Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Being Your Best

RoseKidz has a special deal on my first Christian Girl's Guide. It's discounted, plus there's a free download. Check it out HERE. It's a good summer read.

It has:
and a lot more fun!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fun at the Bay

First, if you didn't do the randomness on the last post, please do! Fun to see other's answers.

Last week we had a six of our kids, four of our neighbors and three new friends as well as a three year old special needs child belonging to one of them at the bay with us. It was fun to have such a big group. It was the twins birthday, and we chose to celebrate at the beach.

birthday breakfast

Yes, she's that much taller

They each had their own kind of cupcakes.

Adam was really into it. He kept trying to get us to keep it up for a certain number of hits. I think we got up to about 14. But sometimes someone missed after the first or second hit.

Wearing Uncle Adam's hat

Not sure whose hat she has here.

We have a couple of beautiful days coming up so plan to hit a beach and the bay.

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I found this saved on my computer. From my original answers, I wrote the questions about two years ago. I updated my answers. Please play along. Answer at least five of the questions in the comment section. My answers are in blue. (I went back and looked it up and  I made up these questions in March 2014 as part of a book give away).

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

 2. Sad or happy movie endings? Happy : )

 3. Favorite Disney princess? Merida? Belle? Maybe Rapunzel, Elsa or Anna. I seem to like them all.

 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? Kindle! 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, buy it from amazon and be reading it in under a minute!

 7. What's in your "to read" pile? 1000 Gifts, If I Run, Just Claire (YA), Ten Steps to Girlfriend Status (YA), Hate List (YA), Coach Wooden: The Seven Principles that Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours, Conflict and Suspense (writing books), Write Your Novel from the Middle (writing book), Characters, Emotions and View Point (WB), Thicker Than Blood, The Survivor um, my list of books to read this summer is over 50 books long and I have at least 100 on my kindle I haven't read!

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

 9. Barefoot or shoes? running shoes, Go Walks

10. Beach getaway or mountain hideaway? beach, but I might like to visit a mountain hideaway some time to see what it's like

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, but my next trip in tubing in the Smokey Mountain area. I also hope to take tour up the east coast. I fell in love with NYC!

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 teen fiction books

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

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? don't know

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

25. Who influenced your life most? For 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 (not a Bible character)? don't know

28. Plan it or wing it? Depends on the occasion/outing. Sometimes we just take off without knowing where we're going, but some things 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.

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. 
No, O people, 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

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." John 14:6  

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. Dive shipwrecks. Ride a motorcycle.

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sunday Afternoon: Mother's Day

I posted a while back about trying to do family activities on Sunday afternoons. I was going to post about this past Sunday afternoon, but I realized I never posted our Mother's Day activities.

Rick and I went out on Saturday, and then on Sunday we took the kayaks to an island that is just that. An island. No buildings, potties, etc. So you take what you need with you. Not many people go by kayak, but it's doable and a challenge for us. 

On the side of the island we can access, there isn't any beach area. 

Travis came along.

Without a beach, we play in the water.

Beach volleyball is our new thing this year.

I think we look like castaways on Gilligan's island.
We took Subway subs along and sat on the kayaks to eat.

Lots more to post. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Project

Lowes did this as a Mother's Day  project on the Thursday night before Mother's Day, but I had my kids make it for their teachers for teacher appreciation week. Since Jasmine is in high school, she made hers for her voice teacher.

The project had a very small yellow container for a flower, but the ones they let them choose from were way too big to fit in the yellow container.

See how much bigger the plant is than the yellow container? I had them just take it separately. The teachers can always use the yellow container for paperclips or something.

Kaleb taking his to school. Kayla ended up staying home that day because she threw up.
Jessica, Jasmine and I have gone to two Home Depot women's DIY projects, but since there has been such a big turn out, they are going to start charging for them now. So I guess our project days with them are over.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sailboat Challenge

At Kayla's school, the 5th graders have a sailboat challenge. They have to build a boat that floats while holding ten marbles. They test it in a kiddie pool and get point by how well it floats across.

Ty helped her decide on materials.

He coached her, but she had to do it all herself.

Trial run at home. Sadie was helpful.

The boat got an 85% the first time because it started filling with water. She was allowed to fix it, so she hot glued all the leaky areas. She also added a rudder made of two little wooden ice cream spoons (like come with the little ice cream cups) and tapes on with electrical tape hurriedly the day it was due.

The boat got a 98% on the second try. She still has to finish her log book and make her backboard. The backboard has to be made at school to make sure the kids do it themselves.

School is out for two of my kids June 1 and Kayla on June 2. There is a lot coming up between now and then.

How about you?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Night Photos

I did three evenings of "night" photography. The first evening we stayed at the college. The second evening we went to a park. The third evening we took photos on the rooftop of one of the college buildings painting with light. Then I tried the painting with light at home.

We used tripods so we could use a long enough exposure time for things to show.

The sun was setting as we went out.
This picture and the next were taken just moments apart but at different exposures.

These were taken in the dark by painting the flowers with a flashlight.

At home, we experimented with how long to hold the shutter open. I had too much light on this one.

I like this one better.

Jasmine took these drum pictures
 This has too much light
This is better. I think I like the first one best.

I think painting with light was my favorite part of night photography. Overall, night photography isn't my thing. I wish I could take the portrait class, but it's while I'm out of town this summer.