Monday, December 31, 2007

Psalm 51:10
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (bold emphasis mine)

This picture joined with this Scripture made me giggle on a couple levels. First, I did not realize I bought *Glory* beans. New Year's Traditional food of blackeyed peas combined with a nice NYE resolution Scripture.

Secondly, the childish poem, "Beans, beans, they're good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you ____." Not only do you get a clean heart, but a clean colon as well.

This afternoon, Jack smoked a whole chicken, cut in half. It was ready but we had filled up on clams & crabcakes. It will make nice pickin' food for tonight. I also have the traditional beans, greens and sparkling grape juice. (Oh and cheese in a can, crackers, chips, olives, pickles, etc.)

Sorry, I used too much flash on the pic and washed out the great smoked look on the chicken. As you can see, some of my clams are popped open already. Did you know that clams are sold in a baker's dozen?

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

"LOOK MOM!!!......"

Finish that sentence....

(my guess would be "Look Mom, 911.")

Thursday, December 27, 2007

ATLANTIS & ROBINS (100's of 'em)

Atlantis crew are hopeful for Jan 10th launch. BUT, the coolest thing about living on the Space Coast is the fact that this is part of our every day backdrop of life.

We went to a Mexican restaurant on US-1 for the first time tonight. (New to us, not new) Jack and I got the window seat while the boys had the wall. It was such a thrill to see the sun go down and see the lights on the launch pad stay lit up with Atlantis out there. We could easily see the VAB building. I just think it is so cool living here.
As for 100's of robins, I'm thinking the cold weather up north has pushed this species all the way down to us. It was noticeable that every time we walked outside, we heard birds, sensed birds swooping around us, heard debris falling off the trees that they broke off and so forth. I grabbed the camera, taking a few bad shots and then my batteries went dead. I'm hoping that they're still around tomorrow so I can try again for a few decent shots. Jack probably thought it was bad enough living with one Robin, but now he has hundreds. :o) I wish I had some bird food handy so they don't start enjoying cherry tomatoes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - boys on sugar

Monday, December 24, 2007

by Robin

First, find Atlantic Seafood Market in Cape Canaveral!! They have the best service and most delicious seafood. If you're ever in the Cocoa Beach/ Cape Canveral area, wanting fresh seafood... try Atlantic Seafood on Flounder St. for all your fresh, local fish. If you *ever* have a bad piece of anything, they will reimburse you. They are serious about fresh fish & seafood.

These stone crab claws are worth a bundle and as Jack says, a reuseable resource. They take only the claws and the crab is released & allowed to go regenerate a new one. Cool. I never knew that. (We did not get these but they made a pretty crustacean picture.)
These are rock shrimp - in season today. Yeah!! They look like grubs but I assure you, they are not. They taste similar to mini-lobsters.
We cut them in halves, line them up, brush SmartBalance/lemon/Old Bay sauce on them and then broil until done. Yummy!

Lightly fry up some crab cakes in EVOO. Give 'em a nice crust.

Steam clams until they all pop open, then either eat them with a little bit of Smart Balance on top or put on a cracker. Be sure to add some hot sauce. I find that to be the best way. This was a "Medium Neck" clam. I don't know. I don't want to know.

A favorite here with the guys is Alaskan Snow Crab legs. No meal is complete without a couple pounds of these guys.
You may be asking yourself....... Gee, I thought she said she was a vegan. Yep. I am with the exception of fish or seafood. We did have our veggies too.
We included in our meal with a Butter Bean Soup. The recipe is on the back of the soup can. In short, it is carrots, onions, celery softenend in EVOO. Add 3 Tbl flour, then 3 c water. Few minutes later, add 2 cans of butter beans w/ juices, tomatoes, basil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. This is my version of it. The can called for 4 c water and no bean juice but I think that's silly. The bean juice adds so much to the flavor. Simmer for 20 min and then chow down. It was a nice compliment to the seafood.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

by Robin

While I tend to eat more like an herbivore, I can't expect my growing fishermen to live by salad alone. I know Jack surely can't. I found a delicacy on Food Network called "Horseradish and Garlic Prime Rib Roast" by Tyler Florence. Oh. my. goodness!! It makes me want to forget veganism, for sure. If you haven't noticed already from all my Paula Deen dishes, I get a lot of inspiration from the Food Network channel. Thanx FN!

I picked out a beautiful roast at Publix. Gathered all my ingredient. Really, the only I think it really needs is LOTS OF GARLIC & meat. LOL. That's all I can smell at the moment in the house.

You leave a lot of the onions, carrots & garlic chunked around the sides and they will flavor the juices that come out of the roast.

Then you make your rub out of garlic paste (homemade), salt, pepper, oil, and horseradish sauce.

Oh my!! Doesn't this look delicious, even raw? The ribs are on the bottomside. Cook 350 deg, 20 min for every pound of meat. This was only 3 lbs.
After it is done cooking, I let it set for 20 more minutes & then cut. Amazing, food explosion in your mouth.

Note to self: cut salt amt in half.
Also, part of the blessing of being a Floridian in the winter is that your neighbors will give you their extra fruit. I have been loaded down with oranges & tangerines, as of yesterday. I had a tangerine for breakfast and it was so sweet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

(and various other sweets & sodas)

Be warned as you see homeschoolers take in vast amounts of sugar today.

As if we didn't already have enough reasons to homeschool.... now we have 1 more reason.

by Robin

Yep, there's a lot of lovin' going on in the kitchen.
(Can you see the starfish & seahorse in the ornament?)

First, we baked our 2nd batch of sugar cookies. We had mass production going on Friday night. We even had Jack elbow deep in flour and confectioner's sugar.

Every couple of days, I get a fresh new salad right from my garden. My carrots still need more time to grow but I'm not very patient. All that love & watering in the garden has paid off.

What? What's this? Fingerpainting on the wall? Yep. I do it all the time. It is totally allowed at this home.
In all honesty, I'm not loving this finished work. I'm going to rework it this afternoon. It was suppose to look more fossil - bones-like.

Here, I got a bit carried away and ended up expanding down the entire wall. These are trilobites.

Around the corner from the trilobites is the nautilus shell, a rock crack and 2 small fish. They remind me of that Bible story of the little boy who gave away his 2 fish & 5 loaves of bread to feed thousands.

Our cooktop was slowly dying, eye by eye. The oven was burning everything in minutes. We were in serious need of an appliance makeover before holiday baking could come to pass. (cabinets are next)

I haven't burned a single thing since having a stove with a window & 4 fully working eyes.

And what would a new stove do without a matching dishwasher next to it. So, we got one of those too. Our previous one died right after Thanksgiving, came back, then died again. I love this one because it is so quiet in our living area. Thank you GE.
After hooking up those water lines, the fawcett decided to die on us. WHAT IS GOING ON???? Back to Home Depot twice more. (love the dual handles) By 9:50pm, I had 2 new appliances & 1 fixture in my kitchen, plus a wall mural. Wow, what a day! And..... I schooled the kiddies too.
Thank you Lord for the love & warmth that a kitchen brings to the family.

Monday, December 17, 2007

by Robin

On our way to stand in line at the Post Office today, we came across a chocolate lab standing in the middle of 5-lanes. He was so confused. I called to him but he ran away. We made a U-turn and parked at the next lot.

I did my best to make friends but he wasn't going to be an easy sell. He barked & darted. He had gone into a vacant lot by the river and I didn't want him to dart back into traffic. Ok. I pulled out every happy, dog-friendly sound I could make. "Yeah, Here boy, Good boy, C'mon, Let's go, Ride, Cookie", not to forget clicks, whistles and kissy noises. Nothing worked. I crouched down, I stood up, I eased in from the side. Nothing.

Finally, ten minutes later with kids yelling encouragements from my SUV, I realized he would acknowledge sit & down. This allowed me to get a step closer and closer. I could tell he was tired. He wanted to lay down but he sure didn't like me. About 15 minutes into the attempt to rescue, I got my hands on him. He let me pet him, scratch his hiney, touch his face. He even did a tail wag & bowed down for play. How I wish I had a tennis ball & a leash on hand. He did have an old yellow collar that had some mud on it but no tags.

I did grab the collar and we were headed back to the SUV when Andrew popped out to greet us and scared my new lab friend away from my grip. He turned as if he thought about biting but never did show teeth. I shouldn't have let go. I sent Andrew back to the SUV and tried to regain some ground. My furry friend no longer let me get close to him again. He was not heading into a car or anywhere with strangers.

I'm sure it was after 20-25 minutes, I gave up. I wanted so desperately to help this boy yet not get bit. My kids have been with me on successful road rescue attempts. They were upset with me for leaving this boy behind in the field, lying down and resting now. I searched my entire SUV for anything that would make into a leash. Not even my purse strap was handy.

I felt like a failure that I couldn't help him, yet I know I tried very hard. We went on to the Post Office. We agreed that if he was in the same area on the drive home, we'd try again. As it turned out, he was gone. I do not know where he went but I pray that he managed to safely find his way back home to his family.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


"MARY, Did you know?"

I love the part where he asks Mary if she knew that when she kissed the face of her baby, that she was kissing the face of God. I think of that line everytime I get to kiss a baby's cheeks. They are gifts sent straight from heaven. I am awed to think that she got to kiss Jesus' cheeks.

The singer is Mark Lowry. Many know him as a Christian comedian but as you can see, he is a worthy of the title of singer & songwriter, too. Recently, Clay Aiken has resung this song. You can find his version on YouTube as well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fun in the yard

Kids & Cap Guns......

The faked death

Snake #1

Snake #2....... on the other side of the trellis. Apparently in the midst of a secret rendezvous...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

CANTATA & more

Tomorrow is our big day at church. At rehearsal, they showed us this little gem between songs. Here is the *more*!! Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

by Robin

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

As much as I would have liked to enjoy a nice bubblebath & then bon bons on the couch, that never seems to be my life. However, God has given me such a good life.

I was able to make an emergency appt. to the pediatrician today to find out nothing is wrong with Andrew. Praise God.

We schooled on the way down, in the waiting room and on the way back home, so that we would have plenty of time to finish school and do this.

Sometimes I wonder if the Proverbs 31 woman, described here, had boys. A house full of boys with hundreds of suggestions of things they could do in an afternoon. I'm certain she must have had some children because we read that they praised her.

After we were done baking cookies, we joined up with fellow choir members and sang caroles in the historic downtown of our area. I treated the boys to hot cocoa.

It is 9 pm and I can hear the boys playing their Christian music videoes while playing Kerplunk.

What a great day.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

EXODUS 20:15
"Thou shalt not steal."
by Robin

This should seem like a no-brainer for most of us. Many times we see this in a material way and it is certainly applicable this way. However, this verse has been sticking in my head the past couple weeks since going over the 8th commandment in our Wed night Bible study.

We can steal so much more than material possessions. We can steal time, joy, reputations and so much more. I realize what I'm about to say may be controversial but I feel the need to express it.

Back in another generation, adoptions were kept very hush-hush. People did not know they were adopted many times until it was revealed accidentally by some unknowing family member. I had a cousin, and probably you did too, who was adopted and never knew about it until one very painful day when the truth was revealed.

The same was for Jack when he was 12. It was a shocker when he found out his adoptive Dad wasn't his biological Dad. He spent the next 20 years wishing to know his Dad and his ethnic background. Ironically, knowing his Dad didn't turn out to be as cheery as you see on Oprah or Dr. Phil but it still gave Jack a sense of security in self-esteem. Still, Jack missed out on a lifetime of knowing stories about his Dad and having time to create a bond - good or bad. Time had been stolen from him that can never be regained.

Because of Grandma Mary's funeral, something very good has happened. People are TALKING. People are coming together. A fractured family is no longer having the precious gift of time being stolen from them. Jack has two brothers that he's never met before.....

This week, there is a man (actually 2) out there, in his 30's, finding out for the first time in his life that he has a brother. Neither parent ever told him the truth about this legitimate, created in-wedlock, half brother of his. I will never understand what kept these adults from telling the truth. There is half a lifetime of time stolen from them getting to know each other.

In the Bible, there is a familiar truth that says what the devil meant for bad, God can use for good. What lies, shame and guilt did, God can undo. I am praying that when these brothers get together, they will make a solid, loving bond with each other. Time will no longer be stolen from them.

God has adopted us into His family with loving arms. And, we still love our earthly families. There is room in our hearts with love for both families. Time is a gift that can be stolen if we aren't careful. Between the holiday bustle or fractured families, don't let this happen to you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Philippians 4:6 (niv)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

On the left, I'm quite anxious... freaking out mostly. Wondering why in the world I thought this would be easy.

Getting over the first peak.

Starting to gain the victory, feeling confident and even comfortable on the roof.

Well, this picture may end up being too small to show all the effort. I'm in the left corner of the roof, stringing the top of the palm.
I have to say that getting down was the most scary part. I did pray before getting up there and gave the boys instructions to call 911 if I fell. God was so good to keep me safe.
Jack will be so surprised to see the lights on when he gets home. (And I might get a little lecture....)

Monday, December 3, 2007


So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son;

and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
The picture was taken at church last night. We had our 1st Annual Family Christmas Celebration. The kids went from station to station making parts of the nativity scene. I was part of the Christmas carolers. Above is our Youth Pastor Steve telling the children the story of Jesus' birth.
Please note that this verse also applies to daughters. :o)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The REAL Magic Kingdom
by Robin

As seems to be the tradition a few Sundays now, I'd like to take a moment talk about Jesus.

We had so much fun these past couple weeks with having Thanksgiving company, learning Christmas Cantata music and seeing all the stars at Magic Kingdom, including Mickey and Minnie. However, we also grieved this week over losing a loved one. My thoughts went from one Magic Kingdom to the *true* Magic Kingdom where the King of Kings and Lord of Lords resides. A great city filled with precious stones, great walls and twelve gates made of whole pearls. Can you imagine? The foundations of the wall were garnished with jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth and amethyst. The city needed no sun or moon as it was filled with the glory of God to lighten it. The gates shall never be shut, as there is no night there. Those who are written in the Lamb's book of life will dwell there.

And God shall wipe away all tears from eyes and there is no death; neither shall there be any more pain and all former things passed away. God can make all things new.

Last Sunday evening, Jack and I visited his dying grandmother. We sat at her bedside taking turns praying and crying. We held her hand and kissed her head. We gave her sips of Diet Coke, which she said gave her life. We all had a laugh over that one. But we were there for business. Serious business for God. We let her know that God loved her. We told her what she already knew, that Jesus died for her sins. We asked her to trust Jesus with her life and to call upon his name in her time of need. When some time had passed, we asked her if she had understood and she replied, "I'm good."

We left her bedside at 1am, desperately praying for assurance and salvation.

The next day, the kids were able to visit with her. God provided us with more privacy to speak with Grandma Mary and again, she replied that she was good. That night, feeling unassured, I went to the Word of God and ask that He speak to me. In there, He told me that the effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). I read that verse over and over, meditating on its words. Effectual stood out in my mind as if it had never existed before. It referenced 1Kin18:42, 45 where Elijah had prayed again and again for rain. On the 7th time, a black cloud came across the skies and grew into a mighty storm. Elijah and Ahab couldn't even get back to the city of Jez-re-el before it poured.

I cried and thanked the Lord for such hope and so we continued praying for the next 7 days.

This morning, the 7th day since when we made this desperate prayer before the Lord and spoke with Grandma Mary about Jesus, we learned that she passed. We are heartbroken to lose such a lovely woman, yet God loves us so much that He gave us hope. You see, in Bible talk, seven stands for completion. He had heard our prayers and I have faith that He completed a work of salvation in Grandma Mary's heart. I have to have faith that Jesus was now giving her life, not Diet Coke. I believe, through faith, that when I get to heaven, I will be greeted by Mary and hear her most wonderful Florida drawl and be kissed.

For with God, nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37

This was one of the Scriptures in today's sermon at church. Our main feature song in the choir was "Presence of Glory." For me, it was all confirmation of our prayers and hope during what can be some of the most painful times in a person's life.

Are you going to the real Magic Kingdom?

Saturday, December 1, 2007


I hope this works. You Tube failed me. Jon Secada is singing in brown suit. If you get out your magnifying glasses, you'll see Derek & Julianne from Dancing with the Stars dancing below him on the 2nd (left) stage. Julianne is in gold and Derek in white shirt/ blk pants

Friday, November 30, 2007


singing Christmas carols over and over. He was such a great sport about it. Also, so were the Dancing with the Stars folks.

Helio & Julianne were featured. Derek (Jenny Garth's partner) & Julianne danced some. Edyta, Joey Fatone and his dance partner also were there. Oh, Oh!! And how could I forget, Cheetah Gal Sabrina & her partner Mark were also there.
Lunch then.....

..... singing "Hark the Herald" with the Harlem Gospel Choir. She was not as good of a sport. And.....

this lovely lady sang with her group of Princesses all around her. You could hear her through the entire park.

We did get to ride 7 different rides before it got dark at 6pm. Fireworks were also magical - the best I've ever seen. Then, we saw this leaving this park....

Disney really knows how to make a Magical Day......

Thanks Mickey & Minnie,

Robin (Edited to add that you can see this Disney Special aired Christmas morning on ABC. Maybe we'll be in it.)