that's what we're doing. What's ahead for you?

Friday, October 3, 2014

What We Need to Tell Our Daughters

I posted this back in August 2013 after Miley strutted her way across stage half dressed. There's a lot going on now that says our girls are still missing this message. And here's the thing. You can tell your daughters all the stuff below over and over, but you can't make them take it to heart and make it their own. You can only hope they do and be there for them when they don't.

The real title of this post is: "Things to make sure your daughter knows so one day she doesn't strut across a stage half naked losing all dignity and honor."

Not too many positive role models for our girls come out of Hollywood. But they could. Because any girl/young lady can make choices that make her a young woman of faith and dignity. I mention dignity because of Proverbs 31:25-26, 30 which says, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

These are good verses for our girls. But girls aren't always encouraged to make the right choices or to be the kind of woman mentioned in the verses, so it's up to us as parents to guide them into becoming women of faith. Women of dignity. Women of character. It should start long before their first steps, but if not, start today.

Here are some things we need to tell our daughters.
(I added some resources to help with this. Some are written by me, some are not.)

  1. Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." The things you see stay with you. The things you read stay with you. The music you listen to has a message that stays with you. Use Philippians 4:8 as a guide for what you see and hear.
(Check out the movies you want to watch at Plugged In online to find out what they really contain HERE)

  2. Celebrate you! Psalm 139:13-14 says, "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." God made you who you are. He gave you the personality, talents and abilities you need in order to be who he created you to be. It's okay to work at those things and improve yourself, but don't wish you were someone else. You cheat yourself. You cheat others. Only you can be the you God made.
(Check out The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quiz Book for fun ways to find out more about what makes you special HERE and Promises for God's Princesses HERE, or My Princess Devotions for the smallest princesses HERE.)

  3. God has an amazing plan for you. Jeremiah 29:11 was written to the Jews in exile, but it's true for you too. "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." You are not here by accident. God has things for you to do. That's why #2 is so important. God gifted you with what you need to fulfill his plan for you. Don't sell yourself short or settle for less than the best. Going along with what everyone else is doing might be the easy road, but it's not the best one. God wants more than that for you.
(Check out The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best for great advice, fun quizzes and doable crafts to help you discover all you can be HERE.)

  4. Every choice you make is important. It's easy to act without thinking or go along with the crowd. But each choice matters, even the little ones. Choices turn into behaviors, and repeated behaviors become habits. Choices have consequences. Something you do on impulse to make others laugh or get attention may not have the outcome you plan. Weigh each choice and ask yourself if this is a good thing for you and for others. Think through big decisions and discuss them with a responsible adult.

  5. Don't be an attention seeker. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." It's okay to get attention for good grades, good sportsmanship on the playing field, singing a solo, making the debate team or helping out in the community, but don't let that be the only reason you do them. And never lower yourself for attention. Twerking half dressed in front of a million viewers will surely get attention—the wrong kind. Is that attention worth losing people's respect, dishonoring God, and losing all dignity and integrity?

 6. Your purity is your gift to your husband. I know people don't think this way anymore, but saving yourself helps you avoid guilt and emotional baggage. Cover up and don't display to the world what you are saving for your husband. You can dress with style and still be modest. Add a cute high cut tank top under those scoop neck shirts. Put some fun leggings under the short skirts and dresses. Make your own fashion statement if you need to. Flaunting your half naked body in public doesn't show any creativity or imagination. Finding ways to be stylish and modest at the same time does.
(Check out The Christian Girl's Guide to Style for ideas HERE.)

  7. Being different is okay. You're not a freak because you don't sneak out to parties, make out with boys, wear a swimsuit that looks more like underclothing than something you could swim in, disrespect your parents or take part in questionable activities. Even a small light illuminates in a dark world. Be the light others need to find their way.
(Check out a Young Woman After God's Own Heart or a Girl After God's Own Heart HERE)

  8. Good manners never go out of style. Saying thank you, writing a note, giving deference to the elderly, respecting those in authority, taking turns, turning off your phone in restaurants and talking quietly and respectfully show that you know how to be polite. They put you a notch above others whether or not your friends agree.

  9. Your friends will influence you, so choose good ones. Proverbs 12:26 says, "The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray." Your friends are important. You talk to them about things you don't discuss with your parents. So make sure your friends are the kind that will give you good advice and encourage you to be your best, not go along with the crowd or be mediocre.
(Check out Girls Politics" Friends, Cliques and Really Mean Chicks HERE (teen girls) or A Girl's Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls (preteen girls) HERE or Just for Me: Friends HERE (young girls))

 10. Live on/with purpose. Micah 6:8 says, "The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Simple, huh? Live intentionally. Live as a princess because you surely are as a child of the Heavenly King. Keep that in mind and the first nine points will fall into place.
(Check out: The One Year Devotions for Girls Starring Women of the Bible for a daily dose of inspiration all year long. HERE (girls 10-14), or The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible HERE (ages 8-12), The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids HERE or Just for Me: The Bible HERE (ages 5-8))

These are my thoughts. What other messages do we need to give our girls? What books and other resources have you found helpful?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Thank you to those of you who shared your randomness on the last post! Sounds like we all have things on our mind--some that can be solved with chocolate and others more serious! Feel free to go back and add your randomness!

Two things on my mind today are: this is my husband's first day of being unemployed. He's not alone. They cut many jobs, and the men holding these jobs are in their 50s, 60s and I think one in his 70s. It's not a good time for these guys to all be trying to find new jobs. All in our area in the same career field too.

The other thing is that I have a child who violated hot lunch rules so is packing a lunch. However, she is throwing it out before reaching her classroom and then actively  begging food from the other students. If that doesn't work she is coercing and threatening them! Not good. It's driving the kids and the teacher crazy. She was already begging, coercing and threatening before she had to pack her lunch, so it's not that. She is not hungry, she just can't stand that someone has a treat she doesn't have. It wouldn't matter what she had if someone has something she thinks is better. 

She is also just plain being mean. The teacher shared with me at a conference two weeks ago that she just walked up to a boy in the class and kicked him really hard in the shin! I have little tolerance for bullying, so that didn't go over well with me. 

As a result of these things, she has lost the privilege of doing anything where Rick or I are not with her to watch her. So she can go to gymnastics because Rick stays and watches. But that's about it. Children need the right to be on a sports team, at a birthday party or in children's church or Kidz without having to worry about being bullied or injured. I had hoped this was behind us. I tried to mention it to the teacher at the beginning of the year, but K was "honeymooning" the first couple of weeks, so it took a little longer for the teacher to catch on. But at least we are working together on it and that helps.

It's October, and that means a change in our morning (5:40!) devos. Instead of the kids taking turns reading from a devo book, we all read from Proverbs one chapter a day. 31 days in October, 31 Proverbs. This is somewhere around our 5-6th year of doing this. I know we were doing it before the twins came home in 2010.
We read around the circle one verse at a time. It can be a little challenging because we have different versions of the Bible. This morning there were five of us, and four different versions. After we've read the chapter, each family member picks a favorite verse to think about for the day and tells why he/she picked it.
Mine today was Proverbs 1:3. It talks about the purpose of the Proverbs. "Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair." I chose this verse because we all need to be doing what is right, just and fair everyday. It also reminds me of Micah 6:8, which is one of my favorite verses.

You can find Proverbs chapter 1 here

Monday, September 29, 2014


I'm sitting here waiting for Dancing with the Stars to come on. The only things I usually watch are NCIS, NCIS LA and Rizzoli and Isles all of which I watch on DVR after the fact.

But I started watching DWTS last season when Candace Cameron Bure was on. And decided to try it again this season since the Duck Dynasty girl is on it. I don't watch Duck Dynasty because they all drive me crazy, but at least they're being real.

There are so many random thoughts bouncing around in my head, I thought I'd just write them down and maybe it'll clear my mind.

 1. I hope I said something that made sense in my radio interview by phone this morning.
 2. I wonder if I can get a Canadian radio station here in FL, but not sure I really want to hear myself. (It was taped for Wed a.m.)
 3. Why do kids let my daughter coerce them out of their snacks and lunch treats? 
 4. If someone said to me, "I won't be your friend unless you give me that" I'd say, "You aren't my friend anyway or you wouldn't be trying to get my snack/treat."
 5. I'm glad that both twins' teachers seemed to "get it" when we had conferences last week.
 6. I hope my new alternator doesn't cost too much.
 7. I hope my 2001 SUV with over 243,000 miles last another couple of years.
 8. It's pouring. I hope it doesn't rain on Jessica's wedding day since it's a beach wedding.

 9. How did the plan to have an inexpensive beach wedding get so expensive?
10. I will be glad when we are done with this science fair project. Still have the research paper, bibliography, experiments, log, display board and abstract to go.
 11. This year we have a month's break before we start history fair--I think.
 12. I hope my mom and sister can come for Jessica's wedding. My mom isn't really able to travel anymore.
 13. I wish there was some soda in the house. 
 14. I wish there was some chocolate in the house.
 15. I wonder if the Tyndale editor got my new proposal. I haven't heard anything from her since she started. Another writer gave me her e-mail address.
 16.  I "love"Tangled and Frozen--mostly the music--I wonder when there will be another Disney movie?

 17. I wonder if the new Left Behind movie is worth going to the full price theater to see?
 18. Why hasn't there been anything new/decent at the "cheap" theater in the past few weeks? Planes 2 and How to Train Your Dragon 2 seem to have been skipped.
 19. I wish it were easier for me to write fiction. I want to write teen fiction that makes a difference. The real stuff. 
 20. Why does time seem to go so much faster when you're doing something fun than when you're waiting for something?

Okay, if you made it through that whole list--or skimmed it and have arrived at the bottom--it's your turn. Hit comment and write at least five random things that are going through your mind.