Monday, March 31, 2014

Rest of Spring Break

 We didn't do anything big over spring break. Just hung around the neighborhood. We were disappointed it didn't get warm enough to go to the beach even just to play in the sand.

We walked in the park four days. I walked six miles three of the days! It took me 94 minutes, but oh well. At least I did it. This day we went through the Taco Bell drive through afterwards. The dogs are sharing a soft beef taco. Once in a while I'll take them through the drive through, and it's pretty funny to pull up to the window with three furry faces hanging out the window, tongues out.

As you can see, we have a dirt path. It's 6/10 of a mile so five times around is three miles. It's wooded on one side, sunny on one side and runs along the water for a short distance. There's a big wooden play area in the middle.

The bowling alley was advertising an open bowling special from 11-5 every day. We went one day, and when we got there it was empty, but the lady at the counter said someone had reserved every lane, so we couldn't bowl. That was disappointing, and I said so in a less than polite way. I don't usually throw around attitude, but the bowling alley is a ways away and the kids were so excited. When I told Rick, he let the bowling alley people know he wasn't thrilled about it either, and he ended up getting 12 free games for us. Now to find a time to go. Anyway, Jessica took Jasmine and Kaleb to Nut Job instead. Kayla had lied about something earlier to get a privilege she hadn't earned, so she had to sit the movie out.

We went to Taco Bell for breakfast the first day they served breakfast.

We went to run/walk afterwards. We have to with all the fast food!! Really, no one orders that much so we are okay. Everyone gets one thing, and we share a drink.

The girls shared some boneless wings from the Walmart deli one evening.

The kids learned the books of the Bible with the category divisions, so we went to DQ. Yep. More fast food. 

Jasmine and Kaleb made banana boats that evening. Cut open a banana like a canoe. Add peanut butter, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap in foil. Bake on 350F for about 10-15 minutes, or until the "stuffing" is melted. You could skip the marshmallows and chocolate chips to cut the sugar.

Jasmine was taking out her corn rows too.

Or you could just eat the marshmallows out of the bag.
We did have some attitude and behavior issues during the week, but we just pushed on. If we all went out and someone was causing problems, that person got to eat a sandwich instead of getting whatever the treat was. At home they were sent to their rooms to write a few verses or think on things. If they chose not to write verses (which is what happened) they stayed in the the room and missed out. If they refused to do their daily job, they missed out. It was disappointing that sometimes one or the other of them would just get stubborn and refuse to do something knowing there was a treat coming. I just say soemting like, "I'm sorry you chose to play in the dirt rather than poop scoop the yard. I accept your choice and will allow you to sit in your room while we are ...."
Since we didn't go to the beach, we grilled the hot dogs at home.

Kayla is licking her marshmallows, so I guess Kaleb needed his tongue out too!

Sometimes something will be posted by a lot of people on fb. I don't always try whatever it is, but when I saw this idea for the hundredth time, I tried it. You just take a can of refrigerated cinnamon rolls and cook them in the waffle iron instead of the oven. Spray the iron well, and pull the waffles out before the ready light comes on or they'll be a bit too brown.

Jasmine liked them. So did the others, but they ate them so fast I didn't get pictures.

Sunday night the girls watched Frozen together and ate their way through the freezer using up some of the old stuff that had gotten overlooked plus some apple sliced and grapes. We do have a lot of healthy choices, but who wants to see pictures of my kids eating broccoli dipped in ranch dressing?

Going back to getting up at 5:05 today was brutal. After I dropped the four kids at three different bus stops and then went to Walmart this morning, I thought I might sneak back to the couch in our bedroom and be lazy. But it was already occupied.

We grilled out again tonight. Adam was supposed to come over last night and bring chicken but didn't show. He said he'd come today and didn't show. So we had hot dogs. He left this evening for rifle training for a week. He is sharing an apartment with a couple of friends just a couple of miles from us. He works full time and does Marine reserves.

Rick drove to KY and and got Ty, and they went to the Louisville Comic Con Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. Rick got back today and brought me the hat.

Comic Con

Comic Con

Ty seems to be doing really well at Job Corps, and I'm happy about that. I was not sure he'd fit in, but he does. The values are not the same as ours, but he has to make his own choices about activities and other things. He supervises the rec room sometimes in addition to his computer tech training.

Job Corps goes on outings sometimes and the guys can sign up to go first come, first serve. Since he's a rec supervisor, he gets to sign up first. This was taken in Louisville when they went to the Muhammad Ali Museum. Ty's in front of the Ohio River with Indiana on the other side.

So that's what our week was like.  Jessica and I head to Pensacola this coming weekend for the ECW convention with Karen Kingsbury, Lisa Welchel (Blair), Chondra Pierce (if she's inappropriate again this time I'm leaving!!), Kay Roberson (Duck Dynasty), Jeremy Camp and some others.

The first group of books from the last post will be mailed tomorrow media mail.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


The book give away has ended so I've removed the photos of the books and the instruction as to how to get one.

Random questions:
 1. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Blue or aqua

 2. Sad or happy movie endings? Happy : )

 3. Favorite Disney princess? Rapunzel, Elsa or Anna, not sure!

 4. Kids or pets? Both. Pets are pets, not kids. Can't send them to college. But I have friends who have given their pets child status.

 5. Dog or cat person? Was a cat person most of my life but am now a dog person. I love having someone greet me at the gate excited to see me.

 6. Kindle or paperback book? Both. Didn't think I'd like a kindle because I don't like reading off of the computer, but you can hold a kindle like a book and have many books available at once. And you can decide you want to read a certain book, but it from amazon and be reading it in under a minute!

 7. What's in your "to read" pile? Divergent, Chasing Sunsets (Eva Marie Everson), Distortion (Terri Blackstock), Fifteen Minutes (Karen Kingsbury), Decisions Points (George W Bush)

 8. Favorite Christmas movie? While You Were Sleeping, Scrooge (musical, 1970)

 9. Barefoot or shoes? shoes

10. Beach getaway or mountain hideaway? beach

11. Like snow? There's a reason I live in FL after 26 years of lake effect snow

12. Favorite flavor of jelly beans? cinnamon

13. Which way do you cut your grilled cheese—diagonal or up and down? Depends on my mood.

14. Dream destination? Mt Fuji or a Caribbean beach

15. Morning person or night person? Night, I do not ever fall asleep before 11:00 p.m. even though I have to be up at 5:05 a.m. and that feels like the middle of the night.

16. Dream vocation? Author of suspense books

17. Best accomplishment? That remains to be seen. I'd say my kids or marrying my prince, but let's wait for the endings.

18. Places you've lived? Elkhart, IN, Winona Lake, IN (college), Jacksonville, FL, South Cerney England, Grand Forks, ND, Okinawa Japan, Ellsworth, SD, Alconbury/huntingdon/Mildenhal England, Valdosta, GA, FL panhandle

19. What kind/color socks are you wearing? Black Nike socks that have L and R for which foot they go on. I even have them on the correct feet.

20. What super power do you want? Speed or flying

21. Biggest fear? Ending up alone and broke.

22. What faction would you chose? (if you've read or seen Divergent) Not sure. I think I might be Divergent. I'd love to say Dauntless, but I'm a whimp.

23. Favorite Disney or comic villain? Mother Gothel

24. Catholic, protestant or nothing? Protestant—Southern Baptist now

25. Who influenced your life most? For the better—my husband

26. If you could meet anyone living who would it be? Leroy Jethro Gibbs—what do you mean he's not real???? Okay, maybe George W. Bush then.

27. If you could meet anyone from the past who would it be? Jesus

28. Plan it or wing it? Depends on the occasion/outing. Sometimes we just take off without knowing where we're going, but other things like our upcoming trip to NYC need to be planned.

29. Quirky habit? Not a habit, but I can't sleep if I'm in contact with another person or pet. So no falling asleep in anyone's arms or with a pet across my face!

30. Best talent? No real talents. Just perseverance.

31. Most unusual thing about you? Five of my kids are adopted. But for those of you reading this blog, that's not unusual at all. I've known most of my life that I was going to adopt.

32. Favorite quote or Scripture? Most of our favorite Scriptures are actually taken out of context. Right now--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. Micah 6:8

and for this year for some reason this verse has been on my mind--Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6  I've already told one person repeatedly that God's plan for everyone leads to the foot of the cross. He's not listening though.

33. Favorite author, book or genre? Suspense, mostly Christian like Brandilyn Collins and Terri Blackstock but also Mary  Higgins Clark who writes "clean" suspense.

34. One thing you wished you knew how to do? Speak another language. Write fiction!!!! I stink at it.

35. What should be written on your tombstone? She made a difference (that's my goal for life at least)


Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Break

We were more than ready for a break!! Me especially! Some of the behaviors at school were escalating, and we were seeing more inappropriate behaviors, lying about it and so on. Usually when they are just with me, I can get them back on track. Or at least deal with it directly. That usually means losing out on something because of not being able to be trusted. Jasmine has also been really stressed out with school work, too. And we have FCAT testing next month.

I really wanted to start out strong Friday doing fun stuff, but that's when I realized that school planners with teacher comments about behaviors had been hidden and altered. So on Friday instead of having a big Frozen kick off to spring break, Jasmine and I went to the theater to see Divergent.
It's similar to Hunger Games as far as genre--and unfortunately, as far as violence. I'd love to see a "survive the new world order without any violence" movie. I was happy that there was only one a** word and one b***** word in the whole movie! I really like it, but didn't particularly like seeing kids gun down other kids.

Saturday was still a little rough because little people were testing me as far as did I mean it when I said the yard job they'd been stalling on and being downright disobedient about had to be done before we could do anything fun. All of us have been working on some jobs to clean things up outside. But some have been wandering off and hiding or trying to get a sibling to be disobedient too. That doesn't doesn't earn privileges.
One of the biggest jobs was power washing the outside of the house. Rick tackled that with some help from the others.

Then Rick and Jasmine went to Nut Job at the cheap theater.

Sunday night the Nelons were at church. Jasmine and the twins sat really well during the whole thing, so we finally did our Frozen night. We stopped at Walmart to get ice cream.
Ready with two kinds of ice cream.

Um, yeah, she is licking it out of her bowl.
This time (in Frozen) when the gates are open to the castle, I saw Rapunzel in the crowd going in. At the theater I'd just see a quick glimpse of her at the last second. Did you all catch that they did that? Disney kind of has a reputation for putting in characters from previous movies.

This morning we went to the park. The kids ran/jogged three miles. I walked four miles. So they had time to play while I finished up.

Then we went to Chill. I'd never heard of them until about a month ago. Anyone else ever go to Chill or have one in their city? Jessica has school this week. She caught the trolley from the college and met us there.

You can choose from 30+ flavors and as many toppings--fruit and all kinds of candy--and they weigh it when you're done. It's kind of expensive because you pay per ounce, but we had a buy one, get one free coupon and a buy one, get one half-price coupon.

This bowl was almost $5!!!

This bowl was around $4.

So that's what we've done so far. We plan to go back to the park and walk/run tomorrow and also grill lunch there if the weather is good. We hope to get to the beach although the water will be really cold. We hope to go bowling and to a movie at the cheap theater. So just around town stuff this week. But fun stuff.

Rick will be heading to see Tyler at the end of the week. So we had to get $1,100 worth of repairs done on the van!! Thank goodness for tax returns!

What is everyone else doing this week? Anyone else on spring break?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Time Away

If you didn't sign in on the last post, please do!!!

Last week Rick and I took a few days away. Because he still had two days on his Disney pass, we went to Orlando/Kissimmee. We also went to Discovery Cove. I think a four day cruise would have been cheaper! Especially since your food and room are included on a cruise. But I wasn't sure about going out of country leaving Jessica in charge. I think she would have been fine though. We always fill out a power of attorney paper for her, too.

Ready to go
Discovery Cove

The good thing about Discovery Cove is that everything is included--food, drinks, towels, wet suits etc. We took our own snorkel gear though because theirs is the cheap kind.

The bad thing this day was that when we went down to our car to leave for Discovery Cove, we found out it had been broken into. The door lock was forced open and is unusable now.


 This was spring break week for the colleges so everything was packed full. I think it was garden week too. And high school band festival.

Magic Kingdom 
It was wall to wall people with 2-3 hour lines for the big rides. Even the rides like this one that normally don't have a line had a line. The problem is that the only times we can go are the busy times that everyone else can go also.

But crowded or not, at least it was a break from the routine. Soon the kids will be doing FCAT testing and then there's the end of the year stuff.

Jessica's spring break was last week, and the younger three have spring break next week. It doesn't look like it's going to be warm enough for the beach :(

What are you all doing during spring break? Or is it over?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Who are You?

I get a lot of visitors, but only a few comments. When I look at the visitor map and see certain locations, I can guess who has visited my blog. But not all of them. So if  you're reading this, please leave a comment as to who you are (adoptive parent, parent of how many kids? student etc) and where you are. It'll be interesting to see where everyone is at.

Yesterday 80+ people stopped by the blog, 6 left comments. Hmmm. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Drummer

 As you remember from these past photos, Jasmine is a drummer. She plays bass and snare drums. But that's not all she plays. She also plays xylophone, bells (looks like a big silver xylophone), chimes, sleigh bells and vibraphone.

She's the middle bass drum. It's pretty big for her!

This is Jasmine waiting for the MPA (Music Performanace Assessment) yesterday. The judges were really hard on the bands this year. They got a 3 on their practiced pieces (1 is best, 6 is worst) and a 2 on sight reading.

 This is the first MPA song. Jasmine is playing xylophone, but you can't see her behind the tubas. There's another song where you can see her on vibraphone, but I can't get it to load!!!

This is Jasmine demonstrating some drum technique.

Jasmine on orchestra bells.

In other news, Erik Estrada was at our church tonight. Unfortunately my camera was not. It's still in Jessica's purse from a wedding expo this afternoon. Erg. I don't generally carry a phone and what I have is a tracphone anyway, so no help there.

Rick and I are headed to Orlando in the morning. We'll be back Friday.